Norway Chess: Anand beats Karjakin to finish joint second

Photos: Lennart Ootes/ Norway Chess

GM Fabiano Caruana won the €75,000 first prize at the Altibox Norway Chess tournament after beating Wesley So in the final round of Altibox Norway Chess yesterday. Whereas, Five-time World Champion Viswanathan Anand got the better of Russia’s Sergey Karjakin  in the final round to end joint second.

In a solid start, the Indian ace started off with as many as six drawn games and ended with three decisive games in a row.

His first decisive game being against Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, the frenchman was outplayed in the endgame. Anand brilliantly capitalized his Knight and Rook pair to attack White’s pawns.

But the penultimate round proved to be disappointing for Indian fans, Anand went down fighting against Fabiano Caruana to slip to fifth spot in the standings.

Having lost the first round to Magnus Carlsen, the set back couldn’t affect rise of Fabiano Caruana as the American scored a fine victory over compatriot Wesley So to win the tournament with five points.

Caruana capitalised on a huge blunder from Wesley So when the latter could have drawn through repetition on the 41st move. It was a hard loss for Wesley as he could have tied for first and forced a play-off for the first place if he had spotted the drawing variation.

Meanwhile, in the final round Anand opted for Queen’s Gambit Declined against his rival Sergey Karjakin. Karjakin showed some preparation as he played fast in the initial stages and faced a new idea by Anand on move 13.

The situation was under control for Anand for a long time in the middle game till Karjakin cracked under pressure. The fateful 26th move gave Anand chance to win a pawn and six moves later when faced with loss of his second pawn, Karjakin resigned.

With Caruana winning his third super tournament of the year after Grenke and Candidates, Anand, Hikaru Nakamura and Magnus Carlsen tied for the second spot on 4.5 points respectively.

Final standings

Rk. Name Rtg. Nt. Pts. n
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
TB Perf.
1
GM
Caruana,F
2822
5.0
8
0
½
1
1
½
½
½
1
19.00
2882
2
GM
Carlsen,M
2843
4.5
8
1
½
½
0
1
½
½
½
18.25
2827
3
GM
Nakamura,H
2769
4.5
8
½
½
½
½
½
½
½
1
17.25
2836
4
GM
Anand,V
2760
4.5
8
0
½
½
½
½
½
1
1
16.25
2837
5
GM
So,W
2778
4.0
8
0
1
½
½
½
½
½
½
15.75
2792
6
GM
Aronian,L
2764
4.0
8
½
0
½
½
½
1
½
½
15.50
2794
7
GM
Mamedyarov,S
2808
3.5
8
½
½
½
½
½
0
½
½
14.25
2745
8
GM
Vachier-Lagrave,M
2789
3.0
8
½
½
½
0
½
½
½
0
12.75
2704
9
GM
Karjakin,S
2782
3.0
8
0
½
0
0
½
½
½
1
11.00
2705