Anand in lead after third draw

Chess Candidates' meet

Five-time world champion Viswanathan Anand remained in sole lead with a third straight draw, signing peace with Russian Sergey Karjakin in the sixth round of Candidates Chess tournament here on Wednesday.

After scoring two victories in the first three rounds, Anand did not get many chances for the third day running even as Karjakin had to work hard for the half point.

It turned out to be another high-tension round as the world’s top chess players are slugging it out for the right to face Norway’s Magnus Carlsen in the World Chess Championship.  Bulgarian Veselin Topalov reacted like a wounded tiger after losing the previous round to Peter Svidler and defeated second seed Vladimir Kramnik of Russia in a fine display while Shakhriyar Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan put it across Peter Svidler of Russia to announce his arrival as a contender in the tournament.

Top seed Levon Aronian of Armenia spoiled all the hard work of the first few hours and mishandled a winning position to let Russian Dmitry Andreikin off the hook with a draw. After the lopsided round, Anand took his tally to four points to remain half a point ahead of Aronian. Kramnik and Svidler, meanwhile, slipped to joint third along with Topalov and Mamedyarov.Karjakin moved to 2.5 points and is now on seventh spot, a half point clear of Andreikin who was lucky to survive.

For the first time in the meet, the main line of the Berlin defense came on board which has created some problems for Anand in the past. While Anand wasn’t able to crack the code, Karjakin had to find the right way to equalise.

After the usual trading of queens, Anand got the typical breakthrough on the king side but while that gave him a better control in the king side, Karjakin punctured the other flank by parting with his bishop. Even as Anand’s king walked to the center, black’s position remained impregnable and the draw was agreed to after 33 moves.

Results: Round 6: V Anand (Ind, 4) drew with Sergey Karjakin (Rus, 2.5); Veselin Topalov (Bul, 3) bt Vladimir Kramnik (Rus, 3); Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Aze, 3) bt Peter Svidler (Rus, 3); Levon Aronian (Arm, 3.5) drew with Dmitry Andreikin (Rus, 2). 

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