Viswanathan Anand and Vladimir Kramnik played out a draw that was in keeping with their current form in the penultimate round of the Tal Memorial on Saturday. Both players have had a disastrous trounament and when they faced off in the eighth round,they blitzed out a quick draw. Anand is currently eighth while Kramnik is last,with one round to go in the 10-player round robin tournament.
Elsewhere,Boris Gelfand continued to stay in the lead with a draw against Shakhriyar Mamedyarov while Magnus Carlsen moved upto second with a win over Hikaru Nakamura. Fabiano Caruana revived a campaign that began with wins over Carlsen and Anand,but sunsequently faltered,with a win over Dmitry Andreikin.
Anand opened with the queen pawn and Kramnik replied with the Nimzo Indian. Anand’s pawn push on e4 came much earlier than theory recommended,which meant Kramnik was able to desolve any kind of tension there was in the center of the board.
By the 15th move,white was left with doubled pawns on the c file and an isolated a pawn apart from the pawn bank on the king side. There were too few pieces on the board for black to take any kind of advantage while his light bishop too was penned in for the moment. Both sides were more than happy to keep trading pieces off the board until a rook and pawn end game emerged which was a theoretical draw.
The speed at which the draw was played out both sides had more than an hour and a half on the cock when they agreed to split the point probably meant neither side really got out of their preparation.
In a wild game that threw the opening book out of the window very early on,Carlsen outplayed Nakamura in the middle game with a central pawn roll that eventually proved too difficult to stop. Nakamura had enjoyed the sole lead few rounds back but the back-to-back losses have pushed him a point behind Gelfand. The win,on the other hand,pushed Carlsen up to second place.
Results,round eight: Viswanathan Anand drew with Vladimir Kramnik,Alexander Morozevich lost to Fabiano Caruana,Dmitry Andreikin drew with Sergey Karjakin,Magnus Carlsen bt Hikaru Nakamura,Boris Gelfand drew with Shakhriyar Mamedyarov,
Rankings after round eight: 1. Boris Gelfand (5.5 pts); 2. Magnus Carlsen (5); 3-6. Shakhriyar Mamedyarov,Dmitry Andreikin,Hikaru Nakamura,Fabiano Caruana (4.5); 7. Sergey Karjakin (3.5),8. Vishy Anand (3),9-10. Alexander Morozevich,Vladimir Kramnik (2.5).
Pairings,last round: Nakamura vs Morozevich,Mamedyarov vs Carlsen,Kramnik vs Gelfand,Karjakin vs Anand,Caruana vs Andreikin.