Saturday, March 14, 2009

Anand finishes fourth as Grischuk wins Linares tourney
LINARES (Spain): World champion Viswanathan Anand had to content with a fourth place finish following his final round draw against Magnus Carlsen of Norway in the Magistral Ciudad De Linares chess tournament on Sunday.
Grandmaster Alexander Grischuk of Russia won the tournament after settling for a draw with Levon Aronian of Armenia. Gr
ischuk finished with eight points in all and tied for the top spot along with Vassily Ivanchuk of Ukraine.
The tiebreak favoured Grischuk as he had won three games in the event compared to two victories by Ivanchuk who drew with Lenier Dominguez of Cuba in his final round game. The tiebreak favoured player with more decisive games and despite remaining unbeaten, Ivanchuk finished second.
Carlsen finished third on 7.5 points, a half point ahead of Anand who in turn had half a point more than Aronian, Wang Yue Of China and Teimour Radjabov of Azerbaijan. Dominiguez finished last on 6 points.
The final day did not have even a single decisive game and the standings remained same as they were after the penultimate round.
Grischuk gained a great deal from his performance here as apart from the trophy and winner's cheque, the Russian also earned right to take part in the Grand Slam final scheduled to be held in Bilbao, Spain later this year.
This was by far the best performance ever by Grischuk who was the semifinalist in the world championship of 2000 when it was held at New Delhi.
For Anand the final day did not have much excitement as Carlsen played solid and safe with his black pieces. Anand came back to the queen pawn and faced the Grunfeld defense, got just an optical advanatage out of the opening and when Carlsen regrouped his forces well, the draw was agreed after 29 moves.
Grischuk had to defend well with black against Aronian and he did precisely that. It was a King's Indian defense where the Armenian got a whiff of an advantage but Grischuk neutralised in quick time. A series of exchanges led to a balanced position with queens, rook and a minor piece onboard but it was quite difficult for Aronian to make progress. The game lasted 41 moves.
Ivanchuk did not get any chance either against Dominguez who played the white side of a closed Ruy Lopez. Equalising early, Ivanchuk was never in any troubles and exchanged pieces at will to get a level rook and minor piece end game where the draw was a just result.
The other match of the final round saw Wang Yue settling for a draw with Radjabov.

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