Indian Grandmaster Viswanathan Anand suffered a painful defeat from a nearly winning position, losing to Fabiano Caruana of United States in the eighth round of Tata Steel Masters chess tournament Wijk Aan Zee, The Netherlands on Monday.
World champion Magnus Carlsen scored his first victory in the tournament, scalping Nikita Vituigov of Russia.
For Anand, it was a forgettable day. The Queen’s pawn opening by Caruana as white prompted Anand to sacrifice a pawn early in the middle game and as it turned out, it was probably all right.
Caruana, to his credit, sacrificed a rook for a minor piece soon after to create some dangerous threats around black’s king.
Caruana was first to panic amidst huge complication as he erred on move 37 to give Anand a winning endgame. However, the Indian ace could not find the right path to victory and eventually also missed some forced drawing lines to go down in the tie.
Carlsen scored a quick victory over Vituigov in what was clearly a one-sided affair. The Norwegian was winless for seven rounds and the victory came pretty swiftly with Vituigov resigning, rather prematurely, in a position he would have lost in some moves anyways.
Alireza Firouzja remained in joint lead with Caruana on 5.5 points and these two are now ahead of Wesley So of the United States and Jorden Van Foreest of Holland.
Carlsen, on 4.5 points, is next in standings along with Jan Krzysztof Duda of Poland. After his second loss in the event, Anand slipped to the tenth spot with 3.5 points.
In the Challengers section, Ukrainian Grandmaster Pavel Eljanov remained in sole lead after drawing with young talent Nodirbek Abdusattarov of Uzbekistan.
Surya Shekhar Ganguly played out an entertaining draw with Erwin L’Ami of Holland but Nihal Sareen went down to David Anton Gujjaro of Spain. Ganguly still shares the second spot in the event, a half-point behind Eljanov.
Results Round 8 Masters: Fabiano Caruana (5.5) beat Viswanathan Anand (Ind, 3.5); Magnus Carlsen (Nor, 4.5) beat Nikita Vituigov (Rus, 2.5); Alireza Firouzja (Fid, 5.5) drew with Jorden Van Foreest (Ned, 5); Yu Yangyi (Chn, 2.5) lost to Jan Krzysztof Duda (Pol, 4.5); Daniil Dubov (Rus, 4) drew with Wesley So (USA, 5); Anish Giri (Ned, 4) drew with Vladislav Artemiev (Rus, 4); Jeffery Xiong (USA, 3) lost to Vladislav Kovalev (Blr, 2.5).
Challengers: Rauf Mamedov (Aze, 4.5) beat Max Warmerdam (Ned, 1.5); Lucas Van Foreest (Ned, 4) drew with Anton Smirnov (Aus, 3); Nodirbek Abdusattorov (Uzb, 4) drew with Pavel Eljanov (Ukr, 5.5); Dinara Saduakassova (Kaz, 1.5) lost to Nils Grandelius (Swe, 5); David Anton Guijarro (Esp, 5) beat Nihal Sarin (Ind, 4); Jan Smeets (Ned, 4) lost to Vincent Keymer (Ger, 4); Surya Shekhar Ganguly (Ind, 5) drew with Erwin L’Ami (Ned, 5).