Games : Chess

The Investbanka tournament in Belgrade is set for an exciting final round, as all three leaders drew their eighth-round games. Vassily Ivanchuk, Viswanathan Anand and Alexei Shirov now enter the last round neck and neck on 51/2 points.

The penultimate round was a nervous affair as the trio, all playing White, tried and failed to overcome opponents below them in the tournament table. The first to concede a draw was Ivanchuk, for whom the opening went curiously wrong against Joel Lautier. Ivanchuk's attempt to avoid a mainline Sicilian Defence with 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.c4!? Nc6 4.Nc3 was answered by the apparently time-losing 4...e5(!) In the position reached, however, White's knight on f3 makes it difficult for him to advance his pawn to f4. After 5.a3 d6 6.Rb1 a5 7.d3 f5, Black had a perfectly easy game and a draw was agreed on move 18.

Anand had much more fun in his game, but may at the end have been relieved to have escaped with a draw. Belyavsky's opening play led him into a rather dubious line of Philidor's Defence and Anand played as though determined to punish him for it. With 9.Bh6 followed by g4 and h4, he launched a direct attack on the black king, but he may have missed the clever idea of 16...Nfxg4! and 17...g5.

As a result of Black's piece sacrifice, the white queen was incarcerated on h6, and for the rest of the game White had a desperate struggle to save her from attack by the black knight.

19.Rdf1 was an essential preparation to meet ...Nf7 with Rxf7, but after 20...Rf7 Black threatened to double rooks on the f-file and force a series of exchange that would end in Nf7 trapping the queen. Anand's 21.Bc4! was a clever way out. The immediate threat was 22.Bxe6 Qxe6 23.Qxg5+, and 21...Nxc4 would have been met by 22.Rxf7 when Qxf7 allows Qxg5+ again, while Kxf7 would be met by Qxh7+.

Black therefore exchanged a pair of rooks before accepting the gift of the bishop on c4, but White's 23.Rf6! renewed the threat of Qxg5+ and re-established material equality to leave the position in a level endgame. Having had enough excitement for the day, the players shook hands on a draw.

White: Viswanathan Anand

Black: Alexander Belyavsky

1 e4 d6 14 Nh3 Rad8

2 d4 Nf6 15 h5 Rfe8

3 Nc3 g6 16 Nf4 Nfxg4

4 Be3 e5 17 fxg4 g5

5 f3 exd4 18 Nxe6 fxe6

6 Qxd4 Bg7 19 Rdf1 Rf8

7 0-0-0 0-0 20 Nd1 Rf7

8 Qd2 Be6 21 Bc4 Rxf1

9 Bh6 Bxh6 22 Rxf1 Nxc4

10 Qxh6 Nbd7 23 Rf6 Qg7

11 g4 Qe7 24 Qxg7+ Kxg7

12 h4 Ne5 25 Rxe6

13 Be2 c6 Draw agreed

While all this was going on, Shirov had been trying to overcome the resistance of Ljubomir Ljubojevic. he seemed to obtain a slight initiative from the opening, but the Yugoslav grandmaster played calmly first to beat off the threats, and then to force Shirov on to the defensive. When a draw was agreed after 34 moves, Ljubojevic seemed to have some advantage, but his poor placing in the tournament table gave him little reason to work hard to extract more than half a point from the game.

In the final round, Ivanchuk plays Kramnik, Anand plays Gelfand and Shirov faces Belyavsky.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Home Care / Support Workers

    £7 - £10 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This care provider is looking for Home ...

    Recruitment Genius: Web Team Leader

    £30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's leading web des...

    Recruitment Genius: Client Manager

    £27000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A growing, successful, friendly...

    Recruitment Genius: Property Negotiator - OTE £20,000+

    £16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This family owned, independent ...

    Day In a Page

    Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

    Greece referendum

    Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
    Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

    7/7 bombings anniversary

    Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
    Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

    Versace haute couture review

    Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
    No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

    No hope and no jobs in Gaza

    So the young risk their lives and run for it
    Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

    Fashion apps

    Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
    The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

    Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

    Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
    Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

    'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

    Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
    Compton Cricket Club

    Compton Cricket Club

    Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
    London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

    Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

    'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
    The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

    The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

    It helps a winner keep on winning
    Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

    Is this the future of flying?

    Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
    Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

    Isis are barbarians

    but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
    The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

    Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

    Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
    Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

    'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

    Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
    Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

    Call of the wild

    How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate