Anand held; HarikrViswanathan Anand ishna beats Giri

World champion Viswanathan Anand played out a quick draw with Hikaru Nakamura of United States while debutant P Harikrishna beat local player Anish Giri in the first round of the ‘A’ group of Tata Steel chess tournament that got underway here.

Nakamura went for a surprise in the French defense as black not giving much to the Indian ace and it was a fairly quick draw. Harikrishna fought on a drawn endgame for a long time and capitalised on his rival’s errors to score victory in his first game.

Apart from Harikrishna, only Sergey Karjakin of Russia could force a victory against Chinese girl Yifan Hou. World number one Magnus Carlsen also played out a draw with Fabiano Caruana of Italy in a rather sedate start while world number three Levon Aronian could not break the ice against Loek Van Wely.

Harikrishna qualified for the premier section and became the first Indian after Anand to play in a category-20 tournament. The qualification had happened last year when the Hyderabad-based player had won the ‘B’ group. Anish Giri also went for the French defense and the Rubenstein variation gave him a level rook and pawns endgame that should have been a draw.

Results (round I): Levon Aornian (Arm) drew with Loek Van Wely (Ned); Magnus Carlsen (Nor) drew with Fabiano Caruana (Ita); P Harikrishna (Ind) bt Anish Giri (Ned); V Anand (Ind) drew with Hikaru Nakamura (USA): Ivan Sokolov (Ned) drew with Wang Hao (Chn); Peter Leko (Hun) drew with Erwin L’Ami (Ned); Sergey Karjakin (Rus) bt Yifan Hou (Chn).

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