Viswanathan Anand punished a passive streak from Alireza Firouzja in 47 moves to complete a hat-trick of defeats for the Iranian youngster in the Tata Steel Masters chess tournament here on Saturday.

In this Nimzo-Indian game where, in an unusual sequence, Firouzja moved his king nine successive times, Anand progressively improved his position and forced his hapless rival to resign.

Anand’s 11th-round win, his second in the competition, raised his tally to 5.5 and kept him in the joint-sixth spot. For Firouzja, who led the event in the early rounds, the defeat followed his losses to Magnus Carlsen and leader Fabiano Caruana.

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With two rounds to go, Caruana (8) enlarged his lead to one point after beating last-man Vladislav Kovalev. Carlsen (7) stayed in the second spot after being held by Poland’s Jan-Krzysztof Duda.

In the Challengers category, Surya Shekhar Ganguly (6) drew with Nils Grandelius and Nihal Sarin (5.5) proved equal to Erwin L’Ami. David Anton Guijarro (8) leads the field.


11th round results: Alireza Firouzja (FIDE, 5.5) lost to Viswanathan Anand (5.5); Vladislav Kovalev (Blr, 3) lost to Fabiano Caruana (USA, 8); Jan-Krzysztof Duda (Pol, 6) drew with Magnus Carlsen (Nor, 7); Wesley So (USA, 6.5) drew with Jeffery Xiong (USA, 5); Vladislav Artemiev (Rus, 5.5) bt Jorden van Foreest (Ned, 6); Anish Giri (Ned, 5.5) drew with Yu Yangi (Chn, 4); Nikita Vitiugov (Rus, 4) drew with Daniil Dubov (Rus, 5.5).