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Monday, April 26, 2010

Anand draws level

by Ian Rogers

anand & topalov
After his unexpected loss to challenger Veselin Topalov in the first game of the World chess championship, defending champion Viswanathan Anand wasted no time in levelling the match at 1-1 through a powerful win in their second game on Sunday.
Anand, playing white, began the game with the Catalan Opening, a system which had been a favourite of Anand's great rival Vladimir Kramnik. Topalov responded by taking a pawn and hanging on to it.
Anand's 15th move, offering to exchange of queens and accept a wrecked pawn structure, provoked criticism from the prominent Grandmaster Nigel Short but many observers, as well as Topalov, quickly saw merit in Anand's idea.
Topalov, confident in front of his home crowd after his convincing victory on Saturday, responded with fast, solid moves but Anand's initiative persisted.
“Only after my 27th move was I confident that I was out of danger,” admitted Anand. “But in fact already White had a big advantage.”
By the 28th move Anand had regained his sacrificed pawn and he started piling on the pressure. A few moves later the Indian Grandmaster won a key pawn and was headed for victory.
Anand's only enemy was his clock, having spent a most of his allocated time plotting Topalov's downfall, but the champion began moving faster and forced Topalov's resignation after 43 moves and almost four hours play.
“It was a complicated game, but at some point I started to make mistakes,” admitted a despondent Topalov at the post-game press conference.”
The course of Sunday's game showed that Anand had recovered his composure after what he described as “the worst possible start” to the world title match; losing a game in two hours where your opponent did not need to find a single original move.
“The main thing after a game like that is to sleep — which was impossible,” said Anand, “and after that to play a good game, [which I managed to do].”
The psychological initiative has now shifted back to Anand, although Topalov now has a rest day to lick his wounds and bounce back in third game starting at 5.30 p.m. IST on Tuesday.

You can see the full game 2 analysis here & video report here.

Source : The Hindu

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