Viswanathan Anand plays out draw with Magnus Carlsen to keep title hopes alive

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Viswanathan Anand plays out draw with Magnus Carlsen to keep title hopes alive

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SportsCafe Desk

06/04/2018

Playing with black, Viswanathan Anand managed to play out a draw with world number one Magnus Carlsen at the ongoing Altibox Norway Chess tournament to keep his title hopes alive. Before coming up against Anand, Carlsen had won both of his previous two matches in the tournament.

Former world number one Viswanathan Anand ended 2017 on a positive note as he won the World Rapid Championship which was held in Riyadh. He began 2018 with a fifth-place finish at the 2018 Tata Steel Masters with a score of 8 out of 14. Anand bounced back by winning the Tal memorial rapid with a score of 6 out of 9. Anand defeated Ian Nepomniachtchi, Hikaru Nakamura, Daniil Dubov, Alexander Grischuk and drew the final round with Boris Gelfand as he won the tournament with a +3 score.

At the ongoing Altibox Norway Chess tournament. Anand went up against world number one Magnus Carlsen in the fifth round of the tournament and managed to play out a comfortable draw much to Carlsen’s frustration. The draw meant that Anand will continue to remain in contention for the title, Carlsen came into the match fresh off two wins with white pieces earlier in the tournament, but could only salvage a draw against Anand who surprised Carlsen early in the opening stages of their match with some smart moves.

Chinese participant Ding Liren decided to back off from the tournament after his hip fracture that resulted in a surgery. Despite the surgery being successful, Liren decided it was not good to carry on in the tournament which meant that his name will be excluded from the event as he had played less than half the games. 

This brought about a change in the tournament standings and Anand slipped to joint fourth place as his half point against Liren became void, after the latter's withdrawal. The tournament then turned into a nine-player round robin which seen Carlsen stretch his lead to a full point thanks to Fabiano Caruana of United States.

Technically four rounds still remain in the tournament, but Carlsen, Mamedyarov, Aronian and Karjakin are eligible to play only three of those as they were yet to play against Liren. Anand and the rest of the players have four games each at the end of round five.

Result round 5: Magnus Carlsen (Nor, 3.5/5) drew with V Anand (Ind, 2/4); Fabiano Caruana (Usa, 2/4) beat Sergey Karjakin (Rus, 2.5/5); Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Aze, 1.5/5) drew with Hikaru Nakamura (Usa, 2/4); Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (Fra, 1.5/4) drew with Levon Aornian (Arm, 2.5/5).

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