Wijk Aan Zee: Viswanathan Anand scored a thumping victory over Russian Grandmaster Peter Svidler in the fifth round of Group A at the Corus International Chess Tournament on Thursday.
The Indian ace displayed top form to beat Svidler — one of his arch-rivals here, who is also known to be extremely solid in elite chess circles.
The victory propelled Anand to 3.5 points and even as a couple of other results still had to come in, Anand was assured of at least joint second place in standings.
The day proved simply excellent for Anand as he won with awesome ease. Playing the white side of a Ruy Lopez, Anand went for the Topical Anti-Marshall and had Svidler under considerable trouble on the king-side early in the game.
Not able to find a suitable defence, the Russian blundered in a difficult position and resigned in a hopeless position after just 21 moves.
World champion Vladimir Kramnik of Russia drew with Ruslan Ponomariov of Ukraine to slip half a point below Anand on 3. Kramnik equalised comfortably with his black pieces in a Slav defence game and signed peace in just 22 moves.
In other decisive game of the day, local hopeful Loek van Wely scored his first victory in the event at the expense of out-of-sort Alexei Shirov.
Van Wely moved to 2 points with the victory while Shirov, after his fourth loss on the trot, is tottering at just half a point. (PTI)