World champion Viswanathan Anand opened his account with a draw against lowest-ranked Dmitry Andreikin of Russia in the second round of Tal Memorial Chess tournament here.
After suffering a shock defeat at the hands of Italian Fabiano Caruana, Anand was back as a perfect defender against Andreikin who recently won the Russian championship.
World number one Magnus Carlsen of Norway surged ahead in one of the strongest tournament ever after signing peace with Sergey Karjanik of Russia along with Shakhriyar Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan and Boris Gelfand of Israel. For the records, Alexander Morozevich drew with Mamedyarov while Gelfand scored a fine victory against Caruana.
Carlsen, Gelfand and Mamedyarov took their tally to 1.5 points out of two rounds and they are now trailed by Hikaru Nakamura of the United States, Sergey Karjakin of Russia, Morozevich, Caruana and Andreikin a half point behind.
Anand is at the ninth spot on half point while Russian Vladimir Kramnik is at the bottom of the table as he is yet to open his account.
The day produced two decisive games out of a possible five. Gelfand defeated Caruana showing better preparation out of an English attack game while Nakamura got the better of Kramnik.
For Anand the day was not so tough with black as Andreikin went for a solid setup in the Slav defence. Anand had to think a little but the Russian spent most of his time after the trade of queens in trying to work out an advantage that was not forthcoming.
At one point Andreikin sacrificed a few pawns but Anand gave them back at the right juncture to ensure there was no imminent danger to his position. The draw was a just result.
Kramnik convincingly got a slight better position against Nakamura’s King Indian defence and had all the chances to push for a victory. Instead the Russian went haywire and opted for an erroneous continuation that gave Nakamura enough counterplay and the American pounced on his chances to come out victorious.
Carlsen, meanwhile, had little problems with black against Karjakin whose handling of the Anti-Berlin did not come good. At ease with himself, the Norwegian equalised without much problems and the draw did not hamper his lead.
In the other decisive game, Gelfand scored with black against Caruana but this result was not expected by the chess pundits.
Out of a Sicilian Najdorf, Gelfand worked his way and capitalised on a blunder on move 32 to collect his first full point.
Results after Round 2: Dmitry Andreikin (RUS, 1) drew with Vishwanathan Anand (IND, 0.5); Sergey Karjakin (RUS, 1) drew with Magnus Carlsen (NOR, 1.5); Fabiano Caruana (ITA, 1) lost to Boris Gelfand (ISR, 1.5); Vladimir Kramnik (RUS, 0) lost to Hikaru Nakamura (USA, 1); Alexander Morozevich (RUS, 1) drew with Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (AZE).