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Anand Wins With Flair, Joins Giri In Lead

With some cute tactics, Viswanathan Anand nicely defeated Fabiano Caruana today at the Tata Steel Chess Tournament. The Indian grandmaster joined Anish Giri in the lead. Anton Korobov and Vidit Santosh Gujrathi are tied for first in the challengers.

A five-time world champion and five-time winner in Wijk aan Zee, Viswanathan Anand is not showing any fatigue at 48 years old. Having just won the World Rapid Championship in Riyadh a few weeks ago, the Indian legend started pretty well at the Tata Steel Chess Tournament. Today he moved to plus-two with a fine win over Fabiano Caruana.

Viswanathan Anand is on 2.5/3 in Wijk aan Zee.
Caruana came well prepared with a piece sacrifice in a Petroff, which Anand could have seen coming as he was quite deeply preparing himself. A long and complicated middlegame arose, with Anand impressing commentator GM Robin van Kampen with his bishop maneuver Bb2-c1-f4-d6.

It still wasn't the end of the world for Black until Caruana took on b4. Anand: "axb4 was a gift because after Qxb4 I just get a free shot at b7."

Tournament leader Anish Giri drew fairly quickly with Peter Svidler as Black. Magnus Carlsen spent more than double the number of moves to reach the same result against Wei Yi—this time it not only seemed an equal endgame, it actually was.

Carlsen did not give an interview to either the official broadcast nor Norway's TV2,  leaving journalists wondering once again what is stipulated in the players' contracts.

Later in the day, Carlsen was active on social media. About his own game, he gave a pretty clear assessment, in a photo posted on Instagram.

Carlsen also graciously gave kudos to the man whom he dethroned in Chennai in 2013:

After losing her first two games, Hou Yifan had the tough task of facing Vladimir Kramnik as Black but she did just fine and drew her game without much trouble. Mamedyarov-Matlakov and So-Karjakin were also drawn.

At the end of the day, 2017 qualifier Gawain Jones managed to get to plus-one with a win over Baskaran Adhiban, the Indian player did so well as a qualifier last year.

Adhiban didn't fully equalize in a French Tarrash as he put his rooks on the wrong squares. When Jones found the excellent mini plan 19.Nxf6+ and 20.Ba6! he won a pawn and kept control as all the tactics favored White. "I am not sure the engine will approve of the game but of course I'm very happy," said Jones.


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