Viswanathan Anand scored his first victory after producing a flawless performance to outwit USA’s Jeffery Xiong in 43 moves in the fifth round of Tata Steel Masters chess tournament here on Thursday.
When the action resumed after a day's rest, the only other winner was Alireza Firouzja who stunned Anish Giri to join Wesley So in the lead at 3.5 points. Anand, at 2.5 points, shares the sixth spot with Magnus Carlsen and three others.
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Anand, facing Xiong’s French Defence, came out stronger in the rook-pawn ending after a series of exchanges. Anand’s well-placed central pawns and better-positioned rook proved decisive.
In Category ‘B’, overnight leader Surya Shekhar Ganguly drew with David Anton Guijarro in 40 moves. He was joined in the lead at 3.5 points by Pavel Eljanov, who defeated Anton Smirnov, and Erwin L’Ami, the conqueror of Dinara Saduakassova.
Nihal Sarin (2.5), the other Indian in the fray, however, lost his first game after running into Lucas van Foreest.
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