Anand Wrests Sole Lead
It was a significant round from the Indian point of view with Viswanathan Anand scoring a long endgame win over Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria while Levon Aronian of Armenia and Vladimir Kramnik of Russia tasted defeats.
Anand moved to six points from nine rounds and leads by a clear points with five rounds still to be played. Aronian slipped after an endgame defeat to Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan. Kramnik went down to Karjakin and the fourth game between Andreikin and Svidler ended in a draw.
Facing a Najdorf variation, Anand went into a favourable queen ending and won in 57 moves to score his third win in the event. By drawing six, he is on six points and the only undefeated player in the 8-player double all-play-all.
Strong preparation and execution skills aided by good energy levels has taken Anand to the top. The player who wins this will challenge Carlsen for the world title later this year.
The results (round nine): D Andreikin (Rus) 4 drew with P Svidler (Rus) 4; S Karjakin (Rus) 4.5 bt V Kramnik (Rus) 4.5; S Mamedyarov (Aze) 4.5 bt L Aronian (Arm) 5; V Anand (Ind) 6 bt V Topalov (Bul) 3.5.
Viswanathan Anand-Veselin Topalov
Round 9, Sicilian Najdorf B90:
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. h3 e6 7. g4 Nfd7 8. Bg2 Be7 9. Be3 Nc6 10. h4 Nde5 11. g5 Bd7 12. Nxc6 Bxc6 13. b3 f5 14. f4 Ng4 15. Qe2 Nxe3 16. Qxe3 fxe4 17. O-O-O d5 18. Nxe4 Ba3+ 19. Kb1 Qe7 20. Nf2 Bc5 21. Qg3 Bxf2 22. Qxf2 O-O 23. Qd4 Rf5 24. Rde1 Raf8 25. Rhf1 Qd6 26. Re5 Rxe5 27. fxe5 Rxf1+ 28. Bxf1 Qe7 29. a4 Be8 30. Kb2 Bg6 31. Bh3 h6 32. gxh6 gxh6 33. Qg4 Kf7 34. h5 Be4 35. a5 Bh7 36. c3 Be4 37. c4 Bf5 38. Qf4 dxc4 39. Bxf5 exf5 40. Qxf5+ Ke8 41. Qc8+ Kf7 42. Qxc4+ Kg7 43. Qd5 Kf8 44. Kc3 Ke8 45. b4 Qc7+ 46.Kd4 Qe7 47. Qg8+ Kd7 48. Kd5 Kc7 49. Qg6 Qh4 50. Qd6+ Kc8 51. Kc5 Qf2+ 52. Qd4 Qf7 53. Qc4 Qg7 54. Kb6+ Kb8 55. Qc5 Qf7 56. Qd6+ Kc8 57. e6 1-0