Leon, Spain, June 1 (UNI) World Champion Viswanathan Anand will face Vassily Ivanchuk after the Ukranian defeated Alexei Shirov 3-1 in the second final to set up a title clash with the Indian in the Magistral Ciudad de Leon rapid chess tournament today.
Anand has already won the Leon title eight times while he is the reigning champion as well, and made it to the finals after he overcame Fracisco Vallejo Pons of Spain 3.5-2.5 in the tie-breaker.
In the second sem-final, Ivanchuk won the first two games, once with white and then with black in two different variations of the Sicilian defence and sealed the match.
The third and fourth games were drawn.
After Ivanchuk opened the score with white in a Sicilian Rossolimo game lasting 45 moves, the Ukrainian hit the target with black in a Sicilian Najdorf game lasting 33 moves.
Shirov did come close to narrowing the game in the third game where he played the Ruy Lopez Moeller Defence but Ivanchuk hung in for a draw as Shirov overlooked a winning line. In the fourth game Ivanchuk played safe for a draw in 29 moves.
UNI XC RAR CS AS1458