Victorious Nepomniachtchi joins Anand, Carlsen in the lead

In the Challengers section, R. Praggnanandhaa made light of a rating difference of a whopping 160 points to hold Anton Korobov, rated 2699, in 52 moves.

File image of Viswanathan Anand. The Indian played out a risk-free 42-move draw with black pieces against Richard Rapport and stayed in the lead with Magnus Carlsen and a victorious Ian Nepomniachtchi after nine rounds of the Tata Steel Masters chess tournament   -  PTI

Viswanathan Anand played out a risk-free 42-move draw with black pieces against Richard Rapport and stayed in the lead with Magnus Carlsen and a victorious Ian Nepomniachtchi after nine rounds of the Tata Steel Masters chess tournament here on Tuesday.

Nepomniachtchi, the day’s only winner, was the first to reach six points after beating Vidit Gujarati in 37 moves. Carlsen, playing black, drew with USA’s Samuel Shankland before Anand became part of the three-man leaders’ group.

Briefly, Ding Liren held some chances of joining the leaders by gaining clear advantage against Vladimir Kramnik but eventually drew in 44 moves. The Chinese stayed in the company of Anish Giri at 5.5 points. Four rounds remain.

In the Challengers section, R. Praggnanandhaa made light of a rating difference of a whopping 160 points to hold Anton Korobov, rated 2699, in 52 moves.

For a day, the action moves to nearby Leiden, where the 10th round will feature Anand playing black against Carlsen.

Ninth-round results: Richard Rapport (Hun, 3.5) drew with Viswanathan Anand (6); Ian Nepomniachtchi (Rus, 6) bt Vidit  Gujarati (4); Samuel Shankland (USA, 4) drew with Magnus Carlsen (Nor, 6); Vladimir Kramnik (Rus, 2.5) drew with Ding Liren (Chn, 5.5); Anish Giri (Ned, 5.5) drew with Jorden van Foreest (Ned, 3); Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Aze, 3.5) drew with Jan-Krzysztof Duda (Pol, 4.5).