Thursday, February 22, 2007

Anand Leading Linares

The traditional Linares tournament, which since 2006 has been split in two halves, started 17th February at the state theatre in Morelia, Mexico. Eight participants are Topalov (2783), Ivanchuk (2750), Leko (2749), Morozevich (2741), Svidler (2728), Carlsen (2690), Anand (2779) and Aronian (2744). The official web site is so slow that I opted out for ICC live broadcast and analysis as well follow-ups on Chessbase, Chess Ninja, Susan's blog, Chessvibes and blog on Carlsen.

I am particularly happy to see Anand coming back with great spirit showing his class after last 2 consecutive wins against Morozevich and Carlsen. I wish Radjabov would play the tournament although Ivanchuk is no less attractive replacement to him. As of my writing now, round 5 is going in full swing where Topalov seems to have tied down Carlsen strongly.

Standings After Round 4:

Update: After 7 rounds that conclude the first half in Moreila, Anand and Carlsen are leading with 4.5 points each.
Update: Until 9th round Anand was leading with Carlsen and then today at 10th round Anand again defeated Carlsen with a brilliant knight sacrifice, which folks there were not sure whether really winning. However Carlsen understood better and refused to take the knight and played a series of good defensive but couldn't avoid defeat.

Update After Round 12: Anand drew with Aronian to lead the table with 7.5 points. Carlsen is closely following him (7.0) after today's draw with Topalov. Svidler defeated Leko to trail Carlsen with 6.5 points putting Leko in the bottom of the table alone. Morozevich defeated Invanchuk to make the playing ground even for both of them coupled with Topalov at 5.5 points. Chessbase got a new look today.

Final Update: Anand won Linares/Moreila 2007 with 8.5 points, a full point ahead of Carlsen and Morozevich. One good thing is that Anand is going to be the highest rated chess player in April's FIDE rating list. He has been consistently the #2 or #3 player in the world last 10 years following mainly Kasparov and sometimes Kramnik and Topalov. I wish Anand becomes the world champion this year in Mexico. Here is the final standings.

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