Anand draws, but leads in world chess


Mexico City : World No.1 Viswanathan Anand of India Saturday played a short draw against Boris Gelfand of Israel and kept his half a point lead intact at the World Chess Championships here.

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After eight rounds, Anand has 5.5 points, while Gelfand is half a point behind.

In the eighth round, Peter Leko of Hungary managed his first win as he beat Alexander Grischuk of Russia. This was the only win of this round.

Leko had white pieces and took his tally to four points. Grischuk stays at 3.5 points.

This result can be considered a surprise since Grischuk has been having a great tournament and Leko has been lacklustre.

Gelfand, with white may have entertained some thoughts of upsetting Anand. There was chance in the Catalan opening that was soon neutralised by the Indian, who has become the sentimental favourite of Mexican fans.

In the Catalan opening, the game went along expected lines, before NIIT Brand Ambassador Anand brought out a rare move on his 10th move. It led to an unknown position but Gelfand managed to develop his pieces better.

Gelfand got a slight advantage but Anand decided not to play in a cramped position and tried to free himself. As Anand took the c5 with his bishop, he equalised and the draw was logical, though the spectators would have loved a fight.

Elsewhere, Leko converted his advantage with White against Grischuk in a closed Ruy Lopez.

Aronian tried very hard against Morozevich, but despite his two extra pawns, the final position was a dead draw. Though Aronian hoped for a mistake from his rival, Morozevich found the right plan to defend.

With this result, Aronian has 3.5 and Morozevich 3.

Vladimir Kramnik of Russia stays one point behind the leader, Anand, by drawing with fellow Russian Peter Svidler, who started with whites in the Petroff opening.

Kramnik has 4.5 points and Svidler three.

Results of Round 8: Gelfand drew with Anand; Leko beat Grischuk; Aronian drew with Morozevich; Svidler drew with Kramnik

Standings after Round 8: 1. Anand 5.5 points; 2. Gelfand 5; 3. Kramnik 4.5; 4. Leko 4; 5. Grischuk and Aronian 3.5; 7. Svidler and Morozevich 3

Pairings for Round 9: Anand v Aronian; Grischuk v Gelfand; Leko v Svidler