Tata Steel Chess: Second straight win keeps Anand ahead with Carlsen

Viswanathan Anand produced another clinical performance to stop Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and stays in joint-lead.

File image of Viswanathan Anand.   -  PTI

A day after beating Vladimir Kramnik, Viswanathan Anand produced another clinical performance to stop Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and stayed in the lead with Magnus Carlsen at
5.5 points after eight rounds of the Tata Steel Masters chess tournament here on Sunday.

Anand, armed with a 4-0 head-to-head record against Mamedyarov in the classical time-format, improved the record further following the triumph in the advanced variation of French Defence in 29 moves.

Mamedyarov, playing black, faltered on the 19th move when he pushed a queenside-pawn. An alert Anand seized the opportunity by breaking the central pawn-structure. Mamedyarov hastened the end by making a couple of rash rook moves which made things easy for Anand.

A little earlier, Carlsen surged ahead with a 40-move triumph over Hungarian Richard Rapport. The other three overnight leaders, Ian Nepomniachtchi, Anish Giri and Ding Liren were engaged in drawn encounters. In fact, Vidit Gujarati proved equal to Giri in 36 moves.

Kramnik’s nightmare continued when he lost to Poland’s Jan-Krzysztof Duda for his fourth defeat in the competition.

In the Challengers section, playing black, R. Praggnanandhaa (3.5) lost for the second time after facing Russia’s Andrey Esipenko (5.5).

Eighth-round results: Viswanathan Anand (5.5) bt Shakhriyar Mamedyarov
(Aze, 3); Vidit Gujarati (4) drew with Anish Giri (Ned, 5) Magnus Carlsen (Nor, 5) bt Richard Rapport (Hun, 3); Ding Liren (Chn, 5) drew with Ian Nepomniachtchi (Rus, 5); Jorden van Foreest (Ned, 2.5) drew with Teimour Radjabov (Aze, 4.5); Jan-Krzysztof Duda (Pol, 4) bt
Vladimir Kramnik (Rus, 2); Vladimir Fedoseev (Rus, 3.5) bt Samuel Shankland (USA, 3.5).