Anand draws with Vachier-Lagrave in Sinquefield Cup
St. Louis (USA), Aug 20 (PTI) Former world champion Viswanathan Anand played out a draw with Maxime-Vachier-Lagrave of France in the second round of Sinquefield Cup here today.
Anand tried engaging Maxime-Vachier-Lagrave in a theoretical duel but did not find ways to score his first victory.
Having drawn the first game rather easily as black against Hikaru Nakamura of United States, Anand went for the blood against Vachier-Lagrave in the latter's pet Sicilian Najdorf but it did not yield the desired result for the Indian ace.
"He's very predictable, or he's very stubborn about this line, and that gives you a target, which we tried to use," said Anand after the game.
As it happened, Vachier-Lagrave managed a tangible position and then found some fine manoeuvres to keep Anand's forces at bay.
Draw, in fact, was the order of the day barring a certain Magnus Carlsen who gave it his all in an 88-mover.
Up against Sergey Karjakin -- his 2016 world championship challenger, Carlsen knew the position was always close to a draw but kept on fighting in his typical style to eventually net his first victory in the event.
It was as late as on 77th move that Karjakin, running out of time, made the fatal error and the world champion pounced on it as if he was waiting for it all along.
Carlsen thus joined Levon Aronian of Armenia and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan in lead on 1.5 points out of a possible two and Nakamura, Vachier-Lagrave, Anand, local star Fabiano Caruana and Alexander Grischuk of Russia share the fourth spot on one point each.
Wesley So of United States stands ninth on a half point while Karjakin, losing his second round on the trot stands last, yet to open his account.
Aronian played out a draw with Caruana where the latter got nothing out of his white pieces for the second day in a row.
The Queen pawn opening might have served as a surprised but Aronian made it a pleasant one, equalising early and even giving some optical threats in the early part of the game that actually fizzled out quickly.
Alexander Grischuk played out a draw with Mamedyarov in another non-event of the day though the initial part did look engrossing.
In the other game of the day, Nakamura drew with Wesley So in just 31 moves.
Results round 2: V Anand (Ind, 1) drew with Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (Fra, 1); Magnus Carlsen (Nor, 1.5) beat Sergey Karjakin (Rus, 0); Alexander Grischuk (Rus, 1) drew with Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Aze, 1.5); Fabiano Caruana (Usa, 1) drew with Levon Aronian (Arm, 1.5); Wesley So (Usa, 0.5) drew with Hikaru Nakamura (Usa, 1)