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Anand wins Corus title
January 25, 2004 21:28 IST
Last Updated: January 26, 2004 10:18 IST
Viswanathan Anand made minimum fuss of his last round game against Ivan Sokolov to draw in just 14 moves and ensure that he retained the Corus Grandmasters chess title at the De Moriaan Sports Centre in Wijk Aan Zee.
The Indian Mind Champion tallied 8.5 points from 13 rounds with five wins, seven draws and one loss.
As he entered the final round against Sokolov, Anand, needed just a draw to ensure a share of the title. Michael Adams and Peter Leko both needed to score wins to join Anand at the top. In the Corus Championships, the organisers declare players with same points as joint winners.
While Adams played a 25-move draw against the Russian champion, Peter Svidler, Peter Leko, with black pieces, was still engaged in a battle with Vladimir Kramnik at the time of writing this report.
Earlier in the 12th round, Anand's unbeaten record at Corus since 1998 was brought to an end by Bulgarian Veselin Topalov in the penultimate round. The Indian Mind Champion, who had led virtually through the tournament still maintained his lead, but with one round to just a slender half, as two players, Peter Leko and Michael Adams chased him hard.
Anand's defeat also brought his streak of 70 unbeaten games at Corus to an end. Anand's last loss at Corus was to Judit Polgar back in 1998.
Before Anand's loss to Topalov, Peter Leko had aleady finished his short 19-move draw against Evegeny Bareev from a French Rubinstein. Michael Adams joined Leko in the second slot as he scored a fine win over Jan Timman in 48 moves from a Sicilian Rauzer game.
Viorel Bologan and Veselin Topalov have tallied 6.5 points each while Kramnik, Akopian and Loek Van Wely have six points each.
It was not a good 12th round for the top three seeds, each of whom had black. Anand was beaten by Topalov, while Kramnik was stunned by Sokolov and Svidler, the third seed went down to Bologan.
Topalov, who was a last minute replacement in the tournament for Alexander Morozevich has always been a tough customer. Two years ago in Dortmund, he gave Anand a rough time and now.
In a Sicilian-Scheveningen, Anand with black looked somewhat uncomfortable, even though the speed of the early part of the game was very fast. Topalov began moving up on the Kingside with his before Anand castled on the Kingside. Then followed exchanges of pieces and soon they were left with a queen, bishops and rook each.
Topalov's queen and rook became menacing and with the dark bishop he was looking very srong. Anand tried to stop that by giving a rook for the dark bishop but Topalov managed to keep the pressure and ultimately resigned on the 44th move.
One of the big surprises of the day was Ivan Sokolov, lying right at the bottom before this round, who stunned Vladimir Kramnik in just 41 moves from a Queen's Indian Petrosyan.
Viorel Bologan beat Peter Svidler in a 39-move Gruenfeld game,while Loek Van Wely drew with Alexey Shirov in 50 moves of a Slav Defence and Vladimir Akopian was held to a draw by Zhang Zhong in the day's longest game lasting 61 moves from a Ruy Lopez.
Results of Round 13: Anand drew with Sokolov, Kramnik playing Leko, Svidler drew with Adams, Timman playing Topalov, Bareev playing Akopian, Shirov playing Bologan, Zhang v Van Wely.
Results of Round 12: Leko drew Bareev, Adams beat Timman, Topalov beat Anand, Bologan beat Svidler, Van Wely drew with Shirov, Akopian drew with Zhang, Sokolov beat Kramnik.