Anand draws again; Hari, Abhijeet post victories in Corus

Wijk Aan Zee (The Netherlands), Jan 19, (PTI):

Anand signed peace with Cuban Leinier Dominguez in the third round of the elite ‘A’ group. The Indian ace remained without a win for the third day running while Alexei Shirov of Spain cruised to his third victory in a row to maintain his sole lead.

The Spaniard defeated local hopeful Sergei Tiviakov and has clearly been the best performer thus far. World number one Magnus Carlsen of Norway and Hikaru Nakamura of United States are not too far behind with 2.5 points each.

Vassily Ivanchuk of Ukraine occupies the fourth spot on 2 points while Anand shares the fifth spot along with Dominguez, defending champion Sergey Karjakin of Ukraine and Vladimir Kramnik of Russia. Ten more rounds still remain in this category-19 round robin tournament.

In the ‘B’ group, Grandmaster P Harikrishna recorded his first victory at the expense of Anna Muzychuk of Slovenia, while Parimarjan Negi showcased his deep preparation to hold top seed Arkadij Naiditsch of Germany.

Ni Hua of China joined Anish Giri in the lead in this section. Both the leaders have an identical 2.5 points from three games and are followed by Naiditsch who is a half point behind. Parimarjan and Harikrishna share the fourth spot on 1.5 points each along with six others.

Before Harikrishna’s victory over Muzychuk, former world junior champion Abhijeet Gupta scored the first Indian victory in Corus this year accounting for Stefan Kuipers of Holland. After two draws, Abhijeet won a fine tactical game to reach two points.

The leaders in this group are Daniele Vocaturo of Italy, Ray Robson of United States and Li Chao of China who all have 2.5 points each. For the third day running, Anand could not find his winning ways. Playing black against Dominguez, the Indian ace employed the Arkhengelsk yet again and got an easy draw despite being a pawn less in the endgame.

Harikrishna won a tense game that looked like headed for a draw against Muzychuk. It was almost a rabbit-out-of-hat victory as Harikrishna eventually forced matters in a pawn-less Queen Bishop versus Queen endgame.

Abhijeet found his opponent Stefan Kuipers to be well prepared in the Classical Sicilian and walked into a less explored territory in the opening phase. Kuipers found the going tough especially after Abhijeet sacrificed a rook for knight and soon black forces were all over white’s king. The game lasted 40 moves.

Results round 3:

Group A: Leinier Dominguez (Cub, 1.5) drew with Viswanathan Anand (Ind, 1.5); Peter Leko (Hun, 1) drew with Sergey Karjakin (Ukr, 1.5); Fabiano Caruana (Ita, 1) drew with Vladimir Kramnik (Rus, 1.5); Sergey Tiviakov (Ned, 1) lost to Alexei Shirov (Esp, 3); Jan Smeets (Ned, 0.5) lost to Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukr, 2); Loek van Wely (Ned, 1) lost to Magnus Carlsen (Nor, 2.5); Nigel Short (Eng, 0.5) lost to Hikaru Nakamura (Usa, 2.5).
Group B: Emil Sutovsky (Isr, 1.5) drew with Erwin l’Ami (Ned, 1.5); Tomi Nyback (Fin, 1) lost to Ni Hua (Chn, 2.5); Anish Giri (Ned, 2.5) drew with Dimitri Reinderman (Ned, 0.5); David Howell (Eng, 1.5) drew with Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu (Rom, 1.5); Anna Muzychuk (Slo, 1) lost to Pentala Harikrishna (Ind, 1.5); Arkadij Naiditsch (Ger, 2) drew with Parimarjan Negi (Ind, 1.5); Wesley So (Phi, 1.5) drew with Varuzhan Akobian (Usa, 1);
Group C: Robin Swinkels (Ned, 1.5) beat Soumya Swaminathan (Ind, 0.5); Mariya Muzychuk (Ukr, 1) drew with Ray Robson (Usa, 2.5); Stefan Kuipers (Ned, 1.5) lost to Abhijeet Gupta (Ind, 2); Peng Zhaoqin (Ned, 2) drew with Nils Grandelius (Swe, 1.5); Benjamin Bok (Ned, 0.5) lost to Kjetil Lie (Nor, 1.5); Daniele Vocaturo (Ita, 2.5) beat Robin van Kampen (Ned, 1); Sjoerd Plukkel (Ned, 0.5) lost to Li Chao (Chn, 2.5). PTI COR PM PM 01191336

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