Indian GM Viswanathan Anand Clinches a Record 10th Leon Masters Title

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Viswanathan Anand

Indian chess legend Viswanathan Anand secured his 10th Leon Masters title by defeating GM Jaime Santos Latasa 3-1 in the final match. Despite a shaky start, Anand rallied in the last two games to emerge victorious. His strategic acumen and experience played a crucial role in this tense final. Anand’s remarkable achievement adds to his legacy as one of the greatest chess players of all time.

Viswanathan Anand’s brilliance continues in the new decade

In the 2024 Leon Masters, Anand showcased his exceptional skills, overcoming adversity to clinch the title. Anand didn’t have an easy path to victory. In the first game, local hero Jaime Santos pushed him relentlessly, and Anand felt the pressure. However, his defence held, and he escaped without any clear missed chances for his opponent. The second game saw Anand in a double-edged position, but Santos settled for a draw, missing an opportunity to capitalize on his advantage.

The turning point came in the third game. Santos surprised Anand with 15.Bxe5!, exploiting the vulnerability of Anand’s queen and rook. Anand admitted he had overlooked this idea. The resulting position was fascinating—no minor pieces left, but all eight pawns intact. Anand’s strategic prowess shone through as he outplayed his opponent and took the lead in the match.

Anand revealed an interesting tidbit after the match. He had played a risky gambit—choosing to play chess on his wife’s 50th birthday instead of celebrating with her. His wife encouraged him, saying, “Who knows, you might win.” Anand’s victory made it a memorable birthday for both of them!

Anand’s triumph in 2024 marked his 10th Leon Masters title. His previous victories spanned from 1996 to 2016, showcasing his enduring excellence. His name is etched in the tournament’s history, and his legacy continues to inspire chess enthusiasts worldwide.

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