World champion Viswanathan Anand crushed his former challenger Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria in the third round to jump to the joint second spot in the Norway Chess 2013 super tournament in Sandnes.
Sergey Karjakin of Russia scored his third straight victory at the expense of Wang Hao of China to lead the table with three points. Anand and Levon Aronian follow him, a full point behind.
Teimoru Radjabov of Azerbaijan finally won a game, disposing the challenge of local hopeful Jon Ludvig Hammer to move to a fifty per cent score.
With six rounds to come in the ten-player tournament, Radjabov shares the fourth spot along with world number one Magnus Carlsen of Norway, Hikaru Nakamura of United States and Russian Peter Svidler on 1.5 points apiece.
Wang Hao and Topalov are sharing the eighth spot on one point each while Hammer is at the bottom, yet to open his account.
The day produced three decisive games and local star Carlsen had to settle for his third straight draw with Nakamura. Russian Svidler too shared the point with Aronian making sure he stayed in the hunt as well.
Anand produced his best when needed. Playing the white side of a Najdorf Sicilian, the Indian ace went for the English attack and came up with some startling new ideas that caught Topalov unawares.
It may be recalled that in 2010, a superior preparation had given Anand a victory in the last game of the world championship match against Topalov and the Bulgarian still doesn’t seem to have recovered from that.
As the game unfolded, Topalov was in troubles in the middle game and after he was through with his preparation, Anand was seen plotting the final onslaught on the kingside.
Topalov had to part with his queen for two pieces but they were not enough as the game progressed. Anand won in 41 moves.
Karjakin strangled Wang Hao out of a Sicilian Rauzer where the former played white. The Chinese had the impression of coming out with an opening surprise but Karjakin was up to the task as he got a tangible advantage in the endgame that ensued on board.
Wang Hao fell apart in quick time and the Russian won his third game in as many rounds in just 39 moves. Radjabov won a nice game against the Grunfeld as white while Carlsen could not do much as Nakamura played it safe as white in other interesting games of the day.
Photograph: Kent Skibstad/Reuters