Anand loses rapid game, concedes lead

Updated: 19 March 2008 09:44 IST

Viswanathan Anand suffers his first loss in the Nice tournament, losing a fifth-round rapid game to Peter Leko.

Anand loses rapid game, concedes lead

Nice, France:

Viswanathan Anand suffered his first loss as he was outwitted by Peter Leko in the fifth round rapid game that also saw the Indian slip to fourth, half a point behind the three co-leaders after four rounds of the 17th Melody Amber Blindfold and Rapid Chess tournament Tuesday night.

Anand managed only half a point from his drawn blindfold game and moved to 45 points, as Vesselin Topalov, Lev Aronian and birthday boy Vassily Ivanchuk moved to five points each and in shared lead. All the three leaders won their mini-matches 1.5-0.5.

Also winning his match was Vladimir Kramnik who beat Alexander Morozevich in blindfold and drew his rapid game.

Anand and Leko first drew in a Caro-Kann main line in which the queens went off the board quickly. White's structure was better but with Leko's pieces very active, Anand did not have much of a chance. Anand opted for repetition of moves, which seemed to suggest that he was not averse to a draw and so it was.

In the rapid, where Anand had won two of his last three games, Leko played solidly. He got into an ultra-sharp Perenyi Attack against Anand's Najdorf.

Anand was well prepared and it seemed equal after 17 moves. But White on his 21st move gained a pawn mobility. A move later, he was even stronger and slowly capitalized on it to get a win as Anand resigned.

Ivanchuk celebrated his 39th birthday while there was also a big cheer for Anand, who had been awarded his third honorary doctorate back in his hometown Chennai.

Since Anand was playing here, his parents collected the honorary doctorate conferred on him by the Tamil Nadu Physical Education and Sports University in Chennai.

Results of fourth round:

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

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

Standings after four rounds: Topalov, Aronian and Ivanchuk 5 points each;
Anand 4.5 points; Leko, Carlsen and Kramnik 4 points each; Van Wely, Mamedyarov and Karjakin 3.5 points each; Gelfand and Morozevich 3 points each.

Topics : Chess Viswanathan Anand
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