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Adams holds Anand

CHENNAI: Michael Adams of England drew with world's highest rated player Viswanathan Anand in the fifth round game of the MTel Masters chess tournament at Grand Hotel Sofia in Bulgaria on Monday.

Michael Adams keeps his lead with three points from five games. Anand and Ponomariov are on 2.5 points. Kramnik can join Adams in the lead if he wins his ongoing game against Judit Polgar.

From Wednesday, the players will face each other a second time with the reversed colours.

Anand went for the English opening with the white pieces and produced a spectacular knight sacrifice on the 26th move. Adams defended well and entered a pawn down ending. In order to extricate his knight, Anand sacrificed his extra pawn and thereafter could not win the ending. Typical of drawn games in this event, both players fought until they were left with their lone king when the game was declared drawn on the 54th move.

Topalov played a poor opening with the black pieces and was made to pay for it by Ponomariov after 40 moves.

Topalov sacrificed a rook for bishop and pawn. Ponomariov returned the compliment and walked his king up in the endgame to cash his first full point.

The results (round five): Viswanathan Anand (Ind) 2.5 drew with Michael Adams (Eng) 3, Ruslan Ponomariov (Ukr) 2.5 bt Veselin Topalov (Bul) 2; Vladimir Kramnik (Rus) 3 bt Judit Polgar (Hun) 2.

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