Anand draws with Carlsen, Ivanchuk demolishes Nakamura
Bilbao (Spain): World champion Viswanthan Anand played out his second draw with world number one Magnus Carlsen of Norway to stay second in the overall standings after the sixth round of fourth Final Chess Masters.
It turns out to be a good start for Anand in the second and final leg of the category-22 super tournament after a sedate start in Sao Paulo.
The world champion was never in difficulty and now has two white games to bank on in the remaining four rounds in the tournament.
Vassily Ivanchuk of Ukraine, meanwhile, stretched his lead after scalping for Hikaru Nakamura of United States in a fine attacking game.
The Ukrainian, who was robbed at gun point after the conclusion of the first leg of the tournament in Sao Paulo, was at his best in demolishing the defenses of Nakamura in a Sicilian defense game.
The other game of the day between Francisco Vallejo Pons of Spain and Levon Aronian of Armenia ended in a draw.
With four rounds still to come in the event, Ivanchuk is at the helm with 13 points in all in the soccer-like scoring system that gives three points for a win and one for a draw.
The Ukrainian has won four games thus far besides a loss and a draw and is now Six points clear of nearest contenders Anand, Aronian, Carlsen and Nakamura who all have seven points apiece. Vallejo Pons stands at the bottom at this point with four points in his kitty in the six-player double round-robin event.
Anand went for the tried and tested Nimzo Indian defense against Carlsen who played white. The opening ended on an even keel and Anand neutralised white`s initiative after trading the queens.
The ensuing endgame gave Carlsen an optical advantage as Anand had seemingly weakened pawns on the king side but the world champion dissolved them in quick time to ensure parity. The game lasted 48 moves.
Ivanchuk faced the Sicilian Taimanov from Nakamura and showed his true mettle under pressure. Te opening saw white gaining a slight initiative and Ivanchuk build on it with some concrete plans in the middle game.
Nakamura made the decisive error on move 29 and paid a heavy price as Ivanchuk wrapped the game ten moves later.
After his lone and `lucky` victory against Carlsen in round three at Sao Paulo, Vallejo Pons secured his first draw in the tournament after signing peace with Levon Aronian.
It was a queen pawn game wherein Aronian had to fight to equalise and after regulation exchanges, the Armenian was eventually successful in his attempt. The peace was signed following repetition on move 39.