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Anand draws with Krasenkow

January 22, 2003 16:54 IST

Indian Grandmaster Vishwanathan Anand maintained a slender half point lead after a draw with GM Michal Krasenkow of Poland in the ninth round of the 65th Corus Chess tournament in Wijk Aan Zee, the Netherlands, on Tuesday.

After a few exciting previous rounds, most of the players preferred an extended rest day ahead of the final one scheduled for Thursday. Six out of seven games ended in draws leaving Anand (6 points) half a point ahead of nearest rivals GM Loek Van Wely of Netherlands and the world's highest rated woman player, Judit Polgar of Hungary.

The lone big beneficiary of this round was defending champion Evgeny Bareev of Russia, who scored over compatriot Alexander Grischuk in an exciting game. As a result, Grischuk fell down to joint fourth in the standing list where he was joined by Bareev and Spaniard Alexei Shirov.

In the Grandmaster B tournament, however, it was a different story altogether with as many as six decisive games.

The spectators' interest was naturally shifted to this section and even the best game prize of the day was given to Friso Nijboer, who outsmarted women's World championship finalist Alexandra Kosteniuk of Russia.

Chinese top seed Zhang Zhong expanded his lead to a huge two points and looks a certain winner having tallied eight points out of nine so far. Former World junior girls' champion Koneru Humpy also fought back in the event and scored over GM Peter Acs of Hungary.

Anand was up against the Berlin defence by Krasenkow, who shifted from his pet Sicilian Sveshnikov with the black  pieces. The queens were traded quite early and Anand could not really make any decisive headway at any point of time. After a mere 19 moves the Indian ace decided that there was nothing left to play for and the peace was immediately signed.

"I might have gone wrong somewhere," said Anand after the game adding that his 17th move was probably a mistake.

Bareev employed the Caro Kann defence and faced the sharp Advance variation by Grischuk who played white. The middle game was fierce with Bareev's queen taking a crash course and venturing into opposition territory on her own.

Masterminding a brilliant attack, after confining his king to safety, Bareev knocked down one pawn and following Grischuk's desperate measures, ended up with a couple of extra pieces. Grischuk resigned after 38 moves.

Polgar and Shirov have generally fought wild Sicilian games between them but the Spaniard went for a safer approach this time. The preferred Sveshnikov Sicilian yet again proved successful to give an easy draw with black pieces to the Latvian-born Spaniard with the game lasting just 22 moves.

Loek Van Wely too appeared in mood to test GM Vassily Ivanchuk of Ukraine and took the raw in a mere 20 moves.

Ivanchuk has not been involved in a single decisive game yet and most of his games have been tame draws.

GM Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria however took a different route to draw. Playing white against Ponomariov, Topalov was seen fighting hard for an advantage against the Berlin 'wall' and forced the World champion to part with an exchange.

However Ponomariov defended the ensuing endgame precisely to get the half point.

Teimour Radjabov appeared to be in fine fettle against Braingames champion Vladimir Kramnik of Russia but in the end decided against going for complexities while Jan Timman of Netherlands put a much needed break to his losses with an easy draw against former world Champion Anatoly Karpov of Russia.

Results round 9:

Vishwanathan Anand (6) drew Michal Krasenkow (Pol, 3.5); Loek Van Wely (Ned, 5.5) drew Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukr, 4.5) Judit Polgar (Hun, 5.5) drew Alexei Shirov (Esp, 5); Alexander Grischuk (Rus, 5) lost to Evgeny Bareev (Rus, 5); Teimour Radjabov (Aze, 4.5) drew Vladimir Kramnik (Rus, 4.5); Veselin Topalov (Bul, 4.5) drew Ruslan Ponomariov (Ukr, 3); Jan Timman (Ned, 2) drew Anatoly Karpov (Rus, 4.5).

Standings after round 9:

1. Anand 6.0

2-3. Van Wely, Polgar 5.5 each

4-6. Shirov, Grischuk, Bareev 5.0 each

7-11. Ivanchuk, Kramnik, Karpov, Topalov, Radjabov 4.5 each

12. Krasenkow 3.5

13. Ponomariov 3.0

14. Timman 2.0.

B Tournament:

Zhang Zhong (Chn, 8) beat Dennis De Vreugt (Ned, 4); Daniel Stellwagen (Ned, 5.5) lost to Viktorija Cmilyte (Ltu, 3.5); Sergey Karjakin (Ukr, 5) beat Ian Rogers (Aus, 4.5); John Van der Wiel (Ned, 3.5) drew Jonny Hector (Swe, 5); Harmen Jonkman (Ned, 3.5) beat Arkadij Naiditsch (Ger, 5) Koneru Humpy (3.5) beat Peter Acs (Hun, 3); Alexandra Kosteniuk (Rus, 3) lost to Friso Nijboer (Ned, 6).

Standings after round 9: 1. Zhong  8.0; 2. Nijboer 6.0; 3. Stellwagen 5.5; 4-6. Karjakin, Naiditsch, Hector 5.0 each; 7. Rogers 4.5; 8. De Vreugt 4.0; 9-12. Cmilyte, Van der Wiel, Jonkman, Humpy  3.5 each; 13-14. Acs, Kosteniuk 3.0 each.

The moves

Vishwanathan Anand v/s Michal Krasenkow

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. O-O Nxe4 5. d4 Nd6 6. Bxc6 dxc6 7. dxe5 Nf5 8. Qxd8+ Kxd8 9. Nc3 Ke8 10. h3 Be7 11. Rd1 Nh4 12. Nxh4 Bxh4  13. Ne2 h5 14. Be3 Be7 15. Rd2 h4 16. Rad1 Rh5 17. f4 Be6 18. Nd4 Bc5 19. Bf2. Draw agreed.

Alexander Grischuk v/s Evgeny Bareev

1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 Bf5 4. Nc3 e6 5. g4 Bg6 6. Nge2 c5 7. h4 h5 8. Nf4 Bh7 9. Nxh5 cxd4 10. Nb5 Nc6 11. Nxd4 Nge7 12. Rh3 a6 13. Bg5 Qb6 14. Nxc6 Nxc6 15. Bd3 Bxd3 16. Rxd3 Qb4+ 17. c3 Qe4+ 18. Re3 Qg2 19. Rc1 Qg1+ 20. Kd2 Qxf2+ 21. Re2 Qc5 22. Qa4 Rc8 23. Rf1 Rc7 24. Kc1 d4 25. Rd1 Rd7 26. Red 2 Qxe5 27. cxd4 Qe4 28. Rc2 f6 29. Bd2 b5 30. Qxa6 Nxd4 31.Rc8+ Kf7 32. Ng3 Qxg4 33. Rg1 Ne2+ 34. Nxe2 Qxe2 35. Rd1 Bb4 36. Qc6 Bxd2+ 37. Kc2 Ba5+ 38. Kb3 Q xd1+ white resigned.

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