Anand outplays Shirov, extends lead to full point in Linares chess

February 29th, 2008 - 12:52 pm ICT by admin  

Linares (Spain), Feb 29 (IANS) Viswanathan Anand once again showed excellent technique to outplay Alexei Shirov in the eighth round of the Morelia-Linares chess as the second leg got underway in this Spanish city of Linares here. Anand’s fourth win in eight rounds took his tally to 5.5 points and extended his lead to a full point. Anand is now one point clear of his nearest rivals Lev Aronian and Magnus Carslen, who have 4.5 points each.

Anand also benefited from the win against Shirov as Magnus Carlsen lost a seemingly winning game against Vassily Ivanchuk.

In his game against Shirov, whom he beat for the FIDE World title back in 2000, Anand made the Latvian-born Spaniard pay for not being able to get adequate counter play. In Sveshnikov Sicilian, Shirov’s pawn weaknesses ultimately cost him the game. It took Anand 57 moves and some fine technique to bring in the full point.

Vaselin Topalov, trying to press too hard for a win, saw the effort backfire as he lost to Aronian. The game was balanced for a long time, but Topalov overpressed and Aronian responded with a defensive exchange sacrifice. That ultimately resulted in a superior endgame for Aronian, who converted it in 65 moves.

Ivanchuk squandered a winning chance against Carlsen and made a wrong choice of move on the 20th turn, which ran him into serious time trouble. Carlsen soon won the race between the opposing sides’ passed pawns and grabbed a full point.

The game between Teimour Radjabov and Peter Leko was drawn, but it was as exciting as any of the decisive games.

Anand finished the first leg in Morelia, Mexico with 4.5 points from seven rounds. The players had four days rest but traveled more than 24 hours and the time difference between Mexico and Spain is seven hours, resulting in considerable jet lag.

Results of Round 8:
Anand beat Shirov
Ivanchuk lost to Carlsen
Radjabov drew with Leko
Aronian beat Topalov.

Standings after Round 8:
1. Anand (5.5 points)
2. Aronian , Carlsen (4.5 each)
3. Topalov and Shirov (4 each)
4. Radjabov (3.5)
5. Leko and Ivanchuk (3 each)

Pairings for Round 9:
Aronian vs. Anand
Topalov vs. Radjabov
Leko vs. Ivanchuk
Carlsen vs Shirov

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