Anand loses to Ivanchuk, slips to 7th spot

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Anand loses to Ukraine's Vasily Ivanchuk, slides to seventh rank in Amber Chess.

Updated: April 15, 2008 12:01 IST
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Nice (France):

A 'terrible move' cost India's Viswanathan Anand his rapid game with Ukraine's Vasily Ivanchuk in the ninth round of the 17th Amber Melody Amber Blindfold and Rapid chess tournament.

Anand, however, drew with Ivanchuk in the blindfold section here Tuesday. With this defeat, Anand - with nine points - slid to seventh spot from a tied fourth place.

Ivanchuk, who was half a point adrift of Anand after the eighth round, is tied for fifth place with 9.5 points.

Ivanchuk's opening choice surprised Anand in their blindfold game. The world champion achieved nothing tangible against the Pirc and saw no reason to decline Black's draw offer as early as move 16.

In the rapid game, a blunder from Anand made it a short affair. As Ivanchuk put it, 17...Bg4 was a 'terrible move', completely missing White's reply 18.Nb7, which won a pawn. Anand didn't recover from this material deficit and Ivanchuk effectively converted his advantage to claim the point after 33 moves.

Lev Aronian maintained his lead with his win in both the blindfold and rapid games over Alexander Morozevich. The Armenian now has 12.5 points and has a lead of 2.5 points over a pack of three players, Magnus Carlsen, Vladimir Kramnik and Peter Leko, who are tied with 10 points.

Results of round IX:

Blind: Leko drew with Karjakin; Morozevich lost to Aronian; Kramnik beat Carlsen; Anand drew with Ivanchuk; Mamedyarov lost to Van Wely; Topalov drew with Gelfand

Rapid: Karjakin drew with Leko; Aronian beat Morozevich; Carlsen drew with Kramnik; Ivanchuk beat Anand; Van Wely drew with Mamedyarov; Gelfand drew with Topalov

Standings after round IX:

1. Aronian 12.5
2. Carlsen, Kramnik and Leko 10
5. Ivanchuk and Topalov 9.5
7. Anand 9
8. Morozevich 8.5
9. Karjakin 8
10. Van Wely 7.5
11. Gelfand 7
12. Mamedyarov 6.5

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