Anand settles for a draw with Topalov

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src=' ' class='caption'> Viswanathan Anand had to settle for a quick draw in the ninth round of the World Chess championship.

Updated: February 25, 2007 10:51 IST
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Viswanathan Anand did not succeed in breaching the defence of Veselin Topalov and had to settle for a quick draw in the ninth round of the World Chess championship here. With an easy half point against the toughest opponent, Topalov made another stride forward towards the world title maintaining his two points lead over Russian Peter Svidler, who was held to a draw by Rustam Kasimdzhanov of Uzbekistan. Topalov took his tally to an enviable 7.5 points out of a possible nine and Svidler inched forward to 5.5. Anand and Russian Alexander Morozevich are joint third on 5 points while Peter Leko is fifth on 4 points, with just five rounds remaining in the million dollars event. The sixth place is held by Rustam Kasimdzhanov who is on 3.5 points, Brit Michael Adams is next in line on 3 and Judit Polgar is at the bottom of the tables with just 2.5 points in her kitty. Barring an unusual turn of events that spell disaster for Topalov, the Bulgarian is certain to emerge as the new World Champion. It is likely to be a double for Bulgarians now as they already have Women's world champion in Antoaneta Stefanova who is here to cheer for Topalov. The high profile clash between the two bigwigs of the World championship did not produced the expected fireworks as Topalov was quite astute in choosing the opening. It was yet again the Berlin defence and Anand, white, went for one of the side variations to complicate matters rather than the oft-repeated queen exchange variation that is known to give black an easy game these days. (PTI)

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