World Rapid champion Viswanthan Anand crushed former World champion Anatoly Karpov of Russia to take an unassailable two-point lead after the eighth round in the Sao Paulo Rapid chess tournament in Brazil.
Anand, who is in top form after his recent double triumph on German soil, where he won the Dortmund Sparkassen chess Meeting 2004 and the Mainz Chess Classic duel against Alexei Shirov of Spain, now needs just half a point in the remaining two rounds to clinch the title.
It took Anand just 39 moves to ground Karpov in a Sicilian defence game with white pieces to take his tally to 6.5 points out of a possible 8. Ivan Morovic Fernandez of Chile, who has 4.5 points in his kitty, is in second place.
The third place is held by local stalwart Rafael Leitao, on four points, while Karpov, and the Brazilian duo of Milos Gilberto and Giovanni Vescovi jointly complete the standing.
So far the Indian ace has won all his white games in the event and also recorded one victory with black against Vescovi in the seventh round.
The category 16 event is being played on a double round-robin basis between six players under rapid time controls of 25 minutes for each player and a 10 second addition after every move is made.
Results Round 8: Viswanathan Anand (Ind) beat Anatoly Karpov (Rus); Rafael Leitao (Bra) drew with Ivan Morovic Fernandez (Chi); Gilberto Milos (Bra) beat Giovanni Vescovi (Bra).
Standings: 1. Anand 6.5; 2. Fernandez 4.5; 3. Leitao 4; 4-6. Karpov, Milos, Vescovi 3 each.