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Anand back in joint lead

March 25, 2006 12:13 IST

Defending champion Viswanathan Anand came back strongly to score a splendid victory over Grandmaster Peter Leko of Hungary in the sixth round of 15th Amber Blindfold and Rapid chess tournament in Monaco.

Anand, who lost to Grandmaster Alexander Grischuk in the previous round, thus, regained joint lead in the combined standings of the unique event that features one blindfold and one rapid game in each round.

Grandmaster Alexander Morozevich of Russia shares the lead with Anand at the half way stage with 6.5 points. In this round, Morozevich drew with Grandmaster Peter Heine Nielsen of Denmark to continue his supremacy in the Euros 216,000 event.

The rapid game still remains in the sixth round. Leko is next in line having 6 points in his kitty.

Anand put the loss against Grischuk behind him and went about doing the demolition act on Leko's position quite nonchalantly.

The Hungarian was probably impressed by the effort of Francisco Vallejo Pons of Spain in his match against Anand a few days back and opted for the Ruy Lopez open as black.

However, the Indian ace was much better prepared for this as was there for everyone to see.

Anand showcased his class first in the middle game by maintaining a vice-like grip on the position with his better knight against the Bishop and slowly improved his position to knock down one of black pawns.

Leko went for a pure minor piece endgame soon after but there was little respite for him as Anand clinched the issue after 67 moves.

Apart from Anand, Israeli Boris Gelfand was the only other winner in this round after he scored a hard-fought victory over Vassily Ivanchuk of Ukraine.

The latter could not get the desired position out of a Grunfeld Defense as black and lost his queen for two pieces in the middle game. Gelfand won in 46 moves.

Results blindfold round 6 (Blindfold points indicated): Peter Svidler (Rus, 2.5) drew with Loek Van Wely (Ned, 2); Viswanathan Anand (Ind, 3) beat Peter Leko (Hun, 3.5); Boris Gelfand (Isr, 3) beat Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukr, 2.5); Alexander Morozevich (Rus, 4.5) drew with Peter Heine Nielsen (Den, 2.5); Francisco Vallejo Pons (Esp, 3) drew with Levon Aronian (Arm, 3); Alexander Grischuk (Rus, 3) drew with Veselin Topalov (Bul, 3.5)

Blindfold Standings Round 6: 1. Morozevich 4.5; 2-3. Leko, Topalov 3.5 each; 4-9. Aronian, Grischuk, Anand, Svidler, Vallejo Pons Gelfand, 3 each; 10-11. Nielsen, Ivanchuk 2.5 each; 12. Van Wely 2.

Rapid Standings Round 5: 1. Anand 3.5; 2-4. Van Wely, Nielsen, Vallejo Pons, 3 each; 5-8. Aronian, Leko, Grischuk, Gelfand 2.5 each; 9-11. Morozevich, Ivanchuk, Topalov 2 each; 12. Svidler 1.5.

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