Anand crushes Vachier-Lagrave, in joint lead

Stavanger (Norway), June 6:
World Rapid champion Viswanathan Anand came up with an inspired performance to outplay Maxime Vachier-Lagrave of France and jump to joint lead on 3.5 points after the end of the seventh round of Altibox Norway Chess tournament here.
The win came after five draws and one battle against Chinese Ding Liren that was declared as a non-played game after the latter withdrew.
Anand came up with a surprise weapon by going for the open Spanish and as expected, Vachier-Lagrave chose a double edged continuation that gave Anand enough chances.
Although more than 20 years older than the Frenchman, Anand showed why he is still a force to reckon with. The Indian ace simply out-calculated his opponent when it mattered.
It was an exchange sacrifice by Anand that set the tone. Vachier-Lagrave did not think much was wrong with his position and while his judgement was right, his calculation was not as Anand almost immediately ended up in a winning endgame after the trade of queens. Vachier-Lagrave could have avoided the absolute slump but the move he missed was easy to miss.
“The board was set on fire by Anand’s 21st move and the initiative swung immediately.  (PTI)