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Anand held to his fourth draw

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Viswanathan Anand drew his fourth match at the London Chess Classic on Sunday, and virtually fell out of contention for the title.

Playing white against Anish Giri of Holland, the Indian could not force a win and left himself with four points, with just one more round to go.

Hikaru Nakamura of United States injected some life into the tournament defeating Michael Adams of England from what was perceived a drawn endgame.

In the other game of the day, Vladimir Kramnik could do little with his white pieces, and split points with Fabiano Caruana of Italy.

With just one round remaining in the six-player round-robin tournament, Giri and Kramnik share the lead with six points; a win fetches three points and a draw gets one.

The two leaders are now pursued by Nakamura on five points.

Anand shares fourth spot with Adams.

Caruana, with his third draw in four games, is at the bottom of the tables with three points.

Anand faced the Queen’s gambit declined from Giri who seemed well-prepared again with his opening. The Vienna set up by the Dutch Grandmaster saw Anand sacrifice a pawn early in the opening but the position remained equal as the game progressed.

Giri seemed at home even in the complexities that ensued as the game progressed. He exchanged pieces at will and reached a drawn rook and pawns endgame where neither side had any serious chance.

In the final round, Anand meets local favourite Michael Adams. The Indian ace will have black pieces and has only an outside chance at the title even if he wins.

Nakamura caught Adams in the endgame which should have been a theoretical draw. After the opening, Nakamura enjoyed a small advantage, and nurtured it to the endgame to pose some problems for Adams, with only the rook and pawns remaining on board.

However, Adams missed the thread of the position and mishandled his rook’s positioning, ultimately finding in trapped.

Kramnik faced an idea introduced by Grandmaster Abhijeet Gupta in the Grunfeld defense and the Russian could not do much against Caruana in the endgame that ensued.

The results: Round four: V. Anand (Ind, 4) drew with Anish Giri (Ned, 6); Vladimir Kramnik (Rus, 6) drew with Fabuano Caruana (Ita, 3); Hikaru Nakamura (USA, 5) beat Michael Adams (Eng, 4).

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2020 10:03:48 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/anand-held-to-his-fourth-draw/article6691452.ece

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