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Anand finishes fifth, Negi fourth

January 28, 2007 22:31 IST

Viswanathan Anand drew with David Navara of the Czech Republic to end his campaign on 7.5 points for a fifth place finish in Group 'A' of the Corus International chess tournament in Wijk Aan Zee, The Netherlands.

Grandmaster Levon Aronian of Armenia, top seed Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria and Teimour Radjabov of Azerbaijan jointly won the Category-19 event on 8.5 points apiece.

Of the three, Radjabov played it safe against Topalov in the final round while Aronian came up with yet another spirited show to outclass local hope Sergei Tiviakov.

Five times winner Anand settled for fifth spot this time as World champion Vladimir Kramnik cruised past Dutchman Loek Van Wely to go a half point clear of the Indian. Kramnik was clear fourth on 8 points.

In the Group 'C', World's youngest Grandmaster Parimarjan Negi ended on a positive note with a sparkling victory over Chinese wonder-girl Hou Yifan. Finishing on 7.5 points in all, Negi justified his fourth seeding in the event, ending fourth in this competitive field.

It was rather a quirk of fate that stopped International Ian Nepomniachtchi of Russia from winning the title. Leading from day one when he defeated hot favourite Michal Krasenkow of Poland, the young Russian finally ran out of steam against IM Nadezhda Kosintseva and lost with his white pieces.

Group 'C' was won by Krasenkow, who crashed through the defenses of Zhaoqin Peng in his final round game to collect 10.5 points in all.

Nepomniachtchi finished second on 10 points and a distant third was Emanuel Berg of Sweden on 8 points.

Much was expected from Anand in the last three rounds but he could only draw these games. In the last round against Navara, Anand could not find the favourable complications he was looking for in a Ruy Lopez and drew after 27 moves.

Aronian was a class act against Tiviakov and scored a chanceless victory in just 43 moves of a Queen's Indian defense game where the former played white.

Results final round (Group 'A'): Levon Aronian (Arm, 8.5) beat Sergei Tiviakov (Ned, 5); Teimour Radjabov (Aze, 8.5) drew with Veselin Topalov (Bul, 8.5); Vladimir Kramnik (Rus, 8) beat Loek Van Wely (Ned, 5); Viswanathan Anand (Ind,7.5) drew with David Navara (Cze, 6.5); Peter Svidler (Rus, 7) lost to Sergey Karjakin (Ukr, 6.5); Ruslan Ponomariov (Ukr, 5.5) playing Alexander Motylev (Rus, 4.5); Magnus Carlsen (Nor, 4) playing Alexei Shirov (Esp, 4).

Group 'C': Manuel Bosboom (Ned, 7) beat Thomas Willemze (Ned, 3.5); Harmen Jonkman (Ned, 4.5) beat Emanuel Berg (Swe, 8); Edwin van Haastert (Ned, 6) drew with John van der Wiel (Ned, 6); Zhaoqin Peng (Ned, 5.5) lost to Michal Krasenkow (Pol, 10.5); Ian Nepomniachtchi (Rus, 10) lost to Nadezhda Kosintseva (Rus, 5.5); Hou Yifan (Chn, 7) lost to Parimarjan Negi (Ind, 7.5); Wouter Spoelman (Ned, 7) drew with Stellan Brynell (Swe, 4).

Final standings Group C: 1. Krasenkow 10.5; 2. Nepomniachtchi 10; 3. Berg 8; 4. Negi 7.5; 5-6. Yifan, Spoelman 7 each; 7-9. Wiel, Bosboom, Haastert 6 each; 10-11. Kosintseva, Peng 5.5 each; 12. Jonkman 4.5; 13. Brynell 4; 14. Willemze 3.5.

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