Viswanathan Anand showed his class once again as he defeated Levon Aronian 1-0 in the ninth round of the Candidates Tournament in Moscow. He has now remained undefeated in the last five matches, with this run of form propelling him to the top of the table, alongside Sergey Karjakin.
The five-time world champion produced a masterclass against Aronian, who had been in good form of late. Anand, playing with the white pieces, started off with the Italian opening. The Aronian was on the defensive in the middle game, and this allowed Anand to get a strong grip on the match. The Tiger of Madras went on to win the game 1-0, and take his points tally to 5.5 after nine rounds.
With Karjakin forced to play out a draw against Hikaru Nakamura, Anand now leads the points table alongside the Russian. The Indian ace has been on a five-match unbeaten run with three wins and two draws, since his fourth round loss to Karjakin. The 46-year-old is now in a strong position to qualify for the match against Magnus Carlsen of Norway at the World Championship.