Anand to play Kramnik in final

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Viswanathan Anand stormed into the finals of Dortmund Sparkassen chess tournament by defeating Hungarian Grandmaster Peter Leko.

Updated: February 25, 2007 10:04 IST
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Viswanathan Anand stormed into the finals of Dortmund Sparkassen chess tournament by defeating Hungarian Grandmaster Peter Leko in their semifinal via tiebreaker here. Anand, a huge favourite to win the title this year, will now face Braingames champion and World No 3 Vladimir Kramnik of Russia, who had to work even harder in semis against compatriot Peter Svidler. This will be the second final clash between Anand and Kramnik. The two grandmasters last encountered in the World Rapid championship final in France last year and the Indian had won. Keen contest Anand was taken to the tiebreak stage by Leko who drew the white side of a Ruy Lopez game under classical time control to keep the scores level. The two had also drawn the first game of the semis yesterday. Many had believed that Anand will deliver the goods in the rapid games itself but on the contrary only Leko was trying for a win in the final stage of the second rapid tiebreaker with his double rooks against Anand's queen. However, some quick and precise thinking by Anand helped him attain a draw with his Queen containing the advance of white's menacing passed pawn on the queenside. Early lead Once into the blitz, Anand got back to his winning ways and took early lead after giving a middle game lesson to Leko in one of the popular Anti-Sveshnikov variation. Playing with white, Anand capitalised on some reckless play by the Hungarian and before Leko realised what hit him, he was already an exchange less with white's rooks looking set to continue the demolition job. Leko called it a day in just 27 moves. The second rapid game was much of academic interest as well, as Anand yet again went for the Ruy Lopez which he uses rarely but effectively. Leko went for the Anti-Marshall gambit and the position remained evenly balanced for a long time before the Hungarian decided to go for do-or-die. The end result was another victory for Anand after 83 moves. Kramnik witnessed a near ouster threat against Svidler before finally coming up triumphs. Svidler, like Leko, drew the game under normal time control without much ado and drew both the rapid games as well to enter decisive Blitz games. Wake up call In the first game, Kramnik was not in his usual self and Svidler was on top right from the middle game stage and eventually won the first game to become just a draw away from a berth in the finals. That turned out to be a rude wake up call for Kramnik though as he bounced back with vengeance and won three straight games to qualify for the next stage. The losers of semifinals, Leko and Svidler will now play the decider for third place. In the fight for 5-8 places, German hope Arkadij Naiditsch defeated World's youngest ever Grandmaster Sergey Karjanik of Ukraine and will now have to battle it out against 2004 Aeroflot open champion Sergei Rublevsky of Russia to decide fifth spot. Rublevsky disposed last year's winner Viktor Bologan of Moldova and left him to fight Karjakin for seventh place. (PTI)

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