Anand draws again, Negi and Hari share Best Game prize

Wijk Aan Zee (The Netherlands), Jan 24 (Calcutta Tube) Even as a win continued to elude Viswanathan Anand, it was a no-loss day for the five Indians in the 72nd Corus Grandmasters chess.

Anand, who has won the Corus title no less than five times, was still unable to find the rhythm Saturday evening, as he was more cautious and had to be satisfied with a draw against Fabiano Caruana. In an anti-Meran game, they drew in 33 moves.

As Anand played his seventh draw in as many games to lie in the middle of the pack in tied seventh place from among 14 players in group A, Parimarjan Negi and Pentala Harikrishna, widely considered as two of the most talented youngsters from India, played an exciting draw that also saw them share the day’s Best Game prize in Group B.

Hari has four points in sixth place, 1.5 points behind leader Anish Giri, while Negi has 3.5 points in eighth place.

Abhijt Gupta in Group C was the only Indian to register a win, as he beat lowly ranked Sjoerd Plukkel to move to shared second place, half a point behind leader, Ray Robson of England. The other Indian in Group C, Sowmya Swaminathan got her second draw, when she shared the point with Stefan Kuipers. Sowmya has one point from seven rounds and is lying 14th and last.

Leader Alexei Shirov’s unbeaten run came to an end and his lead, which at one point was 1.5 points, was brought down to just half a point. Shirov lost to Hikaru Nakamura of United States, who felt Shirov made a mistake right at the start and thereafter he just waited and capitalized on it for the full point.

Shirov remains at the top on 5.5 points but now Magnus Carlsen of Norway, who accounted for Ukrainian Vassily Ivanchuk, and Nakamura now trail him by just a half point behind. Vladimir Kramnik of Russia is fourth on 4.5 points and he is followed by Leinier Dominguez of Cuba and Ivanchuk who both have 4 points apiece.

Anand, Sergey Karjakin of Russia and Hungarian Peter Leko, are tied seventh. There are six more rounds to go in the tournament.

Nakamura took the 500-euro prize for the best game of the day in Group A. In Group B, the 250-euro prize went to Indian grandmasters Parimarjan Negi and Pentala Harikrishna for their hard-fought draw in 33 moves from a Caro-Kann opening.

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