Anand beats Short in London Classic

London:World Champion Viswanathan Anand finally found his winning ways when he defeated Nigel Short of England in the fifth round of London Chess Classic here. After as many as 11 drawn games in competitive classical games and a shocking loss against American Hikaru Nakamura in the previous round, the Indian ace beat Short who is clearly having a tough time here.

Yet again, the day produced three decisive games out of a possible four in the nine-player round robin tournament and it could have been four out of four had Armenian star Levon Aronian cashed in on his advantage against world number one Magnus Carlsen of Norway.

This was the only game to end in a draw in the fourth round and the biggest gainer was Nakamura who emerged as the sole leader on 10 points following a tense victory over David Howell of England. In the other game of the day, Vladimir Kramnik of Russia accounted for Michael Adams of England.

With four rounds to come, Nakamura is followed by Carlsen a full point behind now and the American is sitting pretty as the Norwegian is yet to play with Anand. Interestingly, both Nakamura and Carlsen are yet to receive their off-day in the event which means they have only three games left before the finish.

Sharing the third spot with an extra game in hand are Kramnik and Luke McShane of England who both have eight points apiece in the football-like scoring system while Aronian and Anand are joint fifth now with five points each while Short stands sole seventh on three points. Sharing the last spot are Howell and Adams who both have just two points each in their kitty.

Anand employed the Sicilian defence to keep himself in the reckoning against Short who chose the Rossolimo Sicilian this time to exert pressure. Anand exchanged pieces at regular intervals and equalised in the middle game and Short felt the heat towards the end of first time control as he missed the thread of the position. He was on a role thereafter as he knocked down one pawn and went on to record a smooth victory.

For Nakamura it was hard work in the English opening wherein Howell made some positional inaccuracies. The American was in full control in the late middle game having made a foray through the queen side and after the tactical melee ended, Howell found himself a couple of pawns less and called it a day.

Kramnik scored a technical victory over Adams while Aronian missed his chances to let Carlsen off the hook. Although it was a bad day for England in the classic, there were some positives for them in the open section as Jovanka Houska defeated talented Sahaj Grover to be among leaders in the open section. Jovanka shares the lead with compatriot GM Peter Wells and former world junior champion and top seed Abhijeet Gupta on 5.5 points out of a possible six.