Anand holds Carlsen, regains number one ranking

Bilbao (Spain) : 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 here 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 here.

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.

Results final round: Alexei Shirov (Esp, 4) drew Vladimir Kramnik (Rus, 10); V Anand (Ind, 8) drew Magnus Carlsen (Nor, 6).

Final Standings: 1. Kramnik; 2. Anand; 3. Carlsen; 4. Shirov

The moves: V Anand vs Magnus Carlsen

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 d6 8. c3 O-O 9. h3 Nb8 10. d4 Nbd7 11. Nbd2 Bb7 12. Bc2 Re8 13. a4 Bf8 14. Bd3 c6 15. b4 Nb6 16. axb5 cxb5 17. d5 Rc8 18. Ra3 Nh5 19. Nf1 g6 20. N1h2 Bg7 21. Bg5 Qd7 22. Be3 Nc4
23. Bxc4 Rxc4 24. Nd2 Rc7 25. Nhf1 Nf4 26. Bb6 Rcc8 27. Ne3 f5 28. f3 Rf8 29. Kh2 Rf7 30. c4 bxc4 31. Nexc4 fxe4 32. fxe4 Rcf8 33. Be3 Bh6 34. Rf1 Bg7 35. Qa4 Qe7 36. b5 axb5 37. Qxb5 Bc8 38. Qb6 Qg5 39. Rf2 Qh4 40. Bxf4 Rxf4 41. Rxf4 Qxf4+ 42.
Kg1 Bh6 43. Rf3 Qg5 44. Qc6 Rxf3 45. Nxf3 Qc1+ 46. Kf2 Bd7 47. Qxd7 Qxc4 48. Qe6+ Kg7 49. Qe7+ Kg8 50. Qe6+ Kg7 game drawn.