Wijk Aan Zee: Defending Champion Viswanathan Anand scored his third victory on the trot with a crushing win against Grandmaster Evgeny Bareev of Russia in the eighth round of Corus Chess tournament. The 49-move win ensured Anand a slender half point lead over nearest rival Michael Adams of England who triumphed over top seed Vladimir Kramnik of Russia. The Indian star, enjoying sole lead, has 6 points from 8 games so far. Hungarian Peter Leko on 5 points held the third spot after he beat Dortmund winner Viktor Bologan of Moldova. Placed a distant fourth with just five more rounds to go in this category-19 event were Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria, Russian Champion Peter Svidler and Kramnik on 4.5 points apiece. In the most important clash of the event, Anand plays Kramnik in the next round as black. In top form Anand once again displayed his top form in the match against Bareev yesterday. Bareev's French defence has failed to come good, at least here, and he might have to start looking for alternatives after this thorough drubbing. The middle game was intense and Bareev faltered on his 17th turn after Anand deployed all his pieces to initiate the attack. Soon it was Anand's missile like bishop and queen doing all the damage as he unleashed a knight sacrifice to rip apart black's king-side. Getting two pawns in return, Anand ensured that Bareev's king never got an easy feeling. And for that matter even Bareev himself. Guiding one piece after another in opposition territory, the pressure was further exerted in copybook fashion until Bareev collapsed completely and was forced to part with his queen with an added woe to defend the weakened pawns and even more weakened uncoordinated pieces. The result of the game was never in doubt thereon and Anand completed the formalities in style. The game had all the makings of brilliance and righteously it was awarded the audience prize for the best game of the day. Kramnik's move It appears that Michael Adams has decided that he will not let Anand have a big cushion in lead. The Englishman has not had a great result for quite sometime now but if his victory against Kramnik is any indication, he is far from finished. Opting for the Scheveningen Sicilian, Kramnik had to pay heavily for his over ambitious play. Adams secured a small advantage in the middle game and the game was evenly poised when Kramnik went for unwarranted complications instead of taking a safer route. What followed was a tactical finesse at the end of which the Russian found all his pieces confined to defence. In the end the only active piece - a centralised knight - was trapped in the mid of the board and Kramnik called it a day.
Topics : Chess