Anand held by Gelfand in Zurich Chess Challenge

Feb 27, 2013 11:00 IST

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Zurich: World Champion Viswanathan Anand was held to a draw by Boris Gelfand of Israel in the third round of Zurich Chess Challenge here today.

For the third day running, Anand strove for an active position and got the complexities he was looking for and Gelfand had to fight really hard to thwart the Indian ace his first victory in the tournament.

In the other game of the day, Fabiano Caruana of Italy played out a draw with former world champion Vladimir Kramnik of Russia leaving the deadlock to continue for the third day running.

Anand was held to a draw by Gelfand. AFP

Anand was held to a draw by Gelfand. AFP

While there has not been any decisive games yet in the four-players double round-robin tournament, there have been ample excitement for the followers.

With just three rounds to come now, all the four players share the lead with 1.5 points each and the second half will continue after a rest day.

Anand had beaten Gelfand in the last world championship match at Moscow in May 2012 but there too Gelfand had been a tough nut to crack and the Indian was stretched till the rapid tiebreaker before he could win the match.

For the records, it was a Sicilian Najdorf, something that Gelfand had shied off from in the match but surely one of the favourites opening of the Israeli. Anand went for a topical system and won a pawn early but black's position remained active enough.

In the middle games, the analysis engines in the computers were shouting a good advantage for Anand but for the human eye it remained a complicated position in which both had to tread carefully.

Gelfand found his way back with regular exchange of pieces and ended up in a pawn less endgame where the draw was always within his reach. Anand tried but the position finally liquidated to a theoretical draw in 42 moves.

Vladimir Kramnik went for the sharp Benoni defense against Caruana and secured some advantage when he won two pieces for a rook.

However, with one of the knight stuck on the edge of the board with no chances of coming out, the Russian could not claim his advantage to be of decisive nature. Caruana first changed the queens and then entered an endgame wherein he picked up pawns at will to force a draw. The game lasted 50 moves.

Results round 3: V Anand (Ind, 3.5) drew with Boris Gelfand (Isr, 1.5): Fabiano Caruana (Ita, 1.5) drew with Vladimir Kramnik (Rus, 1.5).

V Anand – B Gelfand

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. h3 e6 7. g4 d5 8. exd5 Nxd5 9. Nde2 h5 10. g5 Bd6 11. Nxd5 exd5 12. Bg2 O-O 13. O-O Nc6 14. Qxd5 Be6 15. Qf3 Re8 16. Be3 Bc4 17. Rfe1 Nb4 18. Rac1 Be5 19. Nc3 Bxc3 20. bxc3 Bd5 21. Qxh5 Bxg2 22. Kxg2 Qd5+ 23. Kg1 Nc6 24. Red1 Qxa2 25. g6 fxg6 26. Qxg6 Qf7 27. Qxf7+ Kxf7 28. Rb1 b5 29. c4 b4 30. c3 bxc3 31. Rbc1 Red8 32. Rxd8 Rxd8 33. Rxc3 a5 34. Kf1 Ke6 35. Ke2 Rh8 36. Bb6 Rh4 37. Re3+ Kf5 38. Ra3 Rxc4 39. Bxa5 Nxa5 40. Rxa5+ Kf6 41. Ra6+ Kf5 42. Kf3 game drawn.

PTI