Stavenger (Norway): Indian chess ace Viswanathan Anand defeated Maxime Vachier-Lagrave in 40 moves in the first round of the classical section of the Norway Chess tournament here.
The win over the French player late on Tuesday enabled the Indian GM to gain 3 points.
American Wesley So beat Teimur Rajdabov in the first round to be level with Anand, while Magnus Carlsen had to settle for a draw with China’s Wang Had.
In the blitz event played prior to the Classical, Anand had shocked world champion Carlsen in round seven on the way to a fourth-place finish.
The former world champion, however, suffered defeats to Anish Giri (the Netherlands) and Vachier-Lagrave in the fourth and ninth round, respectively, to finish with 5 points in the 10-player blitz event.
So finished on top of the Blitz standings with 6.5 points, one clear of Carlsen while Giri took the third spot. He thus earned the right to pick his starting number for the classical event.
In the classical event, the players would play an Armeggedon (sudden death) game in case of a draw.
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