Photos: Eteri Kublashvili/ Official Website
He started his campaign with two wins against GM Dubov Daniil and GM Ian Nepomniachtchi but couldn’t continue the streak after losing with white pieces to Azerbaijani Grandmaster Shakhriyar Mamedyarov. Then followed by draws to Peter Svidler and Vladimir Kramnik in the fourth and fifth rounds respectively.
Anand bounced back when it mattered the most. In a crucial sixth round clash, Anand defeated Hikaru Nakamura before settling for a draw with Sergey Karjakin in the subsequent round. On the win against Nakamura, Anand said, “He is a difficult opponent. In this tournament, you don’t have too much time to reflect also between the games.”
In the final phases of the rapid event, Anand upped the ante when he beat Alexander Grischuk in the eighth round.
The victory meant that Anand led both Mamedyarov and Nakamura by a full point before making his way into the ninth and final round. Anand drew with Boris Gelfand in the final round to lift the trophy.
The Tal Memorial Rapid is a 10-player single round-robin taking place in the Museum of Russian Impressionism in Moscow. The ten top players were competing for a $130,000 prize fund, with $25,000 for 1st place. Players had 25 minutes for all moves, with a 10-second increment from move 1.
Final Ranking after 9 Rounds