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Anand beats Gelfand to soar to joint lead

Written by: Staff
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Monaco, Mar 22 (UNI) Defending champion Viswanathan Anand won his blindfold game against Boris Gelfand and drew the rapid match with the Israeli Grandmaster to join Alexander Morozevich at the top of the combined lead with five points after four rounds in the 15th Amber Blindfold and Rapid Chess Tournament here.

In the blindfold, Anand and Gelfand featured in what turned out to be the first Petroff in the 216,000 euro tournament.

While the Petroff is known to favour the black, Anand did not find the going easy before he plotted a decisive initiative on the kingside that saw him get the better of Gelfand's defence.

In the rapid game, the Israeli seemed determined to turn the tables on his Indian rival and had a clear advantage after Anand committed a rare inaccuracy. However, Gelfand failed to cash in on the opportunity, he got as a gift, and Anand was quick to atone for the mistake and secure a draw.

Anand had a brilliant start last year, winning his first seven games and split point only in his eighth game.

Standings after round 4: Combined: 1. Viswanathan Anand and Alexander Morozevich(5) 3. Levon Aronian, Peter Leko, Veselin Topalov (4.5) 6. Boris Gelfand, Peter Heine Nielsen, Francisco Vallejo (4) 9. Alexander Grischuk, Loek Van Wely (3.5) 11. Vassily Ivanchuk (3) 12. Peter Svidler (2.5) Blindfold: 1. Alexander Morozevich, Veselin Topalov(3) 3. Peter Leko (2.5) 4. Viswanathan Anand, Levon Aronian,Vassily Ivanchuk, Peter Svidler, Francisco Vallejo (2) 9. Boris Gelfand, Alexander Grischuk, Loek Van Wely (1.5) 12. Nielsen, Peter Heine 1.0 Rapid: 1. Viswanathan Anand and Peter Heine Nielsen (3) 3. Levon Aronian and Boris Gelfand (2.5) 5. Alexander Grischuk, Peter Leko, Alexander Morozevich, Francisco Vallejo, Loek Van Wely, Loek (2) 10. Veselin Topalov (1.5) 11. Vassily Ivanchuk (1) 12. Peter Svidler (0.5) UNI XC AY PM SSC1310

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