Anand beats Aronian to keep pace with Morozevich

The Press Trust of India
March 30, 2006 Thursday

Monaco Mar 30 -- Defending champion Viswanathan Anand won an engrossing
battle with World Cup winner Levon Aronian of Armenia to remain in
joint lead after the blindfold game in the 10th and penultimate round
of Amber Blidnfold and Rapid chess tournament here.

Being in joint lead with Russian Grandmaster Alexander Morozevich
before the start of this round meant that Anand had to win with
his white pieces against Aronian after Morozevich achieved the same
against Ukrainian Vassily Ivanchuk.

Though the two wins by the leaders in the combined standings made
little difference in the standings, it kept Anand in race for the
title in the event he really enjoys playing.

With just three games or one and a half rounds to come in the annual
event, both Anand and Morozevich have an identical score of 13 points
so far and for sure the battle royale is going to boil down to the
last round when the Indian ace will be under more pressure to perform
against reigning World champion Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria.

Anand defeated Aronian in a technical battle arising out of a Ruy
Lopez game in style. Slated to play black in the return rapid game,
Anand knew his chances lay in the blindfold game and he exploited
them fully to register a fine victory against the Armenian super
talent in 73 moves.

Morozevich, however, was quicker in his demolition act against Ivanchuk
as he won after 50 moves of a Sicilian defense game.

With the victory Morozevich's supremacy in the blindfold section of
the Euros 216000 event remained uncontested as the Russian made sure
of his title triumph in this section with almost two games to spare.

With one more game still in hand in this category, Morozevich has
amassed a whopping 8.5 points and nearest rival Francisco Vallejo
Pons of Spain is 2 points behind him.

Complete results Blindfold round 10: Alexander Grischuk (Rus) beat
Peter Leko (Hun); Alexander Morozevich (Rus) beat Vassily Ivanchuk
(Ukr); Francisco Vallejo Pons (Esp) beat Loek Van Wely (Ned) Peter
Svidler beat Peter Heine Nielsen (Den); Viswanathan Anand beat Levon
Aronian, Levon (Arm); Boris Gelfand (Isr) drew with Veselin Topalov
(Bul) Blindfold Standings after Round 10: 1. Morozevich 8.5; 2.

Vallejo Pons 6.5; 3. Anand 6.0; 4-5. Grischuk, Svidler 5.5 each; 6-7.

Gelfand, Leko 5; 8. Van Wely 4.5; 9. Topalov 4; 10. Nielsen 3.5;
11-12. Ivanchuk, Aronian 3 each Rapid Standings Round 9: 1. Anand 7;
2-4. Aronian, Vallejo Pons, Topalov 5 each; 5-6. Morozevich, Grischuk
4.5 each; 7-10. Ivanchuk, Gelfand, Van Wely, Leko 4 each; 11-12.

Nielsen, Svidler 3.5.

Combined Standings Round 9: 1-2. Morozevich, Anand 12 each; 3.

Vallejo Pons 10.5; 4-5. Grischuk, Leko 9 each; 6-8. Gelfand, Van Wely,
Topalov 8.5 each; 9-10. Svidler, Aronian 8 each; 11-12.

Nielsen, Ivanchuk 7 each.