Anand held by Grischuk, Tania outwits Vocaturo

Wijk Aan Zee: World
champion Viswanathan Anand had to settle for a draw against
Alexander Grischuk of Russia in the sixth round of the `A`
group of Tata Steel Chess tournament here.

Anand`s draw turned out to be a gain for American Hikaru
Nakamura as he upstaged Erwin L`Ami of Holland to join the
Indian ace at the top of the leaderboard with 4.5 points at
the near half way stage of the category-20 14-player event.

But International Master Tania Sachdev sprang a major
surprise in the `C`group, outwitting leader Daniele Vocaturo
of Italy in a near one-sided affair.

With her third victory in the tournament, Tania moved to
3.5 points out of a possible six and is now within striking
distance of what would be her second GM norm.

Grandmaster and national champion Surya Shekhar Ganguly,
however, continued with his poor form in `B` group and went
down fighting to top seed David Navara of Czech Republic.

In the premier group, Anand and Nakamura enjoy a full
point lead over Levon Aronian of Armenia, Russian duo of
Vladimir Kramnik and Ian Nepomniachtchi, Maxime
Vachier-Lagrave of France and world number one Magnus Carlsen
of Norway.

Anish Giri of Holland, who suffered his first loss in the
tournament at the hands of Nepomniachtchi, shares the eighth
spot on three points along with Ruslan Ponomariov of Ukraine
while Wang Hao stands sole 10th on 2.5 points.

With seven rounds still to go, Grischuk and local
hopefuls Jan Smeets and Erwin L`Ami share the 11th spot while
there seems to be no change in the fortunes of Latvian born
Spaniard Alexei Shirov, who stands last with four losses and a
couple of draws.

The day produced high-quality entertaining chess and
Carlsen simply crushed Smeets while Kramnik`s preparation
proved much superior than Shirov.

A high point of the day was that all wins were scored
with black pieces, certainly the less favourable colour.

Anand went for his once-pet English attack against
Grischuk`s Najdorf but the Russian was well armed even though
he was not expecting the opening.

After a few rudimentary exchanges, Anand did not achieve
much and decided against taking any undue risk. The game was
drawn in just 23 moves.

Tania turned the `C` group wide open with a spectacular
victory over Vocaturo.

Playing white the Delhi-based went for the Saemisch
variation to counter the King`s Indian defense and matched
Vocaturo move for move in a slightly better middle game.

The Italian had won four games and drawn one before the
game against Tania and now shares the lead with world`s
youngest Grandmaster Illya Nyzhnyk on 4.5 points.

Women`s blitz champion Kateryna Lahno is in sole third
spot in this section on four points while Tania now stands
joint fourth half point behind.