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Anand loses to Radjabov in Corus Tournament

Hot favourite for the crown with his enviable record, Anand was in for a surprise against in-form Teimour Radjabov.

other Updated: Jan 13, 2008 15:20 IST

Rude defeats for World champion Viswanthan Anand and fellow Grandmaster Koneru Humpy summed up a pathetic day for the Indians in the first round of Corus Chess tournament here.

Hot favourite for the crown with his enviable record on the Dutch soil, Anand was in for a surprise against in-form Teimour Radjabov of Azerbaijan as the latter showcased his deep preparation and technical acumen to romp home in the 'A' group.

Radjabov, along with Magnus Carlsen of Norway and Levon Aronian of Armenia, emerged as the early leaders in this category-20 tournament with victories in the opener.

While Carlsen put up a fine show to beat Shakhriyar Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan, former World champion Veselin Topalov was comprehensively beaten by Aronian. The remaining games of the 14-players' round-robin event ended in draws.

In the 'B' group Grandmaster Humpy did not get many chances against Jan Smeets of Holland.

Playing black Humpy slowly put on the defence of her queen side and faced an uphill task when Smeets gave two pieces for a rook. The ensuing endgame was clearly inferior and the Indian did not survive for long.

Playing in the 'C' group for the third time, Parimarjan Negi was subjected to a vigorous king side attack by Pontus Carlsson of Sweden in a Sicilian Dragon defense game where the latter played black.

Parimarjan decided to decline an exchange sacrifice early in the middle game and did not get a second chance as Carlsson threw his pieces at white king in tandem.

The lone Indian survivor was P Harikrishna in the 'B' group and he too was on the verge of defeat against Nigel Short of England in a game of fluctuating fortunes.

Playing with white, Harikrishna opened with the king pawn and faced the French defense, got a better middle game that he nurtured well to get a good advantage but miscalculated his chances in the later part to reach a seemingly lost position.

However, a determined Harikrishna fought on and salvaged a half point in the end.

Anand embarked on his pet Semi Slav as black but Radjabov was quite well prepared in the opening. The Azerbaijani, who recently wont he ACP world rapid championship, got a decent position in the middle game and knocked down Anand's rook for a Bishop to simplify matters.

Even though Anand fought very hard thereafter and even appeared to be close to a draw at one point, the nature of the position remained difficult. Radjabov won after 85 moves.

Results round 1 Group 'A':

Levon Aronian (Arm) beat Veselin Topalov (Bul); Teimour Radjabov (Aze) beat Viswanathan Anand (Ind); Vladimir Kramnik (Rus) drew with Loek Van Wely (Ned); Michael Adams (Eng) drew with Boris Gelfand (Isr); Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukr) drew with Judit Polgar (Hun); Pavel Eljanov (Ukr) drew with Peter Lk (Hun); Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Aze) lost to Magnus Carlsen (Nor).