Sochi (Russia): Left to rue his own mistakes in a stunning loss, Indian chess ace Viswanathan Anand will aim to stage a quick comeback and improve his chances of regaining the World Championship crown from Magnus Carlsen when the two resume their battle here on Monday.
Having done well for five games, Anand seemed to have missed the thread completely in the sixth game played on Saturday and is now staring at a deficit of one point at the halfway stage of the 12-game million Euros match.
Carlsen was almost punishing Anand for his bad opening and was simply cruising when a rare double blunder happened on the fateful 26th move of the sixth game. This will go down in history as one of the worst double blunder as Anand failed to spot it too.
"When you don't expect a gift, you don't look for it," was how Anand summed up his stance on not spotting the crucial blunder which might even have won him the game. With Carlsen ahead 3.5-2.5 and six games to come, Anand will have to chalk out a plan to neutralise the Norwegian's big advantage in very quick time.
And that may not happen till the eighth game now as change in colours at halfway stage mean that Carlsen will again get white pieces in game seven to be played tomorrow.
It was a rest day after a loss in the second game that gave Anand time to recuperate and come back strongly to beat Carlsen in the third game. The situation is similar but the colour-change is not something that will help Anand.
On the brighter side from the Indian's perspective, Carlsen looks more 'human' than the last match. At Chennai a year ago, the Norwegian was simply the much stronger player and almost played like a machine to win the match handsomely.
This time, Carlsen has been vulnerable, has made a lot of mistakes and is ahead only because Anand has made more mistakes than him. Should the Indian curtail his own mistakes and come out with better opening choice, there is no reason why a comeback is not possible.
Recent history suggests that there might be further twists in the match. Anand had ended the last match at almost the lowest ebb, losing three and drawing seven games. He followed it up with an early exit in the London Classic and then finished second last at the Zurich Chess Challenge.
What happened thereafter is nothing short of a spectacular turnaround. Anand won the Candidates and then also the Bilbao Final Masters.
And now while he is trailing, Anand and his team must be plotting a comeback of sorts. The most important is to hold the fort in the seventh game and then a lot can happen in the last five.