Linares, Spain: Viswanathan Anand won the Morelia-Linares chess tournament drawing his final round game with Vessily Ivanchuk of Ukraine and gathering 8.5 points, a full point clear of Norwegian Magnus Carlsen and Alexander Morozevich of Russia. The victory proved vital for Anand as he, for the first time in his career, is now set to be the number one player, according to FIDE list. The Indian ace, who had been waiting for this one peak for a long time, finally achieved it at the expense of reigning number one Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria who only had a mediocre performance. It turned out to be a drama-filled final day as second-placed Carlsen lost to tailender Hungarian Peter Leko, who picked up his form a bit too late in this category20 event. The result did not have much impact on Anand other than the fact that he won this event by a full point margin rather than a half point that the pundits had predicted before the start of the final game. Morozevich downs Svidler Morozevich continued with his great performance in Linares after being in the cellar in Morelia (where the first half was played) and downed unbeaten compatriot Peter Svidler in the final round. The fourth place was shared by last year's winner Levon Aronian of Armenia and Svidler on 7 points each while Ivanchuk had to be satisfied with sixth spot tallying 6.5 points in all. After Leko's stupendous triumph against Carlsen, Topalov shared the 7th spot with the Hungarian on 6 points. Anand had little work to do in the final game against Ivanchuk as the latter could not get much with his white pieces in the Queen's Indian defense game. The queens got traded early in the middle game and even as Ivanchuk had an optical advantage, Anand was always with in the boundary of a draw. The peace was signed after 31 moves. Many had expected an easy draw for Carlsen against Leko in the final round but the Hungarian giant finally woke up and won in an error-filled game. Up against the Queen's Indian as well, Leko got slight advantage in the opening and nurtured it well to get a winning position inside the first 40 moves. However, in mutual time pressure, Leko missed some simple winning manoeuvres and allowed counterplay that did not prove effective finally. Morozevich played a dream second half in Linares capping it with victory over Svidler who played white in a French defense game. Topalov decided not to try hard against Aronian in his final game and drew in just 20 moves in the first game to end in the last round.
Topics : Chess