A file photo of Viswanathan Anand (Reuters)
Khanty Mansiysk: Taking a practical decision, Indian ace Viswanathan Anand let Russia's Dmitry Andreikin off the hook as he settled for a draw to maintain his full-point lead in the Candidates Chess tournament on Thursday.
It turned out to be an exciting day for Anand who had things running for him once again. The five-time World Champion benefitted from results on other boards to maintain his lead with just two rounds to come in the tournament that decides the challenger for the next world championship match.
Armenian Levon Aronian failed to break the ice against Russian Vladimir Kramnik and drew while Azeri Shakhriyar Mamedyarov's wild opening choice also ended up giving him just a half point against Sergey Karjakin of Russia. The other game of the day ended decisively in favour of Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria who avenged his earlier loss in the tournament against Peter Svidler of Russia.
Anand on 7.5 points continued to be ahead of Levon Aronian who is on 6.5, a half point clear of Karjakin and Mamedyarov. The other four participants, Svidler, Topalov, Andreikin and Kramnik have 5.5 points each and are out of contention for a first place finish.
Courage sometimes is a quiet voice that says I will come back and try again tomorrow. This was typically Anand's game and the Indian ace showed tiredness for the first time in the tournament.
The Caro Kann defense met with a usual 'Classical' treatment from Anand and after a big error by Andreikin on the 24th move, Anand was clearly on top. Not missing out on anything initially, Anand calculated deep and correct to win a piece by force. However, after reaching the time control, the position had repeated twice and Anand took a practical decision to repeat instead of going for the victory that was there for the taking.
"I was already feeling very tired, the game had taken a lot of energy and I was not able to find the win and I decided not to tempt fate," said Anand in the post game conference.