Viswanathan Anand tried his bit to bring some life into the tenth and final round against Judit Polgar, but still had to be satisfied with a draw, that saw him finish second in the inaugural M-Tel Masters chess tournament in Sofia, Bulgaria.
The title went to home player, Veselin Topalov, who benefited from a last round gift from Vladimir Kramnik who blundered yet again. That gave Topalov a clear win at 6.5 points and one clear of Anand.
Anand, finished with 5.5 points in second position, while Topalov finished the ten-round double round robin with 6.5 points and a clear winner. Judit with 5 points was third.
The third game between Ruslan Ponomariov and Michael Adams also ended in draw in 53 moves from a Ruy Lopez. Ponomariov and Polgar shared the third position with five points each, while Adams and Kramnik were tied for last place with four points each.
For Topalov winning the title at home was a great moment and he could not contain his joy. Earlier this season he had finished joint first with Garry Kasparov in Linares, but Topalov said, "This will be my best win. The biggest tournament in Bulgaria and I am the winner. It could not have been better. I will always remember this win. For me, more than ratings, winning tournaments is more important. After Linares and Sofia, I will have to keep my level and prove myself even more."
"I was lucky against Adams and Judit. Also Kramnik committed blunders. But conditions are same for all," he added.
Anand was also full of praise for Topalov. "After the sixth round loss [to Topalov], this is not a bad tournament. Veselin has played well here and in Linares. He deserves to be the winner," he said.
Like many of Anand-Polgar clashes, this was also a Sicilian and it went into the Taimanov variation. Anand said, "This is not a position you prepare for. Things are not pleasant for black [Polgar]. But still they are not as bad. Black has to just sit and wait, I did that against Pono [in a similar game] in Mainz once and today Judit did the same. White was definitely better."
But it was not enough to get a win. The duo drew the game in 45 moves.
Polgar, while giving a thumbs for the new rules of 'No Draws' -- just like Anand did -- said, "The games were generally interesting. I was satisfied with the result but lot of things need to be worked out."
Initially, Anand tried to attack and chased Polgar's knight around for a while soon after the opening. He tried to break through the d-file and then had his doubled rook to attack. Meanwhile Judit tried to gain control of the a8-h1 diagonal. But in the end, it all boiled own to a draw. The two had drawn their earlier game, too.
Points after tenth and final round:
1. Topalov 6.5 points; 2. Anand 5.5 points; 3. Polgar and Ponomariov 5 points; 5. Kramnik and Adams 4 points
Anand v Polgar (Tenth and final round):
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nc6 5. Nc3 Qc7 6. Be3 a6 7. Be2 Nf6 8. O-O Bb4 9. Na4 Be7 10. Nxc6 bxc6 11. Nb6 Rb8 12. Nxc8 Qxc8 13. Bd4 O-O 14. e5 Nd5 15. c4 Nf4 16. g3 Nxe2+ 17. Qxe2 c5 18. Bc3 f5 19. Rad1 Qc6 20. f4 Rf7 21. b3 Rb7 22. Rd3 Ra7 23. h4 g6 24. Ba5 Rb7 25. Rfd1 Bf8 26. Qg2 Qc8 27. Kf1 Ra7 28. Ke1 Rb7 29. R1d2 h5 30. Kd1 Ra7 31. Kc2 Qb8 32. Qf3 Rb7 33. Qe3 Qc8 34. Rd1 Be7 35. a4 Bf8 36. Rd6 Bxd6 37. Rxd6 Qb8 38. Rxa6 Rf8 39. Bd2 Ra7 40. Rd6 Qc7 41. Qf3 Rb8 42. Rd3 Qb6 43. Rd6 Qc7 44. Rd3 Qb6 45. Rd6 1/2-1/2.