January 21 2018
Aronian tops rapid leg; Anand, Kasparov sign off with losses
17 August 2017

Anand and Kasparov will be keen to gain ground when the action now shifts to 18-round blitz over the next two days.

Viswanathan Anand signed off with a loss, that resulted in Sergey Karjakin’s lone victory, and finished tied eighth with Garry Kasparov and David Narava after Levon Aronian topped the table in the rapid leg of the St. Louis rapid and blitz chess tournament here on Wednesday.

The trio brought up the rear in the 10-player event. Anand and Kasparov will be keen to gain ground when the action now shifts to 18-round blitz over the next two days.

During the third day of the rapid leg, Anand easily drew with Vietnam’s Le Quang Liem and Fabiano Caruana but was severely punished for his only mistake by Karjakin.

Kasparov was involved in three decisive games during the day. He gained from a blunder from Liem in the eighth round and won to make amends for falling to a tactical shot in a winning position against David Navara. However, in the final round, like Anand, Kasparov too lost, after facing Caruana.

Levon Aronian topped the table with an inspired performance on the final day. He started the day by beating Karjakin, then drew with Hikaru Nakamura and returned to stay atop the points table with a much-needed victory over Leinier Dominguez Perez.

The results:

Ninth round: Sergey Karjakin (Rus) bt Viswanathan Anand; Leinier Dominguez Perez (Cub) lost to Levon Aronian (Arm); Fabiano Caruana (USA) bt Garry Kasparov (Rus); Hikaru Nakamura (USA) bt Ian Nepomniachtchi (Rus); Le Quang Liem (Vie) lost to David Navara (Cze).

Eighth round: Anand drew with Caruana; Kasparov bt Liem; Aronian drew with Nakamura; Nepomniachtchi drew with Karjakin; Navara lost to Perez.

Seventh round: Liem drew with Anand; Kasparov lost to Navara; Caruana drew with Nepomniachtchi; Nakamura drew with Perez; Karjakin lost to Aronian.

Final rapid standings (from nine rounds): 1. Aronian (6 points), 2-3. Caruana, Nakamura (5.5), 4. Nepomniachtchi (5), 5, Perez (4.5), 6-7. Liem, Karjakin (4), 8-10. Navara, Kasparov and Anand (3.5). (For the purpose of combined rankings of rapid and blitz games, the points scored in rapid games will be taken as, 2 for a win, 1 for a draw and 0 for a loss).

Blitz: Anand’s round-wise opponents for Thursday: R1: Nepomniachtchi (black), R2: Caruana (white), R3: Nakamura (black), R4: Liem (white), R5: Aronian (black), R6: Kasparov (black); R7: Perez (white); R8: Navara (black); Karjakin (white).



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