Nice (France):World Champion Viswanathan Anand survived some anxious moments in the blindfold game before registering a thumping victory in the rapid to register a clinical 1.5-0.5 victory over Gata Kamsky in the second round of Amber blindfold and rapid chess tournament here.
Earlier in the first round, Anand had won the blindfold but went down in rapid against Peter Leko to settle for a 1-1 draw with the Hungarian.
Levon Aronian's great start in the first round came to a halt immediately as the Armenian dropped his queen and lost to Leko in blindfold.
Aronian, however, struck back in the rapid game to steer the match to a draw and also made sure that he shared the top spot with Russian Alexander Morozevich who scored a 2-0 victory over debutant Wang Yue of China.
With Aronian and Morozevich on three points in the combined standings, Anand and his world championship challenger Vladimir Kramnik of Russia are in joint third spot having 2.5 points each.
Leko, Sergey Karjakin of Ukraine, Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria and Magnus Carlsen of Norway share the fifth spot on two points each while Kamsky and Azerbaijani Teimour Radjabov follow them a half point behind.
With nine rounds still to come in the Euro 2,16,000 prize money tournament, Wang Yue and Vassily Ivanchuk of Ukraine share the last spot on one point each.
Anand shares the second spot in the blindfold behind Kramnik who has won his games in this section so far. Aronian and Morozevich share the lead in the rapid with a perfect score and Anand stands joint fourth here having one point from his two games.
Anand employed the closed Ruy Lopez with his black pieces against Kamsky in the blindfold and came under pressure in the middle game.
The critical moment came on the 16th move when Kamsky could have seized the initiative with a pawn capture with his knight but the Russian-turned-American missed on this opportunity. The game was finally steered to an opposite coloured Bishops endgame wherein Kamsky's extra pawn was not of much use and the game was drawn.
In the return game, Anand faced the Breyer variation in the Ruy Lopez playing white and outplayed Kamsky in all departments of the game. It was on the 31st move that Anand got a decisive advantage and held on to it to force resignation in 49 moves.
Results Round 2:
Blindfold: Gata Kamsky (Usa) drew with V Anand (Ind); Vladimir Kramnik (Rus) beat Teimour Radjabov (Aze); Veselin Topalov (Bul) beat Sergey Karjakin (Ukr); Peter Leko (Hun) beat Levon Aronian (Arm); Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukr) drew with Magnus Carlsen (Nor); Alexander Morozevich (Rus) beat Wang Yue (Chn).
Rapid: Anand beat Kamsky; Radjabov drew with Kramnik; Aronian beat Leko; Wang Yue lost to Morozevich; Karjakin beat Topalov; Carlsen drew with Ivanchuk.