Anand draws with Vachier-Lagrave; remains in joint lead
Five-time world champion Viswanathan Anand on Friday played out a draw with Maxime Vachier- Lagrave of France to remain in joint lead after the end of the eighth and penultimate round of Sinquefield Cup, a part of the Grand Chess tour. Anand played his last white game in the tournament against Vachier-Lagrave and had a small advantage but the Frenchman was quite up to the task in defense and steered the game to a draw.
Besides Anand and Vachier-Lagrave, Levon Aronian of Armenia also ensured he remained in the joint lead on five points after he was held to a draw by Peter Svidler of Russia in a very complicated game. Sergey Karjakin of Russia was the lone winner of the day after he added to the miseries of Wesley So of United States, while world Champion Magnus Carlsen survived some anxious moments before signing peace with another Russian Ian Nepomniachtchi.
The all-American duel between Fabiano Caruana and Hikaru Nakamura also ended in a truce that left half the field in with a chance to clinch the title in the final round. With three leaders on five points, Carlsen and Karjakin, on 4.5 points apiece, are the other two players who can win the last round and be the winner of this fifth edition.