Tata Steel Chess: Anand plays Giri; Adhiban faces Mamedyarov

Vishwanathan Anand faces a stiff challenge from Anish Giri in the sixth round of the Tata Steel chess, while B. Adhiban takes on Shakhriyar Mamedyarov.

Anish Giri will take on Vishwanathan Anand in the sixth round of the Tata Steel Chess tournament on Friday.   -  AFP

Unhappy with his play after running into Wie Yi’s home-preparation in the fifth round, Viswanathan Anand is expected to adopt a guarded approach against fellow joint-leader
Anish Giri in their key clash in the sixth round of Tata Steel chess tournament here on Friday.

Anand, having won two games with white pieces, plays black against Giri. Known to draw more games than any elite player, Giri has, so far, not missed out on chances to force a win.

Often, Anand has exceeded expectations following a good start, like the one here. Before the next rest day, Anand is due to play white against Vladimir Kramnik and black against Peter Svidler.

READ FIFTH ROUND REPORT: Anand stays in joint lead; Vidit, Harika held

B. Adhiban, with three defeats and two draws, is struggling at the moment. On Friday, he faces Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, the other leader, who joined Anand and Giri after beating World No. 2 Fabiano Caruana on Wednesday. Last year, too, Adhiban had a poor score before the first rest day but thereafter, played brilliantly to finish third.

In the Challengers section, Vidit Gujrathi is showing the right signs. Though he is in the second spot, half a point behind Anton Korobov, the youngster has not looked any serious trouble so far in the competition.

Dronavalli Harika, having drawn four games besides the defeat to Vidit, is playing solidly. In order to win, she will have to adopt a more pro-active approach and made things happen over the board. Currently, Harika is part of the eight-player pack at two points.

Sixth-round pairings:

Masters: Anish Giri (Ned, 3.5) v Viswanathan Anand (3.5); B. Adhiban (1) v Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Aze, 3.5); Vladimir Kramnik (Rus, 3) v Gawain Jones (Eng, 2.5); Peter Svidler (Rus, 2.5) v Magnus Carlsen (Nor, 3); Fabiano Caruana (USA, 1.5) v Maxim Matlakov (Rus, 2.5); Wei Yi (Chn, 2.5) v So Wesley (USA, 3); Hou Yifan (Chn, 0.5) v Sergey Karjakin (Rus, 2.5).

Challengers: Benjamin Bok (Ned, 2) v Vidit Gujrathi (4); Dmitry Gordievsky (Rus, 2.5) v D. Harika (2); Anton Korobov (Ukr. 4.5) v Aryan Tari (Nor, 2.5); Lucas van Foreest (Ned. 3) v Erwin L’Ami (Ned, 2.5); Matthias Bluebaum (Ger, 2) v Bassem Amin (Egy, 2); Jeffery Xiong (USA, 2) v Michal Krasenkow (Pol, 2); Olga Girya (Rus, 2) v Jordeen van Foreest (Ned, 2)