Five-time world champion Viswanathan Anand celebrated the Indian World Cup victory with a crushing win against Levon Aronian of Armenia in the second round of Zurich Chess Challenge.
Under tremendous pressure to perform like the Indian cricket team, Anand delivered the goods thanks to a remarkable piece of homework and gave no chance to Aronian who had beaten the Indian ace just a few days back during the Grenke Chess Classic.
The victory helped Anand to find himself in joint lead alongside Hikaru Nakamura of United States who played out a draw with Vladimir Kramnik of Russia. In the other game of the day, Italian Fabiano Caruana opened his account, drawing with Sergey Karjakin of Russia.
With just three rounds in the Classical format remaining, Anand and Nakamura have three points apiece while Kramnik and Karjakin follow the two leaders a full point behind. Aronian and Caruana are on one point and in desperate need to do some catch-up act.
The tournament is played under a unique format that clubs the rapid and Classical format together. More points are given in Classical format wherein each win counts for two points whereas in rapid every win is worth one point each. The rapid section will be played on the last day of the tournament.
After an easy draw in the opener against Kramnik, Anand played his second successive white and used an improvement over his game against Magnus Carlsen of Norway during the last world championship match.
The deviation from the earlier game was uncorked on the 12th move, and just a few moves later Anand sacrificed a Bishop to march his central passed pawn to the seventh rank.