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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

2012 London Chess Classic Round 7: Anand Draws with Polgar

LONDON: World champion Viswanathan Anandplayed out a draw with Judit Polgar of Hungary to go out of contention in the London Chess Classic, now in progress. Having lost a game through a blunder in the previous round, Anand was apparently satisfied with the result as Polgar also played it safe after showing early aggression. For the first time in the tournament, all the four games were drawn leaving Norwegian Magnus Carlsen with a huge five points lead over Russian Vladimir Kramnik. Carlsen drew with American Hikaru Nakamura after an exciting game to take his tally to 17 points in the soccer-like scoring system in place here. The world number one has just one game left, against Anand, and in all likelihood, he is going to emerge as the winner.

Kramnik, on 12 points, needs two wins to be in with a chance. The Russian had a bye in this round. Michael Adams of England missed a golden opportunity to be in sole second spot when he misplayed a completely winning position against compatriot Luke McShane. After the draw, Adams remained on third spot on 11 points, two ahead of Nakamura who is now fourth.

Anand, with seven points in all, is lying fifth, a point ahead of Armenian Levon Aronian and two clear of McShane.

Gawain Jones of England is in eighth position on three points coming from draws, while Polgar remains at the bottom of the table with just two draws out of her six games.

Just two rounds remain in the tournament. The loss in the previous round had a telling affect on Anand. Polgar went for the sharp Sozin variation against Anand's Najdorf and exerted pressure on the king side to get a miniscule advantage. Regulation exchanges helped Anand to neutralise the initiative and Polgar offered the draw after the 32nd move.

Adams should have been a winner. Riding high on his luck especially against Anand in the sixth round, the English GM got a winning position again after what looked like a forced draw but this time, Adams himself blundered. The game was eventually drawn.

Carlsen went for the Sicilian defense and faced the Alapin variation as black and came up with an imaginative piece sacrifice against Nakamura. After a series of exchanges, Nakamura could ease up the pressure and after he gobbled the dangerous pawns of Carlsen on the queenside, the draw was a just result.

In the other game of the day, Jones played solidly to get a draw with Aronian, who played the black side of a Grunfeld defense.

Results round seven: Judit Polgar (Hun, 2) drew with V Anand (Ind, 7); Hikaru Nakamura (Usa, 9) drew with Magnus Carlsen (Nor, 17); Michael Adams (Eng, 11) drew with Luke McShane (Eng, 5); Gawain Jones (Eng, 3) drew with Levon Aronian (Arm, 6). (PTI)



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