December 17, 2016 10:15:24 pm
Five-time World champion Viswanathan Anand played out a draw with Levon Aronian of Armenia in the seventh round of London Chess Classic.
It was another easy draw with black pieces as Anand was better prepared than Aronina in one variation of the Queens gambit declined.
The draw however did not help Anand much as he slipped to joint fifth spot in the overall rankings from joint fourth at the start of this round.
Wesley So of United States did not take any risk and took an easy draw as white against Vladimir Kramnik of Russia to maintain his position at the top on five points out of a possible seven.
Fabiano Caruana of United States continued to follow the leader a half point behind.
Kramnik was joined by Hikaru Nakamura of United States in third spot on four points when the former played a crushing attack against Maxime Vachier-Lagrave of France.
Anand, Aronian and Anish Giri of Holland share the fifth spot on 3.5 points apiece while Vachier-Lagrave and Michael Adams come in next on three points.
With just one point from seven games, Topalov is in the last spot and meets Anand in the next round.
The Queen’s gambit declined has been serving Anand well for some time and yet again Anand showcased some deep preparation to keep Aronian’s forces at bay.
The Armenian never got any advantage as the pieces kept flying off the board in a heap and the end result was a perfectly balanced minor piece endgame. The game lasted just 30 moves.
Things got livened in the Nakamura and Vachier-Lagrave encounter as the American employed the same line in which he had lost to compatriot Fabiano Caruana in the previous round.
The American had some simple explanation for his action as he explained in the press conference.
“When I looked at it I thought it was completely fine but then yesterday of course I just got blown off the board without really playing a move. I knew Maxime would play the Najdorf and I figured: why not play the line? It didn’t look that simple,” Nakamura said.
Vachier also landed in a lost position pretty soon and it was Nakamura who out-prepared his opponent this time.
With just two rounds to come now in the final leg of the Grand Chess Tour the clock is now ticking on Anand as only the top three finishers here get a confirmed seat in the next edition of tour that may even have five events instead of four this year.
The Indian ace however is likely to qualify if he is among the top rated players in the world.
Results round 7: Levon Aronian (Arm, 3.5) drew with V Anand (Ind, 3.5); Wesley So (Usa, 5) drew with Vladimir Kramnik (Rus, 4); Anish Giri (Ned, 3.5) drew with Veselin Topalov (Bul, 1); Hikaru Nakamura (Usa, 4) beat Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (Fra, 3); Michael Adams (Eng, 3) drew with Fabiano Caruana (Usa, 4.5).
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.