Stavanger (Norway), Jun 11 (IANS): India's Viswanathan Anand showed he still had a lot of fight in him despite cutting back on his schedule as he finished third in the Norway Chess 2022, one of the strongest classical chess event in the last couple of years.
In the final round on Friday night, Anand defeated Norway's Aryan Tari, winning their mini-match in an Armageddon game after their classical encounter had ended in a draw. Anand had to win the final round in the classical game and hope that his rivals were held to draw to win the title. But he did not take the risk in the classical game and instead went for a quick draw.
Anand finished third with 14.5 points behind World Champion Magnus Carlsen (16.5 points) and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan (15.5) points.
In the final round, Carlsen got the better of Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria in the tiebreaker game while Mamedyarov was held to a draw by compatriot Taimour Radjabov as he emerged the winner in the tiebreak. That meant Mamedyarov could not bridge the one-point gap that they had before the final round.
After Topalov had held Carlsen, Mamedyarov had a chance of winning the title outright by winning the classical game against Radjabov. But he could not force victory and Carlsen won the Norway Chess title for the fifth time in 10 years.
In the final round on Friday, Anand agreed to a 22-move draw against Aryan Tari, with the five-time World Chess Champion's hopes of the title essentially derailed by a one-move blunder the day before.
He then defended superbly in the Armageddon game thus winning the match 1.5-1 as players get three points for winning the mini-match in the classical game and one each for a draw.
However, it was a splendid performance for the Indian chess maestro as he won seven of his nine mini-matches, including a memorable win against Carlsen in the fifth round.