Anand finishes second in Croatia Grand Chess Tour, beats Kasparov again

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Zagreb, Jul 11 (PTI) Former world champion Viswanathan Anand finished second in the Croatia Grand Chess Tour here on Sunday with an impressive performance, accentuated by his two victories over long-time rival Garry Kasparov.

Anand, who had beaten Kasparov on the first day of the Blitz on Saturday, came up with a superb performance again to defeat the Russian legend in the 13th round on Sunday.

Frenchman Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (22 points) sealed the title with a round to spare, thanks to a victory over a misfiring Kasparov in the 17th round. Indian ace Anand took a quick draw in his 18th round game against Alexander Grischuk to finish with 21 points and a clear second ahead of the top-seed Ian Nepomniachtchi.

In the penultimate round, he drew against Shakriyar Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan. He would receive USD 25,000 as prize money for his second-place finish.

Playing with black pieces, Anand got the better of the legendary Russian in 25 moves in a Nimzo-Indian defence game.

The victory came for the Indian maestro after three straight draws in rounds 10, 11 and 12 against Anish Giri (the Netherlands), Jan-Kryzstof Duda (Poland) and Vachier-Lagrave respectively.

He followed it up with a superb win over Russian Nepomniachtchi, the top-seed in the 14th round.

Continuing the good run, Anand then defeated Anton Korobov (Ukraine) and Jordan Van Foreest (the Netherlands) and shared honours with Shakriyar Mamedyarov (Azerbaijan).

On the first day of the Blitz on Saturday, the Indian ace had recorded four wins, drawn three matches and suffered two defeats.

The former world champion had ended up seventh after the Rapid section, with nine points. He had posted two wins and drawn five and lost two matches. PTI SS AT AT

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