World Chess: Anand, Kramnik jointly leads

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Mexico City, Sep 18: World number One Viswanathan Anand and former World champion Vladimir Kramnik are jointly leading the points table at the end of the fourth round of the World Chess Championship 2007 being played here.

World's top eight Grandmasters, India's Viswanathan Anand, Russian quatret of Vladimir Kramnik, Alexander Morozevich, Alexander Grishchuk, Peter Svidler, Hungarian Peter Leko, Boris Gelfand of Israel and Armenian Levon Aronian were fighting it out in a double round robin league in the 1.3 million dollar championship being played here at Hotel Sheraton Historico.

Before the start of the tournament, Anand was billed as one of the favourites to win the championship by none other than the Legendary Gary Kasparov.

The first round of the World Chess Championship finished without any decisive results. However the second round saw some fires when two games gave decisive results and the remaining two were drawn.

In the first decisive game, Anand's c5 novelty on the 17th move completely surprised Aronian which ultimately brought his downfall.

However, the most intriguing encounter was the third round clash between the two highest rated chess players Viswanathan Anand and reigning champion Vladimir Kramnik. But it eventually ended in a tame draw.

Meanwhile, in the fourth round match, stiff resistance by Russian Grandmaster Alexander Morozevich deprived Anand a victory in a well fought game.

Anand saw only two openings in the first four rounds - The Petroff with white and Semi-Slav with black.

Though, he suffered badly and had to save draws in both the white games, his preparation with black pieces was impressive.

The Indian Grandmaster deviated from the variation he tried in the first round and returned to the classical approach. It only left him proving, he was able to find unique moves in holding the inferior rook endgame against Kramnik.

After a days rest today, all the eight players will be seen in action for the next four rounds before taking another off day.

In Round five, Anand will have white pieces against Russian Grandmaster Peter Svidler, while Peter Leko will take on Vladimir Kramnik.

The two Russian Grandmasters Alexander Grischuk and Alexander Morozevich will play against each other, while on the fourth table Boris Gelfand and Levon Aronian will fight it out against each other.

Standings after Round four: 1-2. Viswanathan Anand , Vladimir Kramnik (2.5 points), 3-6. Alexander Morozevich, Alexander Grischuk, Boris Gelfand, Levon Aronian (2 points) 7-8. Peter Leko, Peter Svidler (1.5points).

UNI

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