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Viswanathan Anand escapes with draw against Anish Giri in London Chess classic

Viswanathan Anand remained in fourth spot in the London Chess classic tournament as he salvaged a draw against Anish Giri in the sixth round.

other sports Updated: Dec 17, 2016 09:55 IST
Viswanathan Anand,Anish Giri,Chess
Viswanathan Anand escaped with a draw in the sixth round of the London Chess classic tournament against Anish Giri to stay in fourth spot.(Getty Images)

Five-time world champion Viswanathan Anand survived a scare before eventually holding his position together to escape with a draw against Dutch Grandmaster Anish Giri in the sixth round of London Chess Classic.

Trying to invade early into Giri’s position, Anand found that Giri was adequately prepared. While it was an extremely wild game, the chances were only for Giri in complexities.

Playing white, Anand went for the Sicilian Najdorf opening and found Giri in fine fettle. Anand was tempted by a piece sacrifice that netted him three pawns but at the same time made his king’s position a little vulnerable.

Giri did everything right for the next few moves but he too faltered. Anand showed perfect poise in a difficult situation to salvage a draw.

  • Viswanathan Anand shares the fourth spot with four other competitors
  • Wesley So of the United States remained in top spot
  • Top three finishers get a direct seeding in to next year’s Grand Chess tour

Wesley So of United States cemented his position at the top of the table by handing Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria his fifth defeat in the tournament. So took his tally to an enviable 4.5 points out of a possible six and now remains a half point clear of compatriot Fabiano Caruana.

Caruana defeated Hikaru Nakamura, also of United States, to remain within striking distance of the Phillipine turned American Grandmaster. Caruana’s performance justified why he is world number two and this performance was a clear indicator that he was closing the gap with reigning world champion Magnus Carlsen

The other decisive battle of the day went in favour of Maxime Vachier-Lagrave who overcame Levon Aronian of Armenia in a keenly contested battle while the game between Vladimir Kramnik of Russia and Michael Adams of England ended in a draw.

With Wesley So in command and Caruana on his heels, Kramnik is the other player in with a chance on 3.5 points while Anand, Nakamura, Giri, Aronian and Vachier-Lagrave have an identical three points apiece for a shared fourth spot.

The battle lines are now drawn as the top three finishers get a direct seeding in to next year’s Grand Chess tour and Anand will have a tall task on hand with two black games lined up out of the final three. However, the Indian ace has been in fine form and he will be aiming to score a win in the last three rounds.

Results round 6: V Anand (Ind, 3) drew with Anish Giri (Ned, 3);Veselin Topalov (Bul, 0.5) lost to Wesley So (Phi, 4.5); Fabiano Caruana (USA, 4) beat Hikaru Nakamura (USA, 3); Vladimir Kramnik (Rus, 3.5) drew with Michael Adams (Eng, 2.5); Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (Fra, 3) beat Levon Aronian (Arm, 3)

First Published: Dec 17, 2016 09:55 IST