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Anand defeats Carlsen taking back the sole lead in Norway Chess 2022

After a well deserved resting day where players enjoyed a chess game played on the World’s largest chess board, the 6th day of Norway Chess 2022 saw interesting encounters and exciting games. All the eyes were on the match between the reigning World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen and the 15th World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand who fought against each other for the sole leadership. It was the 52-year-old Viswanathan Anand who took a victory in the match and emerged as the sole leader with 10 points.

The classical game between Magnus Carlsen and Viswanathan Anand opened with Italian Two Knights defense when Magnus chose to sharpen the things a little bit with 14…b5?! The engines didn’t like the move, giving a slight advantage to Vishy. Anand managed to convert the advantage into an almost winning position after Carlsen’s second inaccuracy 24…Qf5? And just when it seemed it was over for Magnus, Anand made two consecutive bad moves allowing the reigning World Chess Champion to equalize and escape with a draw. Having Black pieces in Armageddon, Magnus Carlsen had a psychological advantage as he needed only a draw for the overall match victory. After a solid and fairly equalized opening, Magnus started taking it over, but then blundered a tactical engagement, and the tables completely turned. After another shocking wave of mistakes, Vishy got the completely winning position in the 44th move and this time didn’t let go. Replay both classical and Armageddon games here
In the interview after the match, Anand was still thinking about the missed opportunity in the first game: “I would have taken a victory in the Armageddon normally, but now it feels like a defeat. The first game was so winning… but I managed to blow it.“.

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Wesley So played an extremely solid game that was in the frame of equality all the time. Not so long after the round began, the classical game ended in an uneventful draw and the players proceeded to Armageddon. Mamedyarov completely changed the opening approach starting with 1.Nf3 followed by 2.e3. Wesley got the decisive advantage already after 9 moves, but then badly mistaken with 16…d3? bringing Shakh back in the game. The game turned to an extremely sharp position where Azerbaijani managed to find the best moves in critical situations and ended Wesley So’s series of 4 mini-matches victories in a row. Replay both classical and Armageddon games here

A very solid game between Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Veselin Topalov eventually ended in an expected peaceful manner. There were no particular turnovers, and since both players showed the perfect play, it was a game of death to decide the winner of the match. Topalov was in a hurry and blundered a pawn in Armageddon which MVL used to precisely bring the game to an end. Replay both classical and Armageddon games here

Aryan Tari and Wang Hao both saw their chances in the roller-coaster classical game. The Chinese grandmaster was faced with huge time trouble when he blundered a hanging Bishop, only one move before the increment. Replay the game here

It seems that Anish Giri was perfectly theoretically prepared for the game against Teimour Radjabov. He achieved a clear advantage in the very early part of the game and transformed it into a pawn-up material advantage. The match ended with a straight-forward victory for Giri shortly after. Replay the game here

Round 5 results:

Viswanathan Anand – Magnus Carlsen 1.5-1.0
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov – Wesley So 1.5-1.0
Maxime Vachier-Lagrave – Veselin Topalov 1.5-1.0
Aryan Tari – Hao Wang 3-0
Anish Giri – Teimour Radjabov 3-0

The 6th round starts tomorrow at 17:00 CEST. All the games can be followed live through

Round 6 pairings and live games:

Magnus Carlsen – Shakhriyar Mamedyarov
Wesley So – Aryan Tari
Anish Giri – Viswanathan Anand
Hao Wang – Maxime Vachier-Lagrave
Teimour Radjabov – Veselin Topalov

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Can Magnus reach the rating of 2900 in Norway Chess 2022?
Wesley So reveals the US squad for 44th Chess Olympiad 2022
Magnus joins Anand in the lead of Norway Chess 2022
The largest chess board in the World set in Norway

Photos by: Lennart Ootes

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