Viswanathan Anand loses to Carlsen in Armageddon

Updated: Jun 19, 2019, 01:36 IST | mid-day online desk | Stavanger (Norway)

The middle game was fierce when Carlsen launched an attack but the world champion missed a checkmate on his way to victory

Viswanthan Anand
Viswanthan Anand

Viswanathan Anand put up a good show in the classical game but lost to world champion Magnus Carlsen of Norway in the Armageddon game to score half a point out of a possible two in the first game of Altibox Norway chess tournament here.

It turned out to be a difficult day at office as Anand survived an inferior middle game and then a subsequent endgame against Carlsen for a long time in what was the most exciting classical game of the day but then fell prey to some finely disguised manoeuvres in the Armageddon game where the Indian played another black.

As a result of the Armageddon rule invented for a super tournament for the first time the event had five decisive results coming in the shorter format of the game. Interestingly, the elite chess players were probably drawn to the idea of fighting it out in the shorter format as the Classical games saw only brief spells of fighting chess and Carlsen was the only one seriously pushing for a win against Anand.

Chinese Ding Liren was the first to score a brilliant victory over Wesley So of United States and his compatriot Yu Yangyi followed suit when Maxime Vachier-Lagrave of France failed to spot an intermittent check with the queen and instead landed in complications. Azeri Shakhriyar Mamedyarov accounted for American Fabiano Caruana whose reputation in the faster version of the game suffered another setback.

In a wild chase on the clock, Levon Aronian won on time in a hopeless situation against Alexander Grischuk of Russia where pieces flew all over the board as the players tried to match each other with only seconds remaining on the clock. Carlsen, Aronian, Mamedyarov, Liren and Yangyi have 1.5 points apiece and enjoy a full point lead over the other five contestants who all have a half point in their kitty. Anand could have done better but Carlsen pressed harder in the Armageddon game. The middle game was fierce when Carlsen launched an attack but the world champion missed a checkmate on his way to victory.

Vishwanathan Anand became India's first grandmaster way back in 1988. He held the FIDE World Chess Championship from 2000 to 2002, thus becoming the first Asian in the world to do so. He became the undisputed World Champion in 2007 and defended his title against his arch rival Vladimir Kramnik in 2008. Anand then defended his title in the World Chess Championship 2010 against Veselin Topalov and in the World Chess Championship 2012 against his nemesis Boris Gelfand. In the World Chess Championship 2013 Vishwanathan Anand lost to challenger Magnus Carlsen and lost again to Carlsen in the World Chess Championship 2014. Vishwanathan Anand won the World Rapid Chess Championship in 2003 and 2017.

With inputs from PTI

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