Carlsen clinches title

Magnus Carlsen

Magnus Carlsen of Norway outplayed former world champion Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria to claim the title and also the winner’s cheque of Rs 50 lakh with one round still to be playeed in the six-player double round-robin event.

For Anand, it was his second draw with Gashimov in the tournament and this time, the Indian ace had an easy time with black pieces.

The other game of the day, between Etienne Bacrot of France and Wang Yue of China, also ended in a draw.

Carlsen now has an unassailable lead of 1.5 points with 6.5 points in his bag. Anand and Bacrot continued to share the second spot on five points each, while Gashimov moved up to be sole fourth on four points.

Topalov stands fifth on 3.5 points and Wang brings up the rear with three points.
While the race for the title is over, Anand and Bacrot will meet to decide second place in the final round. Carlsen is set to play with Gashimov, while Wang will take on Topalov.

When Anand met Gashimov earlier in the tournament, he was reeling from a blunder in the previous game against Bacrot and had allowed the Azeri, who played back, an easy draw.

Playing black, Anand was not troubled much either on Friday.
The flavour for the Indian against the King pawn opening has been the Berlin defense and he stuck to his guns while Gashimov tried to find some play in one of the side variations.

Pieces changed hands at regular intervals and Anand was never in any trouble. The players reached a drawn queen and pawns endgame and signed peace in 42 moves.


Results (round nine): Vugar Gashimov (Aze, 4) drew V Anand (Ind, 5); Veselin Topalov (Bul, 3.5) lt to Magnus Carlsen (Nor, 6.5); Etienne Bacrot (Fra, 5) drew Wang Yue (Chn, 3).

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