World champion Viswanathan Anand put up a sterling show to outwit challenger Veselin Topalov to level scores after the end of the second round of the world chess championship here.
After losing the first game quite easily it was comeback time for Anand who outplayed Topalov comprehensively and the
Indian ace can now look forward to his title defense more confidently.
While most of the chess fans were wondering whether Anand will go all out to level score with White pieces, or adopt a
more cautious strategy and wait for the rest day today to recollect his confidence, Anand showed everyone the way.
Playing Topalov faced the popular Catalan opening, in which White aims for the initiative and long-term pressure.
This was clearly the special opening that Anand had prepared for the match.
The pace of the game was considerably slower compared to the first game when the players almost blitzed out the opening moves.
Anand sacrificed a pawn in the opening in exchange for the quick development and positional pressure. On the 15th
move the world champion offered the trade of queens despite being a pawn less and this was the turning point of the game.
Even though Anand was saddled with doubled pawns on the queen side, the activity of pieces more than compensated for the
Both pairs of Knights were firmly entrenched in the central positions and the play revolved around the c-file and
The decisive moment of the game came on the 27th move when Topalov decisively erred by going for the exchange of
knights. Anand was already sensing victory after 27th move and his hard paid off after 43 moves and nearly four hours.
"I thought I had compensation for the pawn, maybe. But after Rc4 I don't know about Ne3; somewhere there it began to
slip away for Black. I think Black is still sort of OK but after I take on b6 and come back, then I'm just much better
already. I was quite happy to find this resource that wins the pawn back and I keep all my pieces. And then it's fairly
straightforward," Anand said in the post match conference.
Naturally Topalov had less to say: "It was a very complicated game and at some point I started to make mistakes.
Of course after some time it was simply already much better for White."