Anand suffers shocking loss

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Viswanathan Anand suffered was defeated by Rustam Kasimdzhanov in the first game of the final in the 18th Magistral Ciudad de Leon Chess tournament.

Updated: February 25, 2007 10:52 IST
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Viswanathan Anand suffered a shocking defeat at the hands of FIDE world champion Rustam Kasimdzhanov of Uzbekistan in the first game of the final in the 18th Magistral Ciudad de Leon Chess tournament. Anand, who trails 0-1 in the four-game final, will be under tremendous pressure to perform in the rest of the games. A winner here thrice, Anand now needs at least to level scores to move to the tiebreak stage wherein the Blitz games will come in to effect to determine the winner. First ever loss Surprisingly, this was Anand's first ever loss against Kasimdzhanov whom he had beaten mercilessly in the final of the last World Cup at Hyderabad in 2002. Their last mini match during the Linares chess tournament earlier this year had ended in a 1.5-0.5 victory for Anand. It was a sharp Sicilian defence that gave Kasimdzhanov an unexpected victory. Clearly his emergence as a rapid chess star too should be sending alarm signals to the chess elite. Playing white, Kasimdzhanov went for Anand's king in all possible ways and even though it was an extremely complicated game. The Uzbek did not falter in capitalising on his advantage when he finally got it. Wild manoeuvres in the middle game wherein Anand's King went for a long walk, and a well-utilised endgame skill helped Kasimdzhanov get an early lead. (PTI)

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