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Anand tops Zurich Classical

By The Assam Tribune

ZURICH, Feb 19 (PTI): Five-time world champion Viswanathan Anand played out an easy draw with Sergey Karjakin of Russia in the fifth and final round to win the Classical section of Zurich Chess Classic here.

Awarded two points for a win and one for a draw under new rules in place here, Anand tallied seven points in all, winning two and drawing the remaining three games in the six-player round robin. This also meant a much-needed recovery in ELO points after losing heavily in the preceding Grenke Classic tournament.

Hikaru Nakamura of United States finished a clear second, a full point behind Anand after settling for a draw with Levon Aronian of Armenia. The third game of the fifth and final round in the Classical format was also drawn between Russian Vladimir Kramnik and Fabiano Caruana of Italy. Kramnik finished third, having drawn all his five games while Aronian, Caruana and Karjakin finished tied fourth on four points apiece.

The battle now shifts to the rapid chess format where all players play once more against each other in the same day. There are five more rounds remaining to decide the overall winner but in rapid chess each win will be worth only one point and a draw will just earn half a point.

This effectively means the trio of Aronian, Caruana and Karjakin are out of title contention barring a huge turnaround in fortunes. Kramnik, too, is two points behind Anand and it seems unlikely that the Russian can make a match of it either.

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