World champion Magnus Carlsen has just lost game 1 of Round 3 at the World Chess Championship being played in Tbilisi (Georgia). His conqueror: Bu Xiangzhi of China.
This is the biggest of the upsets at the event which has so far seen some big names take a tumble. Sergei Karjakin, V Anand and Harikrishna, who fell to fellow Indian SP Sethuraman, have been among the casualties so far.
Sethuraman, incidentally, had taken out former world champion Ruslan Ponomariav in Round 1. He and Vidit Gujarathi are the only Indians left in the fray.
As for Anand, I will have considered it an upset only if he had made it to Round 3. He played miserably against a Malaysian IM who is way, way down in the ranking, more than 300 points less than that of Anand. The Indian scraped through, thanks to an adventurous queen sacrifice by the Malaysian who is not a GM yet.
In Round 2, it was Anand’s turn to try an amateurish piece sacrifice and lose to the much lower-ranked player, Anton Koyolyov.
That reminded me of my chess-playing days when I had also occasionally found it hard to resist sacrifices for transient attack momentum that had almost always fizzled out too soon.
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