The final day of the Croatia Grand Chess Tour has certainly kept the audiences glued to their chairs today as the event continued to unfold and tournament lead was highly contested. Although it seemed clear after the last four days that Ian Nepomniachtchi would claim the Croatia Rapid & Blitz title, on the final day things took a turn for him and it was the French super GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave who ended with a fabulous finish and the first place win. MVL was able to keep his cool today and played brilliantly, with a bit of luck saving him from a few difficult positions. Ultimately the French superstar secured the first place prize with an extra round to spare. He is now leading the Grand Chess Tour, just half a point ahead of Wesley So.
Another amazing performance of today was by 5-time World Champion Viswanathan Anand, who scored 6.5 points and finished second. Dutch Grandmaster Anish Giri, maintained his 3rd position in the standings.
The start of the blitz portion of the GCT Croatia brought another exciting and emotional day of chess for both the players and the spectators. The tie for the top place was changing until the last moment. No player remained without losses, though it was Maxime Vachier-Lagrave that took away the lead in the blitz, scoring 6.5 points, though it wasn’t enough to catch up with the World Champion Challenger Ian Nepomniachtchi, who is still half a point ahead in the overall standings. It was a tough day for former World Champion Garry Kasparov, who suffered a few tough losses. With less than a few points to differentiate between the top three players, fans will have to watch tomorrow’s final round to find out who will be crowned champion of this year’s Croatia Rapid and Blitz.
Day three, and the last day of the rapid portion of the GCT Croatia Grand Chess Tour brought another dramatic day of chess. It may have seemed like a quiet day as there were only three decisive games. However, there were many hard fought games with plenty of action making it a thrilling day of missed opportunities and excitement for the spectators.
Day two of the GCT Croatia Rapid & Blitz brought another exciting day of chess. The seven wildcard participants in this event are certainly keeping the tournament interesting and full of surprises. Though the day may have started off slow, as the time was running out for the players a number of fumbles and surprises started to appear.
The third leg of the 2021 Grand Chess Tour kicked off in the beautiful city of Zagreb, Croatia. This is the second Rapid & Blitz event of the series and it brings together some of the top players in the world including 5-time World Champion Vishwanathan Anand, the current World Champion Challenger Ian Nepomniachtchi, and also the legendary World Champion Garry Kasparov, who will be switching with the local star, Ivan Saric in the Blitz portion of the event.