Anand draws with Aronian to jump to joint lead

Last Updated: Jan 24, 2011, 11:19 AM IST

Wijk Aan Zee: World
Champion Viswanathan Anand played out a draw against Levon
Aronian of Armenia in the eighth round to claw back to the top
of the leaderboard in the `A` group of 73rd Tata Steel Chess
tournament.

The draw helped Anand to join overnight leader Hikaru
Nakamura of United States in the lead after the latter
suffered his first loss in the tournament at the hands of
World Number one Magnus Carlsen of Norway.

Anand and Nakamura jointly share the lead on 5.5 points,
but Aronian, Vladimir Kramnik of Russia and Frenchman Maxime
Vachier-Lagrave moved within striking distance of the leaders,
a half point behind with five rounds still remaining in the
category-20 tournament being played on round robin basis
between 14 players.

The day yet again provided entertaining chess even though
Anand did not get much with his white pieces against Aronian.

Up against the Marshall gambit, Anand liquidated to a pawn
plus endgame out of the opening but Aronian always had enough
resources to maintain the balance.

Carlsen stopped Nakamura`s dream run with a clinical
victory against the Sicilian Najdorf.

Playing black, Nakamura felt the heat in the middle game
as Carlsen started a king side attack and it became hard to
handle once the Norwegian started a checkmate mission. He gave
a rook to force matters in what was a pretty finish.

Amongst other interesting encounters of the day, Alexei
Shirov of Spain secured his first victory in the tournament
after a disastrous start at the expense of Alexander Grischuk
of Russia while local lad Anish Giri came back strongly with a
fine victory over Wang Hao of China.

In the `B` group being held simultaneously, Grandmaster
Surya Shekhar Ganguly played out a draw with Li Chao of China
to inch to three points in this section out of a possible
eight.

The lead positions changed here as youngster Wesley So of
Philippines secured his fourth vitory on the trot to emerge as
the sole leader on six points. Ganguly needs a miracle to make
things work from this stage.

International Master Tania Sachdev, however, continued
with her impressive run that has won her many fans in this
coastal town. The Indian scored her fourth win in the
category-11 tournament to remain in with a chance to get her
second Grandmaster norm.

Tania defeated IM JW De Jong of Holland who is having a
tough time in the tournament.

Grandmaster Daniele Vocaturo seems to be on course for
the title in this section with 6.5 points so far -? his lone
loss was against Tania in round six.

PTI