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Anand held in first game of final

Hyderabad, Oct. 19 (PTI): Defending champion Viswanathan Anand agreed to a quick draw against Uzbekistan’s Rustam Kasimdzhaanov in the first round of the World Cup chess final Saturday.

Women’s title holder Xu Yuhua of China also agreed to a draw, with Antoneta Stefanova of Bulgaria.

“There is no point in continuing when the position leads to nowhere,” Anand said after the players called truce on the 15th move with material and space occupancy of both being nearly equal.

The two will play the final round Sunday with Anand having the advantage of playing white. In case of a draw, the game goes into a tie-break where they will play two rounds of rapid games followed by two blitz rounds.

In Saturday’s game, Anand started cautiously in the Caro Kann line and the young Uzbek was on equal terms with each having a strong bishop and a knight placed at the important squares.

“It was an unusual line of opening, but I did anticipate that Rustam would be adopting this and was prepared for it. He did not surprise me,” said Anand. He said he was trying to win. “I really want to win with black pieces but had no chance in today’s game.”

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