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Anand held by Gelfand in Zurich Chess Challenge

February 26, 2013 18:51 IST

World Champion Viswanathan Anand was held to a draw by Boris Gelfand of Israel in the third round of Zurich Chess Challenge on Tuesday.

For the third day running, Anand strove for an active position and got the complexities he was looking for and Gelfand had to fight really hard to thwart the Indian ace his first victory in the tournament.

In the other game of the day, Fabiano Caruana of Italy played out a draw with former world champion Vladimir Kramnik of Russia leaving the deadlock to continue for the third day running.

Vishy AnandWhile there has not been any decisive games yet in the four-players double round-robin tournament, there have been ample excitement for the followers.

With just three rounds to come now, all the four players share the lead with 1.5 points each and the second half will continue after a rest day.

Anand had beaten Gelfand in the last world championship match at Moscow in May 2012 but there too Gelfand had been a tough nut to crack and the Indian was stretched till the rapid tiebreaker before he could win the match.

For the records, it was a Sicilian Najdorf, something that Gelfand had shied off from in the match but surely one of the favourites opening of the Israeli. Anand went for a topical system and won a pawn early but black's position remained active enough.

In the middle games, the analysis engines in the computers were shouting a good advantage for Anand but for the human eye it remained a complicated position in which both had to tread carefully.

Gelfand found his way back with regular exchange of pieces and ended up in a pawn less endgame where the draw was always within his reach. Anand tried but the position finally liquidated to a theoretical draw in 42 moves.

Vladimir Kramnik went for the sharp Benoni defense against Caruana and secured some advantage when he won two pieces for a rook.

However, with one of the knight stuck on the edge of the board with no chances of coming out, the Russian could not claim his advantage to be of decisive nature. Caruana first changed the queens and then entered an endgame wherein he picked up pawns at will to force a draw. The game lasted 50 moves.

Photograph Credit: Zurich Chess Classic

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