Karjakin holds Anand

Karjakin holds Anand

World champion Viswanathan Anand’s winless streak continued as he played out a tame draw against Sergey Karjakin of Russia — his fourth in as many games — in the fourth round of fifth Final Masters here.

Playing in his first tournament after his world championship triumph in Moscow earlier this year, Anand could not force a win against Karjakin and inched himself up to four points under the soccer-like scoring system in place to occupy the fourth spot.

Italian Fabiano Caruana surged ahead of the field with a crushing victory over Francisco Vallejo Pons of Spain. The other game of the day was fought intensely but Armenian Levon Aronian missed a simple win before finally drawing with world number one Magnus Carlsen of Norway.

With six rounds still remaining in the super tournament, Caruana took his tally to 10 points with his third victory out of four games. Aronian is four-point behind Caruana. Carlsen moved to third spot on five points while Karjakin and Vallejo Pons share the fifth spot on two points in the six-player double round-robin event.

Anand did not have any troubles as black but did not get any chance either against Karjakin who opened with the queen pawn. The Indian ace went for the Slav defense, an opening that had served him quite well in the world championship match against Boris Gelfand of Israel.

Karjakin went for an early trading of light square Bishop which was indication enough that the Russian was hoping for a safe game with little risk. Anand exchanged pieces at regular intervals and just had to find resources which maintained the balance even though the position appeared to be slightly better for white.

Results (round IV): Sergey Karjakin (Rus, 2) drew with Viswanathan Anand (Ind, 4); Fabiano Caruana (Ita, 10) bt Francisco Vallejo Pons (Esp, 2); Magnus Carlsen (Nor, 5) drew with Levon Aronian (Arm, 6).

The moves: Sergey vs Anand: 1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. e3 Bf5 5. Nc3 a6 6. Bd3 Bxd3 7. Qxd3 e6 8. O-O Bb4 9. a3 Be7 10. e4 dxe4 11. Nxe4 Nxe4 12. Qxe4 Nd7 13. Bf4 O-O 14. Rad1 Re8 15. Rd3 Nf8 16. Rb3 Qc8 17. Rc1 Ng6 18. Bg3 Qd7 19. h4 h5 20. Ne5 Nxe5 21. Bxe5 f6 22. Bg3 Bf8 23. Rd3 Qf7 24. Bf4 Rad8 25. Rcd1 Bd6 26. Bxd6 Rxd6 27. a4 Red8 28. b3 R6d7 29. R1d2 Rd6 30. Rd1 R6d7 31. R1d2 game drawn.