Anand Also Undefeated But Playing it Very Safe
With just two rounds to go at the Isle of Man chess tournament, Vidit Gujarathi (2702) is India’s best bet at the end of Round 7 yesterday.
Playing above his rating, Vidit earned a brilliant draw against Magnus Carlsen, the monarch of today’s chess world, yesterday, to take his score to 5.5 points, sharing the third spot with four others.
Viswanathan Anand (2794) is half a point behind, playing it safe even against much lower-ranked players in a desperate attempt to ward off defeat. This is understandable considering his second-round exit at the recent Tbilisi World Cup which Levon Aronian went on to win defeating Deng Liren of China in the final.
I have been watching the Isle of Man tournament every night live online and it is clear to me that Anand is playing subpar chess, despite remaining undefeated thus for.
In the sixth round, he got into a comfortable position against SP Sethuraman and missed several winning variations before eventually scoring a full point.
In Round 7, though, he was in a hurry, quickly exchanging most pieces and settling for a draw against a player ranked 230 points below him, Lenderman, Aleksandr (2565). He was perhaps trying to skirt the possibility of running into Carlsen in one of the two remaining rounds.
G Joslin Vethakumar