Five-time world champion Viswanathan Anand played out an easy draw against American Hikaru Nakamura in the second round of Altibox Norway Chess tournament.
After conceding a draw with white against Levon Aronian of Armenia, Anand got the favour returned although he had to work relatively harder to maintain parity against Nakamura, often termed as his nemesis.
For the record, the American went for a rare sixth move in the Queen’s gambit declined and Anand admitted he was a confused a lot by this approach. However, as it turned out, the surprise remained just that and did not contain much venom as Anand got a healthy position with some strategic manoeuvres.
Nakamura’s attempt at applying pressure met with some perfect response and the pieces treaded almost in a heap as the players reached a perfectly drawn rook and pawns endgame. The peace was signed after 39 moves.
The day did not feature any decisive games and the status quo after the first round remained on what was a pretty dull day. World Champion Magnus Carlsen came up with some fine home-work’ to draw easily with Sergey Karjakin of Russia.
It was a serious opening novelty that saw Carlsen sacrifice a pawn and equalise completely leading to an endgame out of a Moller variation in the Ruy Lopez.
The world champion however wished it to be more interesting.
I don’t think we should sit here and congratulate ourselves with a novelty that leads to a draw, said Carlsen.
Carlsen continues to lead the tables on 1.5 points after two rounds and a pack of eight players including Anand are right behind him on one point apiece.