The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Anand now sole leader

Wijk Aan Zee (The Netherlands): Viswanathan Anand shot into sole lead with an eventful draw against BrainGames champion Vladimir Kramnik of Russia in Round VIII of the 75th Corus Chess tournament here on Tuesday.

The other overnight joint leader GM Loek Van Wely of the Netherlands saw his three-game winning streak end with a loss against former world champion Anatoly Karpov of Russia.

Van Wely slipped to joint second position along with the world’s highest rated woman Judit Polgar of Hungary and Russian Alexander Grischuk. The trio trail Anand (5.5) by half a point.

Following them another half a point behind is GM Alexei Shirov who lost to Grischuk in a full-bloodied game.

In the Grandmaster B tournament, GM Koneru Humpy suffered yet another loss, going down to GM Arkadij Naiditsch of germany in spectacular fashion. Humpy is now at the bottom of the table with just five rounds remaining.

GM Zhang Zhong of China consolidated his lead after signing peace with GM Peter Acs of Hungary. Zhong, 7 points, remained 1.5 points adrift of closest rival Daniel Stellwagen of the Netherlands who achieved his maiden Grandmaster norm after holding GM Friso Nijboer.

For Anand it turned out to be another show where he had to employ his superior defensive skills to thwart his opponent. The Indian ace opened with the Petroff Defence that gave him a victory against Bulgarian GM Veselin Topalov in the second round.

The middle game saw Kramnik uncorking a fine positional idea and a few exchanges led to a better position for the Russian with his centralised bishop exerting pressure on the king side.

Anand found some solace after the trade of queens and was just in time to defend against the threats of a menacing looking rook. The draw was agreed to after 58 moves.

Youngest participant Teimour Radjabov continued to impress outsmarting world champion Ruslan Ponomariov of Ukraine. It was Ponomariov’s fourth loss in the tournament.

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