Grand Chess Tour: Gukesh finishes 5th, Anand settles for tied 7th in Blitz eventJuly 11, 2023
Young Indian Grandmaster D Gukesh finished fifth while his illustrious compatriot Viswanathan Anand could only manage a tied seventh place in the third leg of the 2023 SuperUnited Rapid and Blitz chess tournament.
Gukesh, who had a moderate performance on day 1 of the Blitz segment, bounced back well on the second day to pick up 6.5 points which included wins over Anand and top players like Fabiano Caruana (USA) and Jan-Krzysztof Duda (Poland).
Gukesh, who beat Anand for the first time ever in tournament play in the Rapid segment, got the better of the five-time world champion in 34 moves in the blitz on Sunday.
The 17-year old Indian star began the second day of the Blitz section with a win over Richard Rapport (Romania) and then stunned the highly-rated Caruana.
After going down to world No.1 Magnus Carlsen (Norway), Gukesh turned the tables on Anand.
A defeat to Alireza Firouzja was followed by three straight wins – over Constantin Lupulescu (Romania), Duda and Ivan Saric (Croatia).
He ended the tournament with a draw against Ian Nepomniachtchi and a score of 19.5 points (Rapid + blitz).
Anand, who had started the tourney in style in the Rapid segment, had to endure a poor run, scoring only three points on day one of the Blitz and then logged 3.5 points on the second day. The veteran Indian ended with 16.5 points.
World No. 1 Carlsen capped off an incredible blitz performance to win the top prize a score of 26 points out of a possible 36, taking home a first place prize of USD 40,000.
Finishing in second place was Nepomniachtchi (22.5), with Caruana (21.5) taking third place and Firouzja (21) fourth.
Carlsen who won all his nine games on Saturday in Blitz, saw the streak snapped in the first round of the day, as he failed to convert a slightly better endgame against Caruana.
The Norwegian then drew with Duda before uncorking four straight wins against Gukesh, Saric, Anand, and Nepomniachtchi to clinch tournament victory. The tournament saw 9 rounds of rapid and 18 rounds of Blitz being played.
The Grand Chess Tour is a circuit of international events, featuring the world’s best players.