Topalov takes lead against world chess champ Anand

SOFIA: Bulgarian challenger Veselin Topalov took a 1-0 lead Saturday against defending champion Viswanathan Anand of India on the first day of their duel for the world chess title to run until May 13.

Topalov, who played white in the first game, defeated Anand on the 30th move.

The Indian grandmaster, who became World Champion in 2007, had already once successfully held onto the title in 2008. He was ranked fourth on the March 2010 ratings list by the FIDE international chess federation.

The 35-year-old Topalov, who is currently ranked number two by FIDE, won the right to challenge Anand by beating Gata Kamsky of the United States in the semi-final in February 2009.

Topalov and Anand will play the second of the 12 planned games to decide the future world champion on Sunday, when Anand will take his turn playing white.

Under the rules, Topalov will play white in the first, third and fifth games, when Anand will play black. Colours will be reversed after game six.

The first player to score 6.5 points or more in the 12 games shall be the new world champion.

If the scores are level after 12 games, the two will play four tie-break games of rapid chess, where each player has a total of 25 minutes to make his moves.

If the scores are again even, the new world champion will be decided in five five-minute blitz chess matches of two games each, ultimately followed by one sudden-death game.