Posted on: June 22, 2013

Tal Memorial Chess tournament: Viswanathan Anand drew with Shahkriyar Mamedyarov

By Antara Das

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Tal Memorial Chess tournament: Viswanathan Anand drew with Shahkriyar Mamedyarov

Viswanathan Anand emerged from his slump with a draw in round seven of the Tal Memorial Chess tournament, to record points for the first time in three games on Thursday.

Anand had fallen to a 29-move loss to Magnus Carlsen in round five, which was immediately followed by another reversal against Hikaru Nakamura. Anand drew with Shahkriyar Mamedyarov on Friday to rise up from the bottom of the table. Currently, he is positioned for the seventh to ninth places, with Vladimir Kramnik in tenth place. No doubt, Kramnik's poor tournament went on, as he lost to the lowest ranked player in the frey--Dmitry Andreikin. In another game, Boris Gelfand ousted overnight leader Hikaru Nakamura to haul the sole-lead position, with a couple of rounds to go.

Anand's objective was to return on track with a straightforward game after his recent disasters. Truly he achieved it without fuss against Mamedyarov. Despite of falling short of adventure, it was practical for the World Champion to opt for a risk-free as well as exchange-intensive approach in the Semi-Slav set up. Even after remaining in a dodgy form, he played black against Mamedyarov who was joint-third and stayed undefeated in this tournament.

Anand leveled out of the opening and following a series of exchanges; it was clear, around the 25th move that the game was advancing towards a draw. A symmetrical pawn structure as well as equally active rook and minor piece for either side implied that there was no scope for a result. Since the rules of the tournament forbade the signing of early draws, Mamedyarov and Anand continued to play till the 40th move before splitting the point.

On the top board, actually, the game between Nakamura and Gelfand, who was half a point lagging behind in second place, proved to be more interesting. To be precise, Boris Gelfand who went for the Sicilian defence and out of the Sveshnikov variation sprang a complex position. Nakamura erred after allowing Gelfand's bishops to occupy the center of the board and from this point, his game collapsed rapidly. As a result, it pushed last year's World Championship challenger to the apex spot. Anand is supposed to play with Kramnik using white pieces on Saturday.

Results indicate that S Mamedyarov drew with V Anand while H Nakamura lost to B Gelfand. On the other side, V Kramnik lost to D Andreikin while M Carlsen drew with A Morozevich and S Karjakin drew with F Caruana.

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