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Anand, Kramnik in title-clash

Cap D’agde: World Cup champion Viswanathan Anand was brilliance personified as he outplayed Russian champion Peter Svidler in the blitz tie-break to advance to the final of the world rapid chess championship.

Anand will now clash with the BrainGames champion Vladimir Kramnik, another Russian, who eliminated compatriot Alexander Grischuk 2-0 to march into the title-decider.

The final, thus, will be played on the expected lines with Anand, the second highest rated here, taking on Kramnik, the strongest player after Garri Kasparov.

The Indian ace adopted a rather cautious approach, though, his best defensive skill was a dominating factor in the first game of the blitz where Svidler failed to make most of a pawn-plus rook endgame.

The second game of blitz was a perfect demonstration of high positional chess as Anand slowly squeezed out Svidler who opted for the Sicilian Paulsen defence with black pieces.

Anand cracked down on the queenside in the middle game after Svidler erred and his pawn structure weakened. Anand handled the remaining technicalities in copybook fashion as he slowly built his position to win a pawn on the 25th move. Soon the queens were traded and it was a lost position for Svidler. Anand wrapped up the issue on the 34th move with a routine pawn roll.

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