Anand leads the way
By Malcolm Pein
Last Updated: 12:01am
GMT 26/02/2008

Vishy Anand will be ahead of the field when the Morelia-Linares tournament resumes in Spain on Thursday afternoon. The world champion drew with Vassily Ivanchuk in the seventh and final round played in Mexico and has 4.5/7 with Alexei Shirov and Veselin Topalov half a point behind.

Linares, a sleepy Andalucian town is the traditional home of the event and the players will return to the familiar surroundings of the Hotel Anibal for the second set of seven games but with colours reversed.

The tournament remained exceptionally competitive with three more decisive games in round seven. Teimour Radjabov’s King’s Indian Defence was breached by Alexei Shirov who became the first player of the white pieces to secure the full point against Radjabov in this opening for some time.

Peter Leko’s poor form persisted and he spoilt a good position with white for the second time and lost badly to Veselin Topalov after blundering in a drawish position. Magnus Carlsen easily refuted Levon Aronian’s unsound, sacrificial idea in the Ruy Lopez.

Round seven: Shirov 1-0 Radjabov, King’s Indian Classical 9.Ne1; Anand draw Ivanchuk, Sicilian Scheveningen 6.Be2 with Kasparov’s 10…Re8; Leko 0-1 Topalov, Sicilian Najdorf 6.Be3 e6; Carlsen 1-0 Aronian, Ruy Lopez Archangel.

Scores: 1 Anand 4.5/7; 2-3 Shirov, Topalov 4; 4-5 Aronian, Carlsen, 3.5; 6-7 Topalov, Radjabov 3; 8 Leko 2.5

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