Quite often in the past when both Viswanathan Anand and Magnus Carlsen have played in the same tournament,it has often been the case that the Norwegian contends for the top places while the Indian makes a grim attempt to climb up the table. After three rounds at the Tal Memorial though,both the World Champion and the contender have had a rough start,sharing the fifth to seventh spots with the unlikely figure of Dmitry Andreikin,the lowest ranked player in the Category-22 tournament.
Anand started of with a loss against the red-hot Fabiano Caruana,and could only manage a draw in the next round against Andreikin. The Indian however bounced back with a win in the third round against Alexander Morozevich after punishing the Russian for pushing a drawn position for a win. Both decisive results involving Anand have come in the Ruy Lopez,an opening that has proved a mixed bag for him in the recent past.
If Anand’s form has been patchy,Carlsen has enjoyed a poor start to the tournament by his standards too. He beat Vladimir Kramnik in the first round,but that was mainly due to the Russian repeatedly blundering away a drawn endgame. Sergey Karjakin had a minimal advantage but Carlsen held him to a comfortable draw in the next round. In the third,Caruana collected his second big name scalp of the tournament when he felled the Norwegian. Surprisingly,it was Carlsen’s turn to err in the rook and pawn endgame,a phase he is considered to be a master of.
Nakamuras turn of fortune
Like Caruana,Nakamura too has enjoyed a great start,though in his case it is more of a turn-around. He lost the first game against Shakhriyar Mamedyarov,but hit back with successive wins to share top place with the Italian. The Azeri and Boris Gelfand are also on two points and in the lead.
Alexander Morozevich vs Vladimir Kramnik,Sergey Karjakin vs Shakhriyar Mamedyarov,Fabiano Caruana vs Hikaru Nakamura,Dmitry Andreikin vs Magnus Carlsen,Vishy Anand vs Boris Gelfand.
Standings after round three:
1-4. Gelfand,Nakamura,Caruana,Mamedyarov; 5-7. Anand,Carlsen,Andreikin; 8-9. Karjakin,Morozevich; 10. Kramnik.