World Champion Vishy Anand won his first game of the tournament against Arkadij Naiditsch with the white pieces. A very complicated game finished when the German sacrificed one of his knights for an attack that couldn’t break through.
The game started with the very fashionable 4.d3 line of the Spanish, this was a sign that the Indian was looking for a long battle and wasn’t in the mood to go into the drawish lines of the Berlin Wall. After the opening, the game became more strategic thanks to Naiditsch’s decision to create a closed pawn structure with a backward pawn on d6.
The World Champion started to maneuver around looking for play on the queenside, while Naiditsch defended all his weaknesses correctly. However, things turned upside down when the German went for a knight sacrifice with 28…Kh7, when according to the computer, he could have gone for a safer route with 28…Bf8 – he would have sacrificed a knight anyway, but in a much more favorable position.
The game finished on move 38 when Vishy forced the exchange of queens. With this win, Anand is now the only player with a plus score besides the leader Caruana.