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Linares: Anand held by Dominguez

February 22, 2009 21:09 IST

World champion Viswanathan Anand played out a hard-fought draw with Grandmaster Lenier Dominguez of Cuba in the third round of the 22nd Ciudad de Leon chess tournament in Linares on Sunday.

Taking his tally to 1.5 points out of a possible three, the Indian ace remains in the joint third spot in the eight-player double round-robin tournament.

The standings remained the same as the other games of the third round were also draws.

Grandmaster Levon Aronian of Armenia and Alexander Grischuk of Russia remained in joint lead with two points after drawing with Teimour Radjabov of Azerbaijan and Vassily Ivanchuk of Ukraine respectively.

Wang Yue played a solid game to hold Magnus Carlsen of Norway in the fourth game of the day.

Anand shares the third spot along side Dominguez, Carlsen and Ivanchuk while Radjabov and Wang Yue are currently at the bottom of the tables with one point each.

Eleven more rounds remain in the traditional tournament that carries a total prize pool of Euro 3,14,000.

Playing the black side of a Sicilian Nazdorf, Anand faced the English attack from Dominguez but defended his citadel well.

The pieces got exchanged at regular intervals and the players arrived at a rook and minor piece endgame with balance remaining intact.

Anand created his counter play on the king side and the position became exciting for a short period with both players having two passed pawns on different flank.

However, parity was soon restored by Dominguez as he sacrificed a pawn to reach a safe haven. The draw was agreed to in 41 moves.

Aronian and Radjabov were locked in an interesting queen pawn game where the former played white. Taking the initiative early in the middle game Aronian tried to press along the king side but Radjabov was good with his defense.

The queens got traded on the 24th move and the result of the game was not in much doubt thereafter. It took 42 moves before the players shook hands.

Magnus Carlsen failed to break the ice against Wang Yue and decided against any unwarranted risk.

Yue won a pawn in the endgame but the position remained difficult to convert. The peace was signed after 57 moves vide repetition.

Ivanchuk and Grischuk were involved in a long theoretical discussion in the Queen's Indian defense and the Ukrainian pressed for a long time after attaining a slight advantage.

Grischuk had to work hard over the board and was suitably rewarded with a half point in the longest game of the day.

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