Anand lies joint ninth

 Five-time world champion Viswanathan Anand got off to a sedate start with two draws and ended up joint ninth after the end of the fifth round of World Rapid Chess Championship that got underway here.

A couple of draws at the beginning against Ivan Salgado Lopez of Spain and Maxim Matlakov of Russia in the first two rounds for Anand were followed by a couple of victories coming at the expense of his new full time ‘second’ Sandipan Chanda and Russian Vladimir Fedoseev but another draw in the fifth round with Viktor Laznicka of Czech Republic saw the Indian ace slump a little in the strongest ever rapid chess tournament of the world.

Anand, a known expert in rapid chess, took some time to adjust to new rules that gives 15 minutes to both players with a ten second increment guaranteed after every move. It may be recalled that the earlier rapid events used to have 25 minutes to both players with a similar increment.

However, Anand recovered and with ten rounds still to come it seems a certainty that the Indian tiger will be on the prowl for a podium finish.

The World Rapid sees most of the top players of the world in action including world champion Magnus Carlsen.

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