Mixed fortunes for Anand in Croatia Grand Chess Tour event
Former world champion Viswanathan Anand started with a fluent win over Dutch Grandmaster Jorden van Foreest before faltering against France's Maxime Vachier-Lagrave in the second round of the rapid event in the Croatia Grand Chess Tour tournament that began in Zagreb on Wednesday. He defeated Foreest in 54 moves in a Sicilian Defense game and drew his third-round match against Ian Nepomniachtchi of Russia.
Anand settled for a draw in his third round
The 51-year old Indian maestro, who is playing his first over-the-board event in over one year, could not repeat the magic against Vachier-Lagrave in the second round, going down in 48 moves in a Caro-Kann Defense encounter. In his third-round match against Nepomniachtchi—who'll challenge Magnus Carlsen for the World Champion title later this year—Anand and his opponent settled for a draw in 27 moves.
Russian Nepomniachtchi leads the tournament with five points
Nepomniachtchi now leads the standings after three rounds with two wins and a draw and a total of five points. He beat Anton Korobov (Ukraine) in the first round and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Azerbaijan) in the second round. On the other hand, Anand has three points (two points for a win and one for a draw) after three rounds in the tournament.
Croatia Grand Chess Tournament to see 10 Grandmasters compete
Croatia Grand Chess Tournament will see ten elite Grandmasters competing over nine rapid chess rounds (July 7-9) and 18 blitz chess rounds (July 10-11) for a total prize of $150,000. In rapid chess, players get 25 minutes to complete the game with 10-second increments after each move. In blitz chess, players get five minutes for the game with two seconds' increment after each move.