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Rediff.com  » Sports » Anand held by Grischuk, Tania outwits Vocaturo

Anand held by Grischuk, Tania outwits Vocaturo

January 22, 2011 17:08 IST

World champion Viswanathan Anand had to settle for a draw against Alexander Grischuk of Russia in the sixth round of the 'A' group of Tata Steel Chess tournament in Wijk Aan Zee, The Netherlands.

Anand's draw turned out to be a gain for American Hikaru Nakamura as he upstaged Erwin L'Ami of Holland to join the Indian ace at the top of the leaderboard with 4.5 points at the near half way stage of the category-20 14-player event.

Anand went for his once-pet English attack against Grischuk's Najdorf but the Russian was well armed even though he was not expecting the opening.

After a few rudimentary exchanges, Anand did not achieve much and decided against taking any undue risk. The game was drawn in just 23 moves.

But International Master Tania Sachdev sprang a major surprise in the 'C' group, outwitting leader Daniele Vocaturo of Italy in a near one-sided affair.

With her third victory in the tournament, Tania moved to 3.5 points out of a possible six and is now within striking distance of what would be her second GM norm.

Tania turned the 'C' group wide open with a spectacular victory over Vocaturo.

Playing white the Delhi-based went for the Saemisch variation to counter the King's Indian defense and matched Vocaturo move for move in a slightly better middle game.

The Italian had won four games and drawn one before the game against Tania and now shares the lead with world's youngest Grandmaster Illya Nyzhnyk on 4.5 points.

Grandmaster and national champion Surya Shekhar Ganguly, however, continued with his poor form in 'B' group and went down fighting to top seed David Navara of Czech Republic.

In the premier group, Anand and Nakamura enjoy a full point lead over Levon Aronian of Armenia, Russian duo of Vladimir Kramnik and Ian Nepomniachtchi, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave of France and world number one Magnus Carlsen of Norway.

Anish Giri of Holland, who suffered his first loss in the tournament at the hands of Nepomniachtchi, shares the eighth spot on three points along with Ruslan Ponomariov of Ukraine while Wang Hao stands sole 10th on 2.5 points.

With seven rounds still to go, Grischuk and local hopefuls Jan Smeets and Erwin L'Ami share the 11th spot while there seems to be no change in the fortunes of Latvian born Spaniard Alexei Shirov, who stands last with four losses and a couple of draws.

The day produced high-quality entertaining chess and Carlsen simply crushed Smeets while Kramnik's preparation proved much superior than Shirov.

A high point of the day was that all wins were scored with black pieces, certainly the less favourable colour.

Women's blitz champion Kateryna Lahno is in sole third spot in this section on four points while Tania now stands joint fourth half point behind.

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