Viswanathan Anand beats Bacrot in Bulgaria
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Viswanathan Anand beats Bacrot in Bulgaria

Indian grandmaster reaches the next round after beating French counterpart Etienne Bacrot in the Mtel Masters Chess tournament.

india Updated: May 12, 2006 17:05 IST

Displaying top form, India's Viswanathan Anand cruised to a fluent win over French Grandmaster Etienne Bacrot with black pieces in the first round of the 2nd Mtel Masters International chess tournament in Bulgaria.

The victory helped Anand emerge as the sole leader in the super tournament as the other two games of this category-20, 6-player double round robin event ended in draws on Thursday.

World Champion Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria drew with Russian Peter Svidler while former world champion Ruslan Ponomariov of Ukraine too got the same result against American Gata Kamsky who recently made a comeback to competitive chess at the top after a long hiatus.

Anand dominated Bacrot in all departments of the game in the opening round of the event, which is being played under classical time control.

The fact that the Indian ace won with black pieces must have sent warning signals to Topalov who is fighting to keep his top position in the ELO rating list intact.

Playing the Queen's Indian defence, Anand survived some scare in the middle game before stamping his absolute authority over Bacrot.

The middle game was quite intense with Anand having some problems in tackling initially. But giving his best under difficult circumstances, the Indian ace took most of the opportunities offered by Bacrot who made a positional error.

First Published: May 12, 2006 17:05 IST