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Vishy Anand wins Leon Masters for the tenth time in his career

by Shahid Ahmed - 01/07/2024

Vishy Anand defeated Jaime Santos Latasa (ESP) 3-1 in the Final of 37th Torneo Magistral de Ajedrez Ciudad de Leon. Jaime defeated Arjun Erigaisi 2.5-1.5 in the second Semifinal to earn his place in the Finals. The first two games ended in draws. The maestro struck in the third and fourth game to win this iconic tournament for the tenth time in his career. His previous triumphs were in: 1996, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2011 and 2016. We might have missed a dream final between Anand and Arjun. That might still happen at some point. However, the man who inspired the nation and beyond, his victory will always be extremely sweet and inspiring. Photo: Magistral de León

Form is temporary, Class is permanent

After winning Leon Masters for the tenth time in his career, Vishy Anand tweeted the following: As my wife celebrated her 50th birthday, I was apprehensive about being away playing chess. However, she told me to go and play, saying, "Who knows, you might win." Very happy to win while it was still her birthday!! Sometimes, the best moves are the ones made with love and support. Checkmate to a wonderful day!

Game 3: Jaime - Anand: 0-1

The first two games of the Finals between Jaime Santos Latasa (ESP) and Vishy Anand ended in draws. In the third game, Jaime made a practical exchange to give up his two minor pieces for a rook and a pawn.

Position after 15.Bxe5

15...dxe5 16.Ncxe5 Nxe5 17.Nxe5 Qe8 18.Nxf7 Qxf7 ideally White should gain the upper hand. However, it is not easy to realize.

Position after 31...Rd8

Black is threatening to trade the queens and take the d3-pawn. White has no option but to trade the queens 32.Qxg6+ Kxg6 33.f4 Kf5 it is time to activate the black king 34.Kf3 Nc6 rerouting the knight to d4. 35.Re4 Nd4+ 36.Kf2 Kg4 if the bishop cannot partake yet, the king can certainly be the enforcer 37.Re3 Rf8 38.Rh1 g5

Position after 38...g5

The last break Black had in the position was g5 and it was a necessity to improve his advantage. 39.hxg5 Bxg5 40.Re4 Be7 41.f5+ as h4 was coming anyway. 41...Kxf5 42.Kg2 Kg6 protecting the h5-pawn, keeping the g5-square vacant for the bishop and also opening the f-file for the rook. Black won the game in the next few moves.

Vishy Anand's insane understanding of Two minor pieces vs Rook positions against Jaime Santos Latasa, Commentary by IM Sagar Shah | Video: ChessBase India

Game 4: Anand - Jaime: 1-0

The fourth game was a relatively sharp battle. Vishy found a nice move to confuse his opponent.

Position after 31.Bh4!

The computer will recommend 31.Bxc5 to be the best continuation for White. Yet, the maestro found a nice humane move 31.Bh4! In time trouble, these moves can rattle your opponent. That is what happened. Jaime captured incorrectly 31...R8xh4?? 32.Nxc6 and White is winning. 32...g3 33.Kf1 f3 34.Rd7+ Ke6 35.Re7+ Kf5 36.Rf7+ Ke4 37.Re1+ and White won.

Vishy Anand vs Jaime Santos Latasa, Finals Game 4, Commentary by IM Sagar Shah | Video: ChessBase India
Vishy Anand on winning the Leon Masters 2024 for a record tenth time | Video: ChessBase India

Vicente Canuria Atienza, sports councilor of the city council of Ayuntamiento de León, made the ceremonial first move of the Finals | Photo: Magistral de León

Vishy Anand tweeted the following after winning Leon Masters for the tenth time in his career


Friday 28th June - First Semi-final: Veselin Topalov (BUL) vs Vishy Anand

Saturday 29th June - Second Semi-final: Jaime Santos Latasa (ESP) vs Arjun Erigaisi

Sunday 30th June - Final: Winner of Semi-final 1 vs Winner of Semi-final 2


Each of the Playoffs will consist of four games of 20 minutes each + 10 seconds increment. If the score is tied after four games, the winner will be decided in games played with 5 minutes + 3 seconds increment.


World no.8 and India no.1 - Arjun Erigaisi, five-time Classical World Champion and World no.11 - Vishy Anand, former World Champion and World no.22 - Veselin Topalov (BUL) and Spain no.6 - Jaime Santos Latasa.

Replay live stream

Replay 37th Magistral Ciudad de Leon Semifinal 2 Live Commentary by IM Sagar Shah and Amruta Mokal | Video: ChessBase India
Replay 37th Magistral Ciudad de Leon Final 2 Live Commentary by IM Sagar Shah and Amruta Mokal | Video: ChessBase India

Replay Semifinal 2 and Final games


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