DORTMUND, JULY 8: Grandmaster Viswanathan Anand of India outclassed FIDE World champion Alexander Khalifman of Russia to start his campaign in style as the top seeds scored easy victories on their respective boards in the opening round of the Dortmund Sparkassen Chess Tournament here.
Anand, playing with white pieces, employed his pet Winawer Variation to the French Defence of Khalifman in a replay of their match at the Linares super tournament earlier this year.
Anand won the sacrificed pawn in the opening and gave the black pieces an opportunity to advance. The whites position, however, remained impregnable and Khalifman had to sacrifice an exchange to acquire crucial central squares.
The return of favour that was timed to perfection saw Anand emerging with a clear advantage thanks to his passed king knight pawn. Khalifman had to part with a knight to stop the march of the pawn and Anand finished the formalities after 47 moves.
Top seed Vladimir Kramnik of Russia had an easy time over Vladimir Akopian of Armenia.
Akopian found himself in a positional mess in the Botwinnik Variation of the Slav Defence with black pieces soon after the players entered middlegame. Kramnik who is an exponent of the system, took maximum advantage of his better placed pieces and capitalised on the space advantage to clinch the game after 41 moves.
Michael Adams of England also had no difficulty in prevailing over compatriot Jeroen Piket.
Up against a rarely played variation of Petroff Defence, Adams gained a slight advantage in the queenless middlegame. Piket took a lot of time in the ensuing position and fell prey to a positional trap to go down after 35 moves.
Evgeny Bareev of Russia survived a close call from the computer programme Junior 6 when the machine mishandled an advantageous position to settle for a draw.
Bareev was unable to gain any advantage from his opening in a Semi-Slav game but held on to his own in a marathon battle that lasted 73 moves to sign the peace treaty.
Peter Leko of Hungary outmanoeuvred Robert Hubener of Germany in another French Defence game of the day. Leko got a good grip in the endgame and won a pawn with enterprising play. Further attempts of Hubener to create counterplay were thwarted in copybook fashion and Leko romped home after 53 moves.
Results: Round 1: Anand bt Khalifman; Kramnik bt Akopian; Peter Leko bt Huebner; Bareev drew Deep Junior; Adams bt Piket.
Good day for Indians
BENASQUE (Spain): Indian players scored comfortable victories in the second round of the Benasque Open chess tournament on an otherwise a day of upsets for seeded players here.
International Master V Saravanan scored an emphatic win over Beltran Ortiz of Canaries with black pieces of Sicilian Qd4 Variation as he inspired his teammates to put up a good show.
IM RB Ramesh, looking for an elusive GM-norm also scored an effortless victory over Broned Bori of France. Using a flexible pawn structure arising out of Sicilian Classical Variation to his optimum advantage, Ramesh broke through in the center with typical `d5′ and won two minor pieces for his rook in the middlegame.
Then Ramesh launched a decisive attack on the opponent’s King with his Queen, Knight and Bishop, before checkmating bori on the 39th move.
Vedant Goswami won with the black pieces against Martinez Brea of Benoni Variation. Goswami got double bishop advantage early on and opened the position further with thematic `f5′ break for his bishops.
Results: RB Ramesh (1.5) bt Bruned Carrasco (Spain); V Saravanan (1.5) bt Beltran Ortiz (.5); Vedant Goswami (1.5) bt Mortinez Brea (.5; Spain) Lev Psakhis (1.5) drew Herraiz Hidalgo (1.5, Spain); Hlexi Kuzmin (2) bt David Bazart (1); G Hernandez (2) bt Garcia Romero (1) Spain; Cifuentes Parada (1.5) drew Serrano Salvador (1.5); Mihail Marin (2) bt Moreno Sanchez (1, Spain); Cicak Slavko (2) bt Luiz Martin (1, Spain).