London: World Champion Viswanathan Anand fell prey to an inexplicable blunder in a perfectly balanced position and went down to Michael Adams of England in the sixth round of London Chess Classic at the Olympia here.
After a fine victory in the previous round against Gawain Jones of England, the Indian ace survived some anxious moments in the middle game before equalising completely and just when the experts had given up declaring the game a `sure-draw`, Anand lost track, and lost in no time.
Magnus Carlsen of Norway stretched his lead to three points by defeating highest ranked woman Judit Polgar of Hungary. Under the soccer-like scoring system, Carlsen took his tally to a whopping 16 points out of a possible eighteen, and the world number one is sitting pretty with just two games to come for him.
The victory over Polgar also took Carlsen to another peak in live ratings where the chart now reads him at 2864 points.
Russian Vladimir Kramnik remained on the second spot following a draw with Levon Aronian of Armenia. Kramnik inched himself up to 12 points and the gap is only growing between him and Carlsen.
Michael Adams jumped to third spot again following his lucky victory and Hikaru Nakamura dropped to fourth spot with eight points in all. Anand, on six points, is now fifth, a point ahead of Luke McShane, who scored his first win in the tournament by defeating compatriot Gawain Jones. Just three rounds remain in UK`s highest category event.
Adams neutralized Anand`s opening preparation without much ado and got the pair of bishops to start pressing for more. Anand was precise in defense once under pressure and posting a Knight in the middle of the board, the world champion got counter play.
However, disaster struck soon after the first time control. Anand blundered big time to find his king caught in a check-mate web in merely a couple of moves. Adams thought for quite some time but eventually played the killer sequence.
Judit Polgar`s hedgehog setup allowed him to get decent chances as black against Carlsen but the Norwegian is not the one to give up and kept looking for complexities. After Carlsen struck in the center, Polgar`s pieces gasped for breath and the liquidation that followed favoured only Carlsen who made it all look pretty effortless in the end.
Vladimir Kramnik used his trusted Berlin Defense against Aronian, who is yet to show his best chess here. Kramnik pushed throughout the entire game with his pair of bishops and it took a real effort from the Armenian to restore parity.
Jones sacrificed an exchange shortly after the end of an English Opening for a pawn and good compensation. However McShane posed enough problems for the lowest ranked player in the Classic to reach a difficult yet winning endgame.
Results round 6: V Anand (Ind, 6) lost to Michael Adams (Eng, 10); Magnus Carlsen (Nor, 16) beat Judit Polgar (Hun, 1); Luke McShane (Eng, 4) beat Gawain Jones (Eng, 2); Levon Aronian (Arm, 45) drew with Vladimir Kramnik (Rus, 12); Hikaru Nakamura (Usa, 8) had a bye.
The moves: V Anand ? M Adams
1. C4 e5 2. Nc3 Nf6 3. Nf3 Nc6 4. G3 g6 5. D4 exd4 6. Nxd4 Bg7 7. Bg2 O-O 8.
O-O Re8 9. Nc2 d6 10. Bd2 a6 11. Rc1 Ne5 12. B3 c6 13. Be3 Nfg4 14. Bd4 c5 15. Bxe5 Bxe5 16. Nd5 Rb8 17. H3 Nf6 18. Nce3 Nxd5 19. Nxd5 Qa5 20. Rc2 Bf5 21. Qd2 Qd8 22. Rcc1 b5 23. Cxb5 axb5 24. Rfd1 h5 25. H4 Bg4 26. Ne3 Bd7 27. Bf3 Bd4 8. Nd5 b4 29. Rc4 Be5 30. Kg2 Ra8 31. Ne3 Ra7 32. Rcc1 Qe7 33. Nc4 Be6 34. Rc2f5 35. E4 Be6 36. Nxe5 dxe5 37. Qe3 Ra5 38. Be2 Rd8 39. Rxd8+ Qxd8 40. Rxc5 Rxa2 41. Bc4 Qd1 42. Qh6 Bh3+ White resigned.
I would like to wish Eoin Morgan and his squad all the very best against a strong Indian side.
James Whittaker, England national selector