Viswanathan Anand was held by Russia’s Kirill Alekseenko in the ninth round of FIDE Chess.com Grand Swiss tournament on Saturday, significantly denting his hopes of qualifying for the Candidates Tournament. Among the other Indians at the event, P Hari Krishna and Raunak Sadhwani registered wins.
With his draw against Alekseenko in the ninth round, Anand (6) joined Magnus Carlsen on shared fourth spot. The top two boards — Levon Aronian (6.5) of Armenia against Guijarro David Anton (6.5) of Spain and Norway’s Carlsen (6) against USA’s Fabiano Caruana (6.5) — ended in draws. That leaves three players on 6.5 and two on 6 with two rounds to go in the battle for the lone qualifying spot for the Candidates Tournament, which will go to the highest finisher who needs to qualify.
Meanwhile, India’s other representatives at the event, B. Adhiban, Vidit Gujrathi, SP Sethuraman, SL Sethuraman, D Gukesh, and Abhimanyu Puranik all registered draws in their respective clashes. On the other hand, Nihal Sarin lost to Maksim Chigaev of Russia, while Prithu Gupta lost to Ariel Erenburg of Israel.
Among the Indian women at the FIDE Grand Swiss chess tournament, Evgeniy Najer — also of Russia — beat Soumya Swaminathan, while Harika Dronavalli defeated Alex Bachmann.