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FIDE World Chess Championship: Topalov forces Anand into another draw in Game 7

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Over four and a half hours of intense drama and 58 moves laced with the optimism more common in practitioners of illusion ended in a drawn game of chess that should mildly concern the champion and reignite hopes for Topalov. However, Anand still retains a one point advantage with only five games left to play. Topalov though will take heart from the fact that he will play three of those games with white pieces.

Anatoly Karpov was here to campaign for the Presidency of FIDE against the incumbent Kirsan Ilyumzhinov; he took the time to make a symbolic first move for Anand to start Game 7, with the pieces reversed at the half way stage.

The Chess fraternity was also mourning the death of Florencio Campomanes, the Honorary President of FIDE. The man who is credited with expanding chess beyond the eastern bloc, lead the federation during the acrimonious Karpov-Kasparov era. The end of his tenure saw the creation of the Professional Chess Association in 1993. He was succeeded in 1995 by the current President Ilyumzhinov.

Anand started play once again with the Catalan. The game saw a deviation on the 4th move with Topalov bringing his king side bishop to b4 instead of taking Anand's pawn at c4 as was the case in Game 5. The early variation suggesting that the challenger was eager to create an opening to try and level the match.

The variation aside, play continued by the book with Topalov castling on the sixth move followed by Anand on the seventh. Knights were exchanged on the tenth move before Anand appeared to edge ahead trading his bishop for a rook on the 12th move. The first twelve moves mirrored the Boris Gelfand - Vassily Ivanchuk game at the Melody Amber tournament in Nice.

Anand deviated on the 13th, moving his king file pawn to the third rank (f3) instead of the queen to c2 which was used in that game towards the end of March, which was drawn. This could have been driven by the apparent weakness on the king side for Anand, as much by a desire for a favourable result.

Topalov was responding rather quickly at this stage, suggesting improved preparations. Anand was under pressure on the clock, giving up over 30min to his opponent allowing the home crowd room for enthusiasm. Anand however, simplified the field through a series of exchanges mitigating most of the time related concerns.

Topalov signaled his intentions to find a path to an unlikely victory by opting for Bf8 on the 21st move instead of taking the pawn at b2. The players exchanged bishops on the 27th move, and though Anand had the additional knight, Topalov had compensation for his depleted material in the form of his advanced pawns.

Topalov had the opportunity to repeat for a draw, using his rook. He took the pawn at h2 with the rook to initiate this process too. But then Anand declined the draw, by choosing to move the king to g2 on his 36th turn.

Topalov faced a couple of single move situations on 40th and 42nd moves, but saw them coming and was alert to the risks. After this, it was just a matter of time before the game was drawn. Finally the players settled for a draw by repeating moves.

"I had to play precisely and was calculating for most part in the Opening but in the ending though I was pressing but was not sure if there is a win' said Anand, who needs just a draw in each of the remaining games to retain his title.

Game eight will be played on Tuesday with Topalov making the first move in an effort to tie the match. Anand leads the match 4-3, after seven games.

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

Story so far: Game 1, Game 2, Game 3, Game 4, Game 5 & Game 6.

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