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Anand to meet Kramnik in final
October 30, 2003 15:22 IST
World Cup champion Vishwanathan Anand was brilliance personified as he outplayed Russian champion Peter Svidler in the blitz tie-break to advance to the final of the World Rapid Chess Championship in Cap d'Agde, France, on Wednesday.
Anand will clash with the Braingames champion Vladimir Kramnik of Russia, who eliminated compatriot Alexander Grischuk 2-0 in the other semi-final.
The final to be played later on Thursday is on the expected lines with Anand, the second highest rated player in the tournament, taking on Kramnik, the strongest chess player after Garry Kasparov.
Having drawn his league encounter with Svidler, Anand knew the Russian would be a tough nut to crack. The approach of Indian ace was rather cautious but his best defensive skills were a dominating factor in the first game of the blitz match where Svidler failed to make most of a pawn-plus Rook endgame.
The second game of blitz was a perfect demonstration of high positional chess as Anand slowly squeezed out Svidler, who opted for the Sicilian Paulsen defence with black pieces.
Anand cracked down on the queenside in the middle game after Svidler erred and his pawn structure weakened. Anand handled the remaining technicalities in copybook fashion as he slowly built his position to win a pawn on the 25th move. Soon the Queens were traded and it was a lost position for Svidler.
Anand wrapped up the issue on the 34th move with a routine pawn roll.
Earlier, in the first rapid game, Anand did not get the desired advantage with white against the Sicilian and conceded a draw in just 20 moves.
In the second game, Svidler was up against the Moeller variation of the Ruy Lopez and tactical exchanges led to an absolutely level rook and opposite colour Bishop endgame and a draw was agreed upon on move 28.
The deadlock set off the tie-breaker, with three minutes each and three seconds addition after every move.
Against Grischuk, Kramnik went for blood right from the beginning. The first game saw a spectacular tactical shot just while it looked Grischuk was building his position in the middle game, arising out of a Sicilian closed.
Soon Kramnik was with an extra pawn but Grischuk regained his composure to win back the pawn back with excellent rook manoeuvres.
The endgame might have been level but Kramnik persisted with a slightly weak white King and was rewarded as Grischuk went astray to lose after 54 moves.
The second game witnessed Grischuk crumbling under pressure to win to stay alive. In the Capablaca variation of the Nimzo Indian, Kramnik seized the initiative with his better piece placement and obtained two passed pawns on the queenside that proved decisive. The game lasted 40 moves.
Kramnik beat Grischuk 2-0; Anand beat Svidler 1-1; 1.5-0.5.
Game 1 (Rapid): V Anand v/s P Svidler
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nc6 5. Nc3 d6 6. Be3 Nf6 7. f4 e5 8.Nf3 Ng4 9. Bd2 Be7 10. Qe2 exf4 11. Bxf4 Be6 12. O-O-O Qa5 13. h3 Nge5 14.Qb5 Qxb5 15. Bxb5 Nxf3 16. gxf3
O-O-O 17. Nd5 Bh4 18. Be3 Kb8 19. Kb1 f5 20. Nf4 draw agreed.
Game 2 (Rapid): P Svidler v/s V Anand
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O b5 6. Bb3 Bc5 7. a4 Rb8 8. c3 d6 9. d4 Bb6 10. Na3 O-O 11. axb5 axb5 12.Nxb5 exd4 13. cxd4 Bg4 14. Ba4 d5 15. e5 Ne4 16. Be3 f6 17. Nxc7 Nb4 18. h3 Bxf3 19. gxf3 Bxc7 20. fxe4 dxe4 21. Qg4 fxe5 22. dxe5 Qd5 23. Bd7 Qxe5 24. Qe6+ Kh8 25. Qxe5 Bxe5 26. Ra4 Nd5 27. Rxe4 Nxe3 28. Rxe3 draw agreed.
Game 3 (Blitz): Peter Svidler v/s V Anand
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nc6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Nxc6 bxc6 7. Bd3 d5 8. O-O Nf6 9. Re1 Bb7 10. Bf4 Be7 11. Qf3 O-O 12. Rad1 Nd7 13. Na4 Nb6 14. Nxb6 Qxb6 15. b3 c5 16. exd5 Bxd5 17. Qh3 g6 18. Be5 Rfe8 19. Re3 Bf8 20. Qh4 Bg7 21. Bxg7 Kxg7 22. Rh3 h5 23. Qg5 Qd8 24. Rxh5 Qxg5 25. Rxg5 f5 26. Rg3 Kf6 27. Be2 a5 28. Rc3 Rec8 29. a4 Rab8 30. Bc4 Bxc4 31. Rxc4 Rb4 32. Rc3 c4 33. h3 Rcb8 34. Rd6 cxb3 35. cxb3 Rxb3 36. Rcc6 Rb1+ 37. Kh2 Re1 38.h4 Rb4 39. g3 Rb2 40. g4 fxg4 41. Kg2 Re4 42. Kg3 Rb3+ 43. Kg2 Rb2 44. Kg3 Rxa4 45. Rxe6+ Kf7 46. Rf6+ Ke7 47. Rxg6 Ra3+ 48. Kxg4 Rxf2 49. Kh5 Rf7 50. Kh6 Raf3 51. Ra6 R3f6 52. Rxa5 Rxg6+ 53. Kxg6 Rf6+ draw agreed.
Game 4 (Blitz): V Anand v/s Peter Svidler
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 a6 5. Bd3 Bc5 6. Nb3 Ba7 7. O-O Nc6 8. Nc3 Nf6 9. Qe2 d6 10. Be3 b5 11. Bxa7 Rxa7 12. Qe3 O-O 13. Rfd1 Rd7 14. h3 Bb7 15. a4 b4 16. Ne2 Qc7 17. a5 Rc8 18. Ned4 Ne5 19. Qe2 Nc4 20. Rdc1 e5 21. Nf5 d5 22. exd5 Bxd5 23. Nd2 Nxd2 24. Qxd2 Ne4 25. Qxb4 Nc5 26. Bf1 Be6 27. Ne3 Rd4 28. Qb6 Qxb6 29. axb6 Rb4 30. Bxa6 Nxa6 31. Rxa6 Rxb2 32. c4 h5 33. c5 Rb5 34. c6 Black resigned.