Anand crushes Topalov

World Rapid champion Viswanathan Anand continued with his devastating form in the second round.

updated: February 25, 2007 10:50 IST
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World Rapid champion Viswanathan Anand continued with his devastating form in the second round of the 14th edition of Amber Blindfold and Rapid chess tournament. He scored another comprehensive 2-0 victory over Bulgarian Veselin Topalov. Anand gave an aesthetic display of positional and tactical chess in two games of the day and remained the sole leader with an absolute score of 4/4 that is a record of sorts. Unique competition The Indian ace, who started with a 2-0 drubbing of Spaniard Alexei Shirov in round one, now sits pretty with a slender half point lead over nearest rival Peter Svidler of Russia who crushed Israeli Boris Gelfand in both form of the games to move to 3.5 points. With nine rounds still to come in this unique competition that has one blindfold and one rapid game in each round, Vasily Ivanchuk of Ukraine and Russians Vladimir Kramnik and Evgeny Bareev are on joint third spot with 2.5 points in their kitty. The event is being played on a round robin basis and in both sections players have 25 minutes each on their clock with a 10 seconds addition in the rapid and 20 seconds in the blindfold after every move is made. Blindfold game A winner on as many as three previous occasions, Anand lived up to expectations in the blindfold game where despite black he was able to convincingly outsmart Topalov in the mental boxing. In the blindfold games, the players just have access to a blank chess board wherein they have to just guess the moves right. Anand made all correct choices starting from his Nimzo Indian defence as the opening. Topalov did fairly well in the initial stage of a popular variation but missed the thread as the game progressed to find himself in a lost endgame. Innocuous position The Bulgarian threw in the towel in 45 moves. The next game which was a rapid, lasted just one more move as Anand outwitted Topalov from a seemingly innocuous position arising from the Berlin defence. After routine exchanges, just while Topalov thought everything was working fine for him, Anand almost drew a rabbit out of hat with a brilliantly weaved checkmating web around Toaplov's king that was fishing in troubled waters in the territory of the Indian. The whitewash must have jolted Topalov who is fresh from his joint first finish in the Linares Super Grandmasters tournament wherein he defeated, now-retired World number one Garry Kasparov of Russia in the final round to catch up. (PTI)