Anand should avoid early end game phase, says Harikrishna

Chennai: Defending world chess champion Viswanathan Anand has to avoid going into end-game phase voluntarily. He should continue with the middle-game despite some unexpected moves of the Norwegian challenger Magnus Carlsen. That is only way for Anand to bounce back into the title match, said India`s second highest rated chess player.

"I would suggest Anand to psychologically prepare himself to play any kind of new moves over the board and do not enter the end-game phase voluntarily. As I see it, Magnus does not mind making small inaccuracy and take game into unknown territory," Grandmaster P. Harikrishna said.

He said Anand should avoid going into end-game until and unless it is advantageous for him.

"He also should avoid going into positions where two results are possible - that is, Magnus win or draw," Harikrishna said.

Harikrishna has played four classical and two blindfold games against Carlsen. In the classical version, both the players won a game each and the remaining two were drawn.

In the blindfold games, Carlsen won one game and drew the other, Harikrishna said.

Commenting on the last six games and the strategies adopted by both the players, Harikrishna said: "Anand seems to be trying to catch Magnus in opening phase of the game. But Magnus is trying to not fall into Anand`s opening preparation and get some playable middle-game and then into end-game."

"Anand generally prefers unclear and complicated middle-game positions. Therefore, Magnus is trying to play a positional game where he is at home. It is surprising for me to see that Anand is entering into end-game phase rather quickly which Magnus would do it in any case," Harikrishna said.

According to Harikrishna, the world champion seems to be well prepared in opening but Carlsen avoids getting into any theoretical battle.

He said Carlsen makes some unexpected moves even if it is not the best one to take Anand out of his preparation.

"After charting Anand out of home preparation, Magnus plays solid game and quickly enters into end-game phase," Harikrishna said.

He said Carlsen is playing on the psychology of Anand by making him tax his brain in a long-drawn game.

Another Indian Grandmaster not wanting to be named told IANS: "Anand seems to be in a psychological pressure in addition to the pressure applied by Carlsen on the board. The champion`s opening strategy is working well, but towards the end he is tired."

He said Carlsen strategy is to push slowly and steadily and not hoping for any big advantage outright, whereas Anand has been trying to complicate the game unsuccessfully.

"Now Anand cannot play slow and for a draw," he added.

According to Harikrishna, not all is lost for Anand even though he is trailing by two points after six games in the 12-game match. A player who scores 6.5 points first becomes the world champion.

"If Anand is able to win the next game, which he will make the first move playing white, the match is still on. It is a difficult task to win after two losses but not impossible," Harikrishna said.