Grand Chess Tour: Anand draws with Aronian in Zagreb

Anand opted for the Italian opening yet again, something that had gone awfully wrong in the opening round against Ian Nepomniachtchi of Russia. Aronian was in no mood to test Anand in the intricacies of a similar middle game and instead chose a familiar path leading to equality.

Levon Aronian and Viswanathan Anand played out a draw in the third round.   -  (File Photo)

Five-time World Champion Viswanathan Anand’s recovery mode continued following a first-round loss to Ian Nepomniachtchi as the Indian ace played out a draw with Levon Aronian of Armenia in the Croatian leg of Grand chess tour here.

Anand was at the top of his game against Carlsen in the second round wherein the reigning world champion left no stones unturned to inflict second defeat in a row to Anand. However, Anand came out of the skirmish in a study-like-finish to force a draw and then in third round the Indian took another half point as a breather, playing it out safe with white pieces against Aronian.

Anand opted for the Italian opening yet again, something that had gone awfully wrong in the opening round against Ian Nepomniachtchi of Russia. Aronian was in no mood to test Anand in the intricacies of a similar middle game and instead chose a familiar path leading to equality.

With one point against his name in three rounds, Anand may not look in a good spot but the fact remains that the first two rounds were probably very difficult for the Madras Tiger and it may take some time to recuperate.

Meanwhile, Nepomniachtchi scored his third victory on the trot at the expense of Shakhriyar Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan and continued to lead the tables.

Nepomniachtchi grounded American star Fabiano Caruana in a lop-sided game in the second round and again came good in the third when Mamedyarov found the Russian a tough nut to handle.

Anish Giri played out his second draw following a loss to Carlsen in a mere 23 moves in the opener. The Dutchman, known for his witticism, still has a lot to catch up in the event like Anand with just one point from three games. In the second round, Giri had drawn with Aronian.

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While Caruana anad Carlsen were still locked in a do-or-die battle in the third round, Nepomniachtchi is the man who everyone looks up to, to end Carlsen reign in super tournament.

While the Norwegian, may not be pleased with the form the Russian is displaying, it remains to be seen for how long “Nepo” can continue his reign.

In another games of third round, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave of France split the point with Ding Liren of China.

The Grand Chess tour is a series played over eight events this year with two Classical and six rapid and blitz tourneys.

One of the event also comes to India in November. The total prize pool for the classical event here is 325000 USD with 90000 USD reserved for the winner.

The results (third round)

Viswanathan Anand (1) drew with Levon Aronian (Arm, 1.5); Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Aze, 1) lost to Ian Nepomniachtchi (Rus, 3); Fabiano Caruana (USA, 1.5) drew with Magnus
Carlsen (2); Anish Giri (Ned, 1) drew with Wesley So (USA, 2), Sergey Karjakin (Rus, 1.5) drew with Hikaru Nakamura (USA, 1.5); Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (Fra, 1.5) drew with Ding Liren (Chn, 1).