Moscow: India's Viswanathan Anand suffered a setback on Friday, losing to his former world championship challenger Vladimir Kramnik of Russia in the fourth round of 10th Tal Memorial International chess tournament in Moscow.
On what turned out to be a bad day in office, nothing worked well for Anand, as he was off-form and Kramnik was a rejuvenated soul after suffering a painful defeat in the previous round.
The decks were thus cleared for Anish Giri of Holland who came with another inspiring performance to beat Russian Peter
Svidler and register his third victory on the trot. In what is a clear case of slamming detractors with his wily manoeuvres, Giri stormed his way back into the top 10 after a few lopsided performances.
Li Chao of China also proved himself to be a tough nut as he accounted for Boris Gelfand by showcasing some brilliant opening preparation. Overnight joint leader Ian Nepomniachtchi played out a draw with Levon Aronian of Armenia, while the other game of the day between Evgeny Tomashevsky of Russia and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan also witnessed a peaceful end.
With five rounds still remaining in the $200,000 prize money tournament, Giri is now firmly ahead on 3.5 points out of a possible four while Nepomniachtchi is on his toes a half point behind. Li Chao, on 2.5 points, occupies third spot, half a point clear of the quartet of Mamedyarov, Kramnik, Aronian and Anand, who share fourth spot. Svidler is eighth with 1.5, while Tomashvesky is ninth with one point. Gelfand stands last currently with just a half point.
Anand was up against the fashionable Italian opening against Kramnik and it was the main line on board after some deviations early on in the game. Kramnik got a small advantage in the middle game and nurtured it well when Anand did not find the best response. The game ended with a tactical stroke that left Anand defenceless.
Results after Round 4: Vladimir Kramnik (RUS, 2) beat V Anand (IND, 2); Evgeny Tomashevsky (RUS, 1) drew with
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (AZE, 2); Boris Gelfand (ISR, 0.5) lost to Li Chao (CHN, 2.5); Peter Svidler (RUS, 1.5) lost to Anish
Giri (NED, 3.5); Ian Nepomniachtchi (RUS, 3) drew with Levon Aronian (ARM, 2)