London: Five-time World Champion Viswanathan Anand will have his task cut out when he takes on Russian Alexander Grischuk in the sixth round of the London Chess Classic here.
With three draws, one win and a lone loss, Anand is sitting on 2.5 points from the first five rounds and the Indian ace will have to change gears and look for some victories as the Classic approaches its business end.
Anish Giri of Holland, Hikaru Nakamura of United States and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave of France jointly share the lead on three points apiece, each having scored one victory apart from four draws.
Anand shares the fourth spot currently with Levon Aronian of Armenia, world champion Magnus Carlsen of Norway, Fabiano Caruana of Italy, Michael Adams of England and Grischuk with a fifty percent score while Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria is in sole last spot, having amassed just the one point from his five outings.
Anand’s next rounds will be crucial in determining his final outcome as after the game against Grischuk, he will take on Vachier-Lagrave with white pieces. In the last twop remaining rounds thereafter Anand will have black against Caruana before a final showdown with Anish Giri.
It was the fourth round loss that caused most of the damage for Anand but he was quick to bounce back and beat Topalov in round five in what would be remembered as a technical masterpiece.
Anand will have to get his act together and look for opportunities against Grischuk who has played tentatively here under his customary time-scramble.
It has been a pretty dry winter at the Olympia as there have been just four decisive games out of 25 played thus far in five rounds.
And Carlsen will be hoping to transform things for better in the second half as well after a rather dull outing in the first five rounds.
The world champion has not had a great year and his body language ahead of the lone rest day indicated that he will try and go all-out in the last four games. In the sixth round Carlsen will take on Giri.
Nakamura will take on Aronian in what is expected to be another interesting game of the sixth round while Vachier-Lagrave meets Caruana. In the other encounter, Topalov will try and turn the tide against Adams.
As part of the final edition of the Grand Chess tour, the London Classic has an additional prize fund of $ 150000 at stake for the top three finishers of the tour apart from USD 300000 prize money offered for the contestants here.