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Anand keeps pace with Aronian

March 21, 2006 18:20 IST

Defending champion Viswanathan Anand outclassed Grandmaster Francisco Vallejo Pons of Spain in the rapid game of the third round to take the mini-match by a 1.5-0.5 margin in the 15th Amber Blindfold and Rapid chess tournament in Monaco.

The victory helped Anand keep pace with World Cup winner Levon Aronian of Armenia in the rapid section of the event as the Indian maintained joint lead with him on 2.5 points out of a possible three.

Anand jumped to the joint third spot in the overall standings with 3.5 points in his kitty alongside World champion Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria and Boris Gelfand of Israel.

Aronian and Alexander Morozevich of Russia shared the lead in the combined standings with four points apiece.

The highlight of the day was another stunning defeat of Topalov in the rapid game where he was beaten by Peter Heine Nielsen of Denmark.

In the unique event of prize money Euros 216000, being held on a round-robin basis between 12 players, each round comrpises a blindfold and a rapid game.

In the blindfold section, 20 seconds are added to the clock after every move is made while in the rapid there is a 10 seconds increment.

In the last edition of the event, Anand had won all three -- blindfold, rapid and combined -- titles at stake. The blindfold games are played with players only able to see the last move played while the remaining pieces remain invisible.

Complete results round 3:

Blindfold: Viswanathan Anand (Ind) drew with Francisco Vallejo Pons (Esp); Alexander Morozevich drew with Alexander Grischuk (Rus); Boris Gelfand (Isr) drew with Peter Svidler (Rus); Veselin Topalov (Bul) beat Peter Heine Nielsen (Den) Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukr) beat Loek Van Wely (Ned); Peter Leko (Hun) drew with Levon Aronian (Arm);

Rapid: Anand beat Vallejo Pons; Svidler lost to Gelfand; Grischuk lost to Morozevich; Aronian beat Leko; Nielsen beat Topalov; Van Wely drew with Ivanchuk;

Blindfold Standings after Round 3: 1-4. Leko, Morozevich, Pons, Topalov 2 each; 5-9. Gelfand, Grischuk, Aronian, van Wely, Ivanchuk 1.5 each; 10-11. Anand, Svidler 1 each, 12. Nielsen 0.5.

Rapid Standing after Round 3: 1-2. Aronian, Anand 2.5 each; 3-5. Morozevich, Nielsen, Gelfand, 2 each; 6. Topalov 1.5; 7-11. Grischuk, Leko, Ivanchuk, Van Wely, Vallejo Pons 1 each; 12. Svidler 0.5.

Combined Standings Round 3: 1-2. Morozevich, Aronian 4 each; 3-5. Topalov, Gelfand, Anand 3.5 each; 6-7. Leko, Vallejo Pons 3 each; 8-11. Grischuk, Van Wely, Nielsen, Ivanchuk 2.5 each; 12. Svidler 1.5.

The moves:

Blindfold game:V Anand v/s Francisco Vallejo Pons 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Nxe4 6. d4 b5 7. Bb3 d5 8.dxe5 Be6 9. Nbd2 Be7 10. c3 O-O 11. Qe2 Nc5 12. Nd4 Nxb3 13. N2xb3 Qd7 14.Nxc6 Qxc6 15. Be3 Qc4 16. Rfe1 Rfc8 17. Qd2 c5 18. Na5 Qg4 19. Nb7 Qg6 20.Nd6 Rc6 21. Bf4 f6 22. Nb7 Rf8 23. exf6 Qxf6 24. Bg3 Rb6 25. Na5 Bd6 26.Nb3 Be7 27. Re2 Rc8 28. Rae1 Bf8 29. Nc1 d4 30. cxd4 Qxd4 31. Qa5 Qd8 32. Bh4 Qc7 33. Bg3 Qd8 34. Bh4 Qc7 draw agreed.

Rapid game: Vallejo Pons v/s V Anand 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. f3 e6 7. Be3 b5 8.g4 b4 9. Nce2 h6 10. c4 e5 11. Nc2 Nc6 12. Ng3 Be6 13. h4 a5 14. Bf2 g6 15.Ne3 Bg7 16. Rc1 O-O 17. Bd3 Nd4 18. Nc2 Nc6 19. Ne3 a4 20. Nef5 gxf5 21.exf5 e4 22. fxe4 Ne5 23. fxe6 Nfxg4 24. e7 Qxe7 25. Nf5 Qe6 26. Rg1 h5 27.Be2 Rfe8 28. Bd4 Nf3+ 29. Bxf3 Qxf5 30. Bxg7 Rxe4+ 31. Kd2 Qf4+ 32. Kc2 Rxc4+ 33. Kb1 Rxc1+ 34. Qxc1 Qxf3 35. Bh6 Qf5+ 36. Ka1 Rc8 37. Qd1 Kh7 38.Bc1 Qc2 39. Qf1 f6 40. Qe1 Kg6 41. Qe3 Kf7 42. Qe1 Rc4 43. Rf1 d5 white resigned.

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