World’s third youngest Grandmaster R. Praggnanandhaa beat highly regarded Pavel Eljanov of Ukraine but five-time World Champion Viswanathan Anand was held to a draw by Rasmus Svane in the third round of Isle of Man International chess tournament here Tuesday.
Praggnanandhaa is just 13 years old but the boy is already going places and this was his second win against a 2700 Grandmaster after beating English David Howell in the same tournament last year.
The Sicilian Classical met with one of the topical variation where the young Indian played white and unleashed his dangerous tactics in the middle game. Praggnanandhaa was able to win a rook for knight when the dust subsided.
Eljanov fought on but the teenager was spot on in finding the technical nuances and brought home full points in the 64-move encounter.
But experienced Anand was held to his second draw in as many games after the scare he suffered in the opener against another teenager Raunak Sadhwani.
Svane did not have to do much with white pieces out of a queen pawn opening. It was a level position in the middle game where the players decided to repeat and split the point in mere 24 moves.
Former world junior champion Abhijeet Gupta played out a draw with Boris Gelfand of Israel.
Gupta was, in fact, pressing for a victory and Gelfand walked out with a pretty piece sacrifice in the endgame.
With six rounds still to come in the £133,000 tournament, as many as six players maintained a clean slate with three victories in as many rounds. They are — Jeffery Xiong of the United States, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave of France, Pavel Tregubov of Russia, Arkadij Naiditsch of Azerbaijan, Wang Hao of China and Erwin L’Ami of Holland.
As many as 20 players trail the leaders by half a point, including five Indians -- Vidit Gujrathi, Vaibhav Suri, Praggnanandhaa, .B Adhiban and Gupta.
Anand, on two points, is currently in the joint 26th position but it’s clear that things can only get better for the Indian heavyweight in the rounds to come.
The two big winners of the second round, V. Vishnu Prasanna and Harsha Bharthakoti ran in to Jeffery Xiong and L’Ami respectively and did not survive the complexities.
Vidit Gujrathi and Vaibhav Suri quickly signed peace while Adhiban won a finely crafted game against compatriot Prithu Gupta.
Among other Indians in the fray, M. Shyam Sundar did well to hold Gawain Jones of England but Surya Shekhar Ganguly crashed to a shock defeat at the hands of Georg Seul of Germany.