Former world champion Viswanathan Anand who shocked Levon Aronian of Armenia in round one, continued with the same energy levels in round two to draw Bulgarian Veselin Topalov with the black pieces at Khanty-Mansiysk in Russia on March 14, 2014.
Peter Svidler and Vladimir Kramnik scored over fellow Russians Dmitry Andreikin and Sergey Karjakin to join Anand in the lead on 1.5 points after two games. In this 8-player, double all-play-all, twelve rounds remain to be played.
Anand as black faced a Reti opening that got transposed into an English opening. After black gave up a pawn early, and the castling right, white was still unable to gain the upperhand. All Topalov managed was enter a rook ending with four pawns to three on the same time.
Though, that theoretically gives winning chances, Anand played the rook ending with huge energy that he even swapped rooks at one stage and played the pawn ending with a deficit to draw comfortably. After 54 moves, the board was clean, only two kings left and it signalled a well fought battle.
Anand has had his rook ending lessons from Linares 2003 and the World Championship match in Chennai 2013, did not look like the player who lost level rook endings on Friday. Having lost some weight after the match, Anand looks more fit and fought with great energy and this is a sign of a player who has recovered totally.
The pairing of FIDE World Championship Candidates has been done in such a manner the Russians face each other early so that the suspicion of throwing points is buried.
Kramnik sacrificed a rook for minor piece and crushed Karjakin in 39 moves with white. Host entry Svidler is one of the three leaders and that can happen only to a Russian. He won a nice rook ending against Andreikin in 31 moves.
Top seed Aronian bounced back with a win over Mamedyarov to become the only player to figure in 100% decisive games. Standings: 1-3 Anand, Kramnik, Svidler 1.5/2 each; 4-5 Aronian, Topalov 1 each, 6-8 Andreikin, Karjakin, Mamedyarov 0.5 each.
GM Veselin Topalov-GM Viswanathan Anand
Round two, English Opening, A11
1. Nf3 d5 2. c4 c6 3. e3 Nf6 4. Nc3 Nbd7 5. Qc2 e5 6. cxd5 Nxd5 7. d4 Bd6 8. dxe5 Nxe5 9. Nxe5 Bxe5 10. Qe4 Qe7 11. Nxd5 cxd5 12. Bb5+ Kf8 13. Qxd5 g6 14. Bd2 Kg7 15. Qxe5+ Qxe5 16. Bc3 Qxc3+ 17. bxc3 Be6 18. Ke2 Rac8 19. Rhc1 Rc5 20. a4 Rhc8 21. Ra3 a6 22. Bd3 b5 23. axb5 axb5 24. Rb1 Rxc3 25. Rxc3 Rxc3 26. Rxb5 Bc4 27. Bxc4 Rxc4 28. Kf3 h5 29. h3 Rc2 30. Rb1 Kf6 31. Re1 g5 32. Ra1 Kg6 33. Ra6+ f6 34. Ra4 h4 35. g3 hxg3 36. Kxg3 Rb2 37. e4 Rb1 38. f3 Rg1+ 39. Kf2 Rh1 40. Kg2 Rb1 41. Ra6 Kf7 42. Ra5 Kg6 43. Ra6 Kf7 44. Ra2 Ke6 45. Kg3 Rg1+ 46. Rg2 Rxg2+ 47. Kxg2 Ke5 48. Kf2 Kf4 49. Kg2 Ke5 50. Kg3 f5 51. exf5 Kxf5 52. h4 gxh4+ 53. Kxh4 Kf4 54. Kh3 Kxf3 1/2-1/2.