Chennai: The crown slipping away from his hands, defending champion Viswanathan Anand will have to pull himself together and produce a couple of sterling efforts to come back in the World Chess Championship match against Norwegian Magnus Carlsen.
With the scores reading 4-2 in favour of Carlsen and just six games to come, the Norwegian is well on track to win his maiden world title in his first match itself.
Carlsen has clearly dictated the course of the match so far and Anand needs to do a `Houdini` of sorts if he has to remain in the match. As things stand, Carlsen needs just 2.5 points in the next six games to prove youth`s supremacy over experience.
While the championship started on a predictable course no one had expected Anand to cave in so easily. The defending champion is feeling the heat and the way the last two losses have come, they are sure to dampen the spirits.
Carlsen had started as the favourite and he is living upto that. Everyone, who understands chess, knows his style, which are long and tiring grinds where he creates complications out of nothing and then almost hypnotises opponents into making mistakes.
This has been the hallmark of the world number one and in this championship too, he has carried on in similar vein. Anand has been looking at forcing variations both as white and black but has not succeeded as Carlsen`s plans have proved to be better.
One Caro Kann and two Berlin defense in the three black games have given nothing away to Anand and the Indian in fact has found very little going his way.
On the contrary, Carlsen has succeeded in creating exactly the kind of positions he wanted out of nonchalant, in fact, almost forgettable openings.
The Norwegian has presented a new style to the chess world wherein home preparation takes a backseat.
Anand, if anything, seemed stressed. Normally, the one to keep emotions in check, the local hero had a mild loss of temper during the press conference after game six.
"I mean, today was a heavy blow. I will not pretend otherwise. Nothing to be done, you just go on," he said.
A Norwegian journalist asked how he would deal with it, to which Anand answered: "Well you just do your best."
The same journalist wanted him to elaborate on his answer, to which Anand answered: "Doing your best means doing your best. I don`t know why you don`t understand English?"
It is never too easy to take such losses in stride and even more difficult to attend a press conference soon after such pressing defeats.
Fortunately for Anand, it`s not over yet. He still has three white games and he needs to wins to equalise. The Indian ace needs to pull himself together to make a match of it.
Monday is when he he will his white pieces again. If he can turn the clock back a little by winning one, then a lot can still happen. Team Anand has a lot to do on the rest day. Plan `B` has to be initiated.