Chess: Magnus Carlsen escapes but Vishy Anand is beaten at Isle of Man

The first round was also a disaster for England’s players, with seven defeats in eight games, as young talents scored upsets

The world champion, Magnus Carlsen, had a narrow escape, the former champion Vishy Anand was brilliantly beaten, and several other elite grandmasters dropped half points as the 154-player $430,000 Fide/ Grand Swiss Isle of Man event got off to a combative start on Thursday.

Chess competition just now is stratified, with many events reserved for the top grandmasters and few where they are directly challenged by second-line GMs and rising talents. Isle of Man, which continues until 21 October at the Comis Hotel near Douglas, is a rare opportunity for ambitious players, and they seized it in the opening round, where the ranked top half of the field met the bottom half.

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