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      >> World Chess News

    Vishawanathan Anand beat Topalov in Mtel Masters chess tournament

    Sofia (Bulgaria), May 12th: Vishwanathan Anand from India beats World chess champion Topalov in the second round of the 19th Mtel Masters chess tournament. The Bulgarian chess master Topalov, who is on top of FIDE ranking, ended the game 1,5:2,5 on Sunday. World No. 2 Anand, who is just one ELO point behind Topalov in ratings, has won both his games and with black pieces. He beat Etienne Bacrot of France in another fine effort in the first round. In the other games, Peter Svidler of Russia beat Ruslan Ponomariov of Ukraine and Gata Kamsky of the US beat Bacrot, who has now lost both his games. In the third round, Anand, sponsored by Indian IT major NIIT, will play Kamsky. The tournament took place in Leon, Spain and lasted from June 9th to 11th 2006 and included four players: Veselin Topalov (Bulgaria), Viswanathan Anand (India), Francisco Vallejo (Spain) and Lazaro Bruzon (Cuba).

    For Anand, it was a sweet revenge after being beaten by the Bulgarian in the last year's tournament, which was won by the home star. Anand was in brilliant form on the black side of the Ruy Lopez, anti-Marshall. It was a quiet opening and it was fairly balanced even into the middle game and then it exploded into action.

    By the 19th move, Anand had equalised and his 27th move began putting pressure on Topalov. His 31st move (Rxe5) was probably the final nail in the coffin as the game ended on the 36th move. Topalov did not get anything out of the opening with white. But around the 25th move Anand seemed to have the better placed pieces. His 27th move (Ng5) with a pseudo-sacrifice of the queen won a pawn and set up an opening for further gains.

    Topalov started crumbling thereafter and Anand made no concessions as he wrapped up the proceedings.

    With two wins with black in the first two rounds, Anand is set for a great tournament and it could well be the beginning of his ascent to No. 1 place in the world.

    In the first round, Anand had crushed Bacrot in the only win of the opening day.

    Anand played on the black side of the Queen's Indian game and the Indian let Bacrot trade his queen for two rooks following a kingside offensive. Anand captured a couple of pawns and finally won in 54 moves.

    Svidler, who began the tournament with two whites, ensured he got a full point from one of them as he beat Ponomariov in the second round.

    Kamsky won a pawn out of the Spanish opening against Bacrot. He did not make it better and theoretically there was a draw. Bacrot did not defend accurately and in the rook vs. knight ending, Kamsky managed to snatch a win.

    Results (Round 2): Topalov lost to Anand; Svidler beat Ponomariov; Kamsky beat Bacrot

    Round 1: Etienne lost to Anand; Ponomariov drew with Kamsky; Svidler drew with Topalov

    Standings after two rounds: 1. Anand 2.0 points; 2. Svidler and Kamsky 1.5; 4. Topalov and Ponomariov 0.5; 6. Bacrot 0.0

    Pairings for third round: Anand vs. Kamsky, Bacrot vs. Svidler, Ponomariov vs. Topalov

    Source: Indo-Asian News Service