Moscow: Former world champion Viswanathan Anand and world championship finalist Vassily Ivanchuk of the Ukraine led from the front as the Rest of the World Team took an early three-point lead over Russia after two rounds in the Match of the New Century here Sunday.
The Rest lead 11.5-8.5 after two rounds and appear to be the favourites to win this unique match, organised for the third time in the history of the game.
In the first set of 10 games, Rest won by an excellent 6-4 margin, while in the second they were triumphant by a 5.5-4.5 score.
Anand proved that he is the pick of the Rest of the World Team when it comes to brutally crushing weaker opposition. If it was Russian champion Alexander Motylev on the receiving end in the first game, Vadim Zvjaginsev found no mercy from the Indian ace in the second game as Anand remained the only player with a 100 per cent score.
Ivanchuk was no less a contributor in the triumph of the World Team in the first round as he scalped world’s highest rated player Garri Kasparov with awesome ease.
Zvjaginsev ventured into something that even the best brains of chess fear to tread into, while playing Anand. The Sicilian Schveningen gave Anand a slightly better position with the white pieces after the opening moves and he went for lively play on the kingside with a pawn roll.