By Arvind Aarib
In this 10-player Category 22 event at Saint Louis in the USA, Anand is on 3/5 and shares the second place with World Champion Magnus Carlsen of Norway. France’s Maxime Vachier-Lagrave leads this mighty event with 3.5/5.
Four rounds remain to be played in this 5th Sinquefield Cup. In the first four rounds, Anand drew Nakamura, Svidler, Carlsen and Aronian. Anand still has to face Vachier-Lagrave, Karjakin, Wesley So and Nepomniachtchi.
Thirty years ago, Anand achieved India’s greatest title in chess at that time. Winning the World Junior at Baguio in the Philippines. Anand was at his best with the white pieces against Caruana in the fifth round.
For some time, Anand has been at the receiving end of the English opening as black. Now, wiser at 47, Anand has decided to play the English opening himself as white himself to see how it works on the black players. It was like playing the Sicilian dragon with white.
Caruana went for an attack with black and Anand’s counterattack was brilliant. Anand’s win featured a bishop sacrifice, queen sacrifice and the attack with a newly promoted queen ended the game in 29 moves.
Standings after five rounds: 1 Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (Fra) 3.5/5; 2-3. Viswanathan Anand (Ind), Magnus Carlsen (Nor) 3 each; 4-6. Levon Aronian (Arm), Fabiano Caruana (USA), Sergey Karjakin (Rus) 2.5 each; 7-10. Peter Svidler (Rus), Wesley So (USA), Hikaru Nakamura (USA), Ian Nepomniachtchi (Rus) 2 each.