Error-prone Anand loses to Ivanchuk
Viswanathan Anand failed to conquer the Magistral Ciudad de León for the first time, and went down to Ukrainian Vassily Ivanchuk.
The eight-time champion has always won the event when it has been played on a knock-out basis. But Anand, who won the last three editions, lost 1.5-2.5 to Ivanchuk after losing the first and fourth games of the four-game final.
Both players won their first games, with black, the third was drawn, and then Anand blundered a move transposition and resigned after 16 moves.
In the first game, Ivanchuk got a nice position after opening with his king in a safe place. He took the initiative on the queenside, and some inaccuracies by Anand led to a difficult position.
After the 32nd move, Anand played the wrong sacrifice and lost on the 40th move.
In the second game, it was Anand's turn to obtain a good position after the opening. Ivanchuk's 13th move looked risky and after a few moves Anand obtained a promising advantage, and soon gained material and won the game in 26 moves to level the match.
In the third game both players repeated the variation from the first game, until Anand varied on the 17th move. After a complex middle game they arrived at a complicated rook ending which finished in a draw. Both players made several mistakes.
In the last game there was an abrupt finish when world champion Anand made a transposition of moves which led him to a lost position.
Anand admitted he had not played at the same level as Ivanchuk, but he now shifts to his preparation for the Chess Classic of Mainz in July and then the World Championships in October.