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Anand, Kramnik settle for draw

Dortmund: After three straight victories, World Cup champion Viswanthan Anand drew with Braingames champion Vladimir Kramnik of Russia in the eighth round of the Dortmund Sparkassen chess tournament.

Tournament leader GM Viktor Bologan of Moldova settled for an early truce with Linares champion Peter Leko of Hungary and maintained his full-point lead over Kramnik and Anand.

With just two more rounds remaining in the Category 18 tournament, being played in a double round-robin format, Bologan has five points.

Anand opened with the Queen’s Gambit that came as a major surprise for Kramnik. The Russian had to see more surprises in the game as Anand employed a variation which is unusual in top level games.

Keeping his king in the centre, Anand embarked on his counterplay bid on the queen side and Kramnik could not really make a match of it. After just 21 moves the draw was agreed to when only two rooks and a knight were remaining on board.

In the previous round, Anand beat Bologan with a superb rook sacrifice and the Moldovan decided to play it safe with white pieces against Leko to move to five points.

Bologan might have a tough call on hand in the remaining rounds when he is slated to play GM Teimour Radjabov of Azerbaijan and Kramnik.

Radjabov was also fighting it hard against GM Arkadi Naiditsch of Germany at the time of going to press. The German hope had a psychological edge against his more famous rival after a finely crafted victory in their earlier encounter.

That win has so far been the only one for Naiditsch while leko is the only one without a victory here.

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