Viswanathan Anand wins the Rapid event at the 11th Tal Memorial

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Viswanathan Anand wins the Rapid event at the 11th Tal Memorial

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SportsCafe Desk


Viswanathan Anand made it all the way to Rapids title at the 10-man single round-robin event at the Tal Memorial, which took place in the Museum of Russian Impressionism in Moscow. The chess maestro lost only one match in the whole tournament that was against Shakhriyar Mamedyarov.

After a dismal performance in the Chess World Cup in Tbilisi in 2017, Anand had managed a stunning comeback in the Rapids event in Riyadh in December last year managing to silence his critics in the process, who were calling for the veteran player to retire from the game. And, It doesn’t seem to be happening anytime soon though.

The 48-year old stalwart followed his last feat with a win at the rapid event title at the Tal Memorial in Moscow, Sunday evening. He managed to end the tournament with a total of six points ahead of Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, who finished second with five.

India's first Grandmaster and undisputed World Champion of 2007 used all his experience to start the tournament with a blast, breezing past  Daniil Dubov in the opener with his signature style. Anand followed that win with a victory over Ian Nepomniachtchi in round two. However, Anand ended up on the losing side in the third round as he lost to the eventual runner-up Shakhriyar Mamedyarov. He managed to get two draws in the next two rounds versus  Peter Svidler and Vladimir Kramnik respectively.

In an intense sixth round clash, Anand defeated Hikaru Nakamura before edging out a draw against Sergey Karjakin in the seventh round. In the final stages of the Moscow tournament, Anand upped the ante as he beat Alexander Grischuk in the eighth round. This meant that he would go into the final round with a one-point lead over Mamedyarov and Nakamura. Anand drew with Boris Gelfand in the ninth round to seal the title win.

The win came soon after Anand’s World Rapid title and will give his confidence another big boost ahead of the Candidates tournament which set to take place next week.

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