Anand bows out of World Cup
Tbilisi (Georgia): Five-time world champion Viswanathan Anand crashed out of the World Cup after playing out a draw in a must-win game against Anton Kovalyov of Canada in the second round here.
Playing in this knockout event after a gap of 15 years, Anand had lost the first game against Kovalyov and had to win the second to level score and force a subsequent tiebreaker.
However, after 31 moves, Anand decided that he did not have much hopes of winning and offered a draw to sign his exit. This might well be the end of Anand's aspirations for a World Championship match in 2018 unless he gets a wildcard in the next year's candidates' tournament.
As per rules, one wildcard is issued and if Anand gets that he will be back in the World Championship cycle. If not, the Indian will have to wait for the next cycle that will be for the 2020 World Championship.
Things had not been very smooth for Anand here and it was another bad day in office. To win on demand as black is a very difficult task against quality opposition in Friday's chess and that was the primary reason for Anand's ouster. The English opening by the Canadian gave white a little advantage and Anand's attempt at complications did not materialise as much as he might have liked. Meanwhile, Grandmaster Vidit Gujrathi continued with his impressive run and defeated Le Quang Leim of Vietnam 1.5-0.5 to enter the second round. Gujrathi drew the second game fairly easily and his win as black in the first game came in handy.