Fourth straight draw for Anand

A fourth draw, in as many rounds, raised Anand’s tally to two points and left him tied for the third spot with four others.

On a day when Magnus Carlsen crashed to a shock loss to new leader Frenchman Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (three points) in 71 moves, Anand was hardly troubled by Levon Aronian.   -  AP

Continuing with the unbroken sequence of drawn games, Viswanathan Anand was involved in a 27-move deadlock with Levon Aronian in the fourth round of the Sinquefield Cup chess tournament here on Saturday.

A fourth draw, in as many rounds, raised Anand’s tally to two points and left him tied for the third spot with four others.

On a day when Magnus Carlsen crashed to a shock loss to new leader Frenchman Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (three points) in 71 moves, Anand was hardly troubled by Aronian.

Playing from the black side of English Symmetrical, Anand was comfortably placed in this short contest. Though Aronian tried to be aggressive. Anand was equal to the challenge until the draw was agreed following repetition of the moves.

Carlsen’s uncharacteristic blunder on the 46th move saw him slip from a dominating position. Vachier gained a rook for a bishop and then exerted pressure on the World No. 1. Later, Carlsen’s queening pawn made Vachier give up the material-advantage . But Vachier’s extra-pawn was always going to make the difference in an ending where Carlsen had
a bishop for his rival’s knight.

In the day’s other decisive game, last-placed Ian Nepomniachtchi stunned Hikaru Nakamura in 33 moves.

The results:

Fourth round: Levon Aronian (Arm, 2) drew with Viswanathan Anand (2);
Magnus Carlsen (Nor, 2) lost to Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (Fra, 3);
Fabiano Caruana (USA, 2.5) drew with Sergey Karjakin (Rus, 2); Peter
Svidler (Rus, 1.5) drew with Wesley So (USA, 2); Ian Nepomniachtchi
(Rus, 1.5) bt Hikaru Nakamura (USA, 1.5).

Fifth-round pairings: Anand-Caruana; Lagrave-Aronian; So-Carlsen;
Karjakin-Nepomniachtchi; Nakamura-Svidler.