World champion Viswanathan Anand drew with arch-rival Russia’s Vladimir Kramnik in just 23 moves in the second round of the Tata Steel chess tournament at Wijk aan Zee, near Amsterdam, on Sunday.
Anand, a five-time champion who defeated the 2001 World champion Ruslan Ponomariov in 38 moves on Saturday for a winning start, shared the lead at 1.5 points with USA’s Hikaru Nakamura.
Nakamura, who drew his second round game with black pieces against Levon Aronian in just 16 moves, had tamed Russia’s Alexander Grischuk in the opening round.
In the on-going second round, Ponomariov drew with Dutch aspirant Erwin L’Ami.
Besides Anand and Nakamura, the other winner on Saturday was Jan Smeets who surprisingly made short work of Alexei Shirov. Smeets needed only 25 moves in Ruy Lopez to produce the first decisive result of the premier event, previously known the Corus chess tournament. This year, the event has been renamed â€” four years after Tata Steel took over Corus for $7.6 billion.
This year, the 14-man elite Group â€˜A’ boasts of an average rating of 2740 that makes it a Category 20 event. Significantly, the field includes seven players from the World’s top-11 bracket including the top four â€” Carlsen, Anand, Aronian and Kramnik.
In â€˜C’group, Tania Sachdev followed Anand’s footsteps to make a winning start. The lowest rated girl in the 14-player field stunned second seeded Serbian Grandmaster Ivan Ivanisevic with black pieces in 30 moves of their Vienna Game.
However, in the opening round of Group â€˜B’, Surya Shekhar Ganguly surrendered to Gabriel Sarggissian in 38 moves of Queen’s Gambit Accepted.
The results (first round):
Group â€˜A’: Ruslan Ponomariov (Ukr) lost to Viswanathan Anand; Jan Smeets (Ned) bt Alexei Shirov (Esp); Hikaru Nakamura (USA) bt Alexander Grischuk (Rus); Magnus Carlsen (Nor) drew with Levon Aronian (Arm); Ian Nepomniachtchi (Rus) drew with Vladimir Kramnik (Rus); Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (Fra) drew with Wang Hao (Chn); Erwin L’Ami (Ned) drew with Anish Giri (Ned).