Anand wins record fifth title

Published on Jan 30, 2006 11:36 AM IST

The Indian has won the Corus chess tournament on superior tie break than World Champion Veselin Topalov.

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None | ByPress Trust of India, Wijk Aan Zee (the Netherlands)

Viswanathan Anand has won the Corus chess tournament on superior tie break than World Champion Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria after a splendid victory over Boris Gelfand of Israel in the 13th and final round game that concluded here.

After Topalov was held to a draw by defending champion Peter Leko of Hungary, Anand was under pressure to score a victory over Gelfand and the Indian ace did it in style for his record fifth triumph here on Sunday.

After the victory Anand surpassed three other four-time champions, MaxEuwe of Holland who won it in 1940, 1942, 1952 and 1958, Hungary's Lajos Portisch who was a winner here in 1965, 1972, 1975 and 1978 and Switzerland's Victor Korchnoi who annexed the crown in 1968, 1971, 1984 and 1987.

Apart from the highly satisfying victory, Anand had another reason to cheer as he will now cross the magical 2800 ELO barrier for the first time in his career.

The Indian ace stands to gain more than 10 Elorating points from this tournament which will add to his present rating of 2792. After Russians Garry Kasparov and Vladimir Kramnik and Topalov, Anand will be the fourth player in the history of the game to achieve this peak.

The Tiger from Chennai did everything right in the event apart from an utterly forgettable loss against old rival Gata Kamsky of United States earlier in the tournament.

Overall, Anand won six games lost one and drew the remaining six. Topalov also achieved the same score with a lone loss against Michael Adams of England but his tie break score fell shorter than Anand. 

However, with this event, Topalov's winning streak in the high category events has come to a halt. The third place in the category — 19 event was jointly won by Michael Adams of England and Vassily Ivanchuk of Ukraine who both scored 7.5 points a piece. Of the two, the latter was impressive in the final encounter of the 14-players round robin tournament as he defeated World's youngest ever GM and compatriot Sergey Karjakin.

Karjakin and Gelfand had to be content with joint fifth spot on 7 points while Sergei Tiviakov of Holland, World cup winner Levon Aronian of Armenia and Leko finished in a tie for 7-9 places on a 50% score. Loek Van Wley of Holland ended 10th on 6 points, Etienne Bacrot of France was next in the standings on 5.5 while twice world junior champion Shakhriyar Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan and Kamssky finished equal 12th on 4.5 points.

The last place was taken by local stalwart Ivan Sokolov who lost his final duel against Aronian.

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