Anand settles for 1-1 in Rd 1 of Amber Chess

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Viswanthan Anand got a mixed start in the Amber Blidnfold and rapid chess tournament as he won one and lost one game against peter Leko of Hungary.

Updated: March 15, 2009 15:53 IST
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Nice, France:

World Champion Viswanthan Anand got a mixed start in the Amber Blidnfold and rapid chess tournament as he won one and lost one game against peter Leko of Hungary in the first round that concluded here on Sunday.

Anand won the blindfold game in great style but his form in his favourite variant of the game - rapid chess -- was found wanting as Leko struck back and equalised the score.

After the conclusion of the opening round of 12-players round robin event with one blindfold and one rapid game in each round, Armenian Levon Aronian emerged as the early leader winning both his games against Vassily Ivanchuk of Ukraine.

Aronian, in fact took a full point lead over his nearest rivals including Anand with his fantastic effort as all other matches of the day ended in a 1-1 score.

Magnus Carlsen of Norway and Gata Kamsky of United States shared one win each like Morozevich and Kramnik while Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria drew both his games against Teimour Radjabov of Azerbaijan.

In the other match, Corus champion Sergey Karjakinb of Ukraine could not break the ice against Chinese Wang Yue and also drew both the games.

Anand took an early lead winning the blindfold game which was a treat for the spectators as the Indian ace sacrificed his queen on the final move. The Brayer defense by Leko was a surprise choice in the Ruy Lopez as the Hungarian himself had outplayed Nigel Short of England in a famous game played in this opening a few years back.

Anand gained the momentum with a fine control along the black squares and put pressure on the king side in a thematic attack. Leko tried to hold on but fell for the finely crafted trick resulting in a lost endgame for him. The game lasted 36 moves.

In the return game, however, the Hungarian played quite logically to hold on to his positional advantage from a Slav defense game. Leko got the Bishop pair and a small advantage and nurtured it for a long time before finally winning a pawn.

It was still a long grind left but Leko was relentless and won in 68 moves.

Results Round 1 (Blindfold): V Anand (Ind) beat Peter Leko (Hun); Vladimir Kramnik (Rus) beat Alexander Morozevich (Rus); Levon Aronian (Arm) beat Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukr); Magnus Carlsen (Nor) beat Gata Kamsky (Rus); Veselin Topalov (Bul) drew with Teimour Radjabov (Aze); Wang Yue (Chn) drew with Sergey Karjakin (Ukr).

Rapid: Leko beat Anand; Morozevich beat Kramnik; Ivanchuk lost to Aronian; kamsky beat Carlsen; Radjabov drew with Topalov; Karjakin drew with Wang Yue.

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