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Croatia GCT: Anand finishes seventh after defeat to Giri

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Zagreb, July 9 (IANS) Two draws and a defeat to Anish Giri in the ninth and final round pushed Viswanathan Anand down the leaderboard as he finished seventh among 10 players in the Croatia Grand Chess Tour event here on Friday.

Anand, who was sharing the second spot with two others at 3.5 points from six games going into Friday’s final three rapid games in this nine-round event, eventually finished with 4.5 points from a maximum possible nine points.

On Friday, Anand started with a draw against Jan Krzysztof Duda of Poland in the seventh round. Playing with black pieces, the Indian Grandmaster created a lot of opportunities in this game but could not capitalise on his chances as Duda defended strongly to deny him.

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Playing with white pieces in the 8th round, Anand was held to a draw by Croatian GM Ivan Saric. He eventually ended the event with a defeat to Giri, the Dutch Grandmaster of Nepali-origin. In the Bogo Indian game, Giri created pressure steadily from an equal position and Anand played some imprecise moves to lose.

Anand now has to recover quickly for the blitz tournament, which will take place over the next two days. The added attraction for blitz competition is Anand’s clash with Garry Kasparov in a clash of former world champions.

–IANS

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