Amber X

Gelfand Stops Leko, Three Share Lead

By Arvind Aaron

It was one of the days in Monte Carlo where the wind carried everything. It included three of the leaders. The odd one was Peter Leko who was unlucky. He came near, had a mating attack but missed and also lost to Gelfand in the rapid session. Similarly, Kramnik needed all the luck to prevail over Almasi in the blindfold after looking like being mated at one stage. Viswanathan Anand marched ahead on merit inflicting a blow on Vassily Ivanchuk with a mine blowing pawn break on turn 34. Defending champion Alexei Shirov is out of the title race and suffered his fourth successive defeat. But he avoided his fifth and bounced back to defeat Piket and make a 1-1 score from the day. Veteran players, Karpov and Ljubojevic split points in both encounters. Anand leads rapid, Topalov tops blindfold. The four leaders got trimmed to three after round five and they include Anand, Kramnik and Topalov with 7/10. Six rounds remain to be played in this $193,250 event which is being organised by Association Max Euwe.

The results
Rapid                                   Blindfold
Anand-Ivanchuk       1-0                Ivanchuk-Anand       Draw
Karpov-Ljubojevic    Draw               Ljubojevic-Karpov    Draw
Leko-Gelfand         0-1                Gelfand-Leko         Draw
Kramnik-Almasi       Draw               Almasi-Kramnik       0-1
Piket-Shirov         1-0                Shirov-Piket         1-0
Van Wely-Topalov     Draw               Topalov-Van Wely     1-0

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