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Carlsen tops, puts down a marker

Five-time World champion Viswanathan Anand continued to struggle with his form and had to be content with a fifth-place finish after a poor show in the rapid section of the Zurich Chess Challenge that concluded here. Staying joint fourth spot on four points after the Classical games, Anand could manage just one point out of […]

Zurich | Published: February 6, 2014 2:54:17 am

Five-time World champion Viswanathan Anand continued to struggle with his form and had to be content with a fifth-place finish after a poor show in the rapid section of the Zurich Chess Challenge that concluded here.

Staying joint fourth spot on four points after the Classical games, Anand could manage just one point out of a possible five in the rapid section that has always been his forte and finished with an overall score of just five points out of a possible 10 in the six-player event.

World champion Magnus Carlsen got a scare but still managed a clear first place on 10 points by scoring just two points in the rapid section that was dominated by Fabiano Caruana of Italy.

Carlsen ended the tournament with 10 points in all, a point ahead of Caruana and Levon Aronian of Armenia. Hikaru Nakamura of United States also came up with a decent show in the rapid to finish clear fourth on 7.5 points while Anand ended fifth, half a point ahead of his former world championship challenger Boris Gelfand of Israel. The rapid round turned out to be worse for Anand than the Classical games wherein the Indian had started with two losses.

In rapid, Anand lost the first three games against Aronian, Nakamura and Caruana to end hopes of finishing in the first half. In the last two games, the former world champion played out draws with Gelfand and Carlsen.

Anand was beaten by Aronian in the first round of rapid in 44 moves after losing a rook for a minor piece earlier. Against Nakamura, he simply blundered a piece in the opening to go down rather tamely and against Caruana it was a long grind wherein Anand missed his chances in the queen and knight endgame.

Final standings Classical 1. Carlsen 8; 2. Aronian 6; 3. Caruana 5; 4-5. Anand, Nakamura 4 each; 6. Gelfand 3; Final Standings rapid 1. Caruana 4; 2. Nakamura 3.5; 3. Aronian 3; 4. Carlsen 2; 5. Gelfand 1.5; 6. Anand 1; overall: 1. Carlsen 10; 2-3. Caruana, Aronian 9 each; 4. Nakamura 7.5; 5. Anand 5; 6. Gelfand 4.5.

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