Anand draws with Carlsen; Adhiban holds Caruana

Viswanathan Anand and Magnus Carlsen were involved in an uneventful draw in 32 moves before Anish Giri received a 'gift' from Maxim Matlakov to take the lead after nine rounds of Tata Steel chess tournament on Tuesday.

In Ruy Lopez, Anand and Carlsen tested each other but this positional battle ended on an even keel with both players refusing to concede an inch.   -  AFP

Viswanathan Anand and Magnus Carlsen were involved in an uneventful draw in 32 moves before Anish Giri received an unexpected 'gift' from Russian Maxim Matlakov to emerge as the only leader after nine rounds of Tata Steel chess tournament here on Tuesday.

In Ruy Lopez, Anand and Carlsen tested each other but this positional battle ended on an even keel with both players refusing to concede any ground.

Like Carlsen, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, too, lost his overnight joint lead after drawing with Vladimir Kramnik.

In the day's only decisive game of the round, Giri was pressing for advantage in an equal position against Russia’s Maxim Matlakov. Suddenly, on the 35th turn, Matlakov’s rook-retreat handed Giri an unexpected opportunity close the game in a hurry. In the next four moves, the Russian had no choice but to give up, facing the loss of bishop to prevent Giri’s queening pawn.

Meanwhile, B. Adhiban drew with second seed Fabiano Caruana in 60 moves after only the kings were left on the board.

In the Challengers section, D. Harika came close posting her first victory but under time-pressure, blew away what appeared to be a clearly winning position against joint leader Anton Korobov. The resultant draw let Korobov retain the lead with Vidit Gujrathi.

Vidit held a superior position against Germany’s Matthias Bluebaum before settling for a 78-move draw. Had Harika converted her huge advantage against Korobov, Vidit could have ended the day with a half-point lead.

Ninth-round results (Indians unless stated):

Masters: Viswanathan Anand (5) drew with Magnus Carslen (Nor, 6); Fabiano Caruana (USA, 3.5) drew with B. Adhiban (2.5); Maxim Matlakov (Rus, 4) lost to Anish Giri (Ned, 6.5); Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Aze, 6) drew with Vladimir Kramnik (Rus, 5.5); Wesley So (USA, 5.5) drew with Peter Svidler (Rus, 4.5); Sergey Karjakin (Rus, 5) drew with Wei Yi (Chn, 3.5); Gawain Jones (Eng, 4) drew with Hou Yifan (Chn, 1.5).

Challengers: Vidit Gujrathi (6.5) drew with Matthias Bluebaum (Ger, 4.5); D. Harika (3.5) drew with Anton Korobov (Ukr, 6); Michal Krasenkow (Pol, 4) lost to Jorden van Foreest (Ned, 5); Bassem Amin (Egy, 5) bt Olga Girya (Rus, 2.5); Erwin L’Ami (Ned, 4) lost to Jeffery Xiong (USA, 4.5); Lucas van Foreest (Ned, 4) lost to Dmitry Gordievsky (Rus, 4.5); Aryan Tari (Nor, 4) drew with Benjamin Bok (Ned, 4.5).