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Anand continues his domination
March 25, 2005 13:35 IST
Viswanathan Anand cruised past Vassily Ivanchuk of Ukraine with a fine performance in the rapid game of the fifth round of 14th Amber Blindfold and Rapid chess tournament on Monaco.
The 1.5-0.5 victory over Ivanchuk helped Anand to take his points tally to a very impressive 9/10 and stretched his lead to a huge 2.5 points over former Russian champion Peter Svidler.
With 6 rounds still to be played in this unique event that features one blindfold and one rapid game in each round, as many as three players -- Peter Leko of Hungary, Alexander Morozevich of Russia and Ivanchuk -- share the third spot with 6 points apiece.
Next in line is Israeli Boris Gelfand who has got 5 points along side Russia's Vladimir Kramnik in the Euros 193250 prize money tournament.
Anand kept his all-win record intact after delivering the knockout punch to Ivanchuk in the Rapid game. The Indian ace has won all his mini-matches here and has dropped just one point out of a possible 10.
Ivanchuk, however, successfully ended Anand's great run in the blindfold section by holding the speed king to a draw. So far in the event Anand has conceded one draw each in blindfold and rapid besides four victories that has also helped him maintain sole lead in both sections.
Playing the white side of a Scotch opening in the blindfold game, Ivanchuk got a routine position where players castled on opposite flanks and even thought the Ukrainian won a pawn, the extra material was quite inconsequential as it could only become a part of Anand's defences. The peace was signed in just 25 moves.
Anand went for a much more complex battle in the return game with white pieces. It was a French defence wherein Ivanchuk opted for less trodden paths and again won a pawn.
However this time, Anand had sufficient compensation and he kept probing till such time Ivanchuk's defences collapsed.
Leading the game to a queen and pawn ending, Anand settled matters decisively in 55 moves.
Svidler came back in to reckoning after beating compatriot Evgeny Bareev.
Surprisingly enough, Bareev was outdone playing white in the Blindfold game itself and later the rapid encounter between the two ended in a draw.
The surprise of the day was Morozevich's loss against Gelfand. The Russian came here with high expectations but yesterday he could only manage a draw in the blindfold and then the rapid cast the dye in favour of Gelfand.
The biggest upset of round five was recorded by young Spaniard Francisco Pons Vallejo who had a memorable outing against Kramnik.
The Spanish hope created a big flutter by downing Kramnik in the blindfold game and later had it easy in the Rapid game to coast to a 1.5-0.5 triumph.
Interestingly, Kramnik lost the blindfold playing white in just 26 moves.
World number three Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria finally got lucky and registered his first victory in the tournament after a long wait.
On the receiving end was Alexei Shirov of Spain who proved no match in the blindfold game.
Results Round 5 (Blindfold): Evgeny Bareev (Rus) lost to Peter Svidler (Rus); Boris Gelfand (Isr) drew with Alexander Morozevich (Rus); Loek Van Wely (Ned) drew with Peter Leko (Hun); Vladimir Kramnik (Rus) lost to Francisco Vallejo Pons (Esp); Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukr) drew with Viswanathan Anand (Ind); Alexei Shirov (Esp) drew with Veselin Topalov (Bul).
Blindfold Standings: 1. Anand 4.5; 2. Svidler 3.5; 3-6. Leko, Ivanchuk, Morozevich, Kramnik, 3 each; 7. Gelfand 2.5; 8-9. Van Wely, 9. Vallejo 2 each; 10. Shirov 1.5; 11-12. Bareev, Topalov 1 each.
Rapid: Svidler drew with Bareev; Morozevich lost to Gelfand; Leko drew with Van Wely; Anand beat Ivanchuk; Topalov beat Shirov; Vallejo drew with Kramnik
Rapid Standings: 1. Anand 4.5; 2-5. Morozevich, Leko, Svidler, Ivanchuk 3 each; 6. Gelfand 2.5; 7-10. Kramnik, Bareev, Shirov, Topalov 2 each; 11-12. Van Wely, Vallejo 1.5 each
Combined Standings after round 5: 1. Anand 9; 2. Svidler 6.5; 3-5. Leko, Morozevich, Ivanchuk 6 each; 6-7. Gelfand, Kramnik 5 each; 8-10. Van Wely, Vallejo Shirov 3.5 each; 11-12. Bareev, Topalov 3 each.
The moves (Blindfold):
Rapid: V Anand v/s V Ivanchuk 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.e5 Nfd7 5.f4 c5 6.Nf3 Nc6 7.Be3 a6 8.Qd2 b5 9.a3 Qa5 10.Be2 b4 11.Nd1 c4 12.a4 c3 13.bxc3 bxc3 14.Qc1 Nb6 15.0-0 Bd7 16.Bf2 Nxa4 17.Be1 Bb4 18.Qe3 Ne7 19.Bd3 Qc7 20.Qe2 a5 21.Ra2 Nb6 22.Ne3 Rc8 23.Bh4 h6 24.Bxe7 Kxe7 25.f5 Rcf8 26.f6+ gxf6 27.exf6+ Kd8 28.Ne5 Bc8 29.Ba6 Nd7 30.N3g4 Qb6 31.Bxc8 Kxc8 32.Qd3 Rhg8 33.Kh1 Rg5 34.Nxd7 Kxd7 35.Ne5+ Kc7 36.Raa1 Qd6 37.Qe3 Rf5 38.Rxf5 exf5 39.Qxh6 Qe6 40.Qg7 Bd6 41.h3 f4 42.Rxa5 Bxe5 43.Qxf8 Bd6 44.Ra7+ Kb6 45.Re7 Bxe7 46.Qxe7 Qe4 47.Qxe4 dxe4 48.h4 Kb5 49.h5 Kb4 50.h6 Ka3 51.h7 Kb2 52.h8Q Kxc2 53.Qe8 Kd3 54.Qxf7 c2 55.Qb3 + black resigned.
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