Anand emerges joint leader

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By (PTI) in Linares
  • Published 2.03.03

Linares: Viswanathan Anand scored a thumping victory over Peter Leko of Hungary to emerge joint leader along with world No. 2 Vladimir Kramnik after the sixth round of the Linares Super GM chess tournament Friday.

Kramnik proved his mettle as he handed Azerbaijani sensation Teimour Radjabov his second defeat in the meet. Kramnik and Anand share the lead with 3.5 points each from five games and are followed by Leko on three.

World No. 1 Garri Kasparov was half-a-point behind on 2.5 with Radjabov who has played an extra game and has a bye in the final round of the first lap in the seven-player double-leg round robin tournament.

Anand was on song right from the start and displayed remarkable technique in crushing Leko who played black. Embarking on yet another Anti-Sicilian Sveshnikov, Anand chose the same move order of the Rossolimo Attack that failed to yield anything against Kramnik in the third round. This time, he had an ace up his sleeve that gave the Indian a commanding position right after the opening. Leko probably got a hunch of what was coming on the 15th move when Anand sacrificed a pawn to open lines rather than going for some counteractive measures.

Anand won the pawn back on the 18th move and secured an advantage by virtue of queen side pawn majority. Playing energetically and quickly thereafter, Anand traded the queens and exerted pressure on the queen side with his rooks.

Leko surrendered on the 72nd move.

Kramnik crashed through the defences of Radjabov who might have to work on some other opening than the French Defence if he has to make a greater impact here.