Anand Left in Must-Win Situation After Defeat to Fabiano Caruana

From holding the lead, Anand now stands sole third on 5.5 points.

2 min read
Vishwanathan Anand (Photo: Reuters)

Five-time world champion Viswanathan Anand suffered a defeat at the hands of Fabiano Caruana of United States in the 10th round of Candidates Chess tournament.

On what turned out to be a bad day in office, Anand just could not control the proceedings and was outplayed by a much younger Caruana and the Indian ace have a mountain to climb if he has to make a comeback.

With just four rounds to come, Caruana and Karjakin now share the lead on six points each while Anand stands sole third on 5.5 points likely to be joined by Levon Aronian of Armenia.

Karjakin drew with Anish Giri of Holland who played out his 10th draw in the tournament while Hikaru Nakamura of United States did not have much troubles holding Peter Svidler of Russia in the other games of the day. Aronian held a much better position but misplayed it and was seen defending a slightly inferior position likely to end in a draw against Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria.

Anand was outplayed by Caruana out of a seemingly innocuous English opening. Playing black Anand went for a topical variation but Caruana was apparently better prepared as he got a decent lead on the clock in the early phase of the game.

Anand tried to complicate matters but Caruana was spot on to spot a piece sacrifice in the middle game and after the dust subsided, Anand gave the piece back but landed himself in an inferior endgame. Caruana soon was on top and Anand parted with a rook for minor piece which did not turn out to be enough to save the game.

The Indian ace will now be under pressure especially in the next round when he takes on Karjakin as white. If Anand is not able to win the next round it will be almost impossible to stage a recovery in the last three rounds. Anand will have to win the next game to stay afloat.

Pairings round 9: Fabiano Caruana (Usa, 6) beat V Anand (Ind, 5.5); Sergey Karjakin (Rus, 6) drew with Anish Giri (Ned, 5); Peter Svidler (Rus, 4.5) drew with Hikaru Nakamura (Usa, 4); Levon Aronian (Arm, 5) playing Veselin Topalov (Bul, 3).

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