Amber Chess tourney: Anand bags rapid title | india | Hindustan Times
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Amber Chess tourney: Anand bags rapid title

Anand beat Levon Aronian 1.5-.5 in the penultimate round to pocket the rapid title, making the defending champion the sole overall leader after 10 rounds.

india Updated: Mar 30, 2006 16:54 IST

Viswanathan Anand beat Levon Aronian 1.5-.5 in the penultimate round to pocket the rapid title with one round to spare, making the defending champion the sole overall leader after 10 rounds in the 15th Amber Blindfold and Rapid Chess Tournament here.

Anand's cause was helped by overnight leader Alexander Morozevich's 1-1 draw with Vassily Ivanchuk, which saw Morozevich slip from the lead to brighten up the Indian's chances of repeating his overall victory in the Amber tournament of last year.

Anand tops the combined table with 13.5 points, half-a-point ahead of Morozevich and with 7.5 points from 10 matches, Anand is already assured of the rapid title.

Morozevich, however, has bagged the blindfold title, amassing 8.5 points, an incredible feat.

In the final round Anand will play Veselin Topalov, while Morozevich will face Loek Van Wely.

In the blindfold game against Aronian, Anand was his composed self as his Armenian opponents repeated one of his "experiments" and defended himself with the Philidor Defence.

Playing with white, Anand managed to gain an upper hand in the opening game and Aronian was hardly impressive with his counter-attack. Both the players probed each other but Aronian could not recover after losing a pawn at a crucial juncture and had to pay for the deficit. After 73 moves, Aronian was still a pawn down and he resigned.

The rapid game between the two was a romantic 19th century coffee house affair as both the players kept throwing pieces at each other's king and though the match lasted 21 moves before the players agreed for a draw, it was a welcome break for the lovers of the game. Standing after Round X:

Blindfold:

1. Alexander Morozevich (8.5); 2. Francisco Vallejo (6.5); 3. Viswanathan Anand (6); 4. Alexander Grischuk, Peter Svidler (5.5); 6. Boris Gelfand, Peter Leko(5); 8. Loek Van Wely (4.5); 9. Veselin Topalov (4); 10. Peter Heine Nielsen (3.5); 11. Levon Aronian, Vassily Ivanchuk (3)

Rapid:

1. Viswanathan Anand (7.5); 2. Veselin Topalov (6); 3. Levon Aronian (5.5); 4. Alexander Grischuk, Vassily Ivanchuk, Francisco Vallejo, Loek Van Wely(5); 8. Peter Leko, Alexander Morozevich (4.5); 10. Boris Gelfand, Peter Heine Nielsen, Peter Svidler (4). Combined:

1. Viswanathan Anand (13.5); 2. Alexander Morozevich (13); 3. Francisco Vallejo (11.5); 4. Alexander Grischuk (10.5); 5. Veselin Topalov (10); 6. Peter Leko, Peter Svidler, Loek Van Wely (9.5); 9. Boris Gelfand (9); 10. Levon Aronian (8).