Chennai: Former world champion Viswanathan Anand on Thursday registered his first win in the ongoing FIDE-Chess.com Online Nations Cup, beating Russian Ian Nepomniachtchi in just 17 moves in a fifth round match that ended in a 2-2 draw.
In its second match of the day, India went down to USA 1.5-2.5 in the sixth round with B Adhiban’s loss at the hands of Wesley So proving decisive.
Anand, Vidit Gujrathi and Koneru Humpy drew their games against Hikaru Nakamura, Fabiano Caruana and Irina Krush respectively.
Anand underlined his class by getting the better of Nepomniachtchi in just 17 moves to set the tone for India in the tie against Russia.
However, after Adhiban and D Harika drew their games against Sergey Karjakin and Olga Girya respectively, Vladislav Artemiev salvaged a draw for Russia with a superb win over P Harikrishna.
In other games in round five, China beat USA 2.5-1.5 while Europe defeated Rest of the World by a similar margin.
In the sixth round, China continued its domination by thrashing Rest of the World 3.5-0.5 to maintain its position at the top with 11 match points and 16.5 board points.
India is fifth on the table with 2 match points and 10 board points.
India had suffered a double blow, losing its matches to Europe and top-seeded China by similar 1.5-2.5 margins in the third and fourth round respectively on Wednesday.
The event follows the double round-robin format, with the two leading teams battling for the title in the “Super-final”.
All matches involve four boards – represented by three men and a woman player. The rapid time-control is 25-minute plus 10-second increment per move.