Grand Chess: Anand draws with Caruana in Croatia

Zagreb (Croatia):¬†Viswanathan Anand’s hunt for the first victory continued as he drew his seventh straight game, signing peace with Fabiano Caruana of the United States in the eighth round of the Grand Chess tour, here.

Magnus Carlsen continued his dominating form and downed Ding Liren of China in another spectacular effort to continue to lead the tables with six points out of a possible eight.

Wesley So of the United States defeated compatriot Hikaru Nakamura to keep within a half-point of Carlsen on 5.5 points while the rest of 10 competitors will need a miracle to catch up with the reigning world champion with just three rounds to come in the 12-player round-robin event.

Caruana shares the third spot with Ian Nepomniachtchi of Russia and Levon Aronian after Ian and Levon played out an easy draw between themselves. Liren holds the sole sixth position on four points a half-point ahead of Anand, Sergey Karjakin of Russia, Maxime Vachier Lagrave of France and Anish Giri of Holland.

Giri was the other winner of the day, capitalising on some dubious opening choice from Shakhriyar Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan and winning in style.

For Anand, it was a real chance to win his first game but the Indian ace could not make use of his better position with an extra pawn. The closed Sicilian was similar to Carlsen’s game against Nepomniachtchi in the previous round but Caruana chose a different path and ended up at the receiving end.

Anand was much better at some point but Caruana kept fighting till the very end and finally found a manoeuvre that helped him reach a theoretically drawn endgame.