Seasoned Indian Viswanathan Anand remained winless for the fourth round running, playing out a draw with China’s Yu Yangyi in the Tata Steel Chess Tournament where world champion Magnus Carlsen broke the record for being undefeated in maximum number of games.
Anand, who lost to Wesley So in the second round, shares the 11th spot alongside Nikita Vituigov of Russia while Yu Yangyi is 13th currently with one point in his kitty. With nine rounds still to come in the 14-player round-robin event, Vladislav Kovalev of Belarus is at the bottom.
Carlsen drew with local talent Jorden Van Foreest, registering his 111th game without losing, surpassing a 15-year-old record made by Russian-turned-Dutch Sergei Tiviakov.
American Wesley So shot in to sole lead ahead of the first rest day handing Iranian Alireza Firouzja his first defeat of the tournament.
Wesley moved to three points out of a possible four and is now followed by compatriots Caruana Fabiano and Jeffery Xiong, Foreest, Firouzja and Vladislav Artemiev of Russia.
Carlsen, after four draws in first four games, is joint seventh with Anish Giri of the Netherlands, Daniil Dubov of Russia and Jan-Krzysztof of Poland on two points apiece.
For Anand, the Ragozin variation in the Queen’s gambit declined has been working fine for some time and in the fourth round too, the Indian ace opted for the same.
It was a keen tussle in the opening but pieces changed hands at regular intervals. After the trading of queens, the players were left with rooks and Knight only and even though Yangyi outplayed on till move 32 the result was never in doubt.
Wesley was lucky in some sense as Firouzja should have drawn a near-level position with black pieces. The American, however, capitalised on a huge tactical error in the middle game and reached a pawn plus Bishops and pawns endgame. The rest was easy.
In the Challenger’s section India’s Surya Shekhar Ganguly, famously known as Anand’s second in three world championships triumphs, secured a crushing victory over Dinara Saduakassova of Kazakhstan to emerge as the sole leader on three points.
The other Indian, Nihal Sareen, also won his first game of the tournament at the expense of Max Warmerdam to move to joint second spot on 2.5 points.
Results: Magnus Carlsen (Nor, 2) drew with Jorden Van Foreest (Ned 2.5); Daniil Dubov (Rus, 2) drew with Jan-Krzysztof Duda (Pol, 2); Jeffery Xiong (Usa, 2.5) drew with Fabiano Caruana (Usa, 2.5); Yu Yangyi (Chn, 1) drew with V Anand (Ind, 1.5); Anish Giri (Ned, 2) drew with Nikita Vitiugov (Rus, 1.5); Wesley So (Usa, 3) beat Alireza Firouzja (Fid, 2.5); Vladislav Artemiev (Rus, 2.5) beat Vladislav Kovalev (Blr, 0.5).
Challengers: Rauf Mamedov (Aze, 2.5) drew with Pavel Eljanov (Ukr, 2.5); David Anton Guijarro (Esp, 2.5) beat Jan Smeets (Ned, 2); Dinara Saduakassova (Kaz, 1.5) lost to Surya Shekhar Ganguly (Ind, 3); Nodirbek Abdusattorov (Uzb, 1.5) drew with Erwin L’Ami (Ned, 2.5); Lucas Van Foreest (Ned, 2) drew with Vincent Keymer (Ger, 1.5); Max Warmerdam (Ned, 1) lost to Nihal Sarin (Ind, 2.5); Anton Smirnov (Aus, 1.5) drew with Nils Grandelius (Swe, 1.5).
Gupta secures big win at Delhi Open
Indian Grand Master Abhijeet Gupta secured a splendid win over compatriot Diptayan Ghosh in the ninth round of the Delhi Open International Grand Masters chess tournament, in New Delhi on Wednesday.
Belarus’ Aleksej Aleksandrov defeated higher-ranked Jose Eduardo Martinez of Peru to maintain a half-point lead ahead of the field with eight points.
Aleksandrov was slightly better placed in the middle game against the Peruvian GM and ended up grinding him down as he did not find the complications he was looking for.
Gupta was in his element against Ghosh in an English opening game. The middle game saw a level position wherein he forced complications after the trade of queens in the middle game. Ghosh was closer to a draw for the major part with his white pieces but his opponent relentlessly pushed for a victory which was his after a long drill.
Indian teenager M Pranesh made his maiden Grand Master norm after securing a draw with Nodirbek Yakubboev of Uzbekistan in a hard fought game. It was a Sicilian defence game wherein Pranesh looked threatening for the major part and Yakubboev had to find some resources to force parity.
Indian player Audi Ameya secured an International Master norm. He is on course to become the country’s next International Master.
With Aleksandrov leading by a slender margin over Abhijeet Gupta, the final round encounter between them is expected to be an interesting battle for the top prize of Rs 6.5 lakh.
Results: Aleksej Aleksandrov (Belarus) 8 beat Jose Eduardo Martinez Alcantara (Peru) 6.5; Abhijeet Gupta (India) 7.5 beat Diptayan Ghosh (India) 6.5; Alexei Fedorov (Belarus) 7 drew with Kirill Stupak (Belarus) 7; Nodirbek Yakubboev (Uzbekistan) 7 drew with M Pranesh (India) 7.
Pavel Ponkratov (Russia) 7 beat Audi Ameya (India) 6; Harsha Bharathakoti (India) 6.5 drew Karthikeyan Murali (India) 6.5; Florian Kaczur (Hungary) 6.5 beat Saurabh Anand (India) 6; P Shyam Nikhil (India) 7 beat Ivan Rozum (India) 6.
Himal Gusain (India) 6.5 drew with Alberto David (Italy) 6.5; N R Visakh (India) 7 beat LR Srihari (India) 6; Neelesh Shah (India) 6.5 drew Debashis Das (India) 6.5; Mikheil Mchedilshvili (Georgia) 6.5 drew with K Rathnakaran (India) 6.5; Levan Pantsulaia (Georgia) 7 beat Ortik Nigmatov (Uzbekistan) 6; Karthik Venkataraman (India) 6.5 beat Manik Mikulas (Slovakia) 5.5.