Viswanathan Anand crushes Fabiano Caruana to become joint leader in Tata Masters chess

Five-time world champion Viswanathan Anand crushed USA’s Fabiano Caruana in the third round to join Dutchman Anish Giri in lead on 2.5 points at the Tata Steel Masters Chess tournament.

Viswanathan Anand crushes Fabiano Caruana to become joint leader in Tata Masters chess
File photo of Viswanathan Anand (Reuters)

Five-time world champion Viswanathan Anand crushed USA’s Fabiano Caruana in the third round to join Dutchman Anish Giri in lead on 2.5 points at the Tata Steel Masters Chess tournament.

For Anand, it was his second victory in three days as he looks for a record sixth title.

Caruana went for the Petroff defence, an opening he had used in round one also. Anand went for a topical variation full of complexities and it was in the early middle game that Caruana reacted strongly on the 16th move.

“I was very surprised,” Anand said in the post-game chat adding, “I thought it didn’t call for such extreme measures.”

In the moves that followed, Caruana gave up two minor pieces for a rook and a pawn and even though the position remained a bit unclear, the American clearly did not like what was happening.

It was on the 28th move that Caruana shut his remaining chances. A pawn capture led to a lost position.

“Something went wrong in his calculation, he went down a very forced line and his calculation just missed the mark,” Anand said.

As it happened in the game, a pretty queen sacrifice on the 42nd move sealed the fate of the game.

After finishing third in the previous edition, Grandmaster B Adhiban clearly seems to be struggling. The Indian suffered his second defeat in as many days going down to Gawain Jones of England.

With ten rounds still to come in the 14-players, 13-rounds event, top-rated Magnus Carlsen of Norway, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan and Jones share the third spot with two points apiece.

In the challengers section being held simultaneously, Vidit Gujrathi continued his impressive run and outclassed Amin Baseem of Egypt. It was a one-sided affair as Gujrathi won a piece and then had to showcase some routine technique.

Gujrathi remained as the joint leader in this section along-side Anton Korobov of Ukraine on 2.5 points. D Harika played out her third draw in the event, signing peace with Erwin L’Ami of Holland.