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Anand finishes joint-sixth

March 28, 2008 16:25 IST

World champion Viswanathan Anand played out two draws with Loek Van Wely of the Netherlands to finish overall tied sixth after the 11th and final round in Amber Blindfold and Rapid chess tournament in Nice.

Levon Aronian of Armenia won the tournament after two easy draws with Hungarian Peter Leko. He ended up with an impressive 14.5 points from 22 games played in this unique event that featured one blindfold and one rapid game in each round.

It was a four-way tie for the second spot in the combined standings, with Vladimir Kramnik of Russia, Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria, Magnus Carlsen of Norway and Leko sharing the honours on 12 points each.

Anand tied for the sixth spot alongside Vassily Ivanchuk of Ukraine with both ending with 11 points.

Apart from winning the combined title with a 2.5 points lead, Aronian also won the rapid section by a handsome 1.5 points margin.

While Aronian ended with 8 points in this section, Ivanchuk finished second on 6.5 points. The third place here was shared between Boris Gelfand of Israel, Topalov and Carlsen, 6 points each, while Anand had to be content with eighth place after logging five points.

It was a major setback for Anand, as Rapid chess is considered to be his forte.

In the Blindfold section, it was a four-way tie at the top between Aronian, Kramnik, Topalov and Alexander Morozevich of Russia who all ended up with 6.5 points each.

Anand finished tied fifth here along with Leko and Carlsen on six points.

The final day did not offer much to the chess buffs as far as the final score-line was concerned. All the mini-matches on the final day ended with a tied 1-1 result and there were only four decisive games that had little impact on the combined standings.

Anand could not get much as white against Van Wely in the blindfold game out of a Sicilian defense and the peace was signed in just 20 moves.

The rapid game was a similar affair coming out of a Queen's Indian defense where Anand played black. The game lasted 20 moves.

Peter Leko tried to play for a win against Aronian but caution was the name of the game in this contest. Leko got a slight plus but it did not amount to much. No one was really surprised when on move 25 the players began a repetition of moves and the peace was signed.

Aronian made an attempt to get an opening edge in the rapid game, without achieving anything tangible. The players arrived at a rook ending with opposite-coloured bishops the draw was a just result.

In the decisive games of the final round Veselin Topalov won one and lost one against Ivanchuk while Shakhriyar Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan did the same against Gelfand.

All the remaining games of the final day were drawn.

Results (final round blindfold): Vladimir Kramnik (Rus)drew with Sergey Karjakin (Ukr); V Anand (Ind) drew with Loek Van Wely (Ned); Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Aze) beat Boris Gelfand (Isr); Veselin Topalov (Bul) beat Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukr); Peter Leko (Hun) drew with Levon Aronian (Arm);  Alexander Morozevich (Rus) drew with Magnus Carlsen (Nor).

Rapid: Karjakin drew with Kramnik; Van Wely drew with Anand; Gelfand beat Mamedyarov; Ivanchuk beat Topalov; Aronian drew with Leko; Carlsen drew with Morozevich.

Blindfold standings: 1-4. Aronian, Kramnik, Morozevich, Topalov 6.5 each; 5-7. Leko, Anand, Carlsen 6 each; 8-9. Karjakin, Van Wely 5 each; 10-11. Ivanchuk, Mamedyarov, 4.5 each; 12. Gelfand 3.

Rapid standings: 1. Aronian 8; 2. Ivanchuk 6.5; 3-5. Gelfand, Leko, Carlsen 6 each; 6-7. Kramnik, Topalov 5.5 each; 8. Anand 5; 9-11. Mamedyarov, Morozevich, Karjakin 4.5 each; 12. Van Wely 4.

Combined Final Standings: 1. Aronian 14.5; 2-5. Kramnik, Leko, Topalov, Carlsen 12 each; 6-8. Ivanchuk, Anand, Morozevich 11 each; 9. Karjakin, 9.5; 10-12. Gelfand, Mamedyarov, Van Wely 9 each.

The moves:

Blindfold: V Anand v/s Loek Van Wely

 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be2 e6 7. O-O Be7 8. a4 Nc6 9. Be3 O-O 10. f4 Qc7 11. Kh1 Re8 12. Bd3 Nb4 13. a5 Bd7 14. Nf3 Bc6 15. Qe2 Nd7 16. Bd4 e5 17. fxe5 dxe5 18. Be3 Nxd3 19. cxd3 Nc5 20. Ng5 Bxg5 game drawn.

Rapid: Van Wely v/s Anand

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 b6 4. g3 Ba6 5. b3 Bb4 6. Bd2 Be7 7. Bg2 c6 8. Bc3 d5 9. Nbd2 Nbd7 10. O-O O-O 11. Re1 c5 12. e4 Nxe4 13. Nxe4 dxe4 14. Rxe4 Bb7 15. Re1 Bf6 16. Ne5 Bxg2 17. Kxg2 cxd4 18. Bxd4 Nxe5 19. Bxe5 Bxe5 20. Rxe5 game drawn.

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