The FIDE World Chess Championship match between Viswanathan Anand of India and Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria continued today with the second game which started at the "usual" hour - 15:00 local time. Following Anand's defeat in the first game, most of the chess fans were wondering whether he will try to equalise the score with White pieces, or adopt a more cautious strategy and wait for the rest day on Monday to recollect his confidence.
The answer was provided soon - Anand opened with a very popular Catalan opening, in which White aims for the initiative and long-term pressure. Topalov responded with an early 4...dxc4 which creates imbalances in the position.
The moving pace was considerably slower compared to the first game. Both players, although probably still within the home preparation, carefully considered their steps.
Anand sacrificed a pawn in the opening in exchange for the quick development and positional pressure. His first longer thought was before move 15, on which he offered Queens' trade. White was not bothered much with the doubled a-pawns, as his Rooks obtained excellent activity on the open files. Both pairs of Knights were firmly entrenched in the central positions and the play revolved around the c-file and queenside.
But then the hasty 25...Ne3 by Topalov, which the official match commentator GM Zurab Azmaiparashvili marked as "unnecessary", allowed Anand to seize a nice positional advantage and collect Black queenside pawns.
Topalov tried to reduce the pressure by offering trade of one pair of Rooks, but his opponent wisely declined.
After establishing a pair of passed pawns on 'a' and 'b' files, Anand obtained decisive advantage and it was just a matter of time before Topalov resigns. Black gave up on move 43, in the lost Rook endgame.
With this victory, Anand equalises the score in the match to 1-1. Monday is rest day, the third game will be played on Tuesday, 15:00 local time.
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