Anand stays ahead after stalemate

Local favourite Topalov trails 3-4 with five to play

Anand stays ahead after stalemate

Anand is leading the 12-game Match with a 4-3 score over his Bulgarian rival Topalov. On Tuesday, Topalov will be playing with the white pieces in the eighth game.

The theoretical discussion in the Catalan continued for the fourth consecutive time that Anand wielded white pieces. Anand had notched victories in the second and fourth game with the Catalan Opening while the sixth game was drawn.
“I had to play precisely and was calculating for most part in the Opening but in the ending though I was pressing but was not sure if there is a win’ said Anand, who needs just 2.5 more points to retain his title.

However for the first time Topalov  scored in the home preparation by starting the game on a volatile note, deviating very early and livened up the proceedings with some volatile play, sacrificing his rook for a bishop and all this by using just two minutes on his clock to make the first 14 moves. Topalov said that he had prepared this particular line with his second Ivan Cheparinov.

Topalov tried to intensify the pressure furthur by sacrificing a knight and bishop for Anand’s rook and gained two pawns in the bargain while leaving Anand with an extra piece. Thereafter the Indian had to use his defensive skills and survival instincts to ward off Topalov’s attack.

The Bulgarian had two dangerously advanced pawns and at one time he invaded Anand’s seventh rank with his queen and rook. Around this time, Topalov gave indication that he was ready to settle for a draw by repetition of moves but Anand decided that it was time for him now to press for victory.

The ending was a Queen and pawn one where Anand had the extra knight but Topalov’s advanced pawns more than compensated for the knight. Anand probed and pressed for a long time in the ending but his exposed King and his opponent’s pawn on the seventh rank  did not allow him to make any progress.

Agencies
The Moves (game seven): Viswanathan Anand vs Veselin Topalov:
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.g3 Bb4+ 5.Bd2 Be7 6.Bg2 0–0 7.0–0 c6 8.Bf4 dxc4 9.Ne5 b5 10.Nxc6 Nxc6 11.Bxc6 Bd7 12.Bxa8 Qxa8 13.f3 Nd5 14.Bd2 e5 15.e4 Bh3 16.exd5 Bxf1 17.Qxf1 exd4 18.a4 Qxd5 19.axb5 Qxb5 20.Rxa7 Re8 21.Kh1 Bf8 22.Rc7 d3 23.Bc3 Bd6 24.Ra7 h6 25.Nd2 Bb4 26.Ra1 Bxc3 27.bxc3 Re2 28.Rd1 Qa4 29.Ne4 Qc2 30.Rc1 Rxh2+ 31.Kg1 Rg2+ 32.Qxg2 Qxc1+ 33.Qf1 Qe3+ 34.Qf2 Qc1+ 35.Qf1 Qe3+ 36.Kg2 f5 37.Nf2 Kh7 38.Qb1 Qe6 39.Qb5 g5 40.g4 fxg4 41.fxg4 Kg6 42.Qb7 d2 43.Qb1+ Kg7 44.Kf1 Qe7 45.Kg2 Qe6 46.Qd1 Qe3 47.Qf3 Qe6 48.Qb7+ Kg6 49.Qb1+ Kg7 50.Qd1 Qe3 51.Qc2 Qe2 52.Qa4 Kg8 53.Qd7 Kf8 54.Qd5 Kg7 55.Kg3 Qe3+ 56.Qf3 Qe5+ 57.Kg2 Qe6 58.Qd1 ½-1/2

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