Indian ace Viswanathan Anand starts well in Grand Chess Tour in Zagreb

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Indian Grandmaster Viswanathan Anand (File image)

Zagreb (Croatia): Indian Grandmaster Viswanathan Anand shot into the lead at the end of three rounds of the Rapid segment in the third leg of the 2023 Grand Chess Tour after registering two victories here on Thursday.

Five-time world champion Anand defeated GMs Richard Rapport and Constantin Lupulescu (both of Romania) on day one after starting with a draw against young Alireza Firouzja.

At the end of the first day early on Thursday, Anand leads with five points.

Tied for second place are world no. 1 Magnus Carlsen, Jan-Krzystof Duda and Rapport, each just a point behind Anand.

Young Indian GM D Gukesh lost the opener to Carlsen and then settled for draws with Ian Nepomniachtchi and Firouzja and was in ninth place in the 10-player event. The 17-year old has two points.

The much-anticipated Carlsen-Gukesh match saw the Norwegian ace win in 36 moves.

Anand and long-time rival Carlsen will face each other in the sixth round late on Thursday while the Indian legend will take on his teenaged compatriot Gukesh in round eight.

A blitz segment will follow the rapid event in the tournament, which features top players including Carlsen, Anand and Nepomniachtchi among others.

The time control for the rapid portion is 25+10, with two points awarded for a win and one point for a draw. The blitz portion will have a time control of 5+2, using the typical 1, 1/2, 0 scoring system.

The Grand Chess Tour is a circuit of international events, featuring the world's best players.