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Anand strikes again for the World team
June 13, 2004 00:58 IST
Grandmaster Viswanathan Anand struck again for the World team and set the stage for its third straight triumph over Armenia in the third match of the Armenia versus Rest of the World contest in Moscow on Saturday.
The Armenians eventually had to settle for a 2.5-3.5 score, their third straight loss in as many rounds even though the world's top rated player Garry Kasparov strove hard for an equalizer for them in a long drawn game against Frenchman Ettine Bacrot, who denied him the pleasure in a keenly-contested game.
At the halfway stage in the six-round match that is being organised to celebrate the 75th birth anniversary of late Armenian World champion Tigran Petrosian, the World team enhanced their three-point overnight lead to four and will have a good cushion to back them in the rounds to come mainly due to the superlative form of Viswanathan Anand and Russian Peter Svidler.
Both Anand and Svidler, also good friends off the board, have an identical score of 2.5 points from their three games so far. Each of the six players in both teams has to play one game with the rival team member in this 36-games match.
Anand paid a fitting tribute to Petrosian with a perfectly played endgame arising out of a slightly difficult situation in the middle game.
In the Sicilian Paulsen employed by the Indian stalwart, Akopian apparently had a slightly better position after the opening but blew it away soon after the endgame arose.
This was also partly because the Armenian wanted to win being white, as was evident with his refusal to repeat moves in the middle game that would have got him an easy draw.
As it happened in the game, Anand made all correct manoeuvres in the rook and minor pieces ending and steadily knocked down one pawn after another on the kingside.
Akopian also did his bit on the other flank but his pawn roller proved much slower than Anand's who pocketed his second full point in the event.
After two lacklustre draws, Hungarian Peter Leko who is playing for Armenia because his wife is an Armenian, finally came good for his team as he scored a much needed victory over Loek Van Wely, the Dutch GM.
It was an original approach by Leko that yielded high dividends in the Queen's Indian defence game wherein Van Wely appeared at sea with his white pieces soon after an intense middle game was reached.
The players had castled on the opposite flank and Van Wely's attacking bid came at the expense of two pieces that Leko digested without any troubles. The miniature lasted just 22 moves.
Another short affair was the game between Boris Gelfand, the most famous people to have studied under Petrosian, and young Spaniard Francisco Vallejo Pons.
Playing white Gelfand landed himself in to grave difficulties in the Nimzo Indian defence game and ended up losing a pawn for little compensation.
The counter play by the Israeli did not materialize in the final stages of the game as Vallejo obtained a devastating attack against a vulnerable king and wrapped the issue in just 24 moves.
The remaining three games of the day were drawn.
The results round 3:
Rest of the World (11) v/s Armenia (7)
Vladimir Akopian (Arm) lost to Viswanathan Anand (ROW); Boris Gelfand (Arm) lost to Francisco Vallejo Pons (Esp); Loek Van Wely (ROW) lost to Peter Leko (Arm); Peter Svidler (ROW) drew with Rafael Vaganian (Arm); Michael Adams (ROW) drew with Smbat Lputian (Arm); Garry Kasparov (Arm) drew with Etienne Bacrot (ROW).
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