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FIDE World Chess Championship: Topalov forces Anand to a draw in Game 6

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The FIDE World Chess Championship progressed to the half way stage, with Champion Viswanathan Anand firmly in control of the match, with a one point lead - 3.5 to 2.5. In Game 6 Anand had the advantage of the first move, but Topalov finally seemed up to the task as he managed to respond to the champion and stay safe. The players had to settle for a draw after 58 moves, the longest game in this match.

Anand chose to open with the Catalan for a third straight time, not surprising, since his opponent had lost both the games when the opening was used. Topalov started in typically aggressive fashion, picking off a white pawn on move four followed by another on the seventh. Anand retaliated by taking a pawn straight back with his queen side knight.

The players castled on move 9 and Anand traded a bishop for a knight a couple of moves later as he tried to find an edge through some tactical piece play. Anand took the queen forward in a move that was constructed to eliminate Topalov 's second knight. The challenger then forced the white queen to retreat before taking the bishop in compensation on the 16th move.

The players exchanged queens on the 19th move, play beginning to remind the commentators of the second game where Topalov made a fatal mistake on the 25th move. It was now a battle between Anand's knights versus Topalov's bishops.

The players spent the next few minutes looking to take the battle to the opponent, with the material available at their disposal. There was no significant development as they tried to optimize resources and create a position of advantage, but there was neither luck nor error as both players held ground.

Anand traded a knight for Topalov's bishop before neutralising Topalov's advancing pawn on the 37th move. Topalov advanced his rooks to try and create an opening, but Anand made smart use of his knight to deny the contender any room.

Anand appeared to take the advantage staying a pawn ahead following a clearing of pawns on the queen's side, but Topalov attacked aggressively with his rooks in an effort to win the pawn back. A series of repeated moves between 43 and 45 saw the pair tend perilously towards a draw, forcing Anand to give up his pawn advantage in an attempt to keep the game alive.

An exchange of rooks at the 49th move further depleted either players attacking options, and draw was the only meaningful possibility left. The players then repeated thrice from the 56th move to signal a draw.

Topalov has finally managed to eke out a draw with black pieces, and will probably have a more relaxing rest day, despite the fact that Anand still has a distinct advantage on the scoreboard.

Play will resume on Monday, with Anand playing white again as the players turn the order around on the back stretch of this title match.

Scores: Anand 3.5 - 2.5 Topalov

Moves: Access a visual representation of the entire match here.

Story so far: Game 1, Game 2, Game 3, Game 4 & Game 5.

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