Tal Memoral Int'l: Anand to face Svidler

Viswanathan Anand will face Russia's Peter Svidler in the seventh round at the Tal Memorial Chess tournament.

A perfect record with white, a rare slip against Vladimir Kramnik of Russia and some excellent preparation as black just about sums up Anand's enterprising play in the tournament.   -  PTI

Five-time world champion Viswanathan Anand will meet Russian Peter Svidler in the seventh round of 10th Tal Memorial International chess tournament here.

A perfect record with white, a rare slip against Vladimir Kramnik of Russia and some excellent preparation as black just about sums up Anand's enterprising play in the USD 200,000 prize money tournament so far and all he needs now is a good finish to make the podium. With 3.5 points from the first six rounds, Anand will have two games with white pieces out of the last three and he will have to win two games in all likelihood.

Ian Nepomniachtchi of Russia leads the event solely on 4.5 points, enjoying a half point lead over Anish Giri of Holland, who is sole second. Anand comes next in standings along with Kramnik and Levon Aronian of Armenia.

Svidler and Li Chao of China have an identical three points while Shakhriyar Mamedyarov is now eighth on 2.5 points. Russian Evgeny Tomashevsky on two and Israeli Boris Gelfand on 0.5 points complete the 10-player line-up as the super tournament enters the business end.

Anand has had some easy games and two white games so far have netted him two wins against Mamedyarov and Gelfand. The Indian ace suffered a rare loss against Kramnik after nearly eight years but he is still poised for a good finish. Nepomniachtchi and Aronian are the only two unbeaten players in the tournament so far and Aronian has been particularly solid between the two.

The Russian incidentally is the second lowest rated player in the tournament and his results and approach have both been impressive.

Anish Giri was in sole lead after a brilliant start but the loss against Aronian in the previous round has pulled him down. The young Nepalese-Russian turned Dutch Grandmaster celebrated the second rest day with the birth of his son.

Kramnik has been getting back to form in the last few rounds and it's a known fact that the big Vlad - as he is popularly known - is both extremely dangerous and a treat to watch when in full swing. His recent gold medal for personal score in the Chess Olympiad was another indication of his form and he has picked up the stick here, too, after a sedate start.

Besides Svidler, Anand's other white game is against Aronian in the final round. According to pundits, the game against Nepomniachtchi in the penultimate round will mostly be crucial for Anand.

Pairings round 7: Anish Giri (Ned, 4) vs Vladimir Kramnik (Rus, 3.5); Viswanathan Anand (Ind, 3.5) vs Peter Svidler (Rus, 3); Li Chao (Chn, 3) vs Ian Nepomniachtchi (Rus, 4.5); Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Aze, 2.5) vs Levon Aronian (Arm, 3.5); Boris Gelfand (Isr, 0.5) vs Evgeny Tomashevsky (Rus, 2).