Wijk Aan Zee: World
Champion Viswanathan Anand was easily held to a draw by
arch-rival Vladimir Kramnik of Russia in the second round of
the group `A` of the ongoing 73rd Tata Steel chess tournament
After a fine win over Ruslan Ponomariov with black pieces
in the super-tournament opener on Saturday, the Indian ace
could not keep the momentum ticking in his favour as Kramnik
was well armed and better prepared and got the draw without
With just one decisive game in the premier group, Anand
remained in joint lead along with Jan Smeets of Holland,
Hikaru Nakamura of United States and lone winner of the day
Ian Nepomniachtchi of Russia who defeated Wang Hao of China.
In `B` group, Grandmaster Surya Shekhar Ganguly made his
presence felt with a clinical display against Jon Ludwig
Hammer of Norway. The Indian also opened his account in the
process after starting with a first round loss against Gabriel
Sargissian of Armenia.
Luke McShane of England got rewarded for his perseverance
in a hard-fought game against Li Chao of China in this section
and shot in to sole lead with his second win in a row.
Tania Sachdev`s luck deserted her in the `C` group as she
lost to Kateryna Lahno of Ukraine from a completely winning
position. Falling under extreme `time pressure`, Tania
blundered at least twice and instead landed in a lost endgame.
Anand played the white side of a Nimzo Indian and his
Capablanca variation yielded nothing against Kramnik.
Subsequent exchanges led to a level endgame and the game was
drawn in just 23 moves.
Earlier, Nakamura got an easy draw as black against Levon
Aronian of Armenia. This one proved to be the shortest game of
the day lasting just 17 moves.
The game of the day prize went to Jan Smeets and Anish
Giri who both played out an exciting draw. Giri, a Russian
born-Nepalese origin-Dutch proved that he is made of sterner
stuff despite being caught in deep opening preparation.
Finding a series of only moves, Giri forced the draw in 38
Nepomniachtchi won from a level endgame against Wang Hao
who earlier spurned down a draw proposal from the Russian
while Norwegian Magnus Carlsen was held to a draw by Alexei
Shirov of Spain.