AMBER X

Topalov, Kramnik Tie For Title

Anand Finishes Third

By Arvind Aaron
 


Brain Games world champion Vladimir Kramnik makes a move against Peter Leko in their rapid game.

The title race was keen in the eleventh and final round. Kramnik obtained a good position with black against Leko but could not win the game. The draw meant that he and Topalov went into the last blindfold game on the same 14.5 points. Topalov played it safe against Ljubojevic who is known for last round upsets.

Finally, after a day's drama, draws decided and a tie left two players for a shared title like it happened two years back when Kramnik and Shirov figured in a tie. Topalov deserved first place and Kramnik played powerful chess all through.

In the blindfold games, Topalov blundered an exchange but managed a draw against Ljubojevic while Kramnik fought till the last possible chance and agreed to a draw after exhausting all chances against Leko.


Veselin Topalov makes a move against Ljubomir Ljubojevic in the final round.

Coming into the last round only with theoretical chances of the title, Anand made a draw with white against Shirov to make sure of the third place after he got nothing with the white pieces against the French defence. Ivanchuk was brilliant in the rapid and was beaten in the blindfold by Almasi for a 1-1 result.
 

The results (11th round)
Rapid                               Blindfold

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

Final Standings: 1-2 Kramnik, Topalov 15/22, 3 Anand 13.5, 4 Shirov 11.5, 5-6 Gelfand, Leko 11, 7 Piket 10.5, 8-9 Almasi, Ljubojevic 9.5 each, 10-11 Ivanchuk, Karpov 9 each, 12 Van Wely 7.5.

Rapid: 1-2 Gelfand, Kramnik 7.5, 3 Topalov 7, 4 Anand 6.5, 5-6 Karpov, Leko 5.5, 7-8 Ivanchuk, Piket 5, 9-10 Van Wely, Shirov 4.5, 11 Almasi 4, 12 Ljubojevic 3.5.

Blindfold: 1 Topalov 8/11, 2 Kramnik 7.5, 3-4 Anand, Shirov 7, 5 Ljubojevic 6, 6-8 Almasi, Leko, Piket, 5.5, 9 Ivanchuk 4, 10-11 Gelfand, Karpov 3.5, 12 Van Wely 3.

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