World champion Viswanathan Anand fought back from an inferior position to beat Erwin L’Ami of Holland to be joint second at the 75th Tata Steel chess tournament with one round to spare at the De Moriaan.
With his fourth victory coming in the penultimate round, Anand rose back to joint second spot on eight points but a rampaging Magnus Carlsen of Norway ensured he would remain untouchable after butchering Hikaru Nakamura of United States.
The world number one took his tally to an unassailable 9.5 points and remains 1.5 points ahead of Anand and Levon Aronian of Armenia.
Peter Leko of Hungary and Sergey Karjakin of Russia share the fourth spot on seven points and Nakamura slipped to sixth position following his second loss in a row on 6.5 points.
P. Harikrishna continued with a good performance and drew with Wang Hao of China to inch to six points and share the seventh spot alongside Loek Van Wely.
The day provided four decisive games. Van Wely defeated Fabiano Caruana of Italy and Yifan Hou of China continued to be impressive at the expense of tailender Ivan Sokolov of Holland.
Anand’s fourth victory in the tournament was quite dramatic. Playing the black side of a Sicilian Najdorf Anand was surprised early as L’Ami handled a side variation pretty well to equalise easily and then started to exert pressure by threatening to launch a queen side attack.
The world champion sought solace by going for trading of queens that eased up the pressure but black still controlled the vital central squares.
However, as the game progressed, L’Ami failed to find the best resources and lost a pawn while looking for counter play.
Anand did not give another chance and wrapped the issue with fine technique thereafter.