Anand cashes in on luck and class, lies sole second

March 22nd, 2008 - 2:05 pm ICT by admin  

Nice (France) March 22 (IANS) Viswanathan Anand cashed in both luck and class to score a 1.5-0.5 win over Sergey Karjakin to break out from a crowded second place and take the position solely half a point behind leader Lev Aronian after the sixth round of the 17th Melody Amber Blindfold and Rapid chess tournament Friday. The Indian Grandmaster who had a lost game each in both his previous rounds, was lucky to notch a full point in the blindfold despite misreading a move once, was then in great form in rapid. Though he dominated the game, Karjakin still escaped with a draw.

The 1.5 points took Anand to seven in sole second, behind Aronian who drew both his games with Shakhriyar Mamedyarov. Aronian has 7.5 points at just part the halfway mark in the 11-round tournament, where each round is a mini-match of two games.

Half a point behind Anand was a group of five players.

In the blindfold game Anand read Karjakin’s seventh move of 7.Nf3 as 7.Nb3 and it gave the Ukrainian youngster an advantage. But the world champion realised his error and quickly tried to adapt to the new situation. He recovered soon and a little later the two were equal again.

Karjanik gave Anand an opening, but the Indian ace seemed to be hit by another of what is called ‘chess blindness’ on move 23. He adopted a practice move when he was unsure where his rival’s rook was placed. Anand went for a safe route instead of risking an illegal move. His move turned out to be fine and soon gained a decisive advantage that saw him win the game.

In the rapid game Anand came close to a second win, but not close enough. Karjakin readily admitted that the world champion had outplayed him, but also pointed at the compensation he always had in his bishop pair.

Leader Aronian missed a winning chance against Mamedyarov in blindfold, but they drew in rapid with both sides equal.

Similarly Topalov missed a chance against Magnus Carlsen in blindfold.

Kramnik showed amazing sportsmanship, when he saw an error from Gelfand just a move before he planned to offer draw. Gelfand ‘touched’ his queen instead of Knight and that would have meant a queen being given away as a blunder. But Kramik realized what happened and offered a draw anyhow prompting Gelfand to remark, “He is a gentleman.’ They also drew the rapid game.

Only two games, both in blindfold produced results, while all six games in rapid were drawn.

Results of the sixth round:

Blind: Karjakin lost to Anand; Aronian drew with Mamedyarov; Carlsen drew with Topalov;

Ivanchuk drew with Leko; Van Wely lost to Morozevich; Gelfand drew with Kramnik


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

Standings after sixth round:

1. Aronian7.5;

2. Anand 7;

3. Topalov, Leko, Kramnik, Ivanchuk and Carlsen 6.5;

8. Morozevich and Karjakin 5.5;

10. Mamedyarov 5;

11. Gelfand and Van Wely 4.5

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