(Image source from: The Week)
A Japanese-American chess grandmaster and world No.2 Hikaru Nakamura of the United States on Sunday won the Tata Steel Chess India 2018 rapid tournament in Kolkata with six points as reigning World Champion Viswanathan Anand of India lost to local challenger Surya Shekhar Ganguly.
There was a grief to leading attraction Anand as he finished seventh with eight draws and a daze defeat in the concluding round as India's No 2 and World No. 20 Pentala Harikrishna finished second with World No.7 Levon Aronian of Armenia, who was an instant joint leader with Nakamura, finishing third.
Nakamura, who is world number two in rapid and three in blitz, credited the win to his online chess match that he was playing with B Adhiban. He will take home the trophy and the winner's cheque of $10,000.
"I played online with B Adhiban of India and it gave me a lot of confidence," Nakamura said later.
The foremost 14-year old Nihal Sarin, finishing ninth, dazzled everyone by putting his favorite Anand under a good deal of pressure in round eight, the second of the day, and also won a pawn.
But, practice manifested to be conclusive ultimately as Vishy managed to wriggle his way out of his difficulties to get his 8th consecutive draw of the event.
In the final round, Anand played his longtime second and Kolkata based GM Surya Shekhar Ganguly where Surya opted for the solid Caro-Kann defense against Vishy's King pawn opening.
However, the game took a competitive turn when Surya went for the initiative and started to risk and advance his own pawns against Anand's kingside.
The game was reasonably in the balance earlier, two consecutive mistakes on the 26th and 27th move by Anand gave Surya a huge initiative.
Surya sacrificed his Bishop with Bxg3 on the 31st move destroying Vishy's King's cover.
The attack and the initiative were excessively strong and Vishy stretched out his hand in resignation on the 37th move.
Anand did not triumph a single game in the entire event while making eight straight draws and losing the last one to wind up with 4 points out of 9 games.