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Anand placed fourth after second draw

January 18, 2010 17:41 IST

World champion Viswanathan Anand registered his second straight draw after being held by England's Nigel Short and was placed tied-fourth at the end of the second round in Group 'A' of the Corus Chess tournament.

Grandmaster Alexei Shirov of Spain emerged sole leader after his victory over last year's Group 'B' winner Fabiano Caruana of Italy.

With Shirov in command in Group 'A', Hikaru Nakamura of the United States and World No 1 Magnus Carlsen of Norway are now in the joint second spot with 1.5 points apiece.

After back-to-back draws, five-time winner Anand shares the fourth spot with the Russian pair of Vladimir Kramnik and Sergey Karjakin, Vassily Ivanchuk of Ukraine, Leinier Dominguez of Cuba, and Dutch duo of Loek Van Wely and Sergei Tiviakov, who all have a point each.

It also turned out to be a modest outing for other Indians in Group 'B' and 'C' as well, as none could score a victory for the second day running.

Seeded third in Group 'B', P Harikrishna drew with David Howell of England, while Parimarjan Negi split points after he was caught off guard in the Sicilian Paulsen by the lone woman player, Anna Muzychuk of Slovenia.

In Group 'C', 2008 World junior champion Abhijeet Gupta was held by Mariya Muzychuk of Ukraine while Soumya Swaminathan opened his account with a draw against lower-ranked Sjoerd Plukkel of the Netherlands.

Local favourite Anish Giri accounted for second seed Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu of Romania to maintain a clean slate in Group 'B'.

Giri, who had beaten Harikrishna in the opening round, enjoys sole lead in Group 'B'. With one point in his kitty, Parimarjan shares joint-fourth spot, while Harikrishna is placed tied 12th with just a half point from two games.

In Group C, Ray Robson of the United States registered his second straight victory to lead the pack solely on two points.

Four players follow Robson half point behind while Abhijeet is joint-sixth in the group with two draws from as many games.

Meanwhile, after an easy draw with black against defending champion Sergey Karjakin of Russia in the opener, Anand tried hard but Short remained on his guard throughout the game to open his account in the category-19 event.

It was a Ragozin opening by Short and Anand went for a line not so much in fashion anymore. However, it was clear that the Indian ace had done ample homework as his rival took a lot of time in the early stages of the game.

The British Grandmaster had an extra pawn, which he tried to digest but Anand had enough time to reorganise his forces to win back the material he had sacrificed early in the opening.

Soon it was a double rook and pawns endgame and the encounter was drawn when just two pawns and rooks remained on the board.

Results Round 2:

Group A: Viswanathan Anand (Ind, 1) drew with Nigel Short (Eng, 0.5); Hikaru Nakamura (Usa, 1.5) beat Loek van Wely (Ned, 1); Magnus Carlsen (Nor, 1.5) beat Jan Smeets (Ned, 0.5); Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukr, 1) drew with Sergey Tiviakov (Ned, 1); Alexei Shirov (Esp, 2) beat Fabiano Caruana (Ita, 0.5); Vladimir Kramnik (Rus, 1) drew with Peter Leko (Hun, 0.5); Sergey Karjakin (Rus, 1) drew with Leinier Dominguez Cub,1).

Group B: Erwin l'Ami (Ned, 1) drew with Wesley So (Phi, 1); Varuzhan Akobian (Usa, 0.5) drew with Arkadij Naiditsch (Ger, 1.5); Parimarjan Negi (Ind, 1) drew with Anna Muzychuk (Slo, 1); Pentala Harikrishna (Ind, 0.5) drew with David Howell (Eng, 1); Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu (Rom, 1) lost to Anish Giri (Ned, 2); Dimitri Reinderman (Ned, 0) lost to Tomi Nyback (Fin, 1); Ni Hua (Chn, 1.5) beat Emil Sutovsky (Isr, 1);

Group C: Soumya Swaminathan (Ind, 0.5) drew with Sjoerd Plukkel (Ned, 0.5); Li Chao (Chn, 1.5) drew with Daniele Vocaturo (Ita, 1.5); Robin van Kampen (Ned, 1) drew with Benjamin Bok (Ned, o.5); Kjetil Lie (Nor, 0.5) lost to Peng Zhaoqin (Ned, 1.5); Nils Grandelius (Swe, 1) lost to Stefan Kuipers (Ned, 1.5); Abhijeet Gupta (Ind, 1) drew with Mariya Muzychuk (Ukr, 0.5); Ray Robson (Usa, 2) beat Robin Swinkels (Ned, 0.5).

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