Anand moves into sole lead at Melody Amber

March 18th, 2008 - 5:16 pm ICT by admin  

Nice (France), March 18 (IANS) World Champion Viswanathan Anand maintained his steady pace to move into sole lead after three rounds of the 17th Melody Amber Blindfold and Rapid chess tournament here. Anand has not lost a single game, won two and drawn four for four points from six games.

Anand and Veselin Topalov played interesting draws in both formats and neither was in danger of losing and the half points in both games were a fair result.

The sensation of the third round was the 0.5-1.5 loss of last year’s winner Vladimir Kramnik to Shakhriyar Mamedyarov. It would have been a worse loss for Kramnik, but Mamedyarov was not alert in the blindfold game and let slip a chance.

Topalov and Anand conducted a heavy theoretical discussion in one of the main lines of the Catalan Opening. White seemed to be doing well, especially after 16.c6, a move that Anand admitted he had missed, but most probably Topalov’s advantage was less than it seemed. In any case the World Champion defended well and after 59 moves they agreed to split the point.

The rapid game saw another Caro-Kann by Topalov. The Bulgarian got a good position and felt that at some point he should have fought for more. In the end, he forced a draw with a repetition of moves. He had briefly considered playing on, but with 40 seconds on the clock he dismissed this idea. As he explained with a smile, “I didn’t want to blitz. Especially not against Anand.”

Results of third round:

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

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

Standings after 3 twin-rounds:
1. Anand 4
2. Topalov, Ivanchuk, Aronian and Carlsen 3.5 each
6. Karjakin and Mamedyarov 3 each
8. Gelfand, Morozevich, Kramnik and Leko 2.5 each
12. Van Wely 2

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