Five-time World Champion Viswanathan Anand shined on the first day of the SuperUnited Rapid and Blitz, the third leg of the 2023 Grand Chess Tour hosted in Zagreb, Croatia. After three rounds of play, currently tied for second place are World No. 1 Magnus Carlsen, Jan-Krzystof Duda, and Richard Rapport, each just a point behind Anand.
Check out the full replay of live coverage from the day here. The time control for the rapid portion is 25+10, with 2 points awarded for a win, 1 point for a draw, and 0 for a loss. The blitz portion will have a time control of 5+2, using the typical 1, 1/2, 0 scoring system.
RAPID | ROUNDS 1-3
The early leader of the event turned out to be the Polish No. 1 Duda, who won his first two games against Nepomniachtchi and Firouzja in very nice fashion.
16.Nc6! was a nice find by Duda, winning Black's queen. 1-0, 33 moves
Duda got off to a hot start, beating two of his biggest rivals in back-to-back games. | Photo courtesy of Grand Chess Tour, Lennart Ootes
Duda’s perfect run would be stopped by Rapport, who emerged with extra material after trapping Duda's knight in the center of the board. Rapport also scored in Round 1, after finding an unexpected mating net in a nervy time-scramble against Caruana:
62.Kg4! forced resignation as Black had no defense to the threat of Rh2+, followed by mate.
Wins over Caruana and Duda for Rapport, who's tied for second heading into Day 2. | Photo courtesy of Grand Chess Tour, Lennart Ootes
This allowed Rapport to reach Duda in the standings and for Anand to jump into the lead, as he drew with Firouzja in Round 1 before scoring wins against Rapport and Lupulescu thanks to some excellent technique:
Here Anand played 18.Qxb7!, correctly grabbing a pawn which he was able to hold onto. | 1-0, 41 moves
The leader after Day 1, Vishy Anand. | Photo courtesy of Grand Chess Tour, Lennart Ootes
Ending with 4.0/6 along with Duda and Rapport was Carlsen, whose campaign started with a win over the youngest participant, Gukesh, but was then followed by draws against Saric and Nepomniachtchi.
21...f4! gave Black a fantastic initiative on the kingside, which Magnus duly converted. 0-1, 36 moves.
A win and two draws for the top seed Carlsen. | Photo courtesy of Grand Chess Tour, Lennart Ootes
Rapid Pairings for Round 4
The 2023 SuperUnited Rapid & Blitz in continues Thursday, July 6, with tournament action live starting at 7:05 AM CT with Grandmaster commentators Yasser Seirawan, Evgenij Miroshnichenko, Cristian Chirila and International Master Nazi Paikidze on grandchesstour.org and on the Saint Louis Chess Club’s YouTube and Twitch.tv channels.