Anand draws with Carlsen; remains joint second

Nanjing (China):World champion Viswanathan Anand played out a draw with Norway`s Magnus Carlsen to remain in joint second position after the end of the second round of
Pearl Spring Chess tournament here.

Anand, who had drawn his first round encounter with Wang Yue of China, played out his second draw on the trot against Carlsen in less than a week`s days time in the same opening that the Norwegian had played in the recent Bilbao Final Masters.

The Indian ace inched himself up to one point from his two outing and the lead positions remained unchanged as the other two games of this six-players double round robin
tournament also ended in draws.

As a result of the draws melee, Carlsen remained in sole lead on 1.5 points and he is now followed by Anand, Wang Yue, Vugar Gashimov of Azerbaijan and former world champion Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria, who all have one point.

Etienne Bacrot of France stands last with eight rounds still to come in the 250000 Euros prize money tournament.

Anand yet again faced the Breyer variation in the Ruy Lopez but Carlsen was the first to deviate from their earlier game at Bilbao.

The middle game had typical features of the opening and even though Anand exerted pressure with his slightly better position it was never enough to force matters.

According to the experts, this encounter was not as interesting as the previous one as both Anand and Carlsen had obtained chances in the earlier match.

As it happened in the game, Carlsen successfully neutralised white`s initiative with some timely exchanges and manoeuvre and led the game to a drawn rook and opposite colour
bishop endgame.

The peace was signed in 44 moves.

Meanwhile, Etienne Bacrot`s quest for a victory did not materialise, thanks to a gutsy performance from Topalov, who played the black side of a NImzo Indian defence.

Bacrot went for a topical system wherein Topalov was all game for an intense battle and soon the Bulgarian`s pawns were on a roll on the king side. Bacrot was quick to realise the potential of white`s position and went for a good counter-attack that left Topalov
under some pressure but the fightback by the latter was excellent as he too, like Carlsen, turned the game in to a drawn opposite coloured Bishops endgame.

The game lasted 36 moves.

The most engrossing game of the day was between Wang Yue and Gashimov. The Chinese was seen fighting for an advantage in the middle game with his well placed pieces while Gashimov worked for his counter-play on both flanks.

The game finally reached a rook and pawns endgame and it was the turn of Gashimov to try for a win in a seemingly drawn position. The draw was agreed to after five hours of play lasting 60 moves.

Results of Round II: V Anand (Ind, 1) drew with Magnus Carlsen (Nor, 1.5); Etienne Bacrot (Fra, 0.5) drew with Veselin Topalov (Bul, 1); Wang Yue (Chn, 1) drew with Vugar Gashimov (Aze, 1).

The moves: V Anand v/s Magnus Carlsen (game drawn)

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 d6 8. c3 O-O 9. h3 Nb8 10. d4 Nbd7 11. Nbd2 Bb7 12. Bc2 Re8 13. a4 Bf8 14. Bd3 c6 15. b4 Nb6 16. axb5 axb5 17. Rxa8 Qxa8 18. Nb3 Nc4 19. dxe5 Nxe5 20. Nxe5 Rxe5 21. f3 Re8 22.
Be3 Bc8 23. Bf2 Be6 24. Nd4 Bd7 25. Qd2 Qb8 26. Bf1 h6 27. Ra1 Qb7 28. Ra5 d5 29. exd5 Nxd5 30. Nb3 Be6 31. Nc5 Bxc5 32. Bxc5 Rd8 33. Ra1 Qb8 34. Rd1 Qg3 35. Bf2 Qe5 36. c4 bxc4 37. Bxc4 Rd7 38. Bxd5 Rxd5 39. Qe1 Qxe1+ 40. Rxe1 Rd2 41. Bc5 Kh7 42. Rf1 Bc4 43. Rf2 Rxf2 44. Kxf2.