Anand draws with Topalov, retains lead in Morelia-Linares chess

February 23rd, 2008 - 6:25 pm ICT by admin  

Morelia (Mexico), Feb 23 (IANS) World champion Viswanathan Anand further strengthened his claim to retain his title as he held on to his half-point lead after drawing his sixth round game against former world champion Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria at the Morelia-Linares chess tournament here. The Indian Grandmaster leads the race with four points out of six, while Lev Arnian of Armenia is in second spot with three and half points at the end of the penultimate round of the first leg of the tournament.

Against Topalov Friday, Anand, with black pieces, opted for Nizmo Indian defence to tackle the Bulgarian’s variations.

After a set of minor pieces and couple of pawn exchanges, Topalov opened up black’s king side. Anand, however, came back strongly working out the country play.

The Bulgarian then went for the weak king side but the Indian once again came out with his counter play, but this time around the centre, to neutralize his opponent’s attack.

Both the players tried every trick to take a point from the game but eventually signed peace at the end of the 42nd move after reaching a queen and pawns endgame.

Topalov managed to open his account with this draw as his first two outings in this edition was disappointing.

In the other matches of the day, Teimour Radjabov of Azerbaijan defeated young Norwegian Magnus Carlsen while Vassily Ivanchuk and Alexey Shirov and Lev Aronian and Peter Leko also shared honours.

Anand will take on Vassily Ivanchuk of Ukraine in the final round here.

In the second leg at the Spanish city of Lianres, Anand is likely to start as a leader. The second leg begins Feb 29.

Results after Round 6:

Vishwanathan Anand drew with Veselin Topalov
Levon Aronian drew with Peter Leko
Teimour Radjabov won against Magnus Carlsen
Vassily Ivanchuk drew with Alexei Shirov

Standings after Round 6:
1. Vishwanathan Anand (4 points)
2. Lev Aronian (3.5 points)
3. Vaselin Topalov, Teimour Radjabov, Alexei Shirov (3 points)
6. Peter Leko, Magnus Carlsen, Vassily Ivanchuk (2.5 points)

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