Anand draws with Carlsen; Harikrishna tames Van Wely
Wijk Aan Zee (The Netherlands): World champion Viswanathan Anand played out an easy draw with world number one Magnus Carlsen of Norway, while P Harikrishna scored a smashing victory over Loek van Wely of Holland in the fifth round of the Tata Steel chess tournament here.
After a hurricane effort that gave him a victory and the best game prize against Armenian Levon Aronian, Anand did not get the desired complexities against Carlsen and the Norwegian held his own to draw comfortably.
Against Harikrishna, on the other hand, Van Wely fell prey to some wild tactics on another day that produced five decisive games out of a possible seven.
Aronian came back in reckoning defeating Ivan Sokolov of Holland, Chinese Wang Hao scalped for another Dutch Erwin L`Ami, American Hikaru Nakamura proved much superior to Yifan Hou of China and Hungarian Peter Leko scored over Fabiano Caruana of Italy. The other game was a draw between Russian Sergey Karjakin and local star Anish Giri.
With eight rounds still to come in the category-20 super tournament, Anand continued to share the lead with Carlsen and Karjakin on 3.5 points but the lead gap is now just a half point from nearest contestants.
Wang Hao, Nakamura, Leko and Harikrishna share the fourth spot on three points apiece and they are followed by Aronian on 2.5 points. Giri, Van Wely and Caruana follow next on two points, a half point ahead of Sokolov and L`Ami while Yifan Hou is still at the bottom with one point in her bag.
Carlsen employed the Petroff as black to declare his peace intentions early in the game. Anand went for a topical variation wherein the Norwegian exchanged pieces at regular intervals to maintain parity. With a draw in sight, Anand made the proposal on move 24 which was immediately accepted.
"He went for this very solid line in the Petroff, I did not see much except this endgame," said Anand after the game.
Harikrishna was at his best in a Sicilian Scheveningen defense by Van Wely. The opening moves were blitzed by both players and after routine theory Harikrishna went for the king side attack that tore apart black`s position.
It was a picturesque site in the end as Harikrishna sacrificed a rook and then his queen to force checkmate. This game is one of the main contender for the public prize of the day.
"I think he chose a dubious variation, I had been checking this some time back and fortunately I could remember it. I was happy that he let me sacrifice, it does not happen often that you get to play such moves (queen sacrifice) and you are on the winning side," Harikrishna said in the post game chat.
Results round 5: V Anand (Ind, 3.5) drew with Magnus Carlsen (Nor, 3.5); Sergey Karjakin (Rus, 3.5) drew with Anish Giri (Ned, 2); Peter Leko (Hun, 3) beat Fabiano Caruana (Ita, 2); Yifan Hou (Chn, 1) lost to Hikaru Nakamura (Usa, 3); Ivan Sokolov (Ned, 1.5) lost to Levon Aronian (Arm, 2.5); P Harikrishna (Ind, 3) beat Loek Van Wely (Ned, 2); Erwin L`Ami (Ned, 1.5) drew with Wang Hao (Chn, 3).
The moves: V Anand - M Carlsen
1. E4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nxe5 d6 4. Nf3 Nxe4 5. D4 Be7 6. Bd3 Nf6 7. O-O O-O 8. H3 Re8 9. Nc3 Nbd7 10. Re1 Nf8 11. D5 c6 12. Bf4 Bd7 13. Bc4 Ng6 14. Bg3 Rc8 15. Dxc6 Bxc6 16. Bb3 d5 17. Qd3 Qb6 18. Nxd5 Bxd5 19. Bxd5 Nxd5 20. Qxd5 Qxb2 21. Rab1 Qxc2 22. Rxb7 Red8 23. Qb3 Qxb3 24. Axb3 game drawn.