Sandnes (Norway): World champion Viswanthan Anand could do little with white pieces as his opponent Levon Aronian of Armenia held him to an easy draw in the first round of Norway Chess 2013 super tournament.
It turned out to be rather sedate Anand who has got a tough draw in the tournament. White pieces against most of the top seeds and black against lower ranked players means that the Indian ace has to be in top form to deliver the goods and in the opener Aronian was not troubled much.
Sergey Karjakin of Russia continued from where he had left -- winning the blitz drawing of lots -- and put it across Teimour Radjabov of Azerbaijan whose woes continued after falling hugely in the world ranking.
Norwegian world number one Magnus Carlsen, who is set to play Anand in the next round as well as in the next world championship match in Chennai, could not do more than splitting the point with former world champion Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria.
The other two games in the high category 10-player round-robin tournament, however, were decisive as Russian Peter Svidler scored a lucky win over Jon Ludvig Hammer of Norway and Hikaru Nakamura proved smarter than Wang Hao of China.
After the end of the first round, Nakamura, Karjakin and Svidler emerged as early leaders with a full point and Anand, Aronian, Topalov and Carlsen are close behind with a half point each. The three losers are on the bottom of the table.
Anand went for the closed Ruy Lopez as white and his strategy did not yield desirable result. Aronian was well armed in the opening and as many as three minor pieces changed hands by 13th move itself.
The resulting middle game with more heavy pieces was not dry but the presence of opposite coloured Bishops did not give any chance to either player. After a bit of a shadow-boxing, the peace was signed on move 33.


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