Wijk Aan Zee (The Netherlands): Former world champion Viswanathan Anand proved too good for an over ambitious Grandmaster Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria, inflicting a 60-move defeat in the second round of the 65th edition of the Corus chess tournament here.
Defending champion GM Evgeny Bareev of Russia continued with his winning ways to outclass GM Teimour Radjabov of Azerbaijan and move in to sole lead with an all-win record.
Anand and GM Anatoly Karpov of Russia follow the leader half a point behind while a pack of seven are tied with one point each. Eleven more rounds remain to be played in this 14-players all-play-all category-19 tournament.
However, in a surprise outcome, world champion Ruslan Ponomariov of Ukraine defeated top seed and BrainGames world champion Vladimir Kramnik in an almost one sided game. Ponomariov, smarting under a disastrous loss against Bareev in the first round, bounced back in reckoning to join the one-pointers.
In the Grandmaster group B tournament being played simultaneously, former world junior girls champion GM Koneru Humpy played out her second draw in succession.
Up against youngest-ever GM Sergey Karjakin of Ukraine, who turned 13 on Sunday, Humpy pressed hard for an advantage but was surprised by a queen sacrifice. However, with a timely manoeuvre, Humpy forced the draw.
GMs Zhang Zhong of China, Jonny Hector of Sweden and Arkadij Naiditsch of Germany shared the lead in this section with 1.5 points apiece while Humpy, Karjakin and six others are closely behind with one point each in their kitty.
For Anand, it turned out to be an easy outing as Topalov’s home work did not yield him anything decisive.
It was a Petroff defence where the Indian ace, playing black, had a level position after the opening and appeared in fine fettle even as Topalov went for an ambitious exchange sacrifice (rook for a bishop) on his 17th move.
The idea was untried so far and Anand had to work out things over the board. As it turned out, Anand obtained a central-passed pawn in the ensuing middle game and sacrificed that to open lines where his rooks could operate on.
Topalov called it a day after 61 moves giving Anand his first victory of the year.
Ponomariov was a man with a mission in his game against Kramnik. Kramnik, white, hung in the early stages, with just about the right defensive moves but was in for a rude shock after committing a blunder on the 37th move that allowed the invasion of white’s queen near his own king. The game lasted just two more moves. (PTI)