Anand held to draw by Shirov

Five-time winner Viswanathan Anand was held to a draw by Spaniard Alexei Shirov.

updated: March 22, 2007 06:37 IST
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Five-time winner Viswanathan Anand was held to a draw by Spaniard Alexei Shirov. Top seed Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria lost to Russian Peter Svidler to liven things up in the 'A' group of the Corus International Chess tournament. Anand could not do much against Shirov as the latter was well prepared to take on the Indian after regaining his form in the past few rounds. Anand could not get a good position out of the opening and in effect, it was a tame draw forcing the Indian again on the back foot in the first big tournament of the year. The draw, in fact, resulted in Anand slipping to joint fourth place on 4 points and now he needs victories in the last two rounds for a chance at shared top slot. Topalov maintains lead Despite the loss, Topalov maintained his sole lead on 7.5 points where he is now followed by Svidler and Azerbaijani sensation Teinour Radjabov on seven points apiece. Anand is next in line on 6.5 along with Kramnik, in dire need of two wins to keep his hopes alive in the category-19 event. In the 'C' group being held simultaneously, Parimarjan Negi settled for a draw with Dutch GM Zhaoqin Peng to take his tally to six points with two games to come. International Master Ian Nepomniachtchi of Russia staked his claim for the championship in this section with a fine victory over Swede GM Stellan Brynell that took his tally to an astounding 9.5 points out of a possible 11. The Russian was followed by top seeded compatriot Michal Krasenkow on 8.5 points even as Negi remained on fourth spot.