St Louis: Victory again eluded five-time World Champion Viswanathan Anand as he played out his sixth draw after splitting points with American Wesley So at the Sinquefield Cup chess tournament here.
While it wasn’t quite a repeat, the opening that Anand faced was similar to the previous round where the Indian ace had uncorked a beautiful game-changing Novelty.
So went for a similar set up with some changes in the early phase of the game but yet again Anand had his resources intact and the fourth draw with black pieces was something that the Indian ace didn’t mind in the tournament.
Meanwhile, Fabiano Caruana of the United States shot into sole lead with a crushing victory over Sergey Karjakin of Russia to set up a mouth-watering seventh round clash against World Champion Magnus Carlsen of Norway.
Caruana was the lone winner of the day that witnessed four draws with Carlsen coming back to salvage half point from the jaws of defeat against Alexander Grischuk of Russia. Hikaru Nakamura of the United States was the other player who thought victory was within sight but Levon Aronina slipped like a fish out of water to be in joint second spot.
In the other game of the day, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov Azerbaijan drew with Maxime Vachier-Lagrave of France. With just three rounds to come, a lot of modern chess history now is at stake.
Since toppling Anand from world number one position in 2011 from the rating list, Carlsen has remained at the pole position but if he loses to Caruana in the next round, the American will be the new world number one.
As things stand, Caruana with four points is half point ahead of Carlsen, Grischuk, Aronian and Mamedyarov and has everything to play for in the next round especially as the Norwegian has white and is likely to go all out.
It may be recalled that these two will fight out the next world championship match in London in November this year.
Anand remains joint sixth with Vachier-Lagrave and has two white games lined up. The Indian will fancy his chances against Grischuk in the next round and a victory might just propel him closer
to the top spot.
Results after round 6: Wesley So (USA, 2.5) drew with Vishwanathan Anand (2.5); Alexander Grischuk (RUS, 3.5) drew with Magnus Carlsen (NOR, 3.5) Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (AZE, 3.5) drew with Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (FRA, 3); Fabiano Caruana (USA, 4) beat Sergey Karjakin (RUS, 1.5); Hikaru Nakamura (USA, 2) drew with Levon Aronian (ARM, 3.5).