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Anand beats Ivanchuk

other Updated: Mar 20, 2009 14:13 IST
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World champion Viswanathan Anand came up with his true form in the rapid game to beat Ukrainian Vassily Ivanchuk by 1.5-0.5 margin in the fifth round of the Amber blindfold and rapid chess tournament in France.

Anand slipped a bit in the blindfold game after getting a few chances but came back strongly to stir tactical complications in the return game to post his victory.

Levon Aronian of Armenia joined Russian Vladimir Kramnik in lead on 6.5 points in the combined standings on 6.5 points, a half point ahead of Russian Alexander Morozevich who now stands sole third.

Anand elevated himself to joint fourth spot after beating Ivanchuk and the Indian ace now shares this spot along with former world champion Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria.

Magnus Carlsen of Norway shares the sixth spot with Gata Kamsky of United States and Teimour Radjkabov of Azerbaijan on 5 points apiece and a half point adrift of this group is Hungarian Peter Leko.

Ukrainian Karjakin stands sole 10th on 4 points, Ivanchuk lies 11th on 3.5 while Wang Yue of China is last in standings on 3 points.

Six rounds still remain in the unique event that features one blindfold and one rapid game in each round.

The blindfold games of the day were quite hard fought but failed to provide many decisive games. Only Morozevich was able to force matter against Karjakin and his victory also came with black pieces.

On the contrary, the rapid games were exact reverse giving the spectators as many as five decisive games out of a possible six and the lone draw here was played out by Kramnik against Topalov.

Anand employed the Caro Kann defense as black in the blindfold game and faced the main line from Ivanchuk. The Indian felt that White's 18.G3 was a mistake as it allowed him to break through and conquer the central square.

Black got the better game, but failed to make the most out of his advantage and when Ivanchuk proposed a draw after 28 moves Anand no longer had a reason to decline.

The rapid game was tense and exciting. This time a French main line appeared on the board. In a balanced middlegame, Anand managed to eke something out of very little and after the game he was pleased with his 34th move that stirred up dizzying tactical complications.

Ivanchuk's first reactions were fine, but when he missed the possibility of improving his position on the 43rd move Anand got the opportunity to decide the game in his favour.

There are no customary handshakes between Kramnik and Topalov and this time was no different either.