Millennium Post

Anand needs big wins in final stretch of Grand Chess tour

Zagreb (Croatia): Looking for an elusive win in the tournament, Indian Grandmaster Viswanathan Anand has his task cut out when he sits across Ding Liren of China in the seventh round of the Grand Chess tour here.

The five-time world champion started the super tournament with a loss against Ian Nepomniachtchi of Russia. He had five draws since then to collect 2.5 points out of a possible six.

With five rounds still to come in the 12-player 11-rounds tournament, Anand will look forward to an improved performance and all the Indian ace needs are a couple of victories that will take him closer to the top.

Anand has had to do some hard work in the tournament thus far but apart from one bad day in office against Nepomniachtchi, the younger players have not been able to crack him. The game against Magnus Carlsen of Norway is surely going to find its way in the history books, given the way the Indian defended and came out unscathed in what looked like a lost endgame.

After the first and only rest day in the tournament, the next two rounds will be most crucial for Anand as he plays both with white pieces. If the Indian is able to dent Ding Liren's hopes in the tournament, Fabiano Caruana will be the next big hurdle.

The tournament still looks wide open but reigning world champion Magnus Carlsen has not quite displayed the terrific form he has been in the last six months. After the rest day breather, Carlsen, who won a nice game against Hikaru Nakamura of United States in the fifth round, might just

have his say if he finds his winning ways.

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