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Anand begins Morelia defence in style

February 16, 2008 15:29 IST

World Champion Viswanathan Anand scored an emphatic victory over Latvian-born Spaniard Alexei Shirov in the first round of the Morelia-Linares Chess tournament in Mexico.

The victory with black pieces helped Anand jump in early joint lead on a full bloodied day in the Category-21 event being played between eight players in double round-robin format.

Former World Champion Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria defeated Levon Aronian of Armenia while Peter Leko of Hungary accounted for Teimour Radjabov of Azerbaijan to share the lead with Anand after the first round.

The other keenly contested game of the day between Magnus Carlsen of Norway and Vassily Ivanchuk of Ukraine ended in a draw after a tough fight.

For defending champion Anand, it was a great start and especially coming with black, the victory will certainly be cherished for quite some.

The last classical game between the two, played at Corus chess tournament in 2007, had ended in a draw when Shirov played black and Anand bettered that result significantly in the opener.

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