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Superbet R&B 2022 Day 1: Vishy Anand makes a perfect start

by Shahid Ahmed - 20/05/2022

Vishy Anand made a return to a tournament for the first time since December 2021. He scored three wins effortlessly. Of course, it goes without saying that the great ones make it look simple and easy when in reality it is not. He scored a hat-trick of wins against Radoslaw Wojtaszek (POL), Wesley So (USA) and Anton Korobov (UKR). USA's Fabiano Caruana and Levon Aronian along with Jan-Krzysztof Duda (POL) are in the chase at 4.0/6 each. Wojtaszek, Shevchenko (UKR) and Gavrilescu (ROU) are in search of their first win of the event. Round 4 starts today at 2 p.m. local time (5:30 p.m. IST). Photo: Lennart Ootes/Grand Chess Tour

Kasparov makes the first move on Shevchenko's board

The first three rounds witnessed eleven decisive games out of 15. Wojtaszek was on the verge of scoring his first win of the day. Aronian somehow managed to wriggle out of a completely lost position and save the game. Garry Kasparov making the first move on Kirill Shevchenko's board does not come as a surprise. Anyone who follows Kasparov's vices knows his support for the young man, Ukraine and standing up for what's right against the wrongdoers.

It is always great to see Vishy Anand back on the board | Photo: Lennart Ootes/Grand Chess Tour

Round 1: Anand - Wojtaszek: 2-0

Vishy Anand kept things simple in the first round against Radoslaw Wojtaszek. The Poland no.2 recently won his fifth Poland championship title.

Position after 26...cxd3

Black has kept the d6-knight hanging for a couple of moves because it is tactically defended. Rxd6 is met with Rxe7 and there is no trouble. However, Anand decided to test it. 27.f4 Qg4 28.Qxg4 fxg4 29.Rxd6. Now Rxe7 is no longer possible because the queens got exchanged. 29...c4 was played and the passed pawns are not as menacing as Black wants them to be. 30.Rd4 g6 31.Kf2 and now White is completely winning. So where did Black go wrong? It turns out that 29...c4 was not the best continuation. 29...Rd8 needed to be played to stay in the fight. Yes that is a counter-intuitive move, but it is the only way.

Anand scored an elegant win against Wojtaszek | Photo: Lennart Ootes/Grand Chess Tour

Round 2: So - Anand: 0-2

Wesley So's (USA) aggressive play against Anand did not work out.

Position after 24.e6

24.e6 was a bit too much. 24...fxe6 is the only plausible choice. 24...Nxe6 is not a good idea due to the threat of 25.Qxh7+. 24...Rxe6 exchanges the well-placed rook ready for attack and reduces Black's chances. 25.Rhe1 Rc6 26.Nc3 Qa1+ 27.Kd2 Qxb2 28.Rb1 Qa3 29.Rxb8 Nxb8 30.f4 Na6 and White resigned. Vishy made it look very simple when in reality it was not that simple.

Anand during post-match analysis with So | Photo: Lennart Ootes/Grand Chess Tour

Round 3: Anand - Korobov: 2-0

Vishy Anand scored a very nice win against Anton Korobov.

Position after 25.e6

25.e6 just disintegrates Black's position. 25...f4 26.gxf4 fxe6 27.Rg3 Qxh4 28.Qe5 and it's all over for Black. Perhaps 25...fxe6 26.Nxe6 Bxe6 27.Rxe6 Qg7 28.Rd1 Rd7 29.Rd4 would have had the same result but it could have delayed the inevitable.

Vishyious Anand beats Wojtaszek, So and Korobov | Video: ChessBase India

Photo Gallery

Garry Kasparov made the inaugural first move on Kirill Shevchenko's (UKR) board | Photo: Lennart Ootes/Grand Chess Tour

Anton Korobov (UKR) | Photo: Lennart Ootes/Grand Chess Tour

The players' chairs look fantastic | Photo: Lennart Ootes/Grand Chess Tour

Wesley So getting photographed with a young fan | Photo: Lennart Ootes/Grand Chess Tour

The beautiful tournament hall | Photo: Lennart Ootes/Grand Chess Tour

Garry Kasparov made the inaugural first move to start the tournament

Kasparov met the Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki

Replay the live stream

Replay the Live Commentary of Superbet Rapid & Blitz 2022 Round 1-3 by GMs Peter Svidler, Yasser Seirawan, Alejandro Ramirez, Cristian Chirila, and WGM Anastasia Karlovich | Video: Saint Louis Chess Club


The total prize fund is US$ 175000 with the first prize being US$ 40000.


Rapid: Win - 2 points, Draw - 1 point and Loss - 0.

Blitz: Win - 1 point, Draw - 0.5 point and Loss - 0.

Replay Round 1-3 games

Standings after Round 3

Vishy Anand currently leads the points table 6.0/6 | Photo: Grand Chess Tour


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