Grenke Chess Classic: Gritty Anand holds tenacious Carlsen

Carlsen in joint lead with Peter Svidler at 2.5 points; Anand and second seed Fabiano Caruana occupy the third spot with two points.

Viswanathan Anand and Magnus Carlsen in their third-round battle at the Grenke Chess Classic on Tuesday.   -  Georgios Souleidis/ Grenke Chess Classic

Viswanathan Anand’s defence stood firm against World champion Magnus Carlsen and resulted in a 63-move draw in the third round of the Grenke Chess Classic here on Monday.

Looking to repeat the victories in this year’s Tata Steel tournament and the Shamkir Masters, Carlsen pressed hard for a decisive advantage from the white side of this English Opening game. After the 12th move, Anand looked in trouble. But thereafter, Anand’s gritty display against a tenacious Carlsen led the match to a hard-earned draw for the third-seeded Indian.

After Peter Svidler posted a second win, Carlsen shared the lead with the Russian at 2.5 points. Anand and second seed Fabiano Caruana occupy the third spot with two points.

Anand started his campaign with black pieces and drew in just 20 moves against Frenchman Maxime Vachier-Lagrave. In the second round, Anand defeated 14-year-old German prodigy Vincent Keymer in 43 moves. Keymer won the Open event here last year to gain a berth in this field.

After five rounds of this 10-player round-robin event, the action will move to Baden Baden for the remaining four rounds.

Third round results:

Magnus Carlsen (Nor, 2.5) drew with Viswanathan Anand (2); Peter Svidler (Rus, 2.5) bt Georg Meier (Ger, 1); Vincent Keymer (Ger, 0) lost to Fabiano Caruana (USA, 2); Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (Fra, 1.5) drew with Arkadij Naiditsch (Aze, 1); Levon Aronian (Arm, 1.5) drew with Francisco Vallejo Pons (Esp, 1).