Vishwanathan Anand beats World No 1 Magnus Carlsen in Riyadh championship

After the first five rounds, Anand was only half-a-point behind the current leaders

Vishwanathan Anand, the Indian Grandmaster, stunned the audience in the World Rapid and Blitz Championship in Riyadh after he outclassed World No 1 Magnus Carlsen on December 27. It was his 9th game in the tournament when Anand completed the game in 34 moves and defeated the defending champion from the black side of Botvinnik system.

With this victory, Anand is currently on an unbeaten run. Before facing Carlsen, the Indian champion comfortably secured 4 points out of 5 after winning three games and drawing two.

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In his Round 2 game against Peter Leko, Anand went for the Giuco Piano with his white pieces. Leko played ambitiously and made his initial moves but later, Anand started attacking his King. To survive the attack, Leko let go his queen in return for Anand’s three minor pieces. Ultimately, Anand swept off the game and won it easily

After his phenomenal show, Anand is tied for second behind Baadur Jobava and Vladimir Fedoseev. After the first five rounds, he was just half-a-point behind the current leaders. There are 10 more rounds to go and with his ability of faster time control, it won’t be difficult for him to lead in the points table.

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In the women’s category, top-seeded Harika Dronavalli also remained unbeaten. However, her game was very different from that of Anand. Harika might have lost the game against Hungary’s Anita Gara in the initial round but Gara didn’t find any safe way to save the game and lost to Harika.

In the fourth round again, Harika played comparatively well (than the previous game) against GM Natalia Zhukova. The latter blundered mate in one and threw away the point.