(The Netherlands), Jan 17:
Five-time world champion Viswanathan Anand on Friday crashed through the defences of Jeffery Xiong of United States to score his first victory in the Tata Steel Masters chess tournament that moved to the iconic Eindhoven Soccer Stadium for a day.
The change of venue as part of the ‘chess-on-tour’ turned out to be a good omen for Anand who had been struggling thus far with one loss and three draws. The Indian was relentless in the round four match as he came up with some highly creative chess.
It was a French Defense Winawer varation wherein none of the players castled throughout the game. Anand launched a king side attack pretty early with his white pieces and enjoyed spatial advantage in the middle game.
Xiong defended tenaciously but in the end Anand found a crucial central breakthrough after which the resulting rook and pawns endgame was a walk in the park.
Anand moved to joint sixth spot with 2.5 points on a day that saw Firouzja Alireza scoring a sensational victory over super-solid Anish Giri of Holland.
The Iranian, who is playing under FIDE flag currently, joined overnight leader Wesley So of United States in lead on 3.5 points and these two enjoy a half point lead over nearest rivals Vladislav Artemiev of Russia, Fabiano Caruana of United States and Jorden Van Foreest of Holland. (PTI)