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There were still 20 – 30 moves to make to achieve a draw. Alas, the game was a far cry from exemplary. The only reasonable excuse for the Russian chess player’s peace-loving behavior (besides the traditional fatigue towards the end of the tournament) is the fact that Veselin Topalov, Kramnik’s main rival, was balancing between defeat and draw by the time of Vladimir’s peace-deal signing. Veselin played Black against Anand today. He was, as usual, competitively tuned, and this might have been his undoing.

A5, and Black cannot avoid the rook exchange. Bh1! Kg2 g4 It seems that there is a safe square for the white king, but this is no more than an illusion. Kf1! Ke2, the torture continues. Kc4!? Re2 Trouble is brewing, but there is no decisive breakthrough to be seen so far. Topalov redeploys his forces. Rc2 Rb7! Kc2 Rg1 Black is about to triumph, but at this point Anand seems to have a temporary stroke of luck. Kd3! Rxg2!? e5, and White promotes the pawn in time! But Topalov is in no hurry to sign a peace deal.

Kramnik dominated, but Anand was just not there, only the shell of the Indian GM. This shell knows the openings, plays fast, and wields good technique, and so demonstrates a 2600-2650 level. However, there was not the ability to fight to the last or search for tactical chances when defending tough positions, nor the legendary resourcefulness so characteristic of Vishy. It looks like Anand has just one desire left – to finish the tournament as soon as possible. He did succeed – it was all over by move 39.

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2001 Dortmund Tournament Book

by William

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