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Anand stays third after draw with Leko

January 24, 2008 15:13 IST

World champion Viswanathan Anand was held to a draw by Hungarian Peter Leko in Premier Group 'A' while Parimarjan Negi scored an important victory over Dennis Rujigrok of Holland to jump to joint second spot in the 'C' group at the Corus International chess tournaments in Wijk Aan Zee, the Netherlands, on Wednesday.

Playing white for the second last time in the category-20 event, things did not go Anand's way, as Leko was up to the task in the Ruy Lopez close favoured by the Indian ace.

Parimarjan was a class act, coasting to an easy victory against Rujigrok. The win helped the 14-year-old to take his personal tally to 6.5 points out of a possible 10 and he is now just half a point adrift of tournament leader Fabiano Caruana from Italy, who went down to Li Shilong of China.

The Dutch duo of Dmitry Reinderman and Friso Nijboer also share second place with just three rounds remaining in the tournament.

Anand remained in joint third spot after drawing with Leko, thus inching up to 5.5 points.

The high point of the day was Norwegian Magnus Carlsen's remarkable recovery against local favourite Loek van Wely.

It was a completely lost position for Carlsen when disaster struck van Wely in the mutual time scramble. The position first became a draw and later the Dutchman blundered again to give the point on a platter.

Carlsen thus regained sole lead with 6.5 points as most of the games in this section ended in draws. Levon Aronian of Armenia is now in second spot with 6 points in his kitty. A pack of five players  Michael Adams of England, Vladimir Kramnik of Russia, Vassily Ivanchuk of Ukraine and Teimour Radjabov of Azerbaijan, as well as Anand, are still in reckoning for top honours on 5.5 points each.

In the 'B' group, being played simultaneously, P Harikrishna slipped to joint fifth spot after drawing with Gabriel Sargissian of Armenia. GM Koneru Humpy also signed peace with Yifan Hou of China.

Grandmaster Sergei Movsesian of Slovakia strengthened his position atop the tables in this section with an easy victory over Jan Smeets of Holland. Movsesian is now on 7.5 points, a full point clear of Nigel Short of England and Etienne Bacrot of France.

Holding fourth spot here is Ian Nepomniachtchi of Russia while Harikrishna follows next along with Erwin L'Ami of Holland.

Anand could not get anything worthwhile with white pieces against Leko. When the closed position after the opening opened up a bit, it paved the way for Leko to exchange a couple of minor pieces and a thematic central breakthrough ensured a perfect balance for the Hungarian.

The peace was signed in a mere 19 moves.

Harikrishna survived a few anxious moments before signing peace with Sargissian. It was an Italian game wherein the Indian got a better position in the middle game.

However, exchanges at regular intervals forced the game in to an endgame where Sargissian won a pawn and pressed hard for the victory. It took a lot of effort on Harikrishna's part to salvage a draw after 62 moves.

Humpy was also a bit lucky in surviving against Yifan from a Ruy Lopez opening where the former played black. Getting into groove in the middle game, Yifan won a pawn but her technique did not come good in the endgame.

Parimarjan's victory was the easiest so far as Rujigrok proved no match for the wily Indian.

For the record, it was a Rosslimo Sicilian in which Parimarjan, white, won the opponent's queen for only two minor pieces and romped home in just 31 moves.

Results round 10 Group A:

Loek van Wely (Ned, 4) lost to Magnus Carlsen (Nor, 6.5); Viswanathan Anand (Ind, 5.5) drew with Peter Leko (Hun, 5); Vladimir Kramnik (Rus, 5.5) drew with Boris Gelfand (Isr, 3.5); Teimour Radjabov (Aze, 5.5) drew with Veselin Topalov (Bul, 5); Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Aze, 5) drew with Judit Polgar (Hun, 4.5); Pavel Eljanov (Ukr, 3) lost to Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukr, 5.5); Michael Adams (Eng, 5.5) drew with Levon Aronian (Arm, 6).

Group B:

Nigel Short (Eng, 6.5) beat Michal Krasenkow (Pol, 4); Etienne Bacrot (Fra, 6.5) drew with Ivan Cheparinov (Bul, 5); P. Harikrishna (Ind, 5.5) drew with Gabriel Sargissian (Arm, 3.5); Hou Yifan (Chn, 4) drew with Koneru Humpy (Ind, 4.5); Danil Stellwagen (Ned, 5) drew with Erwin L'Ami (Ned, 5.5); Wouter Spoelman (Ned, 2) lost to Ian Nepomniachtchi (Rus, 6); Sergei Movsesian (Svk, 7.5) beat Jan Smeets (Ned, 4.5).

Group C:

Irina Krush (USA, 4.5) beat Arik Braun (Ger, 5); John van der Wiel (Ned, 5.5) drew with Pontus Carlsson (Swe, 5); Li Shilong (Chn, 5) beat Fabiano Caruana (Ita, 7); Anna Ushenina (Ukr, 4.5) beat Efstratios Grivas (Gre, 4.5); Friso Nijboer (Ned, 6.5) beat Dimitri Reinderman (Ned, 6.5); Parimarjan Negi (Ind, 6.5) beat Dennis Ruijgrok (Ned, 1.5); Peng Zhaoqin (Ned, 3) drew with Mark van der Werf  (Ned, 5).

The moves: V Anand v/s Peter Leko

e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. d3 b5 7. Bb3 d6 8. a4 Bd7 9. Bd2 b4 10. c3 O-O  11. h3 Rb8 12. Bc4 Qc8 13. Re1 Be6 14. Bxe6 Qxe6 15. d4 exd4 16. Nxd4 Nxd4 17. cxd4 d5 18. exd5 Qd7 19. Bg5 game drawn.

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