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Anand plays out easy draw with Leko

World champion Viswanathan Anand played out an easy draw with Grandmaster Peter Leko of Hungary in the ninth round of Tata Steel Chess tournament, on Tuesday.

Playing the black side of a Sicilian Najdorf, the Indian ace had little difficulty in maintaining the balance in an age-old variation and drew rather easily to take his tally to six points out of a possible nine.

Anand and Leko battled it out in a variation that both have employed with for many years in the past. If Leko had an idea he did not get the opportunity to show it as Anand was well armed and blitzed out the opening moves in quick time.

When the middle game arrived Anand went for a thematic pawn sacrifice that was promptly declined and when Leko finally captured the pawn the position was just equal offering little chances to either player.

As things stood before the start of the ninth round, Carlsen on six points enjoyed a half point lead over Anand who stood a half point adrift of Levon Aronian of Armenia and Hikaru Nakamura of United States. Harikrishna on 4.5 points.
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