Chess: Viswanathan Anand goes down to Svidler in opening round of Legends of Chess tourney

Former world champion Viswanathan Anand went down 1.5-2.5 to Russia’s Peter Svidler in the opening round of the USD 150,000 Legends of Chess tournament.

The Indian ace, making his maiden appearance on the Magnus Carlsen Chess Tour, drew the first three games of the best-of-four contest before losing the final game on Tuesday.

Anand, who is back in action after having last participated in the Online Nations Cup in May, was tied with Svidler at 1.5 points each but faltered in the fourth and final game.

The two played out three close games before Svidler pipped the Indian for the important win.

Veteran Boris Gelfand stole the spotlight on the opening day of the event with an upset 3-1 win over China’s world No.3 Ding Liren.

World No.1 Magnus Carlsen of Norway dominated in a 3-1 victory over Anish Giri (the Netherlands), while there were wins for Ian Nepominiachtchi (Russia) and Peter Leko of Hungary.

All the round-robin games are best-of-four game contests.

Legends of Chess is a unique event where Carlsen, Liren, Nepomniachtchi and Giri, semifinalists at the Chessable Masters (part of the Magnus Carlsen Tour), received an automatic invite and are up against six legends aged 40-52, who have been at the top of world chess at various points in their career.

The tournament is part of the Magnus Carlsen Chess Tour. The winner of this event will qualify for the USD 300,000 Grand Final scheduled from August 9 to 20.

Results: Round 1: Ian Nepominiachtchi beat Vladimir Kramnik 3-2; Magnus Carlsen beat Anish Giri 3-1; Peter Svidler beat Viswanathan Anand 2.5-1.5; Boris Gelfand (Israel) beat Ding Liren 3-1; Peter Leko beat Vasy Ivanchuk 3-2.

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