Indian ace Viswanathan Anand played out a thrilling draw with Holland’s Anish Giri but bowed out of contention for a ticket to the World Championship after the 13th and penultimate round of the Candidates Chess Tournament.
For the first time in 10 years, there will be a World Championship without Anand, who has won the crown as many as five times.
Either Sergey Karjakin of Ukraine or Fabiano Caruana of United States will challenge Magnus Carlsen of Norway in the next World Championship match slated to be held in November this year.
While Anand drew, Karjakin had to hold his nerves together to hold a piece down endgame against Levon Aronian of Armenia and Caruana’s endgame advantage did not prove enough as Peter Svidler of Russia proved equal to the American.
In the other game of the day, Hikaru Nakamura accounted for Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria to bounce back to a 50 per cent score. Karjakin and Caruana share the lead now on 7.5 points and meet each other in the deciding final round. Anand on seven is in sole third spot and his last round result will prove crucial in case the game between Karjakin and Caruana ends in a draw.
If Anand wins, Caruana will have better tie-break than Karjakin while if Anand also draws, Karjakin will take over in tie-breaks.
With just one round remaining, Anand will take on Svidler and the permutation and combinations do not give the Indian any chances although he can still tie for first with a victory.
Anand yet again played an uncompromising game in the Italian opening against Giri and the Dutch Grandmaster took his chances with a piece sacrifice in the middle game.
Both players ran short of time and in the end Anand’s two minor pieces were able to handle black’s army. The game was drawn in 52 moves. Caruana played a very lengthy game and came close to winning against Svidler in a rook and Bishop versus rook endgame. However, by then the players were close to running out of quota of ’50-moves’ rule without any exchanges.
Here’s what Garry Kasparov has to say.
Anand was valiant, but it’s a changing of the guard. Champion Carlsen & challenger Karjakin both born in 1990, year of my 5th Karpov match!
— Garry Kasparov (@Kasparov63) 28 March 2016