Anand sustains joint lead at Amber
Reigning World champion and India’s Numero Uno player Viswanathan Anand registered his successive rapid game victory after beating Shakhriayar Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan in the second round of the Amber Blindfold and Rapid Chess tournament in Nice, France on Sunday.
Anand kept his Linares form and his charm with black pieces in the traditional yet unique format of the game that has got a blindfold and a rapid game in each round.
In the rapid game Mamedyarov went for a ‘real’ off-beat opening, replying 2.b3 to Anand’s Sicilian. The World Champion wasn’t too impressed and believed he had equalised after 11…c4.
Mamedyarov may have pinned his hopes on the e-pawn he pushed to e6, but it was clear from the start that this outpost might become a liability as well. Nevertheless Anand felt that his technical task would not be easy after he had arrested the intruder on e6, but once he managed to win a second pawn with the neat trick 31…Rc3! The rest was plain sailing.
Anand is enjoying his joint top place in rapid format with Armenia’s Levon Aronian on two points each after fashioning two victories with black pieces. Wonder-boy Magnus Carlsen of Norway, Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria and Ukrainian Vassily Ivanchuk followed them with 1.5 points each on second place.
Kramnik is on third with one point. Gelfand, Karjakin, Leko Mamedyarov and Morozevich are placed at joint fourth with half point while Van Wely still have to open his account in rapid game.
1. Anand 2 Aronian 2 2. Carlsen 1½ Ivanchuk 1½ Topalov 1½ 3. Kramnik 1 4. Gelfand ½ Karjakin ½ Leko ½ Mamedyarov ½ Morozevich ½ 5. Van Wely 0
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