Anand well placed to retain Morelia-Linares titleMarch 6th, 2008 - 5:12 pm ICT by admin
Linares (Spain), March 6 (IANS) Viswanathan Anand looks well placed to retain his Morelia-Linares title with a half point lead with two rounds to go. On the last rest day of the tournament, Anand has 7.5 points, compared to seven for his closest rival, Magnus Carlsen, the 17-year-old Swedish prodigy. Last year Anand won the title and with it also became the world’s top rated player as crossed 2800 Elo rating points.
World champion Anand will meet Vassily Ivanchuk of Ukraine in the 13th and penultimate round, while Carlsen takes on Levon Aronian of Armenia with black pieces. Aronian is expected to attack, knowing it is his last chance to come close to the top.
In the Morelia leg of the tournament, Anand had three wins, all with black, besides three draws and one loss. In the Linares leg, Anand has one win and four draws. A good showing with one win and one draw should fetch him the title and also gain some valuable Elo rating points to cement his position as the world’s top rated player.
Interestingly, Carlsen and Aronian shared the top spot at the year’s first big event, the Corus Grandmasters at Wijk Aan Zee in Holland in January.
Former world champion Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria is in fourth spot with six points and has a final round clash with Anand.
Standings after Round 12: 1. Anand 7.5; 2. Carlsen 7.0; 3. Aronian 6.5; 4. Topalov 6.0; 5. Radjabov and Ivanchuk 5.5; 7-8. Shirov and Leko 5.0
Round 13 pairings: Anand - Topalov; Leko - Aronian; Carlsen - Radjabov; Shirov - Ivanchuk (white first).
Tags: armenia, bulgaria, clash, draws, grandmasters, half point, holland, ivanchuk, last chance, leko, levon aronian, magnus, prodigy, radjabov, rest day, shirov, six points, veselin topalov, world champion, zee