Anand makes up ground in Nanjing

Viswanathan Anand won a comfortable game against Wang Yue as the others drew in the sixth round of the Pearl Spring tournament in Nanjing.
In the top of the table battle, Carlsen was always worse against Bacrot but never looked in danger.

In the clash between the leaders, mass exchanges in the early phase led to a triple minor piece endgame where Bacrot had the advantage of the bishop pair. Carlsen then traded his remaining bishop for knight, but Bacrot was unable to make any significant progress with his two bishops against Carlsen's two knights.

Vugar Gashimov: the attack only yielded half the spoils (Europe Echecs)
Etienne Bacrot: in good form (Europe Echecs)

Anand obtained an edge with Black direct from the opening due to the potential advantage of the bishop pair. In order to limit the Indian's bishops Wang Yue accepted crippled pawns but this ultimately led to him losing a pawn. Anand converted his advantage after simplifying into a rook endgame.

Wang YueCHN27320-1Viswanathan AnandIND2800Catalan/Bogoljubov51
Etienne BacrotFRA27160.5-0.5Magnus CarlsenNOR2826Queen's Indian Defence48
Vugar GashimovAZE27190.5-0.5Veselin TopalovBUL2803Caro-Kann Panov43

In Gashimov against Topalov White opted for the Panov Attack against the Caro-Kann. The Azerbaijani was happy to accept an isolated queen's pawn, which is typical of this variation, but in return obtained attacking chances. Advancing his h-pawn and even sacrificing it for play led to a tense game, but he found nothing better than a mass culling and an equal endgame.

Here are the standings after the sixth round:

1Magnus CarlsenNOR28264.5
2Etienne BacrotFRA27164
3Viswanathan AnandIND28003.5
4Vugar GashimovAZE27192.5
5Veselin TopalovBUL28032
6Wang YueCHN27321.5

Here is a summary of the previous rounds:

Round 1:

Viswanathan AnandIND28000.5-0.5Wang YueCHN2732Slav/Grünfeld
Magnus CarlsenNOR28261-0Etienne BacrotFRA2716Scotch Opening
Veselin TopalovBUL28030.5-0.5Vugar GashimovAZE2719Slav Defence

Round 2:

Wang YueCHN27320.5-0.5Vugar GashimovAZE2719Nimzoindian Defence
Etienne BacrotFRA27160.5-0.5Veselin TopalovBUL2803Nimzoindian Defence
Viswanathan AnandIND28000.5-0.5Magnus CarlsenNOR2826Spanish Breyer

Round 3:

Magnus CarlsenNOR28261-0Wang YueCHN2732Petroff Defence
Veselin TopalovBUL28030-1Viswanathan AnandIND2800Queen's Gambit Declined Lasker
Vugar GashimovAZE27190-1Etienne BacrotFRA2716English Opening

Round 4:

Vugar GashimovAZE27190.5-0.5Magnus CarlsenNOR2826Spanish Breyer
Etienne BacrotFRA27161-0Viswanathan AnandIND2800Slav Defence
Veselin TopalovBUL28030.5-0.5Wang YueCHN2732Slav Defence

Round 5:

Viswanathan AnandIND28000.5-0.5Vugar GashimovAZE2719Slav/Grünfeld Defence25
Magnus CarlsenNOR28261-0Veselin TopalovBUL2803Spanish d332
Wang YueCHN27320-1Etienne BacrotFRA2716Queen's Indian Defence42

For those who like to follow the games, in Europe it means an early morning and in America a very short night!

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