STAVANGER (Norway), May 29: World rapid champion Viswanathan Anand was caught off-guard by Levon Aronian of Armenia as he conceded an easy draw in the first round of Altibox Norway chess tournament.
Coming to the first round after a fine performance in the preceding blitz tournament where he tied for second spot, Anand could do little as Aronian came up with an unusual move order in the Anti-Berlin as black and the game ended without any drama.
It was on the eighth move that Anand was caught unaware. Aronian was following an earlier game by countryman Hrant Melkumyan and as Anand confided to him after the game, he had not paid enough attention to this move order.
“I was just telling Levon that even though I was aware of this idea I wasn’t able to spend a lot of time on it, since there isn’t a sub-system in the Anti-Berlin that Levon doesn’t play. So I spread myself too thin”, said Anand in the post-game chat.
The day witnessed four draws out of five games and the lone winner was World champion and local favourite Magnus Carlsen who showed the way to his next challenger Fabiano Caruana of United States.
While Carlsen and Caruana are set to meet in November this year for the world championship clash in London, the former took a psychological edge for the match as this was their last Classical encounter before London. (PTI)