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Sports Shorts: Anand leads Candidates; Beckham proposal for Miami stadium

Last updated on: March 25, 2014 21:16 IST

Sports Shorts: Anand leads Candidates; Beckham proposal for Miami stadium

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Former World champion Viswanathan Anand remained on course for a rematch with Magnus Carlsen of Norway after securing an easy draw against Shakhriyar Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan in the tenth round of the Candidates Chess tournament in Khanty Mansiysk, Russia.

It turned out to be another good day for the Indian champion as main contemporaries Levon Aronian of Armenia and Vladimir Kramnik of Russia failed to bridge the gap.

Anand continues to be in front with a full point lead.

Aronian could not use his white pieces to good effect against Bulgarian Veselin Topalov and had to settle for a draw while Kramnik's poor run continued when he failed to spot a tactical stroke that led to a quick loss against compatriot Peter Svidler.

The other game of the day between Russians Dmitry Andreikin and Sergey Karjakin also ended in a draw.

With just four rounds to come, Anand is sitting pretty training his sights for the next World championship match on 6.5 points.

Aronian remains the nearest contender on 5.5 points followed by Mamedyarov, Karjakin and Svidler, who all have five points each.

Kramnik remained on 4.5 points and has Andreikin as company, while Topalov is last another half point adrift.

Apart from the match for the next World Championship, the winner of the tournament takes home 135000 euros.

Playing with white, Anand stuck to his guns and repeated the moves of his previous round game against Topalov. The opening went off well for Anand but Mamedyarov was probably not impressed and came up with the equaliser in no time.

The Indian had to exchange the dark square Bishop early and then Mamedyarov followed suit with castling on the queen side leaving the position absolutely level.

Anand tried manoeuvring his pieces to correct squares and once that was done the players just decided to split the points. The game lasted 30 moves.

Results, after round 10: Vishwanathan Anand (IND, 6.5) drew with Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (AZE, 5); Vladimir Kramnik (RUS, 4.5) lost to Peter Svidler (RUS, 5); Levon Aronian (ARM, 5.5) drew with Veselin Topalov (BUL, 4); Sergey Karjakin (RUS, 5) drew with Dmitry Andreikin (RUS, 4.5).

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Image: Viswanathan Anand
Photographs: Kent Skibstad/NTB Scanpix/Reuters

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Sports shorts: David Beckham unveils proposal for Miami soccer stadium

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A group led by English soccer star David Beckham unveiled plans on Monday to build a 25,000-seat soccer stadium on Miami's waterfront for the Major League Soccer team he will own, but the proposal is already facing some opposition.

The open-air stadium would be built in an area known as PortMiami, which hosts the world's busiest cruise ship terminal. Long-term plans for the island port have never included the possibility of being home to a sports arena, port officials have said.

PortMiami Director Bill Johnson declined to comment on the stadium proposal.

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Image: David Beckham attends a press conference
Photographs: Larry Marano/Getty Images

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Sports shorts: David Beckham unveils proposal for Miami soccer stadium

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"The important part for us is getting everybody on side, getting everybody to realize why we want to bring the team here, and why we want to have the stadium in a certain place," Beckham told reporters in Miami.

Royal Caribbean Cruises, whose headquarters are located at the port, has expressed concern about the proposed stadium, citing traffic concerns and its own plans to develop the land the Beckham group hopes to lease for the stadium.

Development of the 36-acre (14.5 hectare) stadium site would cost about $200 million and include shops, hotels and offices connected to the mainland by a pedestrian bridge, according to John Alschuler, Beckham's New York-based real-estate adviser.

Beckham's group is not looking for public financing, but must negotiate site plans with Miami-Dade County.

"The funding is in place," Alschuler told reporters. "The goal is to have a team playing by 2016."

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Image: David Beckham with fans
Photographs: Courtesy: David Beckham/Facebook

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Frustrated Woods says 'too soon' to make call on Masters

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Tiger Woods is still no closer to knowing whether he will be able to play in next month's Masters as he struggles with back pain.

The World No 1 withdrew from last week's Arnold Palmer Invitational in Florida because of his aching back and remains unsure if he will be fit for this year's first major, starting April 10 at Augusta National.

"For Augusta, it's actually a little too soon to be honest with you," he told reporters on Monday at a sponsorship announcement for the AT&T National.

Woods has been plagued by back problems since last year but his condition worsened over the past month.

He then pulled out of the Arnold Palmer Invitational, a tournament he has won eight times, including 2012 and 2013, in the hope that he could play at the Masters but is no closer to knowing whether he will make it to the first tee.

"That's kind of the frustrating thing about this," he said. "I've had a couple weeks off getting treatment, just working on trying to get ready for Augusta. As of right now, it's still too soon. As I said, it's very frustrating."

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Image: Tiger Woods
Photographs: Warren Little/Getty Images
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Arsenal win appeal over wrong red card

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Arsenal won their appeal on Monday over Kieran Gibbs being wrongfully dismissed in the 6-0 hammering at Chelsea, with real culprit Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain also let off a ban by the Football Association.

Oxlade-Chamberlain used his hand to divert a shot in Saturday's Premier League match but referee Andre Marriner sent off left back Gibbs in a case of mistaken identity despite Oxlade-Chamberlain owning up to the foul.

The FA said in a statement that not only would Gibbs' offence be transferred to Oxlade-Chamberlain but that the case was one of wrongful dismissal.

Arsenal had argued the ball would have gone wide if the midfielder had not handled and therefore did not constitute denying a goal.

"This claim was upheld meaning Oxlade-Chamberlain will not serve any suspension with the standard punishment withdrawn with immediate effect," the FA said.

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Image: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain of Arsenal appeals to Referee Andre Marriner after he gave Kieran Gibbs of Arsenal (not pictured) a red card
Photographs: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

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Referee retained despite Arsenal red-card blunder

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Referee Andre Marriner will remain a part of next weekend's Premier League games despite his high-profile gaffe in sending off the wrong Arsenal player at Chelsea on Saturday.

Marriner will take charge of Southampton against Newcastle United on Saturday, the Premier League said.

The referee caused uproar when he awarded a penalty against Arsenal for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's handball and then sent off Kieran Gibbs by mistake despite the real culprit owning up at the time.

Arsenal went on to lose 6-0 at Stamford Bridge but Marriner's blunder was the talk of the afternoon, with the referee later expressing his 'disappointment' to Arsenal.

The visitors had been trailing 2-0 to early goals from Samuel Eto'o and Andre Schuerrle when Marriner awarded the 15th-minute penalty after Oxlade-Chamberlain handled a shot from Eden Hazard on the goalline.

TV replays showed Oxlade-Chamberlain clearly mouthing "it was me" during the aftermath but the referee, who took a long time before awarding the penalty, stuck to his original decision.

The controversy compounded a miserable afternoon for Arsene Wenger in his 1,000th match in charge of Arsenal.

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Image: Referee Andre Marriner shows Kieran Gibbs of Arsenal a red card
Photographs: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

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'I'm scared of you,' Steenkamp told Pistorius in text message

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Oscar Pistorius' girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, said she was scared of the South African track star in a text message sent less than three weeks before he shot her dead, a police expert told his murder trial on Monday.

The Olympic and Paralympic athlete is on trial for the murder of 29-year-old model and law graduate Steenkamp on Valentine's Day 2013.

He has pleaded not guilty to murder, saying he was deeply in love with Steenkamp, who he had been dating for a few months, and that he mistook her for an intruder hiding in a toilet at his luxury Pretoria home.

However, text messages between the pair in the weeks leading up to the shooting painted a picture of a volatile, stormy relationship, with Steenkamp accusing Pistorius of continual jealousy and outbursts of anger.

"I'm scared of you sometimes and how you snap at me and of how you will react to me," one message sent by Steenkamp on January 27, 2013, said.

As police expert Francois Moller read out the messages to the court on Day 14 of the trial, Pistorius sat in the dock, his head buried in his hands.

"We are living in a double standard relationship. Every five seconds I hear about how you dated another chick. You really have dated a lot of people yet you get upset if I mention one funny story with a long-term boyfriend," the Steenkamp message continued.

"You make me happy 90% of the time and I think we are amazing together but I am not some other bitch you may know trying to kill your vibe."

Moller said he had analysed thousands of mobile phone messages sent between the couple found and 90 per cent of them to be normal, often loving, interactions.

However, another exchange backed up the testimony of an earlier witness who said the 27-year-old athlete fired a pistol under a table in a packed Johannesburg restaurant and then asked his friend to take the blame.

"Angel please don't say a thing to anyone. Darren told everyone it was his fault. I can't afford for that to come out. The guys promised not to say a thing," the message sent by Pistorius on January 11, the day of the incident, said.

"I have no idea what you're talking about," Steenkamp replied, ending the message with a smiley face.

The court adjourned for the day before Moller concluded his evidence, leaving the gallery waiting for messages between the couple in the days and hours before the killing.


Image: Oscar Pistorius reacts in the dock at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria
Photographs: Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters

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