Anand draws with Giri; bows out of contention in Candidates
Former world champion Viswanathan Anand played out a thrilling draw with Anish Giri of Holland but bowed out of contention to win the Candidates after the 13th and penultimate round, which concluded here.
For the first time in 10 years, there will be a World Championship without Anand, who has won the crown as many as five times. Either Sergey Karjakin of Ukraine or Fabiano Caruana of United States will challenge Magnus Carlsen of Norway in the next World Championship match, slated to be held in November this year.
While Anand drew, Karjakin had to hold his nerves to hold a piece down endgame against Levon Aronian of Armenia and Caruana’s endgame advantage did not prove enough as Peter Svidler of Russia proved equal to the American. In the other game of the day, Hikaru Nakamura accounted for Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria to bounce back to a 50 per cent score. Karjakin and Caruana share the lead now on 7.5 points and meet each other in the deciding final round. Anand, on seven, is in sole third spot and his last round result will prove crucial in case the game between Karjakin and Caruana end in a draw. If Anand wins, Caruana will have better tiebreak than Karjakin while if Anand also draws, Karjakin will take over in tiebreaks. With just one round remaining, Anand will take on Svidler and the permutation and combinations do not give the Indian any chance although he can still tie for first with a victory.
Anand yet again played an uncompromising game in the Italian opening against Giri and the Dutch Grandmaster took his chances with a piece sacrifice in the middle game. Both players ran short of time and in the end Anand’s two minor pieces were able to handle black’s army. The game was drawn in 52 moves.