Bilbao Chess Masters: Anand strikes again

NEW DELHI, September 19, 2014
Updated: September 19, 2014 02:33 IST

Continuing his sparkling form, Viswanathan Anand carved out a clinical victory over Spain’s Francisco Vallejo in 33 moves in their fourth round encounter of the Bilbao Chess Masters Finals at Bilbao, on Thursday.

Anand’s third victory, followed by top seed Levon Aronian’s drawn game against Ruslan Ponomariov, saw the five-time World champion open up a four-point lead. Playing with white pieces, Anand slowly tightened his grip over the Queen’s Gambit Declined game. Sensing his growing advantage, after the exchange of the light-squared bishops on the 12th move, Anand exerted more pressure on an increasingly passive Vallejo.

Anand’s rooks on the central file gave no respite to Vallejo’s aimlessly roaming queen and ineffective rooks. Vallejo gave up when he saw no way of salvaging his fast-collapsing position.

On Friday, Anand plays black against Ponomariov, and a draw in the final round against Aronian should fetch him the title on Saturday.

In the other game, Ponomariov came out better following the opening lines of Catalan against Aronian. But the Ukrainian failed to find the precise continuation and the game soon drifted into an objectively drawn position. The players signed peace after 41 moves.

The results: Fourth round: Viswanathan Anand (10) bt Francisco Vallejo (Esp, 1); Ruslan Ponomariov (Ukr, 4) drew with Levon Aronian (Arm, 6).

Fifth round pairings: Ponomariov vs Anand; Aronian vs Vallejo.


Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar
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