After a rather forgettable outing in the rapid and blitz event where he finished last, Anand did not give any chance to Nakamura out of a Queen’s gambit declined.
The pieces changed hands at regular intervals as Anand equalised with a typical central breakthrough in the middle game and the players arrived at a drawn queen and pawns endgame in quick time where the peace was a just result.
In the other decisive game of the day, Levon Aronian of Armenia came up with a brilliant endgame show to beat Sergey Karjakin of Russia.
The other two games in the ten-player round-robin tournament ended in draws as Maxime Vachier-Lagrave split the point with world champion Magnus Carlsen of Norway and USA’s Fabiano Caruana could not make much headway against Alexander Grischuk of Russia.
It turned out to be a good day for Mamedyarov who enjoyed his typical variety of chess with complications remaining for the major part.
Until a week ago, Wesley So was leading the Grand Chess tour but the pounding in rapid and blitz and the first round loss means that the Filipino-turned-American will have to recover lost ground.
It was another Queen’s gambit declined of the day but Mamedyarov put pressure on the king side to win a pawn by force. The technicalities remained but the Azerbaijani made it look like child’s play and it was a picturesque finale where the checkmate was imminent.
Aronian outwitted Karjakin out of a Berlin defense game as white. Slow manoeuvring throughout the game out of a level position ensued in the queen-less middle game and Karjakin was the first to err. Aronian wrapped it up in 69 moves.