Viswanathan Anand settled for a quick draw against Boris Gelfand in the final round of the Alekhine Memorial,finishing third with five points.
Levon Aronian’s (5.5 pts) win over Maxim Vachier-Lagrave helped him land the title. The Armenian ended tied on points with Gelfand,but was declared the winner of the tournament on account of his better tie-break score (more wins). Aronian had three wins over nine rounds of the tournament,compared to Gelfand’s two.
Anand needed a win in the final game against Gelfand to have a shot at the title,but began at a slight disadvantage,starting with black. The queen’s pawn opening,much like Anand’s game against Peter Svidler in the previous round,did not throw up too many surprises. Once the queens went off the board,the game came down to a rook and same-coloured bishop ending with a symmetrical pawn structure. As with most of their recent games,the contest ended in a draw.
It was the first game of the day to get over,and the scenario was clear for Aronian,who was among a group of three in second place before the final round of games. Vachier-Lagrave went for the Grunfeld defense,but was over-powered in the middle game. Down a pawn,the Frenchman compounded his worries by blundering under time pressure to succumb in 42 moves.
Anand had a poor start to the tournament,losing his first round game against Michael Adams,but made up ground with two wins in three games in the middle. He will next participate in the Norway Open from May 7,where he would be competing with the likes of Carlsen,Aronian,Vesselin Topalov,among others.
Carlsen: want bidding
Espen Agdestein,agent of challenger Magnus Carlsen,has meanwhile said that the Norwegian’s camp expects FIDE to open the bidding process to decide the venue for the World Championship match against Anand. The FIDE had signed an agreement with the All India Chess Federation last month,announcing Chennai as the venue for the final,pending the approval of Anand and Carlsen. The FIDE had suggested that there was no bidding this time,after they had decided to give India the first refusal after the AICFs failed bid to host the championship match last year.
“We are against this procedure. We know that other cities are also interested. To have an open bidding process is better for the players,for FIDE and for chess in general. If Chennai would win such a bidding procedure,it would be much easier for us to accept it,” said Agdenstein,speaking to Chess Vibes. He told the website that they expect to convince FIDE to go for another round of bidding. “We hope so. In fact we expect that,” Agdenstein told the website.
Results,round ten: Levon Aronian bt Maxime Vachier-Lagrave; Boris Gelfand drew with Viswanathan Anand; Michael Adams lost to Vladimir Kramnik; Peter Svidler drew with Laurent Fressinet; Nikita Vitiugov drew with Liren Ding. Final standings: 1-2. Levon Aronian,Boris Gelfand (5.5 pts); 3. Viswanathan Anand (5); 4-8. Nikita Vitiugov,Vladimir Kramnik,Michael Adams,Laurent Fressinet,Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (4.5); 9. Liren Ding (3.5); 10. Peter Svidler (3).