Karjakin beats Anand, takes lead

With his second win in the World Chess Candidates tournament, Karjakin has taken the sole lead with three points. Anand holds the third spot along with Anish Giri and Peter Svidler with another 10 rounds remaining in this double round-robin event featuring eight players.

Viswanathan Anand had a setback in the fourth round of the Candidates Tournament.   -  The Hindu

Viswanathan Anand suffered a setback in the World Chess Candidates tournament, losing to Russia’s Sergey Karjakin in the fourth round in Moscow on Tuesday. With his second win in the tournament, Karjakin has taken the sole lead with three points. But another 10 rounds remain in this double round-robin event featuring eight players.

Anand remains on two points, the same as Netherland’s Anish Giri, who drew with American Hikaru Nakamura. The loss, coming in after a fine start that started with a victory over Topalov and two draws, put Anand on the backfoot in the biggest challenge of this year for the Indian ace.

It turned out to be an irregular opening choice by Karjakin wherein Anand was close to equalising but could not quite get there as Karjakin was on his toes looking for the initiative. The middle game was fought hard but Anand was on the defensive and when the queens got traded it was clear that the Indian was up for a long defensive challenge.

Contrary to his known defensive skills, Anand could not put up a stiff defense and his position collapsed in quick time. With his first loss in four games, Anand slipped back to a fifty percent score while Karjakin rose to be on three points out of a possible four.

Levon Aronian of Armenia got the draw he was looking for against Peter Svidler of Russia, while Dutchman Anish Giri got his preparation rolling against Hikaru Nakamura of United States to force a draw in the other games of the day.

For Anand, it has always been about comebacks and the Indian will be itching to do an encore. It was a missed opportunity in the middle game that cost the Indian dearly and a lot has to be done to control the damage the loss incurred.

As things stand, Karjakin holds solo lead on three points out of a possible four, while Aronian is on second spot having 2.5 points under his belt. Anish Giri holds the third spot on two points along with Peter Svidler and Anand and while the first two have drawn all their games, Anand has been involved in a win and a loss.

The Candidates decides the next challenger to incumbent World Champion Magnus Carlsen of Norway. There are 14 rounds in all before the winner of this strong tournament is decided.

The results: Round 4: Sergey Karjakin (Rus, 3) beat V Anand (Ind, 2): Peter Svidler (Rus, 2) drewwith Veselin Topalov (Bul, 1); Hikaru Nakamura (Usa, 1.5) drew with Anish Giri (Ned, 2); Fabiano Caruana (Usa, 1.5) playing Veselin Topalov (Bul, 0.5).

(With inputs from Agencies)