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Aronian wins in style

Levon Aronian scripted a strong finish to won the St. Louis rapid and blitz chess championship with two rounds to spare here on Friday.

The overnight leader blitzed 3.5 points from the last four rounds to win the fourth leg of the Grand Chess Tour with a three-point margin.

The Armenian scored 24.5 points from a maximum of 36, ahead of the runner-up duo of Sergey Karjakin and Hikaru Nakamura at 21.5. Viswanathan Anand finished ninth with 14 points, two behind eighth-placed Garry Kasparov.

With the rapid and blitz events over for the Tour, the overall champion of the GCT will be decided in London in December.

Anand, who started the day in the eighth place, opened with a victory over Ian Nepomniachtchi – his lone victory in the 18-round blitz section – but went on to lose to Fabiano Caruana and Hikaru Nakamura in the next two rounds. Draws followed against Le Quang Liem, Aronian and Kasparov. Lienier Dominguez Perez defeated Anand with black pieces before draws against last-man David Navara and Karjakin firmed up the ninth position for Anand.

On the other hand, Kasparov started the day with a loss against Karjakin, but in the remaining rounds, scored over Perez, Nakamura and Caruana and drew against the rest.

Final standings (rapid* + blitz): 1. Levon Aronian (12.5 + 12) 24.5

points; 2-3. Sergey Karjakin (13.5 + 8), Hikaru Nakamura (10.5 + 11)

21.5; 4. Ian Nepomniachtchi (10 + 10) 20; 5-7. + Leinier Dominguez

(7.5 + 9), Fabiano Caruana (5.5 + 11), Le Quang Liem (8.5 + 8) 16.5

each; 8. Garry Kasparov (9 + 7) 16; 9. Viswanathan Anand (7 + 7) 14;

10. David Navara (6 + 7) 13.

(Please note: *two points for awarded for a win in rapid format, one for a draw and none for a loss)

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Printable version | May 30, 2020 5:15:45 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/aronian-wins-in-style/article19524169.ece

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