Chennai:
 Indian chess ace Viswanathan Anand's signed off second from bottom after his disappointing campaign at the Legends of Chess online tournament ended with a loss to long-time rival Vasyl Ivanchuk in the ninth and final round.

It was Anand's eighth loss in the USD 150,000 tournament. The 50-year-old ended in ninth position behind GM Peter Leko who finished last.

After all the four games ended in draws, the Anand-Ivanchuk contest went into the Armageddon (a tie-breaker), which also ended in a stalemate.

The Ukrainian emerged victorious as he played black in the decider late on Wednesday.

Anand started the match with a 57-move draw and the tie progressed in a similar vein with the players opting for quiet draws.

The Armageddon game was a 59-move affair before the former world champion signed peace with Ivanchuk.

The 50-year old Indian finished ninth in the standings with 7 match points and a solitary win (over Boris Gelfand) on his debut in the Magnus Carlsen Tour.

In other matches, world No.1 Magnus Carlsen beat Vladimir Kramnik 3-1 to finish with an all-win record after nine matches in the preliminary stage.

The Norwegian will now play Russia's Peter Svidler in the semi-finals, while Anish Giri (Hungary) takes on Ian Nepomniachtchi (Russia) in a repeat of their Chessable Masters semi-final.

Legends of Chess is an event in which Carlsen, Liren, Nepomniachtchi and Giri, semifinalists at the Chessable Masters (part of the Magnus Carlsen Tour), received an automatic invite and are up against six legends aged 40-52, who have been at the top of world chess at various points in their career.

The tournament is part of the Magnus Carlsen Chess Tour. The winner of this event qualifies for the USD 300,000 Grand Final scheduled from August 9 to 20.

Results of Round 9:

Vasyl Ivanchuk (Ukraine) beat Viswanathan Anand (India) 2.5-2.5 (Ivanchuk wins by playing black after Armageddon is drawn); Magnus Carlsen (Norway) beat Vladimir Kramnik (Russia) 3-1; Boris Gelfand (Israel) beat Ian Nepomniachtchi (Russia) 3-2; Anish Giri (The Netherlands) beat Peter Svidler (Russia) 2.5-1.5; Ding Liren (China) beat Peter Leko (Hungary) 2.5-1.5.

Final standings: 1. Carlsen 25 match points, 2. Nepomniachtchi 20, 3. Giri 18, 4. Svidler 14, 5. Ivanchuk 13, 6. Kramnik 12, 7. Gelfand 11, 8. Liren 7, 9. Anand 7, 10. Leko 6.

 

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Southampton: Pakistan slumped to 126-5 before a third stoppage for rain led to an end to play on the first day of the second test against England at the Rose Bowl on Thursday.

Abid Ali struck 60 after being dropped twice early in his 111-ball innings and was comfortably Pakistan's top scorer on a tough day for the tourists in changing weather.

Jimmy Anderson was retained for the match, despite struggling in England's three-wicket win in the first test in Manchester last week, and the paceman repaid that faith by removing Shan Masood (1) in the third over and captain Azhar Ali (20) after lunch. It gave England's record wicket-taker figures of 2-35 and he is up to 592 in tests.

After the toss won by Pakistan was made under sunny skies, Pakistan began batting in overcast conditions and a shower brought up an early lunch. More rain came midway through the second session, which the tourists finished on 85-2.

And only about an hour was possible after tea, when Pakistan lost three wickets including Abid, who edged recalled seamer Sam Curran to Rory Burns at second slip.

Burns had been the second slip fielder to drop Abid before lunch, the right-handed opener having already been given a life on 0 by Dom Sibley's drop diving to his left at third slip.

As with Burns, Sibley made amends by taking a smart catch low down to remove Asad Shafiq (5) to give Stuart Broad his first wicket.

That brought Fawad Alam to the crease for his first test innings in 11 years after being recalled and it last four balls, when the left-hander was trapped lbw by Chris Woakes for a duck. A not-out decision was given but England reviewed and Hawk-Eye showed the ball was hitting the top of middle stump.

Babar Azam was 25 not out when bad light eventually led to stumps being called. Mohammad Rizwan was on 4.

Pakistan trails 1-0 in the three-match series. Another victory for England will clinch a first test series against Pakistan in 10 years, and a second series of this pandemic-affected summer having already beaten the West Indies.