Wijk Aan Zee (The Netherlands): World champion Viswanathan Anand crashed through the defenses of Fabiano Caruana of Italy to jump to joint second spot after the end of the third round of the premier section of Tata Steel Chess tournament here on Tuesday.
Anand showed his sublime touch and Caruana, who started the tournament ahead of Anand in world ranking, fell just behind the world champion following the loss in live ratings.
It turned out to be another good day for debutante P Harikrishna as he survived an inferior position before splitting the point with world number three Levon Aronian of Armenia.
Russian Sergey Karjakin surged ahead of the field at the expense of Wang Hao of China who went for unwarranted complications from what looked like an equal position.
With his second victory in three days, Karjakin moved to sole lead on 2.5 points and he is now followed by world number one Magnus Carlsen of Norway, Anand and Harikrishna who all have two points apiece.
Aronian shares the fifth spot now along with Hikaru Nakamura of United States and Dutchmen Erwin L`Ami and Ivan Sokolov.
Not far behind are other five players including Caruana and Anish Giri of Holland with one point apiece.
Anand proved much superior to Caruana. A slow Ruy Lopez led to a slightly better position for the world champion but it was not easy to convert. The exchange of pieces at regular intervals did not deter Anand from pushing for a victory and he found a very original plan that involved infiltration in black`s camp.
Caruana fell for the bait and found all Anand`s pieces hurling at his king. Anand picked up a handful of pawns enroute to a smooth triumph.
"I`m quite proud of my 31st move," said Anand, "He was already in time pressure and it was quite unpleasant for him to face it, and then his position collapsed very quickly."
Harikrishna said in the post match chat that he stood much worse. From an Anti-Berlin, the middle game was level and a draw should have been a logical outcome. However, Harikrishna went for an erroneous plan and fell in some problems and in his own words "was lucky" to draw the game.
In the other decisive game of the day, Carlsen defeated Loek van Wely of Holland. The Norwegian destructed the pawn structure of van Wely in the middle game and then went on an exchanging spree to reach a won endgame in no time.
Results, Round 3: V Anand (Ind, 2) beat Fabino Caruana (Ita, 1); P Harikrishna (Ind, 2) drew with Levon Aronian (Arm, 1.5); Magnus Carlsen (Nor, 2) beat Loek van Wely (Ned, 1);Sergey Karjakin (Rus, 2.5) beat Wang Hao (Chn, 1); Ivan Sokolov (Ned, 1.5) drew with Anish Giri (Ned, 1); Peter Leko (Hun, 1.5) drew with Hikaru Nakamura (Usa, 1.5); Yifan Hou (Chn, 1) drew with Erwin L`Ami (Ned, 1.5).