Anand draws again, retains command

Anand draws again, retains command

Taking a practical decision, Indian ace Viswanathan Anand let Russia’s Dmitry Andreikin off the hook as he settled for a draw to maintain his full-point lead in the Candidates Chess tournament here on Thursday.

The five-time world champion benefitted from results on other boards to maintain his lead with just two rounds to come in the tournament that decides the challenger for the next world championship match.

Armenian Levon Aronian failed to break the ice against Russian Vladimir Kramnik and drew while Azeri Shakhriyar Mamedyarov’s wild opening choice also ended up giving him just a half point against Sergey Karjakin of Russia.

The other game of the day ended decisively in favour of Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria who avenged his earlier loss in the tournament against Peter Svidler of Russia.

Anand, on 7.5 points, continued to be ahead of Levon Aronian who is on 6.5, a half point clear of Karjakin and Mamedyarov. The other four participants – Svidler, Topalov, Andreikin and Kramnik – have 5.5 points each and are out of contention.

The Indian ace needs one point from the last two games to win the tournament. He next faces Karjakin on Saturday before Svidler on Sunday.

Results (round 12):

V Anand (Ind, 7.5) drew with Dmitry Andreikin (Rus, 5.5); Levon Aronian (Arm, 6.5) drew with Vladimir Kramnik (Rus, 5.5); Veselin Topalov (Bul, 5.5) beat Peter Svidler (Rus, 5.5).