Win eludes again, Anand held by Carlsen

Viswanathan Anand's wait for his maiden win in the Bilbao Grand Slam Final chess tournament got prolonged again as he drew fifth round game with Carlsen.

updated: September 11, 2008 16:02 IST
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Viswanathan Anand's wait for his maiden win in the Bilbao Grand Slam Final chess tournament got prolonged again as the world champion drew his fifth round game with Magnus Carlsen to be joint fourth in the ongoing Euro 4,00,000 prize money tournament.

The lead positions in the category-22 tournament remained unchanged as all fifth round games ended in draw and consequentially, Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria remained atop the tables in the event that follows a soccer-like scoring system with three points for a win and one for a draw.

At the half way stage, Topalov is on nine points, Carlsen remains sole second on eigth points while Levon Aronian has six. Anand shares the fourth spot in the event along with two other contestants Teimour Radjabov of Azerbaijan and Ukrainian Vassily Ivanchuk with four points apiece and five rounds to come.

Anand was surprised by Carlsen early in the opening as the Norwegian star went for the Schielmann defense in the Ruy Lopez that is fast getting a reputation for a counter-attacking opening.

Anand came out in the middle game with better chances and an extra pawn but apparently missed on a tactical sortie on the 20th that cost him a Rook for a Bishop. The Indian ace was soon on the defensive and had to find the right path to equalise. A knight manoeuvres ensured that for Anand as he won back the lost material and the ensuing queen and pawns endgame was just a draw. The game lasted 36 moves.

Vassily Ivanchuk faced the Nimzo Indian defense from tournament leader Topalov and even as he maintained a slight advantage for the major part of the game, it always remained within the boundaries of a draw.

The queens got traded early and Topalov, black, found his counter play on the queen side. After trading of all heavy pieces it was a minor piece endgame on board where the players signed peace after 44 moves.

Temour Radjabov tried the Scotch opening as white but did not succeed in breaking the defenses of Levon Aronian. In this game too, an early queen exchange led only to a miniscule advantage for white and Aronian only had to find good defensive resources to keep Radjabov's forces at bay.

As it happened in the game, the players reached a kind of deadlock where making progress became increasingly difficult. The game was drawn vide repetition of moves.

Results round 5: V Anand (Ind, 4) drew with Magnus Carlsen (Nor, 8); Teimour Radjabov (Aze, 4) drew with Levon Aronian (Arm, 6); Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukr, 4) drew with Veselin Topalov (Bul, 9).