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Anand to play in Legends of Chess, praises Carlsen for his role behind Chess Tour

Viswanathan Anand.

Viswanathan Anand.   | Photo Credit: Bijoy Ghosh

True to his stature, Viswanathan Anand will take his place in the Legends of Chess event on the million-dollar Magnus Carlsen Chess Tour this month.

The five-time World champion, along with Vladimir Kramnik, will join the other elite players, headed by Carlsen, in the $150,000 online event from July 21 to August 5.

Speaking to The Hindu, Anand said, “The invitation has been around for a couple of weeks and I finally convinced myself that it would be worth playing. I have played so little this year that I kind of felt it’s good to push myself back. It’s a very interesting field, multi-generational, and I hope I play well.”

Asked about the added challenges in playing online with the new generation of players, Anand said, “Well, I’ll find out.”

The event will be the fourth leg of the Chess Tour that culminates with the $300,000 Grand Final from August 9 to 20. So far, Carlsen has won two titles and in between, Russian youngster Daniil Dubov claimed the other.

Only tournament winners are eligible to play in the Grand Final. Now that not more than three tournament winners will be available after the Legends of Chess event, the available slot or slots will go to the player or players with most tournament-points.

Besides Anand and Kramnik, four other players - Carlsen, Anish Giri, Ian Nepomniachtchi and Ding Liren - have qualified to be in the field by virtue of being the semifinalist of the Chessable Masters last weekend. Other names will be released shortly.

Looking at competitive chess at these times of the pandemic, Anand said, “Well, the pandemic has put everyone in a situation where they are forced to improvise. A lot of formats and concepts have bounced around in chess for years. People have been wanting to try new formats for tournaments, new time-controls, all sorts of experiments. It’s good that chess reacted well, and not only managed to keep active during the pandemic, but also to try out a lot of formats.”

Praising Carlsen for his part in bringing the Chess Tour, Anand said, “Of course, (Magnus) Carlsen should be congratulated for what he has managed with this Tour. Also, the St. Louis Chess Club experimented with this new format of clutch chess. This will be useful because, perhaps, some of these formats will stay in the future.”

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Printable version | Aug 9, 2020 7:48:51 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/anand-to-play-in-legends-of-chess-praises-carlsen-for-his-role-behind-chess-tour/article32022970.ece

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