Posted on: January 22, 2013

Anand sails past Wely while Harikrishna draws with Sokolov

By Ravi Kumar

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Anand sails past Wely while Harikrishna draws with Sokolov

World champion Viswanathan Anand defeated Loek Van Wely of Holland to maintain joint lead after the seventh round of the 75th Tata Steel Chess tournament in Wijk Aan Zee, The Netherlands.

Getting two draws against Magnus Carlsen of Norway and fellow Indian player P Harikrishna after the first rest day, Anand made a mockery of the defences of Van Wely in style displaying solid technique to take his points tally to five.

Anand’s moves were evident right from the start that sealed the fate of the game. There was no proper reply from Van Wely for the moves displayed by Anand, which helped him in reaching the top spot.

Meanwhile, Magnus Carlsen resorted to a draw with Hungarian Peter Leko to reflect Anand on points and the two players are now followed by Hikaru Nakamura of United States and Sergey Karjakin of Russia a half point behind.

There are six rounds still to be finished in the 14-players round-robin tournament in which Harikrishna is placed in the fifth spot with Levon Aronian of Armenia on four points.

There was something even more left with Fabiano Caruana of Italy on three points along with Van Wely and Chinese Wang Hao for the joint eighth sport while Dutch duo of Anish Giri and Erwin L'Ami on par with Yifan Hou of China staying in 11th spot with 2.5 points each.

Ivan Sokolov of Holland managed a draw with Harikrishna in seventh round, is now at the bottom of the tables after getting just two points from his seven games.

Most of the players were favoring a draw resulting in a dull progress of the tournament’s schedule. Such was the slow pace that only Anand and Nakamura could score victories against their opponents. The US Grandmaster was elated after beating his nemesis Wang Hao.

Even, Aronian came close to securing his third game in quick succession with Sergey Karjakin getting into the act in the final hour. Yifan Hou advanced further but could only manage to share the point with Caruana while L'Ami and Giri played an easy draw between themselves. Anand was taken aback early as Van Wely went for the Scandinavian defence and evidently squared in the initial stages of the middle game.

Meanwhile, on his 18th turn, the Dutch GM got away with the thread of the position and paved for a breakthrough that totally got away with the key squares.

Anand got rid of the pawn in quick time after which he entered a rook and minor piece endgame. Another mistake was by Van Wely that ultimately has sealed the game in Anand's favour in 37 moves.

Harikrishna had to favor a draw with Sokolov from a Nimzo Indian defence where the latter managed with white. Sokolov ensured that he has the advantage but could not maintained it till the end because of which the position of Harikrishna remained solid.

None of the players could stabilize their positions with the rook and minor piece endgame and the draw was the only option that was observed in 45 moves.

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