Dortmund:Grandmaster Viswanathan Anand gave a rock solid performance with black pieces to hold World Champion Vladimir Kramnik in the opening round of the Dortmund International Chess on Saturday.
GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan, the third seed in the tournament, started off the tournament on a high note by emerging as the lone winner in the first round after defeating
local hope GM Arkadij Naiditsch.
Other games between Norwegian teenager Magnus Carlsen and Peter Leko of Hungary and Israel's Boris Gelfand versus Russian Evgeny Alekseev ended in draws.
Anand played the Slav defense against Kramnik and got a satisfactory position from the opening. He then slowly proceeded to neutralise the slight advantage held by his
opponent by trading pieces and getting rid of Kramnik's bishop pair.
Kramnik tried to make most of the chances he had, but Anand blocked every attempt to infiltrate into his position.
Finally, a Queen endgame with equal pawns was reached and a draw was agreed to after 35 moves.
The game between Mamedyarov and Naiditsch began with the two knight's defense, a relatively rare opening in such top level events.
Mamedyarov, whose pieces were more active, had a slight advantage after the opening despite the symmetrical pawn structure. Naiditsch managed to exchange queens but damaged his pawn structure in the process. Mamedyarov exploited the pawn weakness with technical precision and won on the 44th move in a bishop ending.