Norway chess: Victorious Anand joins leaders

An unbeaten Anand’s first victory raised his tally to 3.5 points and saw him share the lead with Magnus Carlsen, Levon Aronian and Wesley So.

In Ruy Lopez, Anand let Lagrave capture a black rook with a knight on the 26th move to gain psychological edge.   -  AP

 

Viswanathan Anand broke the sequence of draws with a resounding victory with black pieces against Frenchman Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and joined the leaders following the seventh round of Norway chess tournament here on Tuesday.

An unbeaten Anand’s first victory raised his tally to 3.5 points and saw him share the lead with Magnus Carlsen, Levon Aronian and Wesley So. All other boards witnessed drawn encounters. Two rounds remain.

In Ruy Lopez, Anand let Lagrave capture a black rook with a knight on the 26th move and it was this judgement helped the five-time World champion gain a psychological edge.

“Even a little bit later I realised that I’m better,” said Anand.

“It’s a strange sensation that you’re not realizing what’s happening at first.”

Anand captured a central pawn and soon the queens were off the board. Immediately, Lagrave chose to return the rook for a bishop. This spelt doom for the Frenchman and Anand tightened the noose in 40 moves.

Results: Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (Fra, 2/6) lost to Viswanathan Anand (3.5/6); Sergey Karjakin (Rus, 3/6) drew with Levon Aronian (Arm, 3.5/7); Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Aze, 3/7) drew with Wesley So (USA, 3.5/6); Fabiano Caruana (USA, 3/6) drew with Hikaru Nakamura (USA, 3/6); Magnus Carlsen (3.5/6) bye; Eighth-round pairings: Anand-Caruana; Carlsen-Mamedyarov; So-Lagrave; Nakamura-Karjakin; Aronian bye