Anand held to draw by Vallejo

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> World No. 2 Viswanathan Anand was held to a draw by tailender Framcisco Pons Vallejo of Spain.

Updated: February 25, 2007 10:50 IST
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Linares (Spain):

World No. 2 Viswanathan Anand was held to a draw by tailender Framcisco Pons Vallejo of Spain in the fifth round of the 22nd Linares Super Grandmasters Chess tournament. The draw proved costly for the Indian ace as he was relegated to the second spot in the leader board behind Garry Kasparov of Russia who crushed England's Michael Adams. Kasparov took his tally to 3 points from four games in the category-20 double round-robin event while Anand moved to 2.5 points from as many games. FIDE World Champion Rustam Kasmidzhanov is in sole third spot right now with 2.5 points from five games while Corus champion Peter Leko of Hungary and Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria are next with 2 points from four games. Bottom of the table After bowing to Kasparov, Adams was pushed to the sixth-spot in the seven-players event with 2 points from five games. Vallejo's draw did not help him improve his tournament standing as the young Spaniard is still at the bottom of the table with 1 point from four games. Nine rounds still remain in this Euro 297,000 prize money tournament. Anand had little to do against Vallejo as the latter decided to play safe with his white pieces. Indian defence It was a Queen's Indian defence game wherein the Indian star had little trouble equalising as black. After a routine skirmish the pieces got exchanged at regular intervals and the players arrived at a rooks and minor pieces endgame. The peace was signed in 41 moves. Kasparov stole the fifth round honours giving enough indication of the fire that still remains in the belly. Adams was outdone in a Nimzo Indian defence game playing black after the former employed the Capablanca variation. The English star went for the same line in which he lost in round one after getting a promising position against Topalov, but Kasparov's level of preparation proved far superior. Slight advantage Right from the beginning the Russian managed a slight advantage and nurtured it well to knockdown a pawn in the heavy pieces endgame. Adams could not really work out a defensive plan after being pushed to the wall and Kasparov wrapped the issue in 52 moves. The other game of the day between Kasimdzhanov and Topalov ended in a draw. Playing white, Kasimdzhanov went for the classical variation against the King's Indian defence by Topalov but did not get any desirable advantage. The Bulgarian went on an exchange spree in the middle game and Kasimdzhanov had little choice except to maintain the equilibrium in this 40-move game. (PTI)

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