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London Chess: Anand draws with Adams to stay in contention

Source: PTI
December 14, 2016 09:55 IST

Viswanathan Anand

IMAGE: Viswanathan Anand of India in action. Photograph courtesy: London Chess Classic

Five-time World champion Viswanathan Anand had to settle for a draw with British number one Michael Adams in the fourth round of the London Chess Classic, in London.

The tide could have turned differently but it was a difficult chance that Anand missed in his calculation. However, the second draw in four games has kept the Indian ace in contention.

American Hikaru Nakamura continued to be in top gear after a first round debacle and grinded down Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria in what was again the only decisive game of the day. In his third round, Nakamura had beaten Anand.

The peaceful results on other boards helped tour and tournament leader Wesley So of United States cement his place at the top of the table with three points out of a possible four. Fabiano Caruana of the United States, Vladimir Kramnik of Russia, Levon Aronian of Armenia and Nakamura share the second spot with 2.5 points apiece while Anand slipped to joint sixth spot with two points along side Anish Giri of Holland.

It would have been a perfect game but for one moment when Anand could not spot what most humans would have missed. The computer suggested an ingenious resource for white in a cramped position that Anand overruled in his on-board analysis and that was the end of speculation for the chess pundits.

For the records, Anand enjoyed a minimal advantage out of the opening with his white pieces and eventually settled for a pawn plus endgame.

However, Adams had his counter play in place and the end result was just a level position.

Nakamura seems to be picking up right after the first round when he lost to Wesley. The American was in all-in mode as he went after Topalov's queen and won it at the cost of two pieces. Topalov had his chances for survival but was a tad slow in picking up the best moves that suited Nakamura perfectly.

With his second win, Nakamura is the one who is likely to go after Wesley.

Like Anand, Kramnik also missed out on an opportunity to go in lead as he failed to convert his extra pawn in an endgame against Maxime Vachier-Lagrave of France.

It was a tense affair after an irregular opening that gave Kramnik some chances and the Russian could have done better than the end result.

In other games of the day, Wesley So played out a draw with Anish Giri while Fabiano Caruana signed peace with Aronian.

Results (Round 4):

V Anand (Ind, 2) drew with Michael Adams (Eng, 1); Anish Giri (Ned, 2) drew with Wesley So (USA, 3); Veselin Topalov (Bul, 0.5) lost to Hikaru Nakamura; Vladimir Kramnik (Rus, 2.5) drew with Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (Fra, 1.5); Fabiano Caruana (USA, 2.5) drew with Levon Aronian (Arm, 2.5).

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