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Anand a step closer to hattrick
- CORSICA OPEN

New Delhi: Defending Champion Viswanathan Anand of India came a step closer to claim his third consecutive Corsica Open title when he defeated Arthur Yusupov of Germany to enter the last four stage of the tournament being held in Bastia, France.

Anand, who successfully defended his World Cup title in Hyderabad recently, won 1.5-.5 in the two-mini-match to move into the semi-finals, according to information received here.

The two-time World Cup winner and former Fide world champion, used his black pieces to perfection to beat Yusupov in the second game after both players were forced to split points on the opening board.

The first game, which was a French Defence with Winawer Variation, saw Anand with white pieces trying hard to force a result. But once Yusupov captured his advanced pawn, the players agreed for a draw after 53 moves.

In the final game, Yusupov opted for the Queen’s Pawn opening. On the 27th move Anand got back the pawn he had given earlier and then the queens were exchanged on the 29th move.

Soon after Anand slowly gained the advantage and won space by winning a pawn and then extended his advantage into a winning position.

Unable to force his way back into the game, the German surrendered after 59 moves.

Karpov in semis

In the other quarterfinals, Anatoly Karpov outplayed Vladislav Tkachiev in both games for a 2-0 win, while Gurevich rallied from behind to beat Alexy Dreev.

After losing the first game, Gurevich tied the score with a victory in the next game.

In the play off he drew the first game against Dreev before winning the crucial next board to move into the semi-finals.

Shirov won his second play-off game to beat M. Kazhgakeyev after the two drew their opening two games and shared the points in the first play-off board.

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