Anand holds Nakamura in Sinquefield opener
By Our Chess Correspondent
St. Louis (USA), Aug 19 (PTI) Five-time world champion Viswanathan Anand got off to a good start holding USA's Hikaru Nakmura to an easy draw in the first round of the Sinquefield Cup, a part of the Grand Chess tour, here.
After a rather forgettable outing in the rapid and blitz event where he finished last, Anand did not give any chance to Nakamura out of a Queen's gambit declined.
The pieces changed hands at regular intervals as Anand equalised with a typical central breakthrough in the middle game and the players arrived at a drawn queen and pawns endgame in quick time where the peace was a just result.
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan got off to a flier cruising past Wesley So of the US.
In the other decisive game of the day, Levon Aronian of Armenia came up with a brilliant endgame show to beat Sergey Karjakin of Russia.
The other two games in the ten-player round-robin tournament ended in draws as Maxime Vachier-Lagrave split the point with world champion Magnus Carlsen of Norway and USA's Fabiano Caruana could not make much headway against Alexander Grischuk of Russia.
With eight rounds still remaining in the 300000 USD prize money tournament, Mamedyarov and Aronian emerged as early leaders with one point, while Anand, Nakamura, Carlsen, Vachier-Lagrave, Caruana and Grischuk follow them at half point behind.
It turned out to be a good day for Mamedyarov who enjoyed his typical variety of chess with complications remaining for the major part.
Until a week ago, Wesley So was leading the Grand Chess tour but the pounding in rapid and blitz and the first round loss here means that the Filipino-turned-American will have to recover lost ground.
It was another Queen's gambit declined of the day but Mamedyarov put pressure on the king side to win a pawn by force. The technicalities remained but the Azerbaijani made it look like child's play and it was a picturesque finale where the checkmate was imminent.
Aronian outwitted Karjakin out of a Berlin defense game as white. Slow manoeuvring throughout the game out of a level position ensued in the queen-less middle game and Karjakin was the first to err. Aronian wrapped it up in 69 moves.
Results round 1: Hikaru Nakamura (Usa) drew with V Anand (Ind); Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (Fra) drew with Magnus Carlsen (Nor); Fabiano Caruana (Usa) drew with Alexander Grischuk (Rus); Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Aze) beat Wesley So (Usa); Levon Aronian (Arm) beat Sergey Karjakin (Rus)