Anand finishes joint fifth in London Classic

London: World champion Viswanathan Anand finished the London Classic with an easy draw as black against Luke McShane of England, signing joint fifth in the overall standings of the nine-player round-robin tournament.

After Bilbao final masters and Tal Memorial, it turned out to be another mediocre result for Anand who is training his sights for the next world title match against Boris Gelfand of Israel in May next year.

Vladimir Kramnik of Russia won the tournament after taking a draw with Levon Aronian of Armenia. Kramnik, who needed just a draw for the trophy, made it look easy with his white pieces to tally 16 points in the football-like scoring system in use here.

Hikaru Nakamura of America finished clear second after disposing off Michael Adams of England in the game of the day. Nakamura finished a point behind Kramnik and one ahead of Magnus Carlsen who played out a draw with Nigel Short of England.

McShane finished sole fourth on 13 points while Anand and Aronian shared the fifth spot with nine points apiece. The seventh place went to Short on five points while David Howell finished last but a full point behind.

For Michael Adams, it turned out to be the worst tournament in recent years as he tallied just three points for the last place finish.

Anand employed the Caro Kann defense and equalised easily. McShane`s two knight variation only gave some optical chances which were neutralised by Anand in quick time and in a mere 25 moves the players decided to call it truce.

Kramnik knew a draw was enough for his victory in the tournament and he capped an excellent year effortlessly. The Queen`s gambit declined by Aronian posed little problems in the quest of the Russian star.

Carlsen was held to a draw in a long drawn affair by Short in which the latter was trying to push hard for a win. However, Carlsen minimised the damage by entering a theoretically drawn rook and pawns endgame.

Nakamura uncorked the King`s gambit and even though it was complicated, the American calculated well for another fine victory.

Results final round: Luke McShane (Eng, 13) drew with V Anand (Ind, 9); Vladimir Kramnik (Rus, 16) drew with Levon Aronian (Arm, 9); Nigel Short (Eng, 5) drew with Magnus Carlsen (Nor, 14); Hikaru Nakamura (Usa, 15) beat Michael Adams (Eng, 3).


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