Defending champion Viswanathan Anand was held to a draw by Grandmaster Peter Heine Nielsen of Denmark in the Blindfold game of the 9th round of Amber Rapid and Blindfold chess tournament now in progress in Monaco.
Russian Alexander Morozevich surged ahead yet again with another splendid victory accounting for best Hungarian player ever Peter Leko and yet again stretched his lead to a full point in the overall standings of the event taking his personal tally to a whoppng 12 points out of a possible 17 games played so far in the event.
Anand remained close to Morozevich on 11 points but slipped further against the Russian as far as the Blindfold is concerned as the Indian ace could only move to 5 points in this section compared to Morozevich's 7.5 points here. With 2 points lead to back him in this section, the Russian is almost assured of the top prize in the Blindfold section of this Euros 216000 tournament in which there is one Blindfold and one Rapid game in each round.
Having worked with Nielsen for quite sometime before the last world championship Anand risked little against the Dane and played it safe with the black pieces. For the records, it was a Queen's Indian defense game that lasted just 20 moves.
Morozevich yet again showed his great expertise in the Blindfold games in getting a full point against Leko with black pieces. The Russian employed Sicilian Paulsen to record a fine victory in 42 moves.
Results round 9 blindfold: Veselin Topalov (Bul) lost to Peter Svidler (Rus); Peter Heine Nielsen (Den) drew with Viswanathan Anand (Ind); Levon Aronian (Arm) lost to Boris Gelfand (Isr); Loek van Wely (Ned) beat Alexander Grischuk (Rus); Peter Leko lost to Alexander Morozevich (Rus); Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukr) drew with Francisco Vallejo Pons (Esp)
Blindfold Standings Round 9: 1. Morozevich 7.5; 2. Vallejo Pons 5.5; 3-4. Anand, Leko 5 each; 5-8. Grischuk, Gelfand, Van Wely, Svidler, 4.5 each; 9-10. Nielsen, Topalov 3.5 each; 11-12. Ivanchuk, Aronian 3 each;
Rapid Standings Round 8: 1. Anand 6; 2-3. Morozevich, Vallejo Pons 4.5 each; 4-7. Gelfand, Topalov, Aronian, Van Wely 4 each; 8-11. Ivanchuk, Grischuk, Svidler, Nielsen 3.5 each; 12. Leko 3
Combined Standings after Round 8: 1. Morozevich 11; 2. Anand 10.5; 3. Vallejo Pons 9.5; 4-5. Grischuk, Leko 8 each; 6-8. Gelfand, Van Wely, Topalov 7.5 each; 9-10. Svidler, Aronian 7 each; 11. Nielsen 6.5; 12. Ivanchuk 6.