Brilliant Anand outwits Short

Indian ace joins McShane on top

After two draws and a victory in the first three rounds, Anand celebrated his birthday in style, throwing caution to the winds in the game against Short, a former World Championship challenger.

Englishman McShane yet again survived some anxious moments in the tournament and finally drew with compatriot Michael Adams to remain in  joint lead with the Indian legend.

The other two bigwigs –Magnus Carlsen of Norway and Vladimir Kramnik of Russia also secured victories at the expense of Hikaru Nakamura of the United States and David Howell of England respectively.

With just three rounds to go in the eight-players round-robin tournament, Anand and McShane have eight points each in the soccer-like scoring system in place here and they lead Kramnik by a point.

Magnus Carlsen is in fourth with six points while Hikaru Nakamura is sharing the fifth spot with Michael Adams. Howell is on two points, a full point clear of Nigel Short.

The game against Short saw fortunes fluctuating a few times. The Grand-prix attack as white against the Sicilian by the English met some original play by Anand and the Indian ace was on top with some finely crafted moves leading to slightly better prospect in the ensuing middle game. Short erred and was saddled with a passive but tenable position and he continued working for counter play that Anand eventually allowed. Short may have been on top towards the end of the game but earlier mistakes had eaten a lot of time on his clock.

Short uncorked a combination with a piece sacrifice that boomeranged in no time as Anand had seen the perfect riposte. Short fell on his sword allowing a checkmate to end matters soon after.

In the open tournament being played simultaneously, Indian IM Sahaj Grover suffered a defeat at the hands of top seeded Boris Avrukh of Israel.

The best Indian bet in the fray, former world junior champion Abhijeet Gupta won his game against Rafael Rodriguez Lopez of Spain while Saptarshi Roy Chowdhury played out a draw with his lower ranked opponent.

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