Anand slips to joint 5th after yet another draw


Left Anand with 2.5 points and joint fifth in the table, the Indian ace would have to come up with vastly improved show in the subsequent rounds if he is to bridge the widening gap between him and Group A leader Alexei Shirov (5) who had won all five games so far.
Among other Indians, Parimarjan Negi got his first full point at the expense of American Varuzhan Akobian in Group 'B', while P Harikrishna settled for a draw but they were outshone by Grandmaster Anish Giri, who continued his dream run and jumped in to sole lead following another impressive victory.
In Group A, Shirov now enjoys a handsome 1.5 points lead over nearest rivals Magnus Carlsen of Norway, Vassily Ivanchuk of Ukraine and Hikaru Nakamura of United States.
Russian Vladimir Kramnik scored his first victory of the year to move to sole fourth spot on three points while Anand shares the fifth spot with defending champion Sergey Karjakin of Russia and Leinier Dominguez of Cuba.

The closed Ruy Lopez gave Anand an easy equality after an early trade of queens against Leko. The ensuing endgame had only minuscule problems for five-time winner Anand and he neutralised white's initiative in quick to time to sign peace in just 28 moves.
In the 'B', group there was some good news from Indian perspective as Parimarjan Negi won a nice game against Varuzhan Akobian of United States.
Playing the black side of a Grunfeld defense, Negi caused a lot of practical problems for Akobian in one of the popular variations. Akobian used a lot of time on his clock after a stunning piece sacrifice by Negi in the middle game and the resulting position was tough to defend. The game lasted 47 moves.
Harikrishna played a safe draw as black against Wesley So of Philippines but Anish Giri tamed Emil Sutovsky of Israel to increase his tally to four.
Elsewhere, Grandmaster Abhijeet Gupta wasted a better endgame to draw with Benjamin Bok of Holland in the 'C' group.

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