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Anand to meet Carlsen in Mainz final
August 03, 2008 10:48 IST
World champion Viswanathan Anand [Images] set up a summit clash against Norwegian sensation Magnus Carlsen in the Grenkeleasing World Rapid Chess Championship after signing off his preliminary campaign with two wins and four draws in Mainz.
Aiming for his 11th title, Anand, a winner here in the past seven times, will start favourite against Carlsen who finished second overall in the preliminary stage held between four players on a double round robin basis.
The event, part of the Mainz Chess Classics, is being played with 20 minutes for the entire game with a five-second increment after every move is made.
Like in the first half, Anand drew yet again with Carlsen and the world's highest rated woman player, Judit Polgar of Hungary, and defeated Alexander Morozevich of Russia [Images] to reach four points out of a possible six which proved enough for him to top the standings.
Anand scored two victories against Morozevich and drew the remaining four games to reach four points in all.
Carlsen came a close second, half point behind Anand, after he drew all his games on the second day of the three-day event while Morozevich had to be content with the third spot on three points and will fight it out in a play-off for the third place against Polgar on Sunday.
Anand was business-like coming in to the second day of the event having the joint-lead cushion with him along side Carlsen.
The Indian ace did not give many chances to any of his opponent yet again and topped the group with ease after beating Morozevich with awesome ease in the final round of the day.
Playing with white against Morozevich, Anand employed the Ruy Lopez and slowly improved his position in the middle game to cause irreparable damage to Morozevich's position.
It all began with a Knight check on the 23rd move and by the time Morozevich realised what hit him, the game was closed to getting over. Picking a couple of pawns with his energetic maneuvers, Anand gave a pawn back to strengthen his position further and romped home in 47 moves when Morozevich faced further material loss.
Earlier in the day, Anand played out a draw as black against Carlsen and Judit Polgar quite easily. While Carlsen tried his luck in the Queen's Indian defense, Polgar tested the Indian in a Sicilian Najdorf without much success.
Carlsen, who was in joint lead with Anand at the half way stage of the prelims, did not win any game on the second day. The Norwegian came straight from Biel Masters in the event and many pundits pointed out tiredness behind his play thus far in the event.
Like Anand, Morozevich also won two games out of a possible six but his dual-loss to Anand proved simply too costly. The Russian will now seek to finish third after his match against Polgar whom he beat twice in the preliminaries.
Standings after the preliminaries: 1. Viswanathan Anand (Ind) 4 points; 2. Magnus Carlsen (Nor) 3.5 points; 3. Alexander Morozevich (Rus) 3 points; 4. Judit Polgar (Hun) 1.5 points.
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