Anand beats Morozevich to share lead with Carlsen

Viswanathan Anand ended the opening day of the Mainz Chess Classic on a positive note defeating Alexander Morozevich to emerge as the joint leader.

updated: August 08, 2008 17:04 IST
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Mainz, Germany:

World champion Viswanathan Anand ended the opening day of the Mainz Chess Classic on a positive note defeating Russian Alexander Morozevich to emerge as the joint leader in the Grenkeleasing rapid world championship.

The 10-time winner Anand could do little with his white pieces against Norwegian sensation Magnus Carlsen and world's strongest ever woman player Judit Polgar of Hungary and settled for draws in the first two rounds while his victory as black against Morozevich raised visions of the 11th title victory here for the Indian ace.

The four-player double-robin event will see best two fighting it out for the title. The games are being played on a rapid chess format with 20 minutes to each player and a 5 second increment after every move is made.

The victory in the third round came in handy for Anand as he took his personal tally to 2 points out of a possible 3 to share the lead with Carlsen whose victory came over an out of sort Judit Polgar who could just manage a half point in the first three rounds.

Anand won with black pieces against Morozevich who played a sharp English attack but could not get his pieces to perform the desired action. After a tense middle game, Anand knocked down one pawn and cruised home easily thereafter. The game lasted 48 moves.

Carlsen matched Anand in terms of winning percentage as the Norwegian won against Polgar from a keenly contested middle game arising out of a Sicilian Dragon.

Carlsen had used the Sicilian Dragon in the first round here against Anand and had drawn quite comfortably.

Against Judit, it was time to give the Dragon a second chance and Carlsen was suitably rewarded when Polgar allowed trade of two rooks over a queen.

With his pieces more active and holding prominent positions, Carlsen came on top and did not give a second chance.

Earlier in the first round, Anand played out a quick draw with Carlsen when the latter equalised without much ado. Morozevich defeated Polgar and subsequently drew the next game against Carlsen while Anand again had to split the point against Polgar.

The second half of the round robin stage and tiebreak, if any, will be played late on Saturday and Sunday has been reserved for the final.

Standings after round 3: 1-2. Viswanathan Anand (Ind), Magnus Carlsen (Nor) 2 each; 3. Alexander Morozevich (Rus, 1.5); 4. Judit Polgar (Hun, 0.5).