Disappointing start to Anand at Corus

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Wijk Aan Zee (Netherlands) Jan 13: It was a pathetic day for Indian sports fans as World champion Viswanathan Anand and Grand Master Koneru Humpy were thrashed by their opponents in the opeining day of the Corus Grandmasters tournament.

Anand, who has won five times at Wijk Aan Zee, went down to Teimour Radjabov in a marathon 87- move game Saturday, where he had black pieces. In another game Koneru Humpy was defeated by lower rated Jan Smeets of Netherlands. In another Group match Pentala harikrishna drew his first round game with Englishman Nigel Short.

The tournament itself got off to an explosive start with Magnus Carlsen of Sweden scoring a shock win over Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Lev Aronian stunning Veselin Topalov.
In Group C, Pontus Carlsson of Sweden beat teenager Parimarjan Negi, playing with white.

The Radjabov-Anand game was an ultra-sharp Semi-Slav. Anand was in trouble straight from the opening. For a long time, he seemed to be holding out with a chance to split the point as Radjabov was in time pressure, even while being better off on board.

At move 40, Anand did not mind giving in the exchange in the hope of drawing chances. The young Azerbaijani took the exchange, but in the presence of rooks, it was tough to convert that. However Radjabov, who was a joint-winner here, last year, grounded down Anand and took the full point with a great fight in 87 moves.

It was a big setback for Anand, who held a 9-4 head-to-head win-loss record against Radjabov. He will have to recover quickly as he plays Mamedyarov, the world No.4 in second round.


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