Five-time world champion Viswanathan Anand avenged his defeat against Sergey Karjakin of Russia and came roaring back in lead after the end of the 11th round of the Candidates Chess tournament now underway in Moscow.
After suffering a defeat at the hands of Fabiano Caruana of United States in the previous round, Anand was in a must-win situation to stay afloat in the biggest challenge of the year and the Indian ace came out with flying colours dumping the local hopes in spectacular style.
Yet again Anand staged a grand comeback while being down and out and it was a true demonstration of his grit that saw the day through. It was an Anti-Berlin opening yet again wherein Anand seized the early initiative with his better preparation as Karjakin fell way behind on the clock. As it happened in the game, Anand capitalised on his better placed rooks to reach a slightly better rook and opposite coloured Bishops endgame wherein Karjakin had to play precisely. The Russian erred in the defence and Anand was soon all over him with some finely crafted maneuvers. In the end it was a sweet revenge for the Indian ace.
The other highlight of the day was Armenian Levon Aronian's loss to Peter Svidler of Russia which meant that there are mainly two contenders for the final dash of the candidates that will select the challenger to world champion Magnus Carlson of Norway. While the world is craving for Anand-Carlsen match-3, Caruana is the one who is calling the shots now but the American would be kicking himself not to have converted a better position against Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria in the eleventh round.
With four rounds still to come, Anand and Caruana are the two new leaders on 6.5 points apiece while Karjakin is now sole third on six points to his credit. Anish Giri of Holand, Svidler and Aronian are now on 5.5 points apiece hoping for a miracle to turn their fortunes around while Hikaru Nakamura of US and Topalov will be hoping to finish well in the last four games.
Results Round 10: V Anand (Ind, 6.5) beat Sergey Karjakin (Rus, 6); Anish Giri (Ned, 5.5) drew with Hikaru Nakamura (USA, 4.5); Peter Svidler (Rus, 5.5) beat Levon Aronian (Arm, 5.5); Veselin Topalov (Bul, 3.5) drew with Fabiano Caruana (USA, 6.5).
Image: Viswanathan Anand
Photograph: Patrik Stollarz/Getty Images