Anand loses to Aronian

Last Updated: Mar 21, 2011, 20:59 PM IST

Monaco: World Champion Viswanathan Anand
suffered another setback, losing to Levon Aronian of Armenia
0.5-1.5 in the eighth round of 20th Amber blindfold and rapid
chess tournament here on Monday.

For, Anand the loss against one of the direct rivals
proved very expensive as the World Champion fell way behind
the tournament leader.

The loss came in the rapid game after Anand had drawn the
blindfold.

Magnus Carlsen of Norway continued with his winning ways
and toppled former World Champion Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria
to keep himself in contention for top honours in this last
edition of Amber tournament.

While Aronian has an enviable 11.5 points, the Norwegian
is within striking distance just a half point behind in the
combined standings.

Anand continued to shares the third spot along with
Vassily Ivanchuk of Ukraine. Although joint third, the
practical chances of being in with a chance of catching up are
very difficult for Anand as he is a huge three points behind
Aronian with just three rounds or six games to go in this
227000 Euros prize money event.

Aronian also leads the blindfold section on 6 points, one
and half point ahead of Anand, Carlsen and Russian Alexander
Grischuk while in the rapid Carlsen is at the helm on 6.5
points.

Anand shares the fourth spot in rapid on 4 points.

It was another dull day in the blindfold and a `white
day` in the rapids. All the blindfold games ended in draws and
all playing white in the rapid games won giving six decisive
results in the end.

The blindfold had the best hopes for Anand as he played
white.

However, in a closed Ruy Lopez, the Indian ace faced a
new maneouvre and called his 13th move a bad one. As it
happened Aronian had a draw in just 17 moves.

In the rapid, Aronian won in impressive fashion. It was a
Queen pawn opening in which Aronian used an idea he had
employed ten years ago.

Getting a slightly better position, Aronian did well to
nurture it for some time and after his 28th turn there was no
looking back. The result was never in doubt in the minds of
kibitzing pundits and Aronian wrapped the issue showing his
technical acumen.

PTI