World champion Viswanathan Anand suffered a shock defeat at the hands of Norwegian prodigy Magnus Carlsen and went down 0.5-1.5 in the third round of Amber blindfold and rapid chess tournament in Nice.
Anand lost the blindfold game with white pieces and did not get a chance to recover in the rapid. With this defeat, the Indian slipped in the standings and stands joint sixth in combined, joint fifth in rapid and joint sixth in blindfold.
Alexander Morozevich of Russia and Levon Aronian of Armenia retained the joint first position in the combined standings after settling for 1-1 draws with Teimour Radjabov of Azerbaijan and Gata Kamsky of United States respectively.
While Morozevich signed peace in both games against Radjabov, Aronian and Kamsky shared a win each to reach the tied score.
Morozevich and Aronian took their tally to four points apiece and are now followed by Vladimir Kramnik of Russia, Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria and Carlsen who all have 3.5 points.
Anand shares the next spot along with Sergey Karjakin of Ukraine and Peter Leko of Hungary on three points and this bunch is a half point clear of Radjabov and Kamsky.
With eight rounds still to come, Wang Yue of China and Vassily Ivanchuk of Ukraine are currently sharing the last spot with two points apiece.
It's a three-way lead in the blindfold with Kramnik, Carlsen and Topalov having 2.5 points each while in the rapid Morozevich is in lead on 2.5 points.
After he had beaten Anand in their blindfold game, Carlsen flashed his best smile and said, "Yes, this was a special game for me. I was very focused and it's nice that I managed to beat him for the first time with black."
The Sicilian Rosslimo by Anand was fairly new for Carlsen. Contrary to what happens in the sharp Sicilian battles, white was castled king side and gained space while Carlsen found a safe haven for his king on the other flank and began to like his position after Anand went for a an erroneous plan in the middle game.
By the 20th move itself Carlsen stood much better and slowly increased his advantage to post a big win in 34 moves.
The rapid game was a quieter affair that ended in a draw. Carlsen obtained an edge from the opening, but it never became more than that.
In the middle-game, Anand was getting the upper hand but he but didn't find anything concrete.
Interestingly, Carlsen declined a draw offer by Anand after 27th move, which probably prompted the Indian to refuse his opponent's peace offer on move 33. In the end, a three-fold repetition decided the issue.
Results (Round 3):
Blindfold: V Anand (Ind) lost to Magnus Carlsen (Nor); Levon Aronian (Arm) beat Gata Kamsky (USA); Peter Leko (Hun) beat Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukr); Sergey Karjakin (Ukr) drew with Vladimir Kramnik (Rus); Temour Radjabov (Aze) drew with Alexander Morozevich (Rus); Wang Yue (Chn) lost to Veselin Topalov (Bul).
Rapid: Carlsen drew with Anand; Kamsky beat Aronian; Ivanchuk beat Leko; Morozevich drew with Radjabov; Kramnik drew with Karjakin; Topalov drew with Wang Yue.