Cool Anand wards off Topalov

World champion forces draw in third game

Cool Anand wards off Topalov

World chess champion Viswanathan Anand of India in action against Bulgaria’s Veselin Topalov in the FIDE World chess championship on Tuesday. AFP

The world champion warded off every attempt made by Topalov to force a win with white pieces, finally signing the peace treaty after 46 moves.

The players are now tied 1.5-1.5 with nine more games to follow. Topalov won the first game while Anand bounced back superbly to win the second.

With Anand defending resolutely, a draw was on the cards as the contest reached the middle phase but Topalov, who has a policy of not settling for easy draws, pushed and pushed, looking for an error from Anand’s part.

The Indian Grandmaster, however, never lost focus, parrying every Topalov thrust with panache. With draw the obvious result, the two rivals went through the last ten moves in a flash before achieving that result on the board.

Topalov, obviously, will be disappointed with the result, as Anand now has the advantage of playing with white pieces in the fourth game scheduled for Wednesday.
Anand chose to play the Slav defence instead of the Gruenfeld he had opted for in the first game. Experts felt this was a better choice as Vladimir Kramnik had used it frequently with some success in their contest a few years back.

After the 12th move, the Bulgarian had a slight edge as he had developed his pieces well while Anand’s position looked a bit cramped. Topalov seemed to be succeeding in his attempts to prevent the Indian from developing his pieces at this point.

Showing his class, Anand wriggled out of the spot even as Topalov fought to open up a route to his rival’s king. Playing safe, the Indian evaded all the traps laid by the Bulgarian and by the 21st move he had managed to equalise.

At this point, white seemed to be headed nowhere but Topalov desperately tried to find a way out, luring Anand into errors. The Indian, however, calmly avoided complicated lines in the end game, finally earning half a point for his efforts.

Moves: Veselin Topalov vs Viswanathan Anand:
1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4. Nc3 dxc4 5. a4 Bf5 6. Ne5 e6 7. f3 c5 8. e4 Bg6 9. Be3 cxd4 10. Qxd4 Qxd4 11. Bxd4 Nfd7 12. Nxd7 Nxd7 13. Bxc4 a6 14. Rc1 Rg8 15. h4 h6 16. Ke2 Bd6 17. h5 Bh7 18. a5 Ke7 19. Na4 f6 20. b4 Rgc8 21. Bc5 Bxc5 22.bxc5 Rc7 23. Nb6 Rd8 24. Nxd7 Rdxd7 25. Bd3 Bg8 26. c6 Rd6 27. cxb7 Rxb7 28. Rc3 Bf7 29. Ke3 Be8 30. g4 e5 31. Rhc1 Bd7 32. Rc5 Bb5 33. Bxb5 axb5 34. Rb1 b4 35. Rb3 Ra6 36. Kd3 Rba7 37. Rxb4 Rxa5 38. Rxa5 Rxa5 39. Rb7+ Kf8 40. Ke2 Ra2+ 41. Ke3 Ra3+ 42. Kf2 Ra2+ 43. Ke3 Ra3+ 44. Kf2 Ra2+ 45. Ke3 Ra3+ 46. Kf2 1/2-1/2.

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