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Anand beats Ponomariov

Wijk Aan Zee (The Netherlands): Viswanathan Anand settled old scores beating world champion Ruslan Ponomariov of Ukraine to remain in joint lead after the seventh round of the 65th Corus chess tournament Monday. Anand, who lost his world championship crown to Ponomariov last year, registered the victory in 34 moves.

Dutch Grandmaster Loek Van Wely defeated Jan Timman to lead the table along with Anand on five points.

However, the other overnight leader Judit Polgar drew a tense game with top seed BrainGames champion Vladimir Kramnik and slipped to joint third on 4.5. Joining her on was Spaniard Alexei Shirov, who humbled Evgeny Bareev of Russia.

In the Grandmaster B tournament, former world junior girls’ champion Koneru Humpy finally tasted success cruising past local hope GM Harmen Jonkman.

Top seed GM Zhang Zhong recorded his sixth win on the trot crushing GM Arkadij Naiditsch of Germany. The Chinese leads with 6.5 and is 1.5 points clear of her nearest contender.

Ponomariov, playing black, continued with dangerous play and accepted a pawn sacrifice by Anand as early as on the 10th move. An alert Anand quickly developed his initiative and just five moves later, the Ukrainian was fighting a lost battle.

Winning an exchange on the 17th move, Anand utilised all his pieces to perfection and penetrated the base rank with his rooks after the trade of queens.

Ponomariov lost another piece and fought on for a few moves in the hope of a miracle that never happened. It took Anand just 34 moves to force resignation.

Van Wely’s in-depth preparation was again to the fore as he crushed his more famous rival easily. Playing black, Timman employed the Finachetto variation in the Slav Defence and felt the heat right from the beginning. The game lasted 24 moves. (PTI)

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