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.

News
More than 90 years of car history are coming to an end with the abolition of the paper car-tax disc
newsThis and other facts you never knew about the paper circle - completely obsolete tomorrow
Arts and Entertainment
Gay and OK: a scene from 'Pride'
filmsUS film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
News
people'I’d rather have Fred and Rose West quote my characters on childcare'
Arts and Entertainment
Hilary North's 'How My Life Has Changed', 2001
booksWell it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Life and Style
Magic roundabouts: the gyratory system that has excited enthusiasts in Swindon
motoringJust who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Sport
footballManchester City 1 Roma 1: Result leaves Premier League champions in danger of not progressing
Life and Style
The new Windows 10 Start Menu
tech
Travel
Bruce Chatwin's novel 'On the Black Hill' was set at The Vision Farm
travelOne of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
News
Kim Jong Un gives field guidance during his inspection of the Korean People's Army (KPA) Naval Unit 167
newsSouth Korean reports suggest rumours of a coup were unfounded
News
i100
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

    Commercial Litigation NQ+

    Very Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: NORTH HAMPSHIRE NQ to MID LEVEL - An e...

    MANCHESTER - SENIOR COMMERCIAL LITIGATION -

    Highly Attractive Pakage: Austen Lloyd: MANCHESTER - A highly attractive oppor...

    Senior Marketing Manager - Central London - £50,000

    £40000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (Campaigns, Offlin...

    Head of Marketing - Acquisition & Direct Reponse Marketing

    £90000 - £135000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Marketing (B2C, Acquisition...

    Day In a Page

    Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

    Are censors pandering to homophobia?

    US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
    The magic of roundabouts

    Lords of the rings

    Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
    Why do we like making lists?

    Notes to self: Why do we like making lists?

    Well it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
    Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

    A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

    As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
    10 best children's nightwear

    10 best children's nightwear

    Make sure the kids stay cosy on cooler autumn nights in this selection of pjs, onesies and nighties
    Manchester City vs Roma: Five things we learnt from City’s draw at the Etihad

    Manchester City vs Roma

    Five things we learnt from City’s Champions League draw at the Etihad
    Martin Hardy: Mike Ashley must act now and end the Alan Pardew reign

    Trouble on the Tyne

    Ashley must act now and end Pardew's reign at Newcastle, says Martin Hardy
    Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

    Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

    and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
    Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

    Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

    The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
    Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

    Last chance to see...

    The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
    So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

    Truth behind teens' grumpiness

    Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
    Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

    Hacked photos: the third wave

    Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?
    Royal Ballet star dubbed 'Charlize Theron in pointe shoes' takes on Manon

    Homegrown ballerina is on the rise

    Royal Ballet star Melissa Hamilton is about to tackle the role of Manon
    Education, eduction, education? Our growing fascination with what really goes on in school

    Education, education, education

    TV documentaries filmed in classrooms are now a genre in their own right
    It’s reasonable to negotiate with the likes of Isis, so why don’t we do it and save lives?

    It’s perfectly reasonable to negotiate with villains like Isis

    So why don’t we do it and save some lives?