St Petersburg (Russia): World Champion Viswanathan Anand got off to a good start in the second leg of Alekhine Memorial Chess Tournament by holding Vladimir Kramnik for an easy draw in the sixth round.
     
Ending the Paris leg on a high with a victory against Ding Liren of China, Anand has every reason to cheer with the result against Kramnik as in the remaining three rounds the Indian ace will get two white games.
     
Much unlike the Paris half, there was not as much excitement and for the first time in the tournament all the five games ended in draws leaving the standings unchanged.
     
With three rounds to come, Maxime Vachier-Lagraev of France remained at the helm with four points, followed by Boris Gelfand of Israel, Levon Aronian of Armenia, Laurent Fressinet of France and Michael Adams of England, who all have 3.5 points apiece.
     
Anand is sole sixth with three points and can take heart from the fact that the distance between him and the players ahead of him is not too much.
     
Also with white games slated against Fressinet and Peter Svidler of Russia, the Indian ace has every reason to be optimistic about his chances in the tournament.
     
Ding Liren and the Russian duo of Kramnik and Nikita Vituigov share the seventh spot on 2.5 points each, a full point clear of Svidler who is languishing at the bottom of the standings.

(Agencies)

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