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Miraculous escape saves Anand

February 25, 2009 11:52 IST

World champion Viswanathan Anand had a miraculous escape as he snatched a draw from the jaws of defeat against Grandmaster Vassily Ivanchuk of Ukraine in the fifth round of Magistral Ciudad de Linares Chess tournament in Linares on Wednesday.

With his second draw in the tournament besides two victories and as many losses, Anand took his tally to three points out of a possible five and remained in sole third spot as the other games of the fifth round also ended in draws.

Chinese Grandmaster Wang Yue held overnight joint leader Levon Aronian of Armenia to an easy draw while co-leader Alexander Grischuk of Russia played out a draw with Magnus Carlsen of Norway to remain in joint lead with 3.5 points.

Lenier Dominguez of Cuba and Teimour Radjabov of Azerbaijan were also involved in a draw after a furious game.

Dominguez holds the sixth spot in the eight-players double round robin event with two points while Radjabov and Wang Yue remained at the bottom of the table with 1.5 points each.

Nine rounds still remain in the Euro 314000 prize money tournament.

It was a bad opening for Anand as the Indian ace repeated a line in the Slav defense, trusted by Russian Vladimir Kramnik in the seventh game of the world championship match against him.

Ivanchuk followed the game till the 23rd move till Anand deviated and the idea chosen by the Indian was not the best as white's 24th move proved.

Winning a pawn with consummate ease Ivanchuk build up pressure on the queen side and Anand was forced to change gears and look for counter-play on the other flank.

At one point it looked all over for Anand as Ivanchuk had passed pawns on the queen side but the former was just in time to pose some problems in white's quest for a full point.

After trading a few pawns Anand used a brilliant idea with stalemate motif and Ivanchuk did not have any answers.

The draw was agreed to after 65 moves.

Wang Yue tried to find a hole in Aronian's preparation in another Slav of the day without much success. Aronian wriggled out of the opening without much problem after the early trade of queens and signed peace in just 26 moves.

Dominguez and Radjabov were locked in a tense struggle arising out of a Sicilian Dragon. Radjabov sacrificed a rook for knight in the middle game to restore parity and achieved the draw after 62 moves.

Playing black, Magnus Carlsen employed the Sicilian Sveshnikov and kept Grischuk at bay in the complexities that ensued. Regulation exchanges simplified the position and the draw was a just result after 34 moves.

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