Wijk Aan Zee, January 16: Five-time world champion Viswanathan Anand crushed USA's Fabiano Caruana in the third round to join Dutchman Anish Giri in lead on 2.5 points at the Tata Steel Masters Chess tournament here. For Anand, it was his second victory in three days as he looks for a record sixth title here.
Caruana went for the Petroff defense, an opening he had used in round one also. Anand went for a topical variation full of complexities and it was in the early middle game that Caruana reacted strongly on the 16th move. "I was very surprised," Anand said in the post-game chat adding, "I thought it didn't call for such extreme measures."
In the moves that followed, Caruana gave up two minor pieces for a rook and a pawn and even though the position remained a bit unclear, the American clearly did not like what was happening. It was on the 28th move that Caruana shut his remaining chances. A pawn capture led to a lost position. "Something went wrong in his calculation, he went down a very forced line and his calculation just missed the mark," Anand said.
Indian Superstar Vishwanathan Anand defeated GM @FabianoCaruana 🇺🇸 in round 3 of the @tatasteelchess @vishy64theking won this pulsating game which had end to end stuff— Chess.com - India (@chesscom_in) January 16, 2018
Vishy found a nice tactical motif to win at the end
Vishy leads the Masters at #TSCT18 with @anishgiri 🇳🇱 pic.twitter.com/0uzmXsQUip
As it happened in the game, a pretty queen sacrifice on the 42nd move sealed the fate of the game. After finishing third in the previous edition, Grandmaster B Adhiban clearly seems to be struggling here. The Indian suffered his second defeat in as many days going down to Gawain Jones of England. With ten rounds still to come in the 14-players, 13- rounds event, top rated Magnus Carlsen of Norway, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan and Jones share the third spot with two points apiece.
In the challengers section being held simultaneously, Magnus Carlsen continued his impressive run and outclassed Amin Baseem of Egypt. It was a one-sided affair as Gujrathi won a piece and then had to showcase some routine technique. Gujrathi remained as the joint leader in this section along-side Anton Korobov of Ukraine on 2.5 points.
D Harika played out her third draw in the event, signing peace with Erwin L'Ami of Holland. Meanwhile, Indian Grandmaster Harika Dronavalli had to settle for her third consecutive draw against higher ranked Dutch Grandmaster Erwin L'Ami after a long encounter here.
After signing truce in the first two games, World No. 13 Harika Dronavalli, playing with white pieces started off the game on an attacking note and looked to take the game to her opponent. However, she missed out on moving onto a more advantageous position as the pressure from the clock got the better of her.
"I started off really well but couldn't capitalize on my start in the time control and missed out on my opportunity," the Guntur lass said. Harika has accumulated one and a half points from her three games and will take on Vidit Gujarathi in her next match.
Round 3 Masters: Vladimir Kramnik (Rus, 1.5) drew with Yifan Hou (Chn, 0.5); Peter Svidler (Rus, 1.5) drew with Anish Giri (Ned, 2.5); Magnus Carlsen (Nor, 2) drew with Wei Yi (Chn, 1); Gawain Jones (Eng, 2) beat B Adhiban (Ind, 0.5); V Anand (Ind, 2.5) beat Fabiano Caruana (Usa, 1); Wesley So (Usa, 1.5) drew with Sergey Karjakin(Rus, 1.5); Shakhriyar Mamedyarov Aze, 2) drew with Maxim Matlakov (Rus, 1).
Challengers: Anton Korobov (Ukr, 2.5) beat Benjamin Bok (Ned, 1); Olga Girya (Rus, 1.5) drew with Jeffery Xiong (Usa, 1.5); Jorden Van Foreest (Ned, 1.5) lost to Matthias Bluebaum (Ger, 1); Aryan Tari (Nor, 1.5) drew with Dmitry Gordievsky (Rus, 2); Michal Krasenkow (Pol, 1) drew with Lucas Van Foreest (Ned, 1.5); Amin Bassem (Egy, 1) lost to Vidit Santosh Gujrathi (Ind, 2.5); D Harika (Ind, 1.5) drew with Erwin L'Ami (Ned, 1.5).