The 15th World Chess Champion Vishy Anand shines in the 2022 Norway Chess as he is the only player who managed to score in both classical games, choosing not to test himself in the Armageddon yet. Anand defeated Veselin Topalov in the second round and emerged as the event’s sole leader, achieving the maximum of 6 points.
Viswanathan Anand and Veselin Topalov opened with an attractive line of the Queen’s Gambit Accepted. Anand had a pawn down most of the time, but the open lines and active pieces provided him the nice initiative. Topalov was spending lots of time aiming to find the best continuation, but eventually, that turned worst for him as he lost on time not making it to the move 40. In the interview after the game, Anand explained he was trying to equalize and kept the game going just to see what will happen till they get the increment: “I’m playing to equalize… but with an eye on his clock. I kept the game going just to see if he’d stagger to move 40, and he didn’t!“. Replay the game here
Magnus Carlsen and Wesley So were first to finish their classical game today. After a quick exchange of most of the pieces, the position went into the deadly draw and the players shook their hands proceeding to Armageddon. Carlsen was black and needed a draw in the game of death to win the round 2 match, but that was not to be. Wesley changed to 1.e4 and maybe psychologically impacted the world champion. Even though Magnus reached the position with a clear advantage, he shortly after made a mistake and the position went back to equal. In the equalized endgame, Carlsen blundered with 42…Qc5? and Wesley didn’t let go and scored a few moves after to get a clear 2nd place on the current rankings. Replay both classical and Armaggedon games here
Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov were next to go to Armageddon as the classical game went extremely solid without chances for any side to fight for a better result. Mamedyarov chose Petroff as Black as a draw would work well for him in Armageddon. He messed up in a better position after 21…Nc4?! when MVL kept improving the advantage and finally forced Azerbaijani to resign in the move 52. Replay both classical and Armaggedon games here
Wang Hao and Anish Giri opened with Najdorf Sicilian opting for an extremely interesting and sharp classical game. Both players proved their calculation is on the top level and the game ended with threefold repetition, scheduling the game of death 20 minutes after. Najdorf was repeated in the Armaggedon, but this time, Giri reached better position in the early middlegame. It seemed that the Chinese escaped at one moment but then he blundered with 40.Bg2? again providing Anish the advantage. Despite the winning position, Giri chose to enter the safest line and traded pieces to approach the deadly draw opposite color bishops endgame with the same number of pawns. As the best Dutch grandmaster had Black pieces, the draw resulted in the overall match victory. Replay both classical and Armageddon games here
The classical game between Teimour Radjabov and Aryan Tari finished in a draw after they reached a theoretically drawish rooks endgame. Tari surprisingly changed the opening for Black in Armageddon, even though the first one showed not to give him any trouble. He managed to get a much better position but the 25…g6? cost him a lot as it revived Radjabov. The game was full of peaks and valleys as the engine’s label was favoring black and white periodically. However, after 40…Qc5?? Aryan could not save himself as he fall into the mating network that Radjabov didn’t miss. Replay both classical and Armageddon games here
Round 2 results:
Wesley So – Magnus Carlsen 1.5-1.0
Maxime Vachier-Lagrave – Shakhriyar Mamedyarov 1.5-1.0
Hao Wang – Anish Giri 1.0-1.5
Veselin Topalov – Viswanathan Anand 0-3
Teimour Radjabov – Aryan Tari 1.5-1.0
The third round starts tomorrow at 17:00 CEST and the games can be followed live on Chessdom.com.
Magnus Carlsen – Teimour Radjabov
Anish Giri – Wesley So
Viswanathan Anand – Hao Wang
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov – Veselin Topalov
Aryan Tari – Maxime Vachier-Lagrave
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