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Kasparov shocked; Anand held
February 24, 2003 17:00 IST
World Cup champion Vishwanathan Anand played out a draw against Spaniard Francisco Vallejo Pons to maintain his position atop the points tables after the second round in the 20th Linares Super Grandmaster's chess tournament.
On a day which saw the world's highest rated player Garry Kasparov of Russia suffer a shock defeat against tournament baby Teimous Radjabov of Azerbaijan, world No. 2 and Braingames champion Vladimir Kramnik of Russia played sensibly to beat youngest ever World champion Ruslan Ponomariov of Ukraine to share the lead with Anand on 1.5 points.
Playing black, Anand had his task cut out in the Queen's Indian defence as Vallejo got a slightly better position after the opening. The young Spaniard used his middle game expertise to exert pressure in the centre and held firm control with imaginative deployment of pieces.
Anand got his share of counterplay on the queenside as Vallejo initiated a king side attack and sacrificed an exchange on the 28th move to keep the tension on board. Vallejo offered the draw just two moves later which was accepted by Anand.
Though many hail Radjabov as a future World champion none would have trusted him to strike stupendous form like he did against Kasparov, for who this was a first loss in Linares since 1997.
The Russian's no-loss streak in the prestigious event was halted after 62 games.
Kasparov was taken aback by Radjabov in the French defence game where the latter played black. Uncorking a rather dubious new idea on the 10th move itself, Radjabov was written off by quite a few during the course of the game but his tenacity helped him to just get going while Kasparov attacked in the centre.
Though Radjabov survived many threats against the King, he kept finding just the right kind of moves to keep going in the middle game.
The young gun bounced back into the game on the 24th move as Kasparov erred decisively to hand over the initiative in a platter.
Once on top, Radjabov was at his attacking best and gave no chances to Kasparov who turned a mere spectator to his opponent.
In a last ditch effort Kasparov tried a piece sacrifice but could not prevent a loss. The game lasted 39 moves.
Ruslan Ponomariov, who is having a hard time in the tournament, suffered his second loss in Linares in as many days. The Ukrainian fell prey to a tactically alert Kramnik in the Rossolimo Sicilian. The white pieces failed to yield any advantage to Ponomariov as his position gradually deteriorated. Kramnik just had to calculate right in the final stages to march his pawn to glory and he did precisely that to clinch the issue after 40 moves.
The tournament is being played on a double round-robin basis amongst seven players. Hungarian Peter Leko had a bye in this round.
Results Round 2:
Francisco Vallejo Pons (Esp, 0.5/1) drew Vishwanathan Anand (1. 5/2); Garry Kasparov (Rus, 0.5/2) lost to Teimour Radjabov (Az e, 1/2); Ruslan Ponomariov (Ukr, 0/2) lost to Vladimir Kramnik (Rus, 1.5/2); Peter Leko (Hun, 1/1) had a bye.
Francisco Vallejo Pons v/s V Anand
1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 b6 3. d4 e6 4. g3 Ba6 5. Qb3 Nc6 6. Nbd2 d5 7. Bg2 Bb7 8. O-O Bd6 9. cxd5 exd5 10. Nb1 O-O 11. Nc3 Na5 12. Qc2 h6 13. Bf 4 Bxf4 14. gxf4 c5 15. Rad1 Qe7 16. Ne5 Rfd8 17. e3 Nc6 18. Qf5 Nb4 19. Kh1 Rd6 20. a3 Na6 21. Nb5 Re6 22. Rg1 Nc7 23. Nxc7 Qxc7 24. Bf3 cxd4 25. Rxd 4 Rae8 26. Qh3 Kh8 27. Rdd1 Qe7 28. Rg3 Rxe5 29. fxe5 Qxe5 30. b4 draw agreed.
Garry Kasparov v/s Teimour Radjabov
1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. e5 Nfd7 5. f4 c5 6. Nf3 Nc6 7. Be3 a6 8. Qd2 b5 9. a3 Qb6 10. Ne2 c4 11. g4 h5 12. gxh5 Rxh5 13. Ng3 Rh8 14. f5 exf5 15. Nxf5 Nf6 16. Ng3 Ng4 17. Bf4 Be6 18. c3 Be7 19. Ng5 O-O-O 20. Nxe6 fxe6 21. Be2 Ngxe5 22. Qe3 Nd7 23. Qxe6 Bh4 24. Qg4 g5 25. Bd2 Rde8 26. O-O-O Na5 27. Rdf1 Nb3+ 28. Kd1 Bxg3 29. Rf7 Rd8 30. Bxg5 Qg6 31. Qf 5 Qxf5 32. Rxf5 Rdf8 33. Rxf8+ Nxf8 34. Bf3 Bh4 35. Be3 Nd7 36. Bxd5 Re8 37. Bh6 Ndc5 38. Bf7 Re7 39. Bh5 Nd3 white resigned.