A day after stopping Boris Gelfand 2.5-0.5 for his first win in the chess24 Legends of Chess, Viswanathan Anand crashed to a stunning defeat, by a similar margin, to an otherwise struggling Ding Liren in the eighth round on Tuesday.
Surprisingly, Anand lost both his games with white pieces rather tamely. In between, he drew with black.
In this battle involving two players out of reckoning for a place in the semifinals, Anand faltered early in the first game with a knight-retreat and soon found his castled-king on the queenside come under fierce attack. Anand saw no way of saving the position and resigned inside 25 minutes of game-time.
In the second, where Anand played black, the battle was fought on an even keel. In the third, Anand erred more than once after the opening lines of…