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Gelfand wins Tal chess; Anand finishes eighth

June 24, 2013 14:07 IST

World champion Viswanathan Anand ended his campaign with an easy draw against Sergey Karjaikin of Russia in the ninth and final round of Tal Memorial Chess tournament that concluded in Moscow.

Boris Gelfand of Israel, who lost to Anand in the last World championship match, deservingly won the tournament after signing peace with Vladimir Kramnik of Russia in the final round.

Gelfand finished with six points, a half point ahead of World No 1 Magnus Carlsen of Norway, who ended up with 5.5 points following a last round draw against Shakhriyar Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan.

Mamedyarov and Dmitry Andreikin of Russia and Fabiano Caruana of Italy finished tied third on five points, a half point ahead of Hikaru Nakamura of United States, who succumbed to his third straight loss in the tournament after losing the final game against Alexander Morozevich of Russia.

Boris GelfandKarjakin finished seventh on four points, while Anand and Morozevich tied for eighth place on 3.5 points each.

Kramnik ended a disappointing last with just three points.

The last round was devoid of much excitement for obvious reasons. Kramnik just wanted to finish the tournament and did not do much with white against Gelfand, who secured an easy draw.

With black, Anand too did not have to sweat much against Karjakin out of a Sicilian Najdorf that was drawn early.

Carlsen wanted to catch up with Gelfand at the top but he was lucky in fact to come out unscathed against Mamedyarov, who played an enterprising game with white. Carlsen had to solve some tactical problems in the middle game and technical problems in the endgame to split the point.

Nakamura had beaten Anand in the sixth round but his luck apparently deserted him thereafter.

In the seventh round he had lost to Gelfand; in the eighth Carlsen had proved stronger while in the final round Alexander Morozevich scored his first victory in the tournament at the expense of the American.

For Anand, the bad showing in the tournament is going to reflect on his rating. With 2774 points after this outing, he finds himself seventh in the world rankings.

For the record, Anand lost three games, won one and drew the remaining five. Kramnik was in similar shoes and lost three and drew six.

Caruana seems to be drawing closer to the 2800 rating mark with every tournament. The Italian is the new world No 3 in live ratings behind Carlsen and Levon Aronian of Armenia.

Results after the final round: Sergey Karjakin (RUS, 4) drew with Vishwanathan Anand (IND, 3.5): Vladimir Kramnik (RUS, 3) drew with Boris Gelfand (ISR, 6); Shakhriyayr Mamedyarov (AZE, 5) drew with Magnus Carlsen (NOR, 5.5); Fabiano Caruana (ITA, 5) drew with Dmitry Andreikin (RUS, 5); Hikaru Nakamura (USA, 4.5) lost to Alexander Morozevich (RUS, 3.5).

Image: Boris Gelfand

Photograph: Oli Scarff/Getty Images

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