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Anand beats Gelfand
April 01, 2004 22:18 IST
Viswanathan Anand crashed through the defences of Boris Gelfand of Israel and moved within striking distance of the leading group after the conclusion of the blindfold section in the Amber Blindfold and Rapid chess tournament in Monaco on Thursday.
Anand follows the two leaders just a half point behind and has chances of catching up with them if he wins the return game against Gelfand later today.
However, both Kramnik and Morozevich will have the advantage of playing white in the last game of the tournament and that is the big edge that they have over Anand, who will now have to win with black to be in contention for the title.
Traditionally the tournament has a history of close contests but this by far looks the closest ever.
Both Kramnik and Morozevich are enjoying the joint lead for past few rounds and though the Indian ace was two points behind them, he caught up thanks to two victories, against Vassily Ivacnhuk of Ukraine in the previous round and today's win over Gelfand.
Morozevich ensured his superiority in the blindfold after attaining an easy draw against compatriot Peter Svidler in just 25 moves from a French defence game. He gathered 8.5 points out of a possible 11 in this section and was half a point clear of Kramnik, who also drew his last blindfold game against Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria.
Anand was a picture of confidence in defeating Gelfand, who played black and employed the Petroff defence. Anand took only a slightly favourable middle game in his stride and exerted pressure on the queenside to forcibly win a pawn. In the rest of the game Gelfand tried hard for counter play that remained illusive right till the very end. Anand wrapped the issue in 55 moves after winning another pawn.
Results round 11 - Blindfold: Evgeny Bareev (Rus) drew with Peter Leko (Hun); Loek Van Wely (Ned) lost to Alexei Shirov (Esp); Francisco Vallejo Pons (Esp) lost to Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukr); Viswanthan Anand (Ind) beat Boris Gelfand (Isr); Peter Svidler (Rus) drew with Alexander Morozevich (Rus); Veselin Topalov (Bul) drew with Vladimir Kramnik (Rus).
Final Blindfold standings: 1. Morozevich 8.5; 2. Kramnik 8; 3. Ivanchuk 7; 4. Leko 6.5; 5-6. Anand, Shirov 6 each; 7-8. Svidler, Bareev 5.5 each; 9. Topalov 4.5; 10. Van Wely 3.5; 11. Gelfand 3; 12. Vallejo Pons 2.
Rapid Standings round 10: 1. Anand 7; 2. Bareev 6.5; 3. Svidler 6.0; 4-6. Topalov, Leko, Kramnik, 5.5; 7-9. Morozevich, Ivanchuk, Gelfand 5; 10. Shirov 4.5; 11. Van Wely 3; 12. Vallejo Pons 1.5.
Combined Standings before final Rapid: 1-2. Morozevich, Kramnik 13.5 each; 3. Anand 13; 4-5. Ivanchuk, Leko, Bareev 12 each; 7. Svidler 11.5; 8. Shirov 10.5; 9. Topalov 10; 10. Gelfand 8.0; 11. Van Wely 6.5; 12. Vallejo Pons 3.5.