Viswanathan Anand to meet Carlsen in fourth round of the Grenke Classic

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Baden-Baden (Germany), Feb 6: 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 here.

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.

File photo of Viswanathan Anand

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.

Naiditsch surprisingly finds himself in lead after a hard-earned win over Carlsen. However, the German grandmaster has not been in best form in terms of quality of games and will need to pull himself together in the last few rounds.

Adams and Bacrot have lived up to the challenge so far and the followers of the game are hoping for some more exciting chess from these two. Adams especially, can liven up things with his wily manoeuvres and much will depend on the chances he gets in the second half.

Pairings round 4: Viswanathan Anand (Ind, 1.5) v/s Magnus Carlsen (Nor, 1.5); David Baramidze (Ger, 1) v/s Arkadij Naiditsch (Ger, 2); Fabiano Caruana (Ita, 2) v/s Michael Adams (Eng, 1.5); Etienne Bacrot (Fra, 1.5) v/s Levon Aronian (Arm, 1).

PTI

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