The World Champion has won his first classical tournament in almost five years after an enthralling final day’s play in Baden-Baden. It started fast with Anand and Naiditsch blitzing out a rook ending that might have been drawn but ended in the German’s resignation on move 49. That left Caruana needing to beat Fridman to force a play-off, but he missed a gilt-edged chance in what fittingly became the longest game of the tournament.
The script of the GRENKE Chess Classic had seemed set in stone – a single decisive game a day, the World Champion struggling to win and Caruana surviving scares on his way to an inevitable first place – but in the penultimate round that script was tossed out of the window. Caruana fell to defeat against Adams, Anand joined him in the lead by beating Fridman, and Naiditsch was tamed by Meier.
There was no love lost between the GRENKE Chess Classic players on Valentine’s Day, with tense fights on all three boards. It was only long after the first time control that Caruana-Anand and Adams-Naiditsch were agreed drawn, leaving Meier and Fridman to uphold the tradition of each round featuring a decisive game. Sure enough, after six hours Georg Meier banked his first win.
Fabiano Caruana has taken a huge stride towards winning the inaugural GRENKE Chess Classic by once again defeating Arkadij Naiditsch from a lost position. Viswanathan Anand was unable to match the young Italian as he failed to convert an advantage against Georg Meier, while birthday boy Daniel Fridman was happy to stop the rot with a solid draw against Michael Adams.
“The guy’s on fire – he’s been like this for weeks!” That was World Champion Viswanathan Anand on Arkadij Naiditsch, who today overwhelmed Daniel Fridman with a brilliant sacrificial attack to move into second place at the GRENKE Chess Classic. Elsewhere Georg Meier missed a win against Fabiano Caruana, while Anand and Michael Adams drew a hard-fought game.