World no.2 and five-time world champion Viswanathan Anand of India opened his 2015 Sinquefield Cup campaign on a disastrous note. In the first round on August 23, 2015, the Indian lost to USA’s Hikaru Nakamura and next day he suffered his second consecutive defeat in the tournament against Russia’s Alexander Grischuk. In the next round on August 25, Anand managed a draw against Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria. In round 4 on Wednesday, Anand had another drawn game with Italy’s Fabiano Caruna. In a field of 10 Super Grand Masters, Vishy Ananad with just 1 point is poorly placed at no.9 with Bulgarian Veselin Topalov leading the pack with 3. The third edition of the Annual Sinquefield Cup began on August 22, 2015 and it will run until September 3, 2015 at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis, Missouri, USA. Other than Vishy Anand, the single round-Robin tournament features world champion Magnus Carlsen of Norway, Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria, Hikaru Nakamura of USA, Fabiano Caruna of Italy, Anish Giri of the Netherlands, Wesley So of USA, Alexander Grischuk of Russia, Levon Aronian of Armenia and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave of France.
With four rounds completed in the Sinquefield Cup at Saint Louis, Bulgarian Veselin Topalov sits pretty on top. Topalov beat Magnus Carlsen the first round, Hikaru Nakamura in the second and he drew Anand and Russian Alexander Grischuk in third and fourth rounds. With two losses Anand has weakened himself to the no.9 spot. Levon Aronian is second also with 3 points, Anish Giri on third with 2.5, Carlsen on fourth with 2.5 as well, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave is at fifth spot, Hikaru Nakamura is sixth, his compatriot Wesley So on seventh and Alexander Grischuk is eighth. After Anand, at tenth place is defending champion Fabiano Caruna. The tournament has five more rounds left and anything can happen between now and September 3rd.
In round one, Nakamura pressurized Anand but initially the Indian defended cleverly. However, Anand missed a couple of chances and suddenly when he was unable to protect his pawn, he resigned. In the second round on August 24, Anand was inaccurate once more against Russia’s Alexander Grischuk. The Russian began with correct bishop opening and held an upper hand against the Indian. Regardless Anand managed to trouble Grischuk with some complicated moves but made some unavoidable mistakes in trying to play quickly. The Russian took advantage of Anand’s errors and won the game.
In the third round against Veselin Topalov, Anand started dreadfully, when he was expected to override the Bulgarian. After two consecutive losses, it was time for the Indian to get back into the reckoning but Anand chose Bb5+Sicilian but failed to obtain any opening advantage. Topalov had earlier conquered Magnus Carlsen and against Anand, the Bulgarian settled for a draw. In the fourth round against Fabiano Caruana, Anand played a novel game with Black but once again the Indian ace made some very strange strategic errors and lent himself into danger against the defending champion. However, the blockade that Anand created helped him thwart Caruna, who pushed forward. In the end, however, the game was drawn.
Anand next plays Frenchman Maxime Vachier-Lagrave in round 5 and after that only 4 rounds will remain. Unless Anand registers a couple of victories quickly, he will continue to be at the bottom in this prestigious tournament.
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