New Delhi: World champion Viswanathan Anand will look forward to another positive game with black pieces before he gets a double white against challenger Magnus Carlsen of Norway in the 5th round of their World Championship match here on Friday.
With the first four games ending in draws, there has been a certain replication about this world championship that has never been seen before in a match. After the next black game Anand is due to get two white`s in a row as per regulations and the Indian maestro can look forward to putting more pressure in the sixth and seventh game.
If the first game showed Anand in great spirits and giving nothing away in a 16-moves draw, Carlsen bounced back with a remarkable show of preparation when Anand could do little against his Caro Kann defense in the second game.
Anand yet again showed better skills as black and pressed hard for a victory in the third game without any real success. In the fourth game Carlsen came close to winning before throwing it away in Anand?s time pressure. To sum it up both players are coming out with some very smart work with black pieces while they are still trying to figure out where to hit while they are white.
Carlsen`s jump from Caro Kann to Berlin is quite suggestive for the chess buffs. The Norwegian wants to keep the Indian ace guessing. One wouldn`t be surprised if he comes up with a Sicilian in the next and a French in the seventh game when he is black. Being an all round player, this could be an important part of the strategy for Carlsen who has kept Anand guessing in the first two black games.
The black pieces in chess are considered a slightly unfavourable colour in the game. Anand is obviously happy to get some forcing variations thus far and this is a cause for worry for Carlsen who has not got things to his liking as far as his first two white games are concerned.
The main worry for the Anand camp is how to break through. The team would have spent a considerable time on the Caro Kann and now they have a side variation in the Berlin defense to look deeply. If Carlsen has a third opening against `e4` that looks like the most likely scenario as of now, then it only adds to the work pressure for team Anand.
So far, on form, Carlsen has proved himself to be superior pushing Anand to the point of almost losing the fourth game. On preparation Anand has done marginally better but it`s the white games where any player is likely to strike first.
After two insipid draws, the battle has heated up in the match, in the next few things are only likely to get `bloodier`. Both Anand and Carlsen have maintained highest regard for each other off the board, over the board they are throwing one salvo after another.
I`ve always said the person who wins the world championship this year is the person who does the best job on the circuit, but that does not seem the way it is at the moment.