Anand draws twice in Rapid Chess

World Cup Champion Viswanathan Anand began his campaign with two fighting draws in the World Rapid Chess Championship.

updated: February 25, 2007 09:48 IST
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Cap D'Agde, France:

World Cup Champion Viswanathan Anand began his campaign with two fighting draws on the opening day of the World Rapid Chess Championship. But the most impressive performance of the day was by Grandmaster Peter Svidler of Russia who emerged the sole leader with two emphatic victories over Hungarians Peter Leko and World's top rated woman player Judit Polgar. Svidler is the only player to have an absolute score in Group 'B' while Bulgarian Veselin Topalov heads Group 'A' with similar efforts. Russian GM Alexander Grischuk who drew with Anand in the first game, is in sole second position on 1.5 points in Group 'B' while Anand is joint third alongside Polgar, Alexei Shirov of Spain and former World Champion Anatoly Karpov of Russia. The tournament has two divided groups with eight players each and four from each group will qualify to the next stage after playing a round-robin league. Thereafter, the event will be a knockout one till the final. The games are being played with 25 minutes on each clock and 10 seconds are added after every move is made. Anand's start was not certainly a good one though his draws came against quite strong opposition of Grischuk and Shirov. The fact that two important whites out of a total four have gone without a win will certainly put pressure on Anand in the remaining five games of the league phase. Anand struggled, especially against Shirov for quite some before securing the half point. (PTI)