Millennium Post

Anand, Carlsen set for intense 4th round battle

Anand, Carlsen set for intense 4th round battle
Five-time world champion Viswanathan Anand will take on current world title holder Magnus Carlsen of Norway in the fourth round of the Grenke Chess Classic. In what is expected to keep the chess buffs across the globe glued to their computer screens, the clash of the titans will be their first meeting since the last World Championship match at Sochi in Russia. Carlsen had won the match 6.5-4.5.

With both players desperately needing a victory, the onus will be on Anand to deliver the goods as the Indian ace is playing with white pieces. So far, both Anand and Carlsen have scored an identical 1.5 points from three rounds. Fabiano Caruana of Italy and Arkadij Naiditsch of Germany share the lead on two points after three rounds in this short eight-player round-robin tournament.

With just four rounds to go, Anand, Carlsen, England’s Michael Adams and Etienne Bacrot of France are on the heels of the leaders with half a point behind, while Levon Aronian of Armenia and Germany’s David Baramidze are at the bottom on one point each.

It’s been a mixed tournament for Anand so far. After an easy draw with Caruana in the opener, the Indian missed an opportunity to beat Naiditsch in the second and in the last round against Bacrot, the normalcy was restored with another easy draw as black. However, this may not be enough for the 2013 champion here, as at least a couple of victories would be needed to finish at the top from the last four games.

Carlsen started with a draw, won his second game against Adams, but lost his rhythm bowing to Naiditsch in the third round. Knowing his hunger for victories, one can expect the world champion to come out guns blazing in last few rounds.

Harikrishna, Adhiban joint 3rd in Gibraltar

Indian GMs P Harikrishna and B Adhiban got desired results in the final round to tie for the third spot in the Tradewise Gibraltar Chess festival that concluded on Friday. Up against Hikaru Nakamura in the final round, Harikrsihna had to undergo a long grind lasting almost six hours before the Indian could secure a draw. Nakamura won the tournament handsomely with the draw taking his tally to 8.5 points out of a possible ten.

Adhiban had the harder task on hand but the Indian continued with his fine run to beat last year’s winner Ivan Cheparinov of Bulgaria in his final round. World women’s champion Yifan Hou of China missed out on a winning opportunity to let David Howell of England off the hook.
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