Anand draws again; Abhijeet wins in Corus Chess

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src=' ' class='caption'> Viswanathan Anand's hunt for an elusive victory in the 'A' group continued as he played out his sixth draw on the trot but former world junior champion Abhijeet

Updated: January 23, 2010 08:50 IST
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Viswanathan Anand's hunt for an elusive victory in the 'A' group continued as he played out his sixth draw on the trot but former world junior champion Abhijeet Gupta won an exciting game in the 'C' group of the Corus Chess Tournament here.

World champion Anand drew with white pieces against Magnus Carlsen of Norway and moved to three points out of a possible six.

Spaniard Alexei Shirov's juggernaut was halted by Nigel Short of England in the first draw for the former after five successive wins. Shirov took his tally to 5.5 points out of a possible six and remained one and half points ahead of nearest rivals Carlsen, Hikaru Nakamura of United States, Vladimir Kramnik of Russia and Vassily Ivanchuk of Ukraine.

With Leinier Dominguez occupying the sixth spot on 3.5 points, Anand slipped to the joint seventh spot along with Sergey Karjakin of Russia and Peter Leko of Hungary. Seven rounds still remain in the category-19 tournament.

Abhijeet Gupta raised visions of an improved performance after he came good against Danielle Vocaturo of Italy and moved to four points in the 'C' group.

Ray Robson, a 15-year-old American, continued to dominate this section with another sparkling victory at the expense of Bok Benjamin of Holland.

Robson has an impressive 5.5 points and he is a half point clear of Li Chao of China. Abhijeet now occupies the third spot here while Soumya Swaminathan is at the bottom of the tables.

In the 'B' group, Parimarjan Negi suffered a shock defeat at the hands of Dutchman Erwin l'Ami and slipped to eighth spot on 3 points. The other Indian in the fray, P Harikrishna played out a draw with Varuzhan Akobian of United States and is now on joint fourth spot on 3.5 points.

The lead position remained unchanged here as Anish Giri defeated Tomi Nyback of Finland and moved to 5 points. If things have to go Anand's way from here, the Indian ace will need a spectacular effort. The game against Carlsen, however, was well short of that as the Norwegian quickly equalised and the two players signed peace in less than one hour.

Carlsen employed the Sicilian Dragon and Anand went for a rather safe approach in the middle game to get a balanced position.

"Carlsen's choice of opening was a surprise. I had prepared for sharp lines only. I went for the repetition at the end. I would have been worse if I hadn't," said Anand after the 19-move affair.

Abhijeet faced the Benoni as white against Vocaturo and was in his element in the resulting middle game. The Indian quickly crashed on the king side spotting weaknesses in the middle game and Vocaturo's counter attack came too late. It took just 37 moves for Abhijeet to add a full point to his overnight tally.

Parimarjan was outplayed by l'Ami from an English opening game. After an early queen exchange, Negi found the going tough as white increased pressure on both flanks and even the exchanges at regular intervals did not help Negi.

The game went in to a rook and pawns endgame wherein black's position was too loose. L'Ami won in 35 moves. Harikrishna could not force matters against Akobian who played the black side of an irregular opening. Harikrishna reached a pawn plus rook and pawn endgame which was theoretically drawn and Akobian got his third half point after 83 moves.

Reigning world junior girls' champion Soumya Swaminathan suffered her fifth loss in six games. Robin van Kampen caught the Indian off-guard in the Sicilian Najdorf and won in just 24 moves.

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