London: World Champion Viswanathan Anand fell prey to an inexplicable blunder in a perfectly balanced position and went down to Michael Adams of England in the sixth round of London Chess Classic at the Olympia here.
After a fine victory in the previous round against Gawain Jones of England, the Indian ace survived some anxious moments in the middle game before equalising completely and just when the experts had given up declaring the game a 'sure-draw', Anand lost track, and lost in no time.
Magnus Carlsen of Norway stretched his lead to three points by defeating highest ranked woman Judit Polgar of Hungary. Under the soccer-like scoring system, Carlsen took his tally to a whopping 16 points out of a possible eighteen, and the world number one is sitting pretty with just two games to come for him.
The victory over Polgar also took Carlsen to another peak in live ratings where the chart now reads him at 2864 points. Russian Vladimir Kramnik remained on the second spot following a draw with Levon Aronian of Armenia. Kramnik inched himself up to 12 points and the gap is only growing between him and Carlsen.
Michael Adams jumped to third spot again following his lucky victory and Hikaru Nakamura dropped to fourth spot with eight points in all. Anand, on six points, is now fifth, a point ahead of Luke McShane, who scored his first win in the tournament by defeating compatriot Gawain Jones. Just three rounds remain in UK's highest category event.
Adams neutralized Anand's opening preparation without much ado and got the pair of bishops to start pressing for more. Anand was precise in defense once under pressure and posting a Knight in the middle of the board, the world champion got counter play.
However, disaster struck soon after the first time control. Anand blundered big time to find his king caught in a check-mate web in merely a couple of moves. Adams thought for quite some time but eventually played the killer sequence.
Judit Polgar's hedgehog setup allowed him to get decent chances as black against Carlsen but the Norwegian is not the one to give up and kept looking for complexities. After Carlsen struck in the center, Polgar's pieces gasped for breath and the liquidation that followed favoured only Carlsen who made it all look pretty effortless in the end.
Vladimir Kramnik used his trusted Berlin Defense against Aronian, who is yet to show his best chess here. Kramnik pushed throughout the entire game with his pair of bishops and it took a real effort from the Armenian to restore parity.
Jones sacrificed an exchange shortly after the end of an English Opening for a pawn and good compensation. However McShane posed enough problems for the lowest ranked player in the Classic to reach a difficult yet winning endgame.