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Anand in last 16
November 02, 2003 19:43 IST
Vishwanathan Anand cruised into the last 16 stage of the seventh Corsica Masters chess tournament in Bastia, France.
The World Cup and World Rapid champion took a step towards adding one more title to his cupboard when he outplayed Croatian Grandmaster Miso Cebalo 1.5-0.5 in the last 32 match.
Anand, who has won this title for past three years, is seeking to make it four in a row.
The NIIT Brand Ambassador will play Joel Lautier with the black pieces in the first game of the next round. Lautier beat Vladimir Epishim 2-0.
Anand last week won the World Rapid chess title at Cape D'Adge and is bidding to add this title to his kitty. He is also due to play another Rapid tournament in Benidorm, Spain.
Another Indian, Krishnan Sasikiran, lost in the round of 32 to Mikhail Gurevich 1.5-0.5. Sasikiran lost in a rook and minor piece ending in 47 moves with the black pieces. With white Sasikiran tried to fight back but ultimately had to agree for a draw in 70 moves.
In the first of his two-game match with Cebalo, Anand won two pawns after the opening with the black pieces. Cebalo then blundered a rook on the 23rd move and it cost him a rook for bishop. Anand made no mistake and won easily. In the next game, he was satisfied with a draw even though he could have won. With one win and one draw he moved into the next round.
Earlier in the long drawn out qualifier, Anand beat Leonid Milov of Ukraine, drew with Russian Pavel Tregubov, beat Israel's Michael Oratovsky, drew with Dutchman Sergei Tiviakov, beat Romanian George Grigore, beat Latvian Daniel Fridman, drew with Belgian Mikhail Gurevich, drew with Armenian Levon Aronian and Loek Van Wely of Netherlands. Anand totaled 6.5 out of nine.
In the other matches of the same round, Alexander Grischuk beat Teimiur Radjabov 4-2 after two sets of game were tied. Anatoly Karpov beat Loek Van Wely 1.5-0.5 and Veselin Topalov outplayed Alexander Motylev 2-0 and Borsi Gelfand was taken extra distance by Lev Aronian 2.5-1.5. Vladislav Tkachiev lost to Alexei Shirov after unwittingly playing an illegal move in the sixth game and lost 2-4.