World Cup champion Vishwanathan Anand did not require even a single original move to earn a comfortable draw with veteran Dutch Grandmaster Jan Timman while Judith Polgar shot into sole lead after a thumping victory over Anatoly Karpov in the fourth round of 65th Corus chess tournament in Wijk Aan Zee (the Netherlands) on Thursday.
Polgar, the world's best women's player, produced an amazing display of her attacking prowess against the former Russian world champion to take the sole lead with three points.
The Russian duo of Braingames match winner Vladimir Kramnik and Evegeny Bareev, Spaniard Alexei Shirov and Anand are close on the heels of the leader half a point behind while as many as five players including Karpov are tied with a fifty per cent score at fifth place.
In the Grandmaster Group 'B' tournament, former world junior girls' champion Koneru Humpy drew with women's World championship finalist Alexandra Kosteniuk of Russia to take her tally to 1.5/4.
Top seed GM Zhang Zhong of China continued with his winning run in the event and registered his third victory on the trot to maintain a slender half point lead over his nearest rivals.
Humpy obviously has not had a desirable start and is in joint eighth position with nine more rounds remaining.
It turned out to be a friendly theoretical discussion between Timman and Anand. The Dutchman apparently was without any particular strategy and blitzed out established manoeuvres of Queens Gambit declined with white pieces. The draw was agreed to in just 23 moves.
Polgar, the lone woman in the main event, continued to hold centrestage. Clearly, breaking into the 2700 club, a feat that she recently achieved, is not the end of the road for this star performer.
The victory for Polgar was sweet and well timed considering that beating Karpov is no joke. This was the first time that she scored over the legendry figure in Classical chess and the fact that it came with black pieces, made the win particularly sweet.
Her game also won her the public prize for the best game of the day along with a purse of 250 Euros (Appr. Rs 12,500).
Karpov was up against a Queen's Indian defence, an opening he has savoured with black on numerous occasions in his career. Embarking on the Petrosian system, the Russian faced a theoretical novelty by Polgar on the 12th move and got into trouble after missing a picturesque tactical stroke on the 16th move that left his king stranded in the centre.
Polgar quickly seized the initiative from this point on and penetrated the king side with her queen. Karpov lost two pawns in a span of three moves and gave up the battle facing further material loss. It took 33 moves for Polgar to add Karpov's scalp to her kitty.
"It is interesting to play him, but I hate it when he tortures me. It feels good to be on plus two (her score of two victories without a loss) but it does not mean anything right now," said Polgar after the game.
Having sent warning signals to his rivals in the previous round with a resounding victory over Bareev, Kramnik registered a study-like win over Polish GM Michal Krasenkow.
The opening was an Italian game and the queens were off the board quickly enough for Krasenkow to realise troubles in the ensuing middle game.
Kramnik won a pawn but the complications persisted as the pieces got exchanged at regular intervals. In the end both players were left with very little time on their clocks and Kramnik capitalised on a 78th move blunder by his rival to force checkmate two moves later.
Shirov scored his first victory in the tournament, quelling the challenge of World champion Ruslan Ponomariov of Ukraine, who played white. Ponomariov, nicknamed Super Mariov, surprised Shirov with a spectacular Queen sacrifice in one of the established variations of the Botvinnik system of Semi Slav defence.
Vassily Ivanchuk had played the same sacrifice against Shirov in the same tournament five years back and obviously the latter had worked out excellent strategies to counter a recurrence.
As it happened in the game, Ponomariov's idea did not yield much as Shirov eventually gave the queen back and marched his queenside pawns to glory. The game lasted 42 moves.
Bareev's game against Veselin Topalov was a hard-fought draw, ending through perpetual checks while Azerbaijani sensation Temiour Radjabov failed to convert a promising endgame against Dutch Loek Van Wely.
Ivanchuk's game against Russian Alexander Grischuk lacked any venom and peace was signed in just 18 moves.
Results (Round 4): Anatoly Karpov (Rus, 2) lost to Judith Polgar (Hun, 3); Vladimir Kramnik (Rus, 2.5) beat Michael Krasenkow (Pol, 1); Jan Timman (Ned, 1.5) drew Vishwanathan Anand (2.5); Ruslan Ponomariov (Ukr, 1.5) lost to Alexei Shirov (Esp, 2.5); Evgeny Bareev (Rus, 2) drew Veselin Topalov (Bul, 2); Loek Van Wely (Ne, 2) drew Teimour Radjabov (Aze, 1); Vassily IvanchuUkr, 2) drew Alexander Grischuk (Rus, 2).
Standings after round 4:
1. Judit Polgar, 3 points
2-5. Kramnik, Anand, Shirov, Bareev 2.5 each
6-10. Van Wely, Ivanchuk, Grischuk, Topalov, Karpov 2.0 each.
11-12. Timman, Ponomariov 1.5 each.
13-14. Radjabov, Krasenkow 1 each.
Jonny Hector (Swe, 1.5) lost to Zhang Zhong (Chn, 3.5); Arkadij Naiditsch (Ger, 3) beat Sergey Karjakin (Ukr, 2);
Friso Nijber (Ned, 3) beat Viktorija Cmilyte (Ltu, 0.5); Harmen Jonkman (Ned, 1) lost to Daniel Stellwagen (Ned, 3);
Dennis De Vreugt (Ned, 2.5) drew Ian Rogers (Aus, 2.5); Koneru Humpy (1.5) drew Alexandra Kosteniuk (Rus, 1); Peter Acs (Hun, 1.5) beat John Van der Wiel (1.5).
Standings after round 4:
1. Zhang Zhong 3.5.
2-4. Naiditsch, Nijboer, Stellwagen 3 each
5-6. De Vreugt, Rogers 2.5 each
7. Karjakin 2.0
8-11. Hector, Van der Wiel, Humpy, Acs 1.5 each
12-13. Jonkman, Kosteniuk 1.0 each
14. Cmilyte 0.5 each.