Sinquefield Cup: All eyes on Anand

As things stand, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave leads with 3.5 points, half a point ahead of Magnus Carlsen and Viswanathan Anand. The French leader, who beat Carlsen, is also unbeaten like Anand.

Vishwanathan Anand is half a point behind leader Maxime Vachier-Lagrave.   -  AP

With four rounds to go in the Sinquefield Cup chess tournament, the title-race is headed for a close finish with Magnus Carlsen and Viswanathan Anand looking good to give current leader Maxime Vachier-Lagrave a sleepless night for two.

As things stand, Lagrave leads with 3.5 points, half a point ahead of Carlsen and Anand. The French leader, who beat Carlsen, is also unbeaten like Anand.

Anand, after four steady draws, made everyone sit up with his performance against Fabiano Caruana in the previous round. In the remaining rounds, Anand, plying with black pieces against Sergey Karjakin, and with white pieces
against Ian Nepomniachtchi and Lagrave before sitting behind the black pieces against world No. 2 Wesley So in the final round. No doubt, Anand needs a strong finish against his younger rivals, he is capable of creating a flutter.

Carlsen will be looking to add to his two wins when he takes on Hikaru Nakamura against whom he holds a good record. Carlsen’s remaining rivals are, Peter Svidler, Nepomniachtchi and Levon Aronian.

Vachier plays black against Caruana next and will be happy with a draw. Thereafter, he faces Karjakin, Anand and Nepomniachtchi.

Sixth-round pairings: Sergey Karjakin (Rus, 2.5) v Viswanathan Anand (3); Fabiano Caruana (USA, 2.5) v Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (Fra, 3.5); Magnus Carlsen (USA, 3) v Hikaru Nakamura (USA, 2); Levon Aronian (Arm, 2.5) v Wesley So (USA, 2); Ian Nepomniachtchi (Rus, 2) v Peter Svidler (Rus, 2).