Anand Beats Nakamura, Regains Lead In Zurich

Anand Beats Nakamura, Regains Lead In Zurich

Feb 17, 2015, 12:05 PM |
62 | Chess Event Coverage

GM Hikaru Nakamura's 2800+ live rating was short-lived as he lost today at the Zurich Chess Challenge to GM Viswanathan Anand, who took over the lead.

Both Aronian-Caruana and Kramnik-Karjakin ended in draws. Anand defends his one-point lead tomorrow as Black against Karjakin. On Thursday, five rounds of rapid will be played.

After four rounds only two players have won a game in Zurich — actually two for both: GM Viswanathan Anand and GM Hikaru Nakamura. Their mutual game ended in a win for Anand today, and so the Indian is the new leader again.

To some extent this game was decided right after the opening. It seems that Anand mixed up his opening preparation a bit, because on move 18 his knight maneuver to e2 allowed Black to swap on b4 and a1.

“In what I looked at, this worked for White,” said Anand.

However, Nakamura only noticed this possibility right after he had played 18...g6: “As soon as I played the move ...g6 I realized I had completely blundered it.”

It was a crucial moment for the American's state of mind during the game. “I couldn't recover after this move,” he said at the press conference and later he tweeted:

After Anand got in 25.Rb6, the game was practically over. (In the game viewer below, don't miss the variation given by Anand starting with 36...Ra8 with a beautiful defensive idea for Black!)

Anand took over the lead from Nakamura, who, to his credit, was the first player to join a press conference after losing a game.

It's getting somewhat repetitive, but GM Levon Aronian again missed a good chance in the game he drew with GM Fabiano Caruana. In a Queen's Gambit Declined, Lasker Variation, he kept a slight edge, and then a critical moment arose on move 26.

Aronian could have given two pieces for a rook and two pawns, leading to a position where he can play for two results. But he didn't.

“26.Bxc6 is the correct move. I'm worse but it's probably OK,” said Caruana, who showed impressive calculation during the press conference.

So, why had he allowed that possibility for his opponent? 

“I spent half an hour calculating, deciding on 25...Nd7 because it's the ideal move to play," said Caruana. "After that I wasn't sure if I should go for it but I decided that it's such a shame to waste half an hour calculating a move that you don't play and I thought that it's anyway playable if I take.”

Another missed chance for Aronian.

The two Russian participants, GM Vladimir Kramnik and GM Sergey Karjakin, then also drew their game — but not without a fight.

In a King's Indian Attack that looked like a Closed Sicilian (but with Black's king's bishop on e7), White was slightly better out of the opening.

Just like his compatriots Evgeny Tomashevsky and Alexander Grischuk, Karjakin played a move, only to take it back the next! “I was very proud of it,” he joked after the game about his Nc6-d4-c6.

This knight proved more useful on b4, where it supported the central push d6-d5. Kramnik showed many variations in the press conference, but one remark said it all: “I probably overestimated. I thought White had a very nice plus here.”

A fighting draw between the Russians.

2015 Zurich Chess Challenge | Pairings & Results

Round 1 14 February 15:00 CET   Round 2 15 February 15:00 CET
Anand 1-1 Kramnik   Kramnik 1-1 Nakamura
Aronian 1-1 Karjakin   Karjakin 1-1 Caruana
Caruana 0-2 Nakamura   Anand 2-0 Aronian
Round 3 16 February 15:00 CET   Round 4 17 February 15:00 CET
Aronian 1-1 Kramnik   Kramnik 1-1 Karjakin
Caruana 1-1 Anand   Anand 2-0 Nakamura
Nakamura 2-0 Karjakin   Aronian 1-1 Caruana
Round 5 18 February 13:00 CET        
Caruana - Kramnik        
Nakamura - Aronian        
Karjakin - Anand        


2015 Zurich Chess Challenge | Round 4 Standings

# Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 Pts SB
1 Anand,V 2797 2977 phpfCo1l0.png 2 1 1 2 6
2 Nakamura,H 2776 2876 0 phpfCo1l0.png 1 2 2 5
3 Kramnik,V 2783 2778 1 1 phpfCo1l0.png 1 1 4
4 Caruana,F 2811 2689 1 0 phpfCo1l0.png 1 1 3 3.00
5 Aronian,L 2777 2700 0 1 1 phpfCo1l0.png 1 3 2.50
6 Karjakin,S 2760 2699 0 1 1 1 phpfCo1l0.png 3 2.50

The tournament consists of five rounds of classical chess played from Saturday, February 14 till Wednesday, February 18. On the last day, Thursday, February 19, the players will play five rounds of rapid chess with reversed colors.

During the first five days, a winner of a classical game earns 2 points for the overall standings; the loser 0. In case of a draw each player earns 1 point. In the rapid games the winner earns 1 point, by a draw each player half a point and the loser 0. phpfCo1l0.png

More from PeterDoggers
Carlsen Beats Topalov, Leads Shamkir Chess

Carlsen Beats Topalov, Leads Shamkir Chess

Giri, Carlsen Trying To Catch Topalov At Shamkir Chess

Giri, Carlsen Trying To Catch Topalov At Shamkir Chess