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Battered Viswanathan Anand looks to finish on respectable note

Despite an early defeat,Anand moves up to joint-fourth after a win over Alexander Morozevich.

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi |
June 21, 2013 2:40:13 am

After six rounds,it has been a bit of a surprise to see Hikaru Nakamura and Boris Gelfand occupy the top two spots at the category-22 Tal Memorial chess tournament. The greater shock though,was reserved for the other end of the table. The current and former World Champions,Viswanathan Anand and Vladimir Kramnik,bring up the rear.

Despite an early defeat to 20-year old Italian Fabiano Caruana,Anand moved up to joint-fourth after a win over Alexander Morozevich. However,losses in successive rounds to Mangus Carlsen and Nakamura have left Anand tied for the 8th to 10th spots along with Kramnik and Morozevich.

While his tournament form may have been disappointing,what proved more worrying for Anand was his crushing loss,in just 29 moves,to Carlsen. This was the last time the World Champion and the contender would be facing off before the world title bout in November this year,and the nature of his win meant Carlsen would go in with a lot of confidence,if not as the favourite.

Carlsen too has had a mixed tournament by his standards,slipping to a loss against Caruana after being gifted a win in the opening match by Kramnik. However,the win against Anand got the Norwegian’s campaign back on track and he now sits joint-third,a point off leader Nakamura.

Nakamura,on the other hand,has been on a storming run,registering four wins in the last five rounds.

He started with a surprise loss to Shakhriyar Mamedyarov,but bounced back to beat Caruana,Kramnik,Karjakin and Anand,all top-ten players. Anand has three more rounds to rescue his tournament,the Indian’s last before the match in Chennai,and will be facing Mamedyarov,Kramnik and Sergey Karjakin in his remaining games.

Standings after round six: 1. Hikaru Nakamura (4.5 pts),2. Boris Gelfand (4),3-4. Shakhriyar Mamedyarov,Magnus Carlsen (3.5),5-6. Dmitry Andreikin,Fabiano Caruana (3),7. Sergey Karjakin (2.5),8-10. Vladimir Kramnik,Viswanathan Anand,Alexander Morozevich.

Pairings,round seven: Magnus Carlsen vs Morozevich,Hikaru Nakamura vs Boris Gelfand,Shakhriyar Mamedyarov vs Viswanathan Anand,Vladimir Kramnik vs Dmitry Andreikin,Sergey Karjakin vs Fabiano Caruana.

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