Anand takes lead over Grischuk

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src=' ' class='caption'> World rapid chess champion Viswanathan Anand stretched his lead to a whopping three points over Russian Grandmaster Alexander Grischuk.

Updated: February 25, 2007 10:53 IST
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World rapid chess champion Viswanathan Anand stretched his lead to a whopping three points over Russian Grandmaster Alexander Grischuk adding 1.5 points from the third and fourth games of the Grenkeleasing championship, the main event of the Mainz Chess Classic. With 3.5 points in his kitty from just four games, Anand has almost assured himself of a fifth straight victory on the Mainz soil as he now requires just one point out of four in the 8-game match. After winning the first two games, the Indian ace got a bit lucky in next two drawing the third with white quite early while winning the fourth game from a difficult position. Better plan Anand did not quite find his magical touch on Day 2. In the third game, the Indian faced stiff resistance from Grischuk who had come well-armed against the English attack. The moves were same as the second game for quite some time but Grischuk had a better plan up his sleeves to counter the white pieces. Anand sensed some trouble in the middle game when Grischuk went for a piece sacrifice and opted for a safer approach leading to a balanced endgame. The draw was agreed to in just 24 moves. The fourth game was simply a disaster for the Russian, who apparently had a huge advantage that he did not convert. Unpleasant position Playing the white side of a Queen's Indian, Grischuk did everything right to tighten the noose in the middle game with emphatic manoeuvring but just fumbled under time pressure to let the game slip from his grasp. It was in the middle game that Grischuk uncorked a fine attacking plan and got his rook penetrate into the heart of black's position but when the opportunity presented itself, the Russian crumbled once more, failing to find the right path to further strengthen his position. Once on top Anand, had little trouble romping home in 42 moves. "He conducted the attack quite well and I had an unpleasant position despite the extra pawn. Alexander just played better than me today," Anand said in the post game conference. Level of play Asked about his big lead at the half way stage Anand added, "It is a great cushion but it is better not to think about it". Grischuk was quite annoyed with the way things have gone thus far. "The press will write that Vishy (Anand) was lucky, but I don't deserve any better with the level of my play." Meanwhile, Levon Aronian of Armenia was the worthy winner of the Finet Chess 960 open tournament scoring 10 points out of a possible 11. World Junior champion P Harikrishna had to be content with 32nd place with 7 points to his credit. In Chess 960, earlier called the Fischer random chess, the initial position of the pieces is randomly changed at the start of the game. In the Chess 960 World Championship match between Russian Peter Svidler and Hungarian Zoltan Almasi, the former kept his full point lead drawing both the games on the second day. The score stands at 2.5-1.5 in favour of Svidler at this stage. (PTI)

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