After a debacle against Russian Alexander Morozevich, Viswanathan Anand came back strongly to beat Judit Polgar of Hungary in the eighth round of the World Chess Championship in San Luis, Argentina.
The Indian ace, came back on a plus score after the victory and moved to sole third position on 4.5 points with six rounds still remaining in the million dollar championship.
However, there was not much change at the top as Bulgarian Veselin Topalov maintained a two-points lead over nearest rival Peter Svidler of Russia after taking an easy draw with fourth-placed Peter Leko of Hungary.
As things stand, Topalov, with 7 points in his kitty, is still way ahead in the eight-player double round-robin contest and Svidler is a distant second with 5 points.
Anand is followed by Leko, on 4 points, while defending champion Rustam Kasimdzhanov (3) is next in line and now without any chance of retaining the crown he won last year at Tripoli, in Libya.
Placed seventh is Brit Michael Adams while Judit Polgar is at the bottom of the table with just 2 points in her kitty.
The day produced just two decisive games and Anand stole the limelight from everyone else with a thumping victory over Polgar who stood no chance against the wily Indian in a Siclian defense game.
Playing white, Anand was up against the Taimanov variation and went for a set up akin to the English attack wherein Judit faltered early in the opening and was down a pawn in the early middle game itself.
Anand handled the remaining technicalities in exemplary fashion sweeping black's queen side pawns one after the other and romped home after 62 moves. This was Anand's second victory in the event over Judit after he had successfully beaten the lone woman player of the event in the first round game.
Morozevich defeated Kasimdzhanov in the only other decisive game of the day. It was a keenly contested battle arising out of a Sicilian Scheveningen wherein Kasimdzhanov, white, failed o get the desired compensation after an optically promising exchange sacrifice in the middle game.
Morozevich displayed profound technique to win in the endgame by marching his king to a safe haven in the mid of the board. The game lasted 53 moves.
Topalov's juggernaut was finally halted by Leko who came up with some solid play in the opening to get an easy half point with black pieces. The Bulgarian faced the Queen's Indian defense by Leko and for once could not do much as the pieces got traded at regular intervals and the peace was signed in just 24 moves.
Michael Adams and Peter Svidler played an interesting game that also ended in a draw. Playing white, the English opted for the English attack in the opening but could not quite maintain a hold on the position for long as Svidler displayed fine counterattacking skills. In the middle game
Adams lost a pawn but recovered it soon to transpose to a level rook and pawns endgame wherein the draw was agreed to after 40 moves.
Results round 8: Michael Adams (Eng, 2.5) drew with Peter Svidler (Rus, 5); Veselin Topalov (Bul, 7) drew with Peter Leko (Hun, 4); Rustam Kasimdzhanov (Uzb, 3) lost to Alexander Morozevich (Rus, 4); Viswanathan Anand (Ind, 4.5) beat Judit Polgar (Hun, 2).
Standings after round 8: 1. Topalov 7; 2. Svidler 5; 3. Anand 4.5; 4-5. Leko, Morozevich 4 each; 6. Kasimdzhanov 3.0; 7. Adams 2.5; 8. Polgar 2.0.
Pairing round 9 (To be played on Saturday): Anand - Topalov; Morozevich - Leko; Polgar - Adams; Svidler Kasimdzhanov.
V Anand v/s Judit Polgar
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nc6 5. Nc3 Qc7 6. Be3 a6 7. Qd2 Nf6 8. O-O-O Bb4 9. f3 Ne7 10. Nde2 b5 11. Bf4 e5 12. Bg5 Bb7 13. Kb1 Ba5 14. Bxf6 gxf6 15. Qh6 Qb6 16. g3 Qe6 17. Bh3 f5 18. Qh4 f6 19. exf5 Qf7 20. Ne4 Bxe4 21. fxe4 Nc6 22. Rd6 O-O 23. Rhd1 Ra7 24. Bf1 Rc7 25. Nc1 Bb4 26. R6d5 Rfc8 27. Nb3 Bf8 28. c3 Kh8 29. g4 Qg7 30. Qg3 Ra8 31. a3 Rac8 32. Nc1 Na5 33. Na2 Nb3 34. h4 Nc5 35. Bd3 Na4 36. Bc2 Nb6 37. R5d3 d5 38. exd5 Bd6 39. Bb3 a5 40. Qf2 Nc4 41. Qe2 Rg8 42. Rg1 Qh6 43. Rdd1 a4 44. Bxc4 Rxc4 45. g5 fxg5 46. hxg5 Rxg5 47. Qe3 Rf4 48. Qb6 Rgxf5 49. Qxb5 Rf8 50. Nb4 e4 51. Rde1 Rh4 52. Ka1 e3 53. Qxa4 Re4 54. Qa6 Rfe8 55. Re2 Qf8 56. Qd3 Qf6 57. Nc2 Bc5 58. Rge1 Qe5 59. b4 Bb6 60. Kb2 h5 61. d6 Qf5 62. Rxe3 black resigned.
R Kasimdzhanov v/s Alexander Morozevich
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nc6 5. Nc3 d6 6. Be2 Nf6 7. Be3 Be7 8. O-O O-O 9. Kh1 Nxd4 10. Bxd4 e5 11. Be3 Be6 12. f4 exf4 13. Rxf4 a6 14. a4 Qa5 15. Qd2 Rfc8 16. Rd1 Bd8 17. Rff1 Bb6 18. Bd4 Bxd4 19. Qxd4 Rc6 20. Nd5 Bxd5 21. exd5 Rcc8 22. Rxf6 gxf6 23. Bd3 Re8 24. Qh4 Kf8 25. Rf1 Qxd5 26. Qh6+ Ke7 27. Qxf6+ Kd7 28. h3 h5 29. b4 Re3 30. Rf5 Re5 31. Rxe5 dxe5 32. Qf5+ Qe6 33. Qxh5 e4 34. Be2 Rf8 35. b5 f5 36. bxa6 bxa6 37. Qh7+ Qf7 38. Qh6 Qf6 39. Qh7+ Rf7 40. Qg8 Ke7 41. Bc4 Rf8 42. Qh7+ Kd6 43. Qb7 Qa1+ 44. Kh2 Qe5+ 45. Kh1 a5 46. Qb6+ Ke7 47. Qb7+ Kf6 48. Qb6+ Kg7 49. Qb7+ Kh6 50. Qb6+ Rf6 51. Qd8 Rd6 52. Qf8+ Kg5 53. Be2 Kf4 white resigned.
Michael Adams v/s Peter Svidler
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nc6 5. Nc3 d6 6. Be3 Nf6 7. Qd2 Be7 8. f3 O-O 9. O-O-O a6 10. g4 Nxd4 11. Qxd4 Nd7 12. h4 b5 13. g5 Qa5 14. Kb1 b4 15. Ne2 Bb7 16. h5 Ne5 17. f4 Ng4 18. Bh3 Nxe3 19. Qxe3 Qc5 20. Qd3 Qb5 21. Qe3 Qc5 22. Qf3 h6 23. gxh6 gxh6 24. f5 Qe5 25. Rhg1+ Kh7 26. fxe6 Bxe4 27. Qb3 a5 28. Bg2 Bxg2 29. Rxg2 fxe6 30. Qd3+ Qf5 31. Nd4 Qxd3 32. cxd3 Rg8 33. Rxg8 Rxg8 34. Nxe6 Rg2 35. Rf1 Kg8 36. a4 b3 37. Nd4 Bf6 38. Nxb3 Rxb2+ 39. Kc1 Rxb3 40. Rxf6 Rxd3 draw agreed.
Veselin Topalov v/s Peter Leko
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 b6 4. g3 Ba6 5. b3 Bb4+ 6. Bd2 Be7 7. Bg2 c6 8. Bc3 d5 9. Ne5 O-O 10. O-O Bb7 11. Nd2 Na6 12. e4 Rc8 13. Re1 Rc7 14. Nd3 dxe4 15. Nxe4 c5 16. Nxf6+ Bxf6 17. Bxb7 Rxb7 18. Ne5 Bxe5 19. dxe5 Rd7 20. Qe2 Qc7 21. Rad1 Rfd8 22. Rxd7 Qxd7 23. Qe4 Nb8 24. Kg2 draw agreed.