Anand starts off in style in London Chess Classic
London: Indian ace Viswanathan Anand put the disappointing loss in the World Championship behind him and started his campaign in style by beating local Luke McShane in the first `A` group game of the London Chess Classic that got underway here.
Anand`s victory came after some precise calculation and deft manoeuvres on his 44th birthday, leaving McShane gasping from a point where he thought he had a chance.
The five-time world champion Indian thus started with three points under the Soccer scoring system in place here that gives a three points for a win and one for a draw. Anand was not the only one to start with full points as Michael Adams of England matched him on points at the expense of Andrei Istratescu of France in the same group.
With 16 players taking part this year, the Classic is divided in to four groups and the top two from each group will reach the knockout stage after a double round robin. Anand heads the `A` group on three points after the first round sharing the lead with Adams while McShane and Istratescu are yet to open their account.
Russian Vladimir Kramnik was lucky to score over compatriot Peter Svidler from a seemingly drawn endgame while wild card entrant Jonathan Rowson of England scored over country-mate Matthew Sadler from a similar situation in the `B` group. The `C` group saw local hopeful Gawain Jones holding Hikaru Nakamura of United States to a draw while former world championship challenger Boris Gelfand of Israel got the better of highest rated woman Judit Polgar of Hungary.
In the `D` group, English duo of Nigel Short and his former protege David Howell played out a draw while rating favourite Fabiano Caruana of Italy shot in to lead defeating Emil Sutovsky of Israel.
Anand will play Michael Adams of England in the second round of his group.