Anand loses to Ivanchuk, slips to overall 3rd position

Anand loses to Ivanchuk, slips to overall 3rd position

The Indian ace went down in the rapid game with black pieces after drawing the blindfold affair. By virtue of the 0.5-1.5 defeat against Ivanchuk, Anand lost his second place in the combined standings to Magnus Carlsen.

However, it turned out to be a nail-biting day that began on a sombre note as all the six blindfold games ended in draws while rapid version witnessed results. Overnight leader Levon Aronian of Armenia also suffered his first defeat in the event after he was floored by Russian Alexander Grischuk in the rapid game.

However, the Armenian still remained at the top of the table in the combined standings on 8.5 points, a full point ahead of Carlsen. Anand slipped to the joint third spot on seven points with Grischhuk as five more rounds or 10 games still remain in this unique event with one blindfold and one rapid game in each round.

In the blindfold section, the lead positions remained unchanged and Aronian remains at the helm with 4.5 points in his kitty. Anand, Carlsen and Boris Gelfand of Israel share the second spot here on 3.5 points each. In the rapid section, Carlsen emerged as the new sole leader following the demolition of Sergey Karjakin of Russia. The Norwegian has 4.5 points while Aronian shares the second spot a half point adrift.

Anand and Grischuk are joint third here too with 3.5 points apiece. Anand and Ivanchuk exchanged ideas in a complex Ruy Lopez in their blindfold game where the former played white.

The Indian managed to keep the initiative and Ivanchuk, who celebrated his 42nd birthday today, had good reason to fear that his party was going to be spoilt. Anand would have been a healthy pawn up but for an error on the 37th move that allowed Ivanchuk to claw back. The Ukrainian was even a bit better towards the end, but after 49 moves the game was drawn.

Ivanchuk collected his present in the rapid game. Playing a seemingly innocuous opening he avoided any theoretical discussions, but remained ambitious. Black was doing fine in the ensuing middle game, but the freeing central thrust came too early. Ivanchuk suddenly took over the initiative as Anand sacrificed a piece to stop white's menacing looking passed pawn.

The hope for counterplay did not materialise and Anand's position disintegrated quickly. The game lasted 41 moves and also gave Ivanchuk a 1000 euros extra prize for the game of the day.

Results round six:

Blindfold: Boris Gelfand (ISR) drew with Hikaru Nakamura (USA); Alexander Grischuk (RUS) drew with Levon Aronian (ARM); Vishwanathan Anand (Ind) drew with Vassily Ivanchuk (UKR); Veselin Topalov (BUL) drew with Vugar Gashimov (AZE); Vladimir Kramnik (RUS) drew with Anish Giri (NED); Sergey Karjakin (RUS) drew with Magnus Carlsen (NOR).

Rapid: Nakamura lost to Gelfand; Aronian lost to Grischuk; Ivanchuk beat Anand; Gashimov beat Topalov; Giri lost to Kramnik; Carlsen beat Karjakin. Combined standings after round six: 1. Aronian (8.5 points); 2. Carlsen (7.5); 3-4. Anand, Grischuk (7 each);  5. Gelfand (6); 6-9. Gashimov, Ivanchuk, Karjakin, Topalov (5.5 each); 10-11. Kramnik, Nakamura (5 each); 12. Giri (4).