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Unbeaten Anand ends with a draw

Khanty Mansiysk (Russia): Viswanathan Anand kept his unbeaten record intact in the Candidates tournament, which he won on Saturday with a game to spare. Anand finished with an effortless draw with Peter Svidler of Russia in the 14th and final round here on Sunday.

Anand just didn’t want anything to go wrong and went for the draw with white pieces. Now that he has officially earned the right to a rematch with world champion Magnus Carlsen, the bidding for Anand-Carlsen II are now open.

Fide will decide the awarding of this match after receiving all the bids by April 30 this year. The match will be held from November 5 to 25.

The last day provided mixed games. Shakhriyar Mamedyarov also played out a quick draw as white against Vladimir Kramnik while Veselin Topalov’s bid to come out of the last place was foiled by Russian Dmitry Andreikin.

Sergey Karjakin of Russia was the lone winner on the day at the expense of out-of-form Levon Aronian of Armenia. Till the ninth round, Aronian was considered as the likely challenger but then things turned out really bad for the world No. 2 here.

Anand ended the tournament on 8.5 points, a full point ahead of Karjakin who finished a creditable second after a bad start.

Kramnik, Andreikin and Mamedyarov finished joint third on seven points apiece while Aronian and Svidler ended joint sixth on 6.5 points in all. Topalov ended last scoring six in all.

Playing the white side of a Marshall gambit out of a Ruy Lopez opening, Anand simply gave no chance to Svidler. The pieces got exchanged at regular intervals as Svidler also could do little and in almost no time the players found themselves in a drawn minor piece endgame. The game lasted 34 moves.

As if taking a cue from Anand, Mamedyarov also wasted no time in taking the half point from Kramnik. It was the Capablanca variation of the Nimzo Indian defense that Kramnik was well prepared in and Mamedyarov got nothing in the queen-less middle game that ensued.