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Viswanathan Anand out of Chess World Cup 2017, can’t challenge Magnus Carlsen

Viswanathan Anand crashed out in the third round of the Chess World Cup 2017 in Tbilisi, Georgia after his second game against Anton Kovalyov, against whom he lost in the first round, ended in a draw.

other sports Updated: Sep 07, 2017 23:11 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Viswanathan Anand,Magnus Carlsen,Chess World Cup 2017
Viswanathan Anand crashed out in the second round of the Chess World Cup 2017 after he lost and drew both his games against Canadian Grandmaster Anton Kovalyov.(AFP)

Five-time world chess champion Viswanathan Anand will not be able to challenge Magnus Carlsen in the World Championships after the Indian crashed out in the second round of the Chess World Cup 2017 in Tbilisi, Georgia.

Anand lost his first game and drew the second against Canadian Grandmaster Anton Kovalyov to bow out of the tournament on Thursday.

After 31 moves, a draw was agreed upon and it means that Anand’s chances of having a shot at the World Championship are over. The finalists of the Chess World Cup get direct entry into the Candidates tournament the winner of which has the right to challenge world champion Magnus Carlsen.

(Read | Magnus Carlsen - Challenging the relevance of Chess World Cup, Candidates)

Anand, who had lost with white pieces in the first game to the 25-year-old Grandmaster, was determined to win this crucial match and take it to tie-breakers. Both sacrificed their queens early but Kovalyov’s strong bishop and knight defence made it hard for Anand to create pressure. In the first game against Kovyalov, Anand had gone for a similar exchange of queens but he was under pressure from an extra piece and in the end, he crumbled to squander the advantage.

This was Anand’s first Chess World Cup in 15 years. He had won the 2000 and 2002 editions held in Shenyang and Hyderabad respectively.

(Read | Eight queens puzzle: Solving this challenge can win you a million dollars)

Heading into the Chess World Cup in Tbilisi, Anand had a strong showing in the Sinquefield Cup in St Louis, having finished joint-second behind French Grandmaster Maxime Vachier-Lagrave. Although he struggled in the St Louis Rapid and Blitz tournament where he finished ninth, Anand’s exit from the Chess World Cup will raise more questions on his future.

First Published: Sep 07, 2017 20:22 IST