Home > Sports > News > PTI > Report
Topalov maintains clean slate
June 24, 2004 18:59 IST
Top seed Grandmaster Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria recorded his fifth straight victory to gain the lead against Grandmaster Sergei Movsesian of Slovakia in the first game of the third round at the World Chess championship in Tripoli, Libya.
There were no major surprises and normal results ensured that the favourites will have a slightly better ride in the second game of this round scheduled later on Thursday.
Seeded second after the withdrawal of Grandmaster Alexander Morozevich of Russia, GM Michael Adams of England displayed lot of fire to get the better of Hichem Hamdouchi of Morocco who played black.
Also gaining in confidence with first round victories were GMs LenierDominiguez of Cuba and Zoltan Almasi of Hungary, who grounded GMs Vladislav Tkachieve of France and Ye Ziangchuan of China respectively.
The day proved extremely good for those playing white and as many as eight victories were scored by the favourable colour.
Only seven games were drawn and the lone victory with black pieces was scored by Zdenko Kozul of Croatia, who put it across 2004 Aeroflot Open champion Sergei Rublevski of Russia.
The youngest participant in the fray, GM Hikaru Nakamura of the United States had Grandmaster Alexander Lastin of Russia on the ropes for the major part of the game and won in an emphatic manner.
Nakamura, 16, now looks an excellent bet to make it to the next round.
Topalov crushed Movsesian in all departments of the game from the white side of a Sicilian Taimanov.
Employing a set up akin to the English attack, the Bulgarian showed tremendous understanding and had Movsesian in trouble right from the word go in the complicated opening.
The Slovak found himself struggling once Topalov had his guns ready on the king side and ended up losing his exchange for no compensation at all. The game lasted 36 moves.
Former World junior champion Levon Aronian of Armenia drew with Pavel Smirnov of Russia in a keenly contested game where the former played white.
The English opening gave almost nothing to Aronian who had won the World Juniors in Goa in 2002 and he had to struggle once Smirnov sacrificed his exchange.
Even as the peace was signed in the 47th move, Aronian was not a contended man. "I tried too hard and was certainly better but then he turned the tables with this spectacular sacrifice," Aronian said after the game.
An interesting duel was fought between Andrei Kharlov of Russia and Rafal Leitao of Brazil in which the former came out trumps with energetic manoeuvres. Up against the Slav, Kharov utilised his better-placed heavy pieces in the endgame to force a checkmating web.
The championship is being played on a knock-out format with two games in each round except the semis that is a four-games match.
The total prize pool for the championship exceeds US$ 1.5 million with the winner taking home US$ 100,000.
Complete results round 3, game 1: Veselin Topalov (Bul) beat Sergei Movsesian (Svk); Levon Aronian (Arm) drew with Smirnov Pavel (Rus); Michael Adams (Eng) beat Hichem Hamdouchi (Mar); Valerij Phillipov (Rus) drew with Alexander Grishchuk (Rus); Vassil Ivanchuk (Ukr) drew with Rustam Kasimdzhanov (Rus); Vadim Zvjaginsev (Rus) drew with Michal Krasenkow (Pol); Lenier Dominiguez (Cub) beat Vladislav Tkachiev (Fra); Shakhriyaz Mamedyarov (Aze) drew with Liviu-Dieter Nisipianu (Rom); Andrei Kharlov (Rus) beat Rafael Leitao (Bra); Konstantin Sakaev (Rus) drew with Alexei Dreev (Rus); Vladimir Akopian (Arm) beat Alexander Moiseenko (Ukr); Zoltan Almasi (Hun) beat ye Ziangchuan (Chn); Ashot Anastesian (Arm) drew with Alexander Beliavsky (Slo); Hikaru Nakamuka (Usa) beat Alexander Lastin (Rus); Etienned Bacrot (Fra) drew with Teimour Radjabov (Aze); Sergei Rublevsky (Rus) lost to Zdenko Kozul (Cro).