Nakamura spoils Anand's birthday party

In the only decisive game of the day, 47-year-old Anand missed out on a few opportunities to nail Nakamura in their Queen’s Gambit Declined game.

Vishy Anand

Viswanathan Anand has lost eight of the nine decisive encounters against Hikaru Nakamura.   -  PTI

Hikaru Nakamura spoilt Viswanathan Anand’s birthday party by handing out a 43-move defeat in the third round of the London Chess Classic here on Sunday.

In the only decisive game of the day, 47-year-old Anand missed out on a few opportunities to nail Nakamura in their Queen’s Gambit Declined game. Once Anand missed a few favourable continuations, Nakamura tightened his grip after he forced a bargain of the black queen for a rook and a minor piece. Before long, Nakamura’s queen proved too powerful for the rook-bishop combination.

Incidentally, the victory was Nakamura’s eighth over Anand in nine decisive encounters. This prompted Nakamura to say, “There are certain people you are doing well against and certain people you don’t do well against. I do well against Vishy, but don’t do well against Magnus (Carlsen) or Levon (Aronian).”

The defeat pushed Anand down to sixth spot with 1.5 points. USA’s Wesley So (2.5) stayed in the lead following a draw with Aronian.

Meanwhile, in the London FIDE Open, young Aravindh Chithambaram is among the three leaders, with four points, after the fourth round. Switzerland’s Sebastian Bogner and USA’s Alexander Shabalov are the other two leaders.

Chithambaram, seeded 17th in a formidable field, has so far defeated Reinhard Kuntner (Austria, 2086), Cordes Hans-Joerg (Germany, 2259), Jovanka Houska (England, 2397) and Florian Handke (Germany, 2515), in that order.

The results:

Fourth round: Hikaru Nakamura (US, 1.5) bt Viswanathan Anand (1.5); Levon Aronian (Arm, 2) drew with Wesley So (US, 2.5); Fabiano Caruana (US, 2) drew with Vladimir Kramnik (2); Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (Fra, 1) drew with Veselin Topalov (Bul, 0.5); Michael Adams (Eng, 0.5) drew with Anish Giri (1.5).

Fifth round pairings: Anand-Adams; Giri-So; Caruana-Aronian; Topalov-Nakamura; Kramnik-Vachier