Magnus Carlsen continued his dominant run in the world of chess as he clinched the Tata Steel Chess tournament for a record seventh time when he held Anish Giri to a draw in the 13th and final round of the tournament in Lieden on Sunday. Carlsen secured a draw in 30 moves against an opponent who is considered to be one of the strongest defensive players in the world currently. In the all-Indian clash between Viswanathan Anand and Vidit Gujrathi, both players tried to create chances but in the end, a solid positional deadlock resulted in both players accepting the draw after 30 moves. Anand finished in fifth spot while Gujrathi put in an impressive show to end in sixth.
In other major results, former world champion Vladimir Kramnik’s miserable tournament ended when he lost to US champion Samuel Shankland in 66 moves to finish in last position. Carlsen’s great run continued, having defeated Fabiano Caruana in the 2018 World Championship in London in three rapid tie-breaker games after drawing the 12 classical games. In the entire tournament, he was undefeated but his fortunes changed in the 10th game when he defeated Anand and went into the solo lead heading into the final round.
For Anand, he was in the joint-lead with just four rounds to spare but his momentum was seriously dented when he lost to Carlsen in the 10th round. Gujrathi, who had won the Tata Steel Challengers in 2018 to enter the main masters competition in 2019, put in an impressive display, holding Carlsen to a draw in the third round. His tournament would be remembered for his wins over Kramnik and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov but his losses to Ian Nepomniachtchi and Teimour Radjabov hurt his chances.
The next major event for all the players could be the Moscow Open or the Aeroflot Open which will begin in February. For Anand, this gives him a good chance to build on this solid start in the Tata Steel Chess tournament but he will be disappointed that his major title drought continues after losing the 2018 World Rapid and Blitz Championship in St.Petersburg.