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Rediff.com  » Sports » Anand draws with Carlsen, drops to joint-sixth

Anand draws with Carlsen, drops to joint-sixth

November 24, 2011 15:48 IST

World champion Viswanathan Anand's hunt for an elusive victory continued as he played out another draw with Magnus Carlsen of Norway to slip to joint-sixth after the seventh round in the Tal Memorial international chess tournament in Moscow.

The much-hyped encounter did not quite provide anything spectacular and World No 1 Carlsen equalised comfortably to get an easy draw in the end.

Vassily Ivanchuk ended the drawing melee in the tournament by upstaging Hikaru Nakamura of the United States, while the other games ended in draws as well.

Ivanchuk gained a lot as he joined the leaders' group following his victory. This was the first decisive result in four rounds in the strongest tournament of the year.

In other games of the day, World championship challenger Boris Gelfand of Israel played out a draw with Vladimir Kramnik of Russia, the all-Russian duel between Peter Svidler and Ian Nepomniachtchi reached the same result, while Armenian Levon Aronian defended his black pieces against Sergey Karjakin of Russia.

The four-way lead has now turned in to five, and, besides the Ukrainian, Carlsen, Aronian, Nepomniachtchi and Karjakin are at the helm.

With all leaders on four points, Anand slipped to joint-sixth spot along with Svidler, on 3.5 points, a half point clear of Kramnik, who was relegated to eighth spot.

Nakamura and Gelfand share the last spot with just two rounds remaining.

Anand faced the Grunfeld defence with white pieces and his play was quite harmless.

Carlsen exchanged queens early in the middle game and further exchanges simplified to a rook and minor piece endgame which was just a draw. The players shook hands in just 29 moves.

Ivanchuk benefited from a rather lackluster opening by Nakamura. For the records, it was another Grunfeld of the day where the Ukrainian played black. Getting a dream position out of the opening, Ivanchuk found out all the right moves to reach a won rook and pawns endgame.

Nakamura resigned after 40 moves.

Karjakin and Aronian fought out in a Ruy Lopez but the former could not get much in the middle game playing white.

Aronian neutralised the initiative with timely exchanges and the peace was signed on move 38 in a knight and pawns endgame.

Gelfand and Kramnik drew after 48 moves of a Queen's Gambit declined, while Svidler split the point with Nepomniachtchi after 58 moves of an English opening.

Results of round 7: V Anand (Ind, 3.5) drew with Magnus Carlsen (Nor, 4); Hikaru Nakamura (Usa, 2.5) lost to Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukr, 4); Peter Svidler (Rus, 3.5) drew with Ian Nepomniachtchi (4); Sergey Karjakin (Rus, 4) drew with Levon Aronian (Arm, 4); Boris Gelfand (Isr, 2.5) drew with Vladimir Kramnik (Rus, 3).

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