Candidates Chess: Tough task ahead for Anand

Viswanathan Anand finds himself relying on too many factors to beat the odds in the World Candidates chess tournament and become the challenger to the crown that Magnus Carlsen holds.

Viswanathan Anand is half a point behind Fabiano Caruana and Sergey Karjakin.   -  World Chess

After three defeats offset much of the gains from his four astounding victories, Viswanathan Anand finds himself relying on too many factors to beat the odds in the World Candidates chess tournament and become the challenger to the crown that Magnus Carlsen holds.

In the remaining two rounds, third-placed Anand (6.5 points) will have to strike rich and hope that the two joint leaders – Fabiano Caruana and Sergey Karjakin (7 each) do not perform as well. Interestingly, the two young contenders are due to face-off in the final round with Karjakin playing white.

Caruana is undefeated so far in 12 rounds while Karjakin has led for the better part of the competition. The fact that Anand’s next round rival Anish Giri is also unbeaten, makes the job of the Indian that much more difficult.

Steady Anish Giri

When the action resumes after Saturday’s rest day, Anand will be hard-pressed to look for victory with white pieces against a steady Anish. Though Anish has drawn all 12 games so far, he has managed to get some favourable positions which he could not convert into victories.

In the final round, Anand plays black against Peter Svidler. The search for victory will be difficult for five-time World champion since all his three defeats have come when playing with black pieces.

Whether Anand tops the field or not, he has already won the hearts of the chess lovers around the world with his spirited display that saw him strike with white pieces four times – most so far in the eight-player elite field.

13th round pairings: Viswanathan Anand (6.5) v Anish Giri (Ned, 6); Fabiano Caruana (US, 7) v Peter Svidler (Rus, 6); Levon Aronian (Arm, 6) v Sergey Karjakin (Rus, 7); Veselin Topalov (Bul, 4) v Hikaru Nakamura (US, 5.5).