Anand settles for eighth draw in as many games, Sinquefield chess set for close finish
St Louis (USA), Aug 27 (PTI) Five-time world champion Viswanthan Anand registered his eighth draw in as many games when he split points with Fabiano Caruana of the United States in penultimate round of the Sinquefield Cup chess tournament here.
For Anand's fans, this was a let-down as Caruana only tried to consolidate his position atop the tables.
The American is going to challenge Magnus Carlsen of Norway for the World Championship crown and according to Anand himself, there are no clear favourites at this point as Carlsen is losing his dominance preserved for almost seven years.
With black pieces, Anand has been almost invincible in the last one week and today was no different even though the chess engines evaluated the position as better for Caruana who played with white.
Anand disagreed with pragmatic approach and as the game progressed it was clear that the advantage was more optical than real.
The game was drawn in the ensuing endgame, leaving Anand with four points out of a possible eight and Caruana on five points from his eight.
Carlsen yet again came close on a day that failed to yield a single decisive game. The World Champion pressed for a long time against Shakhriyar Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan but the latter always had resources to stay in the game.
The lead positions remained unchanged which also means that Anand is out of the finale of the Grand Chess Tour this event is a part of.
London is going to hold the final edition of the GCT this year and Anand will not be a part of it as only the top four qualify based on rankings.
The penultimate round was livened up a little by Russian Alexander Grischuk, who played out a draw with Wesley So of the United States after opting for the rare Bird's opening.
Maxime Vachier-Lagrave of France drew with Levon Aronian of Armenia after troubling his opponent in the famous Berlin defense.
With the qualification for London and the hefty prize fund on their minds, the players in contention are taking it easy in these final stages of the last event before the finale.
Results after round 8: Fabiano Caruana (USA, 5) drew with Vishwanathan Anand (IND, 4); Alexander Grischuk (RUS, 4.5) drew with Wesley So (USA, 3.5); Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (AZE, 4.5) drew with Magnus Carlsen (NOR, 4.5); Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (FRA, 4) drew with Levon Aronian (ARM, 4.5); Hikaru Nakamura (USA, 3) drew with Sergey Karjakin (RUS, 2.5)