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Rediff News  All News  » Sports » Anand holds Carlsen, regains number one ranking

Anand holds Carlsen, regains number one ranking

October 16, 2010 16:06 IST

World Champion Viswanathan Anand played out a hard-fought draw with Magnus Carlsen of Norway to finish second in the Bilbao Final Masters chess tournament in Bilbao on Saturday.

The silver lining for the Indian ace was the fact that he dethroned Carlsen from the number one ranking in Live rating list for the first time since January this year and ended up as the top player in ratings too.

Anand will now move to Nanjing in China to take part in another Grand Slam event in which Carlsen will also take part.

Vladimir Kramnik of Russia won the Final Masters after settling for an easy draw with Alexei Shirov of Spain.

Kramnik scored two wins and four draws in all and ended up at 10 points with the football like scoring system in place here that gives three points for a win and one for a draw.

For the Russian, it was an excellent result as he had qualified through a tournament in Shanghai last September to play in Bilbao.

Anand finished with eight points and a marginal increase in rating which will see him get past Carlsen.

Carlsen, who managed a decent comeback after a disastrous 0/2 start, finished third in this category-22 event which was the strongest ever in terms of average rating of participants.

Shirov had to be content with fourth place finish and he was the only player who went home win-less. After Kramnik settled for an early draw, Anand had his chances to force a play-off against Kramnik in the event of a tie.

However, Carlsen always remained on his guard after employing ht ebReyer system in the Ruy Lopez and never was in any serious trouble.

The middle game was full of complexities with Anand trying to find a breakthrough and Carlsen trying to work out an attack on the king side.

Eventually it was a triumph for both as Anand penetrated through the queen side while the Norwegian got his share of counter play on the other flank.

The game was drawn after 50 moves. Kramnik used a Novelty that had been a part of his preparation for almost ten years. The Russian went for the Nimzo Indian defence and sacrificed a pawn early to generate enough play for his pieces.

Shirov decided to play it safe once realising there were no real chances and the exchanges that ensued led the game to a drawn rook and pawns endgame where the truce was agreed to after 34 moves.

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