Known to rise back after every debacle, Viswanathan Anand made another strong comeback defeating Hikaru Nakamura of the United States in the fourth round of the Zurich Chess Classic here today.
Trailing Nakamura by a full point at the start of the contest, Anand knew he had to win to go ahead and the Indian ace came up with a brilliant game on all counts to floor Nakamura, who recently won the Gibraltar open.
Under a unique points system that gives two points for a victory and one for a draw in Classical games, Anand took his tally to six points and is now a full point ahead of nearest contender Nakamura. The other games of the fourth round were drawn as Vladimir Kramnik signed peace with his Russian colleague Sergey Karjakin while Levon Aronian of Armenia achieved the same result against Fabiano Caruana of Italy.
Kramnik holds the third spot on four points with four draws thus far while, Aronian, Karjakin and Caruana have three points apiece. There is just one more game in the classical remaining post which the players will change gears and play five rapid game. However in rapid, only one point will be awarded for each win which means that the points scored in the Classical format might prove crucial for final standing.
Anand was at the top of his game against Nakamura. In the Queen’s gambit declined, the five times world champion had beaten Magnus Carlsen also in the world championship and Nakamura took a different version of the opening.
Anand had a tight grip on the situation and black remained passive for the major part of the game. The lead that Nakamura had enjoyed over Anand probably played its part as the American was content to defend rather than play his trademark counter-active chess.
“I am happy with my play here, obviously it’s nice to make some points and both my white wins were very convincing,” Anand said in the post-game chat.
As it happened in the game, Nakamura fell prey to some enormous pressure on the queen side. Anand penetrated with his major pieces first and then finished off the game when his knight joined the party. The game lasted 41 moves.
Caruana had to defend a slightly inferior position against Aronian but the Italian was not in any danger out of a Queen’s gambit declined where the former played white. The pieces changed hands at regular intervals and the game was drawn in 35 moves.
Results round 4: V Anand (Ind, 6) beat Hikaru Nakamura (Usa, 5); Levon Aronian (Arm, 3) drew with Fabiano Caruana (Ita, 3); Vladimir Kramnik (Rus, 4) drew with Sergey Karjakin (Rus, 3).