Anand Gets 1st Win At Legends Of Chess
Viswanathan Anand. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Anand Gets 1st Win At Legends Of Chess

| 14 | Chess Event Coverage

GM Viswanathan Anand finally won his first match in the chess24 Legends of Chess tournament. In a repeat of the 2012 world championship match, the Indian grandmaster defeated GM Boris Gelfand. GM Magnus Carlsen and GM Ian Nepomniachtchi both won their seventh match and will meet in round eight.

How to watch?
The games of the chess24 Legends of Chess can be found here as part of our live events platform. GM Hikaru Nakamura and IM Levy Rozman are providing daily commentary on Nakamura's Twitch channel starting from 7:00 a.m. Pacific / 16:00 Central Europe.

Carlsen – Svidler 2.5-1.5

Carlsen has scored seven magnificent wins so far. It's not of great significance just yet since the preliminary phase is about finishing among the top four, but his good form makes Carlsen an even bigger favorite for tournament victory than he was at the start.

Svidler barely managed to scrape draws from the first two games (where he was close to being lost in both) before finally getting a balanced third game on the board. For the sixth time in seven matches, Carlsen then avoided an armageddon:

Carlsen tweeted about his 11th place in Fantasy Premier League.

Anand – Gelfand 2.5-0.5

Listing Anand's misfortunes so far would be a cruel affair. The trend was positive for him, though, as he started winning games in round five (vs. GM Peter Leko) and six (vs. Nepomniachtchi). 

Gelfand had a chance to get some revenge for his lost title match in 2012 but failed to do so. Back then, Anand retained his title by winning just two games—one standard and one rapid—and in this match, he also won two.

In the first, Gelfand was better out of the opening, but Anand countered brilliantly with a piece sacrifice to create serious complications. In the long run, Gelfand couldn't handle the many pawns on the queenside.

Anand: "Obviously, it's not been quite so disastrous the last three days as the first three, but definitely it's nice to pull in a win. I was probably in trouble in both my black games, but in the end, I managed to survive."

Leko – Nepomniachtchi 2-3

Quite incredibly, Carlsen is still not the only player who has won all seven matches. Nepomniachtchi has done so as well, with a few more armageddons, though. On Monday the Russian GM defeated Leko in the fourth match game after missing a relatively easy win in the third.

In the fourth game, Nepomniachtchi again played much faster than his opponent, and in a drawn rook endgame Leko became low on time, failed to find the correct defense, and flagged in a lost position.

Ian Nepomniachtchi Legends
Nepomniachtchi has also won all his matches. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Ivanchuk – Kramnik 3-1

Interestingly, GM Vladimir Kramnik played both Gelfand and GM Vasyl Ivanchuk for the first time in the same Linares 1993 tournament—where he defeated both, and 108 more games have followed between the tall Russian mastermind and the unpredictable genius from Ukraine.

It was Chuky who won this time, in a match with four decisive games. Here's game two, where both players came up with fantastic moves: 21...Bd5 (Ivanchuk) and 27.b4 (Kramnik).

Ding – Giri 0.5-2.5

Meanwhile, GM Anish Giri has been quietly moving up the ranks and is now in third place after beating GM Ding Liren swiftly and soundly. The Dutchman won both his games as Black and drew as White.

The first game was not decided on the board, though. Yet again, Ding suffered from a disconnect and lost on time on move 23 in a slightly worse position. Except for the money he is earning, it cannot be much fun for the Chinese player to play these online tournaments.

What made it even less fun is when he got an endgame with two extra pawns and couldn't get through Giri's defense. There is one moment when Ding missed a win:

When it rains, it pours for Ding. He was close to holding the endgame in game three when suddenly his bishop was trapped:

Ding's loss is good news for GM Hikaru Nakamura, who has now qualified for the Magnus Carlsen Chess Tour's Grand Final in August alongside Carlsen and GM Daniil Dubov. Ding can still qualify if Carlsen wins the Legends tournament.

Preliminary Phase | Round 7 Standings

# Fed Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 BP MP
1 Magnus Carlsen 2881 2888 . 3 . 2 3 18 20
2 Ian Nepomniachtchi 2778 2932 . 2 3 . 2 2 16½ 18
3 Anish Giri 2731 2811 1 ½ . . 2 13½ 14
4 Vladimir Kramnik 2756 2780 . 2 . 1 2 14 12
5 Peter Svidler 2742 2755 1 . . 2 13½ 11
6 Vasyl Ivanchuk 2686 2784 2 . 3 2 . 2 14½ 9
7 Boris Gelfand 2702 2711 0 . 2 ½ . 3 11 7
8 Viswanathan Anand 2751 2733 2 2 ½ . 2 . 12 6
9 Peter Leko 2710 2760 2 2 . 2 . 12 5
10 Ding Liren 2836 2644 ½ ½ 1 . . 9 3

All games round 7

The chess24 Legends of Chess runs July 21-August 5. The preliminary phase is a 10-player round-robin with rounds consisting of four-game rapid matches each day. The knockout phase will have three such matches per round. The prize fund is $150,000 with $45,000 for first place, while the winner also qualifies for the Grand Final of the Magnus Carlsen Tour. The time control is 15 minutes and a 10-second increment.

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