Anand retains Morelia-Linares chess title

March 8th, 2008 - 2:52 pm ICT by admin  

(Lead)

Linares (Spain), March 8 (IANS) World chess champion Viswanathan Anand coasted to his second successive Morelia-Linares title after settling for a draw with Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria in the 14th and final round here. Anand pocketed 8.5 points and finished half a point clear of his nearest rival Magnus Carlsen of Norway.

Carlsen drew with Teimour Radjabov of Azerbaijan in his last game.

Anand repeated his last year’s feat but the margin of win was bigger last year when he had grabbed the title scoring 8.5 points, a full point clear of his nearest contenders.

The final round saw the other pairs also drawing their games. Levon Aronian of Armenia signed peace with Peter Leko of Hungary while the match between Alexei Shirov and Ukrainian Vassily Ivanchuk also ended in the same result.

Before the final round, Anand was sitting pretty as he was ahead of Carlsen by half a point and knew that it will be difficult for the latter to cross over.

Anand, therefore, decided to play it safe. Playing with white in the final round, the Indian was never really troubled by former World Champion Topalov.

Aronian and Topalov tied for the third spot on 7.5 points, Radjabov came fifth with 7 points while Ivanchuk ended a clear sixth, half a point behind. Shirov and Leko tied for the seventh spot with 5.5 points each.

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