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Must-win tie for Anand

Linares: Grandmaster Viswanathan Anand must register a win in his 12th round match against local player Francisco Pons Vallejo to have some chance of catching up with leader Garri Kasparov in the Linares Super Grandmasters chess tournament here.

With 5.5 points to back him from nine games, Anand has reasons to be pleased with his performance though top-rated Kasparov of Russia has hogged limelight in the category-20 tournament so far.

Kasparov, on 6.5 points, is a full point ahead of Anand, but the Indian ace still has some theoretical chance of catching up with him provided he is able to do well in the last three rounds.

As things stand now, Anand will have to win his white games against Vallejo and Briton Michael Adams and settle for a draw with black against Kasparov. This might just be enough to catch up with the Russian as he has two black games against Adams and Bulgarian Veselin Topalov lined up.

Anand's 11th round victory against Fide world champion Rustam Kasimdzhanov of Uzbekistan has livened up things and has prevented the final round from becoming a victory lap for Kasparov.

Besides, Anand and Kasparov, Topalov is another player who was busy sharpening his weapons on the second rest day Monday. In the last three rounds Topalov has to face Kasimdzhanov and Vallejo apart from Kasparov.

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