World champion Viswanathan Anand displayed top form defeating former world champion Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria in the eight round of Corus International Chess tournament on Monday.
After being in the bottom half for the major part of the tournament, the Indian ace escalated himself to joint fourth spot in the standing list and also came within striking distance of the leader Magnus Carlsen of Norway who played a draw with Israeli Boris Gelfand.
With five rounds still to come, Carlsen is still sitting pretty on 5.5 points and Vladimir Kramnik of Russia and Levon Aronian of Armenia follow him a half point behind. Anand is next in standing list on 4.5 points and giving him company is Teimour Radjabov of Azerbaijan.
In the 'B' group being played simultaneously, P Harikrishna played out a draw with Erwin L'Ami of Holland while Koneru Humpy did well to hold Etienne Bacrot of France.
Sergei Movsesian of Slovakia leads this section on 6 points and is followed by Bacrot on 5.5. Harikrishna is joint third on 4.5 points thus far.
The eight round will, however, be remembered for another reason. Nigel short of England was given a point on forfeit due to misbehavior by his opponent Ivan Cheparinov of Bulgaria. The matter was later reviewed by 'Appeals committee'.
Short had recently made some comments about Topalov, who is working with Ivan Cheparinov on a regular basis, which the team-Topalov did not like. As a result Cheparinov did not shake hands with Nigel Short and paid the penalty.
It was a recent FIDE stipulation that even the Chief Arbiter was unaware of. According to the new rule, it is tantamount to an insult if a player refuses to shake hands and this was what Cheparinov did.
Short, famous for his updates on new developments pointed, out the rule to the Chief Arbiter and when Cheparinov was asked to shake hands, he apparently agreed. Short however maintained that 'it was a calculated insult' and was given a point.
Cheparinov later filed an appeal against the decision of the chief Arbiter and his appeal was upheld on condition that he should publically apologise to Short in writing. The Bulgarian agreed and submitted his apology in writing and the game will now be replayed late on Monday, the second rest day of the event.
On the board, Anand was at his best in crushing Topalov who seemed on a revival path after an indifferent start like Anand. The Nazdorf Sicilian by the Bulgarian did not come good once Anand got a position to his liking and slow manoeuvring ensured the Indian a much better middle game. Topalov resigned after 40 moves, he was a pawn down at this time with no hopes of survival.
In the 'C' group Grandmaster Parimarjan negi kept his hopes alive with a hard fought victory over Peng Zhaoqin of Holland.