FIDE Grand Swiss Chess: Anand held in ninth round, goes joint-fourth

Viswanathan Anand is now joint-fourth alongside Magnus Carlsen after being held to a draw by Russia’s Kirill Alekseenko on Saturday.

File Photo: With two more rounds to go, Viswanathan Anand is joint-fourth in the leaderboard at the FIDE Grand Swiss Chess tournament.   -  Lennart Ootes / Grand Chess Tour

Viswanathan Anand’s hopes of qualifying for the Candidates Tournament suffered a setback when he was held by Russia’s Kirill Alekseenko in the ninth round of FIDE Chess.com Grand Swiss tournament here on Saturday.

With the top two boards ending in draws and a victorious Hikaru Nakamura joining Fabiano Caruana, Levon Aronian and Guijarro David Anton in the lead at 6.5 points, Anand (6) shared the fourth spot with Magnus Carlsen, among others.

With two rounds to go, the battle for lone qualifying spot for the Candidates is going to intensity further. The spot goes to the highest finisher, who needs to qualify.

Important ninth-round results (Indians unless stated):

Levon Aronian (Arm, 6.5) drew with Guijarro David Anton (Esp, 6.5); Magnus Carlsen (Nor, 6) drew with Fabiano Caruana (USA, 6.5); Kirill Alekseenko (Rus, 6) drew with Viswanathan Anand (6); Vladislav Kovalev (Blr, 5.5) lost to Hikaru Nakamura (USA, 6.5); Yu Yangyi (Chn, 5.5) drew with B. Adhiban (5.5); Vidit Gujrathi (5.5) bt Aryan Tari (Nor, 5); Vladimir Fedoseev (Rus, 5) drew with S. P. Sethuraman (5); Aleksey Dreev (Rus, 5) drew with S. L. Sethuraman (5); Hrant Melkumyan (Arm, 5) drew with D. Gukesh (5); P. Hari Krishna (5) bt Vasif Durarbayli (Aze, 4); K. Sasikiran (5) bt Andrei Volokitin (Rus, 4); Andriy Vovk (Ukr, 4.5) drew with Surya Shekhar Ganguly (4.5); Raunak Sadhwani (5) bt Alexander Motylev (Rus, 4); Nihal Sarin (4) lost to Maksim Chigaev (Rus, 5); Matthias Bluebaum (Ger, 4.5) drew with Abhimanyu Puranik (4.5); Evgeniy Najer (Rus, 5) bt Soumya Swaminathan (4); Alex Bachmann (Par, 3.5) lost to D. Harika (4.5); Prithu Gupta (3) lost to Ariel Erenburg (Isr, 4).