Cap DíAgde (France): Viswanathan Anand stormed into the quarter finals of the World Rapid Chess with a hard- earned victory over former world champion Anatoly Karpov of Russia in the sevent and final round game of the league phase on Sunday.
Peter Svidler, Alexander Grischuk and Judit Polgar also made it to the knockout stage from Anandís group.
Earlier, Anand battled his way back holding Frenchman Joel Lautier to a draw in the fifth round on Sunday, after his shock defeat to Polgar on Saturday.
Anand, who lost to Polgar in the fourth round after beating her Hungarian compatriot Peter Leko earlier in the day, now has 2.5 points in group B where Russian Peter Svidler is the leader with 4 points.
The Indian ace is fourth in the group, where eight players are competing to finish among the top four, with just two more rounds remaining in the league phase. The top four from each of the two groups will qualify to the quarter final.
Svidler had two drawn encounters with local stalwart Lautier and compatriot Alexander Grischuk and a fine victory over former world champion Anatoly Karpov in the last three rounds. He, as well as Polgar, who has 3.5 points, look certain for the knockout stage.
Polgarís form against Anand was reminiscent of their last encounter in the Mainz Classic where she held the lead thrice. She now shares the second spot in group B with Grischuk.
In group A, top seed Vladimir Kramnik of Russia led by a half-point over Etienne Bacrot of France, world champion Ruslan Ponomariov of Ukraine and Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria.
Anand had an easy time with black against Lautier who failed to press for any initiative in a Nimzo Indian Defence. He had experienced a similar position against Kramnik some time back and had no troubles in attaining equality. The draw was agreed to in 32 moves.
On Saturday, Anand began the second day well warding off his two draws with white on the opening day. He was at his attacking best right from the start against Leko who fell prey to some very fine moves that cost him his queen in a Marshall Gambit.
It did not take Anand too long to wrap the issue in 45 moves, but the Indian was in for a great surprise against Polgar.
Used to Polgarís attacking style, Anand opened with the English Attack against the Sicilian Nazdorf and was subjected to an all round attack against his own king after missing out a tactical stroke.