Candidates Chess: Anand settles for draw against Topalov to remain third

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Candidates Chess: Anand settles for draw against Topalov to remain third

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Amlan Majumdar

03/21/2016

Five-time World champion Viswanathan Anand settled for a draw against Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria in the eighth round of the 2016 World Championship Candidates Tournament at Moscow. With the draw, Anand maintained his third position in the event at 4.5 points, half a point behind the joint leaders.

After losing to Karjakin in the fourth round, Anand has been on an unbeaten run earning two draws and a win to place his name back in contention for the title at the tournament. Continuing his unbeaten run on Sunday, the Indian earned an easy draw against former World Champion Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria to remain joint third along with Fabiano Caruana. Sergey Karjakin and Levon Aronian jointly lead the title hunt by half a point after scoring five points out of eight.

In the match against Topalov, Anand began with the blacks in a well-known Queen’s Gambit Declined style by putting his pawns on e6 and d5 and knight on f6. He then committed his dark squared bishop before moving to e4 changing the style from Queen’s Gambit Declined to a Nimzo-Indian or a Ragozin. On the other hand, Topalov, who is having a miserable tournament losing three of the eight rounds, started hesitantly and committed too many mistakes to give Anand the advantage. Although the Indian tried his best to convert the advantage, Topalov held on, and after 51 moves, Anand switched the game to a draw pawn endgame.

Anand will take on one of the leaders, Levon Aronian next in the ninth round on Monday and has a golden chance in front of him to move above the Armenian.  

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