Anand triumphs against Topalov in Candidates’ opener

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Image Courtesy: © Twitter - London Chess Classic

Anand triumphs against Topalov in Candidates’ opener

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Arun S Kaimal


Five-time World champion Viswanathan Anand defeated Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria in a tight contest in the first round of 2016 World Championship Candidates Tournament at Moscow. The 14-round tournament will decide the challenger for reigning World champion Magnus Carlsen of Norway.

Anand, who has been going through a poor run last year, drew white and he started with 1.e4, while former World champion Veselin Topalov replied with 1.e5. The contest between the two former world champions was a repeat of the 2014 Candidates Tournament. Anand played the Anti-Berlin with 4.d3 in the 12th move looking for an advantage in the game, but the Bulgarian easily equalized to thrash the Indian’s hopes.

However, Topalov misplayed his 20th move, which could have given him a clear advantage and went for a variation. The Bulgarian’s move played into Anand’s hands, and the five-time World champion took it with both hands to find an advantage in the game. The Tiger of Madras kept the advantage going and took home the full point to start the tournament with a win.

Anand leads the table with a one-point advantage, after all the other round 1 matches ended in a draw. Anand will next face Levon Aronian of Armenia in the second round of the tournament on Saturday. The 8-player round-robin tournament is scheduled to run till March 29, and the winner of the tournament will take on reigning World champion Magnus Carlsen of Norway in a 12-game match in November.  

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