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Rediff.com  » Sports » Anand held by Nakamura, stands sole third

Anand held by Nakamura, stands sole third

March 20, 2011 23:06 IST

Victory eluded world champion Viswanathan for the third day in a row as he played two draws with Hikaru Nakamura of United States in the seventh round to be sole third in the Amber blindfold and rapid chess tournament in Monaco.

After a rather luck-less affair against Vassily Ivanchuk in the previous round, where Anand suffered his first loss in the event, the Indian ace could not do much against Nakamura's solid play and signed peace to take his tally to eight points.

Levon Aronian of Armenia continued to lead the overall standings with 10 points after defeating Boris Gelfand of Israel in the blindfold game and drawing the return rapid game.

Magnus Carlsen of Norway bridged the gap between him and the leader with a fine 2-0 victory over Voladimir Kramnik of Russia who seems completely off form here.

With just eight games or four rounds to come in the 2,27,000 Euros prize money tournament, it seems a close fight between Carlsen and Aronian and to retain hopes of catching up, Anand will need to score well in the remaining rounds.

The Indian stalwart meets Aronian in the next round.

Playing black in the blindfold game Anand got some hopes of a counter attack against a queen pawn opening by Nakamura.

However, as things turned out, Nakamura had it all under control and in fact the American pushed for the initiative in the middle game with a double pawn sacrifice.

Anand had to find some correct moves through which the World champion converted to a drawn rook and pawns endgame.

In the rapid game Anand faced the French defense and tried to make a foray on the king side that was foiled by Nakamura. In the later stages, Anand sacrificed a rook for a minor piece and had two pawns as compensation. Nakamura liquidated to a pure endgame in which the draw was a just result after 65 moves.

In the blindfold section Aronian remained in sole lead witha massive 1.5 points lead over nearest rivals including Anand. In the rapid however, Carlsen is the leader on 5.5 points, a full point clear of Aronian and Anand shares the third spot aong with Ivanchuk on 4 points.

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