Five-time World Champion Viswanathan Anand scored an expected victory over young gun Raunak Sadhwani while Grandmaster S Kidambi caused a huge flutter by holding Vladimir Kramnik to a draw in the first round of Isle of Man International Chess tournament here.
On what turned out to be a tough day for the highly rated and fancied players, Anand maintained his cool amidst wild complications that once threatened to ruin his position against young International Master Sadhwani who played with white.
Seeded sixth here, Anand went for the variation he had chosen to beat Eric Hansen of Canada in the just-concluded Chess Olympiad but clearly the Nagpur kid was much better prepared. The idol faced some tough time before he could reach an endgame where his extra pawn did the talking.
Kidambi showed his solid game against fourth seed Kramnik. The Chennai based is known for his deep opening knowledge and that helped initially in maintaining the balance.
Once the endgame approached, former World Champion Kramnik tried many tricks but they were all successfully thwarted by the Indian.
This was not all from the strong Indian contingent as IM C R G Krishna also played out a draw with Wesley So of the United States.
Krishna traded troubled waters for a long time but stood up float in what was a dramatic game of the day.
Another young IM Harshit Raja came up with flying colours holding Richard Rapport of Hungary to a draw while Arjun Kalyan also hogged the limelight by splitting points with Le Quang Leim of Vietnam.
With eight rounds still to come in what is touted as the toughest open tournament of the world, 11-year old Pranav Anand also got a good grade in the opener holding regarded Grandmaster Gregory Kaidanov of the United States to a draw.
The Indian saga is likely to continue here as there are 35 Indians in the fray out of 165 participants.
On the flip side from the Indian perspective, Grandmaster Surya Shekhar Ganguly was held to a draw by veteran GM Juan Manual Bellon of Sweden.
The Isle of Man International will be played over nine rounds having a first prize of 50000 Pounds Sterling — a never before first prize for an open tournament.
The second round will witness some interesting clashes as well but the trend of upsets is likely to continue in to the half way stage till the field settles down.
Important Results after Round 1 (Indians unless stated): S Kidambi drew with Vladimir Kramnik (RUS); Wesley So (USA) drew with C R G Krishna; Raunak Sadhwani lost to Viswanathan Anand ; Sergey Karjakin (RUS,) beat Soumya Swaminathan; Richard Rapport (HUN,) drew with Harshit Raja; Arjun Kalyan drew with Le Quang Liem (VIE,); David Howell (ENG) drew with Rahul Srivastava; Hemant Sharma drew with Gawain Jones (ENG); Alexie Shirov (ESP) drew with S Ravi Teja; Surya Shekhar Ganguly drew with Juan Manual Bellon Lopez (SWE); R Vaishali drew with Bogdan-Daniel Deac (ROU).