Gibraltar Chess: Anand held to draw by Oparin

Former world champion Viswanthan Anand was held to a draw by Russian Grandmaster Grigoriy Oparin in the fourth of the Masters section of Tradewise Gibraltar Chess festival.

Viswanathan Anand played his second draw of the tournament to be positioned joint 14th.   -  PTI (FIle Photo)

Former world champion Viswanthan Anand was held to a draw by Russian Grandmaster Grigoriy Oparin in the fourth of the Masters section of Tradewise Gibraltar Chess festival now underway here. Starting off with a draw and two successive victories, this was Anand’s second draw in the tournament that took the Indian ace to three points out of a possible four.

An easy draw as black is considered a good result in elite chess circles and Anand had it easy playing the Sicilian Najdorf. Oparin, who had drawn with top seed Hikaru Nakamura in the previous round, entered a complicated middle game but then decided against risky play which would have livened things up. The game was drawn in 31 moves.

Nakamura was also held to a draw for the second day running as he could not do much as black against Renier Vazquez Igarza of Spain. The American, who is the defending champion of this 185000 Pound Sterling event, is also on three points along with Anand.

Good day for Indians

It turned out to be another excellent day for most of the Indians. After winning against Nigel Short in the previous round, Harika caused another flutter holding much higher rated Grandmaster Richard Rapport of Hungary.

At the top of the tables, S P Sethuraman also continued with his excellent run and drew with Maxime Vachier—Lagrave of France which essentially mean that the top seeds have already dropped at least a half point in one of the strongest open of the world.

P Harikrishna continued with his winning ways and outclassed fellow young Grandmaster Aravindh Chithambaram in a long drawn affair. Harikrishna obtained two minor pieces for a Rook playing white and then it was a long grind before the second highest ranked Indian netted the point.

Meanwhile, Etienne Bacrot of France and Markus Ragger of Austria emerged as the two leaders with a perfect score winning their fourth game on the trot. As many as 12 players share the third spot on 3.5 points apiece and the Indians among them are Harikrishna, Sethuraman, Harika and Abhijeet Gupta who joined the party defeating countryman Anurag Mahamal in a complicated affair.

With 6 rounds still remaining, Anand and Nakamura are now on joint 14th spot with 38 other players. Padmini Rout, G. N. Gopal, Surya Shekhar Ganguly, Vishnu Prasanna, Vidit GUjrathi, Sandipan Chanda and Siva Mahadevan have all got three points apiece and are in excellent contention in the tournament.

Important and Indian results round 4 (Indians unless specified):

Maxime Vachier—Lagrave (Fra, 3.5) drew with S P Sethuraman (3.5); Luka Lenic (Slo, 3.5) drew with Dmitry Jakovenko (Rus, 3.5); D Harika (3.5) drew with Richard Rapport (Hun, 3.5); Alexandra Goryachkina (Rus, 3) lost to Etienne Bacrot (Fra, 4); Markus Ragger (Aut, 4) beat Anna Muzychuk (Ukr, 3); P Harikrishna (3.5) beat Aravindh Chithambaram (3); Grigoriy Oparin (Rus, 3) drew with V Anand (3); Zoltan Almasi (Hun, 3.5) beat M R Lalith Babu (2.5); Duda Jan—Krzysztof (Pol, 3) drew with G N Gopal (3); Natalija Pogonina (Rus, 3) drew with Surya Shekhar Ganguly (3); Nils Grandelius (Swe, 3.5) beat S Kidambi (2.5); Abhijeet Gupta (3.5) beat Anurag Mhamal (2.5); Kristian Stuvik Holm (Nor, 2) lost to Vidit Gujrathi (3); Sandipan Chanda (3) beat Balazs Csonka (Hun, 2); Herman Matthew (Usa, 2) lost to V Vishnu Prasanna (3); Erik Blomqvist (Swe, 2) lost to Siva Mahadevan (3); Xander Wemmers (Ned, 2.5) drew with Prasanna Rao (2.5); Paulo Pinho (Por, 2) lost to Padmini Rout (3); Dmitrij Kollars (Ger, 2) drew with Pratyusha Bodda (2); Nisha Mohota (1.5) lost to Ralf Akesson (Swe, 2.5); S Satyapragyan (2.5) beat Yasser Saber (Mar, 1.5).

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