Viswanathan Anand has opened up a big lead in the Melody Amber tournament in Monte Carlo - that strange event in which the players meet each other in two-game matches, one quickplay, the other both quickplay and blindfold.

After eight rounds, Anand has scored 111/2 points from his 16 games and holds a two-point lead over Topalov, Kramnik and Karpov, who share second place.

Here is an impressive win from the blindfold section. Anand's pawn sacrifice beginning with 22.Qd2 looked highly speculative, but he manoeuvred his major pieces beautifully until the defence cracked. At the end, Black must lose his queen to a combination of Rh8+, R3h7+ and Rh6+. Anand plays White against Joel Lautier:

1 e4 c5 23 Qxh6 Qxc2

2 Nf3 d6 24 Qe3 Qc6

3 d4 cxd4 25 Rac1 Qb7

4 Nxd4 Nf6 26 h4 Re6

5 Nc3 a6 27 Ng5 Nxg5

6 Be3 e5 28 hxg5 d5

7 Nf3 Be7 29 Rd3 d4

8 Bc4 0-0 30 Qh3 Rc8

9 0-0 Be6 31 Re1 Qe7

10 Bb3 Re8 32 Qh4 Qf8

11 Nh4 g6 33 Rh3 Qg7

12 Nf3 Nbd7 34 Qe4 Rd6

13 Qe2 b5 35 Qd3 Rdc6

14 Rfd1 Qc7 36 Re4 f6

15 Bg5 b4 37 Qb3+ Rc4

16 Nd5 Nxd5 38 gxf6 Qxf6

17 Bxd5 Bxd5 39 Reh4 a5

18 Rxd5 Bxg5 40 Kh2 R8c7

19 Nxg5 Nf6 41 Qa4 R4c6

20 Rdd1 h6 42 Qxa5 g5

21 Nf3 Qc6 43 Qd5+ resigns

22 Qd2 Nxe4