Five-time World Champion Viswanathan Anand scored an expected victory over young gun Raunak Sadhwani while Grandmaster S Kidambi caused a huge flutter by holding Vladimir Kramnik to a draw in the first round of Isle of Man International Chess tournament, PTI reported.
On what turned out to be a tough day for the highly rated and fancied players, Anand maintained his cool amidst wild complications that once threatened to ruin his position against young International Master Sadhwani who played with white.
Seeded sixth here, Anand went for the variation he had chosen to beat Eric Hansen of Canada in the just-concluded Chess Olympiad but clearly the Nagpur kid was much better prepared. The veteran faced a tough time before he could reach an endgame where his extra pawn did the talking.
Kidambi showed his solid game against fourth seed Kramnik. The former is known for his deep opening knowledge and that helped initially in maintaining the balance. Once the endgame approached, former World Champion Kramnik tried many tricks but they were all successfully thwarted by the Indian.
This was not all from the strong Indian contingent as IM CRG Krishna also played out a draw with Wesley So of the United States. Krishna traded troubled waters for a long time but stood up float in what was a dramatic game of the day.
Another young IM Harshit Raja came up with flying colours holding Richard Rapport of Hungary to a draw while Arjun Kalyan also hogged the limelight by splitting points with Le Quang Leim of Vietnam.
With eight rounds still to come in what is touted as the toughest open tournament of the world, 11-year old Pranav Anand also got a good grade in the opener holding regarded Grandmaster Gregory Kaidanov of the United States to a draw.
The Indian saga is likely to continue here as there are 35 Indians in the fray out of 165 participants. On the flip side from the Indian perspective, Grandmaster Surya Shekhar Ganguly was held to a draw by veteran GM Juan Manual Bellon of Sweden.