Anand To Face Caruana In Round One

anandAnand To Face Caruana In Round One
By Arvind Aaron

Five time world chess champion Viswanathan Anand finished fifth in the blitz tournament that decided the draw numbers in the main Norway Chess 2015. Anand who lost his mother last month at Chennai will be seen in action in this top flight contest until June 26, 2015.

World No.3 by ranking in the June 2015 list, Anand (2804) will face No.2 ranked Fabiano Caruana (2805) of Italy with the white pieces. In the other matches, Dutchman Anish Giri takes on Alexander Grischuk of Russia with white and world champion Magnus Carlsen of the host nation takes on Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria. Hikaru Nakamura of the United States of America faces local entrant and lowest rated Jon Ludwig Hammer.

Frenchman, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave who won the blitz tournament and opted for draw number 5 like Sergey Karjakin did in the past takes on Levon Aronian of Armenia. This event is played in many events in Norway. When there is no one big sponsor, moving the venues both spreads the popularity of the game and also reduces the burden on the organiser. A consortium of sponsors always helps and this strategy can work in countries like India as well. The ten player contest will see nine rounds of high level action. The entry ticket for spectators is Rs.1600 per day. This is low by north European standards.

Looking at chances, top seed Carlsen will be the man to beat. Anand showed extraordinary preparation at Shamkir in April in the Gashimov Memorial. Since working with Grand Master Grzegorz Gajewski (born 1985), world No.122 from Poland, Anand’s opening play has gotten sharper. The masterpiece against Wesley So in April is going to sent fear waves inside his younger opponents at Norway.

Anand faces Anish Giri with black and Grischuk with white in the third round. Round four will see Anand face Carlsen again with the white pieces. Three white games in the first four rounds should be good for the player in form and wanting take a lead. Live action can be see at