London : Five-time world champion Viswanathan Anand got off to a good start with an easy draw against World No.2 United States’ Fabiano Caruana in the first round of the London Chess Classic, the final leg of the Grand Chess tour.
It turned out to be an easy day in office for Anand according to machines even as the pundits thought the Indian ace was not up to the mark against the younger American.
The heat was turned on early in the tournament as Wesley So of United States accounted for compatriot Hikaru Nakamura while Russian Vladimir Kramnik had it easy against arch-rival Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria.
Levon Aronian of Armenia also got off to a winning start at the expense of Michael Adams of England while Anish Giri of Holland had little difficulty in holding his fort against Maxime Vachier-Lagrave of France.
Aronian, Wesley and Kramnik thus emerged as the early leaders in the 10-player round-robin tournament and they are followed by Anand, Giri, Vachier-Lagrave and Caruana a half point behind. Topalov, Adams and Nakamura share the eighth spot with eight rounds still to come.
Anand solved his opening problems, showing deep insight in an English opening game. Caruana exerted pressure on the queen side by pushing his pawns forward but the Indian was able to keep white pieces in check with a timely counter-attack.–PTI
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