Viswanathan Anand’s campaign in the Norway Chess tournament was interrupted with a ninth-round loss to Shakhriyar Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan, while Magnus Carlsen of Norway seized sole possession of the lead with a win against Frenchman Maxime Vachier-Lagrave.
Anand kept his winning streak going by defeating Carlsen in the fifth round to grab the lead in the rankings, but Mamedyarov outplayed him in a Petroff Millenium Attack game late on Thursday.
Following a day of rest on Wednesday, the 37-year-old Azerbaijani player capitalized on an Indian veteran’s inaccuracy to gain three full points.
Anand, who had been in second position behind world No. 1 Carlsen after seven rounds, had fallen to third place with 13 points at the end of the eighth and final round.
Meanwhile, Carlsen defeated Vachier-Lagrave via the Armageddon following a 79-move tie in the regular classical game. The Norwegian superstar required 54 moves to defeat his opponent in the sudden death tie-break.
Carlsen is the sole player in the lead with 15 points, followed by Mamedyarov on 14.5. Vachier-Lagrave is a half-point behind Anand in fourth place.
In other matches from the day, Wesley So of the United States, who won the Blitz event that preceded the Classical tournament, lost in the Armageddon against Bulgarian Veselin Topalov, while Teimour Radjabov of Bulgaria defeated Hao Wang of China in a sudden death tiebreak.
Anish Giri, a faltering Dutch player, outlasted Norway’s Aryan Tari in 61 moves to gain three points in the legendary encounter.
The ninth and last round will be played on Friday night.
If the traditional match in Norway Chess ends in a tie, the competitors compete in an Armageddon (sudden death).