After drawing with Vladimir Kramnik in the opening blindfold game, world champion Viswanathan Anand defeated the Russian in their rapid match in the first round of the Amber Blindfold and Rapid chess tournament in Nice, France.
Anand emerged as a joint leader in the rapid and combined standings after beating Kramnik.
In the rapid, the Indian is joined by Armenia's Levon Aronian while in the combined standings it is a five-way lead between, Anand, Aronian, Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria and Ukrainians Vassily Ivanchuk and Sergey Karjakin.
It was in the return game that the Indian ace proved superior to Kramnik after the latter slipped from a position of strength.
It was a Queen's Indian defense where Anand played black and Kramnik looked in control when the middle game commenced.
The Indian ace had to find counteractive measures on the king side amidst wild complexities when Kramnik missed the thread of the position and found his king in a checkmate web.
It was a picturesque finish as Anand sacrificed his queen to force matters. The game lasted 43 moves.
Earlier, playing the white side of a Petroff defense in the first game of the tournament, Anand followed the variation he had played against Kramnik some time back but the Russian, who is also the defending champion here, was adequately prepared and drew without much ado.
The event is being played on a round-robin basis between 12 players. Each players plays against the other twice in blindfold and then in rapid and the combined score is taken to decide the winner.