Anand held by Aronian in opening encounter

Anand held by Aronian in opening encounter

World champion Viswa­nathan Anand could do little with white pieces as his opponent Levon Aronian of Armenia held him to an easy draw in the first round of Norway Chess 2013 super tournament that got underway here.

Anand has got a tough draw in the tournament. White pieces against most of the top seeds and black against lower ranked players means that the Indian ace has to be in top form to deliver the goods and in the opening encounter Aronian was not troubled too much by Anand.

Sergey Karjakin of Russia put it across Teimour Radjabov of Azerbaijan whose woes continued after falling hugely in the world ranking.

Norwegian world number one Magnus Carlsen, who is set to play Anand in the next round as well as in the next world championship match in Chennai, could not do more than splitting the point with former world champion Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria.

The other two games in the high category 10-player round-robin tournament, however, were decisive as Russian Peter Svidler scored a lucky win over Jon Ludvig Hammer of Norway and Hikaru Nakamura proved smarter than Wang Hao of China.

After the end of the first round, Nakamura, Karjakin and Svidler emerged as early leaders with a full point. Anand, Aronian, Topalov and Carlsen are close behind with half a point each. The three losers are on the bottom of the table.

Results (round 1): V Anand (Ind) drew with Levon Aronian (Arm); Magnus Carlsen (Nor) drew with Veselin Topalov (Bul); Sergey Karjakin (Rus) bt Teimour Radjabov (Aze); Hikaru Nakamura (US) bt Wang Hao (Chn); Peter Svidler (Rus) bt Jon Ludvig Hammer (Nor).

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