Anand eyes title at Linares

Updated: 22 March 2007 06:37 IST

Viswanathan Anand appears set to win his first title on Linares soil in nearly ten years as the Morelia-Linares Chess tournament draws to a close.

Anand eyes title at Linares

Linares:

Viswanathan Anand appears set to win his first title on Linares soil in nearly ten years as the Morelia-Linares Chess tournament draws to a close. With just two rounds remaining after the final rest day in the category-20 super tournament, Anand is sitting pretty on a half point lead with his next opponents in a dejected Peter Leko of Hungary and a fading Vassily Ivanchuk of Ukraine. The Indian ace, who last won here in 1998, has 7.5 points from 12 games so far and a good margin victory might even see Anand becoming the world number one for the first time ever on the FIDE ratings charts after current number one, Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria, by and large struggled here. Teenage threat A half point behind Anand is 16-year-old Magnus Carlsen, who has showed both resilience and talent playing in this elite event. Carlsen, who has suffered two losses at the hands of Anand only in this double round-robin affair, will be the one to watch out for if Anand is to have any competition in the final phase. The Norwegian talent meets Russian Peter Svidler and then Leko in the final round. Anand's domination here has been undisputed with four victories, a lone loss against Armenian Levon Aronian and remaining draws so far. In the last two rounds, even two draws should be enough for the title but the Anand might just look for more keeping an eye on the next rating list. Anand's best effort in the event came in round 10 when he demolished joint leader Carlsen in what will be a 'case study' in the modern chess history. From an apparently harmless looking position, the Indian came up with exceptional and mind-boggling complexities leading to a fantastic victory. Many believed that the win had sealed the fate of the tournament then itself, but Carlsen had other thoughts as he struck back with vengeance against Ivanchuk in the very next round to liven things up once again. A possible draw against Topalov in the next game has kept Carlsen's hopes alive and he is sure to make a last ditch effort against Svidler in the next round to catch up Anand. The event that started at Morelia in mid-February has seen some setbacks in form of Topalov and especially Leko who has lost more games here (three) than he normally does in a year. Topalov has shown mixed results but by his standards they cannot be satisfying. With just two rounds remaining, the Bulgarian is also certain to try his best to regain some of the lost rating points.

Topics : Chess Viswanathan Anand
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