Anand beats Moro second time, enters final in Mainz

August 3rd, 2008 - 7:02 pm ICT by IANS  

Mainz (Germany), Aug 3 (IANS) World chess Champion Viswanathan Anand put himself in good position to annex his 11th title in Mainz as he topped the league stage at the GrenkeLeasing Rapid Chess World Championship to qualify for the final, where he meets Norwegian prodigy Magnus Carlsen. Anand and Carlsen have drawn both their encounters in the league stage and their second clash in fourth round was an exciting one.

Anand topped the league stage with four points, as he achieved his second win, once again at the expense of World No. 2 Alexander Morozevich.

While Anand took three exciting games, two drawn and one win, to qualify for the final, Carlsen was lucky to survive against Morozevich.

Against Anand, Carlsen chose a fashionable pawn of the Queen’s Indian involving a pawn sacrifice. In return he received active pieces and compensation. While he gradually increased his pressure on the kingside Anand countered on the queenside and suddenly an outburst of tactical complications followed.

In a still interesting position Anand, despite being two minutes ahead on the clock, decided not to risk too much and settled for a perpetual.

Morozevich and Judit Polgar also played a Queen’s Indian but Polgar blundered and lost.

Then Judit Polgar (playing White) drew with Anand in the Sicilian Najdorf. The game was a sharp struggle and though Anand’s chances were better, Polgar attacked well. When Anand failed to find a decisive tactical blow he decided to go for a draw.

Morozevich and Carlsen also played an exciting draw. Moro played his second Queen’s Indian of the day and with his trademark double-edged interesting play managed to put Carlsen under constant pressure. However, the Norwegian neutralized all threats and when a queen ending was reached in which he was slightly better, he accepted Morozevich’s draw offer. With only nine seconds left on the clock, he was not in a mood to gamble.

Thus, with one round to go Anand, Morozevich and Carlsen all had three points, while Judit was trailing with one. As the first two in the preliminary qualify for the final, the sixth round, in which Anand played against Morozevich and Polgar against Carlsen promised to be really exciting.

The game between Anand and Morozevich was full of tactical possibilities. In this Ruy Lopez, Chigorin game lasting 47 moves, it was mainly Morozevich’ fault. He blundered right after the opening and allowed Anand a winning knight sacrifice.

Morozevich declined the sacrifice and that meant Anand could have won with a second sacrifice soon after. But the Indian ace took another route, which was safer, though it gave Morozevich some chances.

However, Anand calmly repelled all threats and used his material advantage to win the game and the tournament.

Meanwhile Carlsen drew with Polgar to take the second place and make the final where he clashes with Anand.

Round 4: Carlsen drew with Anand; Morozevich beat Polgar;
Round 5: Morozevich drew with Carlsen; Polgar drew with Anand
Round 6: Anand beat Morozevich; Carlsen drew with Polgar

Points after league stage: Anand 4 points; Carlsen 3.5 points; Morozevich 3; Polgar 1.5

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