| Never behind in the eight-game match before the seventh, Polgar has to beat Anand in the last one to force a tie-breaker
Mainz: Viswanthan Anand scored a crucial win over world’s top-ranked woman player Judit Polgar in the seventh game to take the lead for the first time in the Chess Classic on Sunday.
The victory meant more than a full point for Anand who had been struggling in the first game of each day in the eight-game match. With just one game remaining, Anand now leads the competition 4-3.
Hungarian Judit, who has been the highest rated woman chess player for over ten years now, will be under tremendous pressure in the final game. If she manages to win the final game and level the score, the match will go in to a tie-breaker.
Anand knew he had his task cut out in his last game with white pieces. It was yet another Sicilian Nazdorf, seventh for the record, and this time there were no fireworks from either side.
Anand employed the classical set-up that yielded him just a shade better position in the ensuing middle game. Anand’s chances really took off after the trade of queens on the 25th move as Judit was saddled with a perennially bad dark squared bishop after that.
Striding slowly yet decisively, Anand improved his position and eventually embarked on the kingside breakthrough after luring Judit’s rook to the queenside.
Soon after Anand marched with his king to the sixth rank and obtained decisive passed pawns. The game lasted 55 moves.
Judit will have to go all out for a victory in the eighth game if she has to remain in the match. The series has so far maintained its ‘no-draws’ record with all the seven games yielding a decisive result.
The sixth game was no exception to the rule except that Anand had to use a lot more defensive skills, coupled with aggression. The opening was a Sicilian and Anand embarked on the English attack for the second time on the trot.