Game nine of this Viswanathan Anand v Carlsen match should be one that will define the world chess championship match in Chennai. The scoreline reading 5-3 favouring the Norwegian leaves less options for the Indian in the final one third of the match.
Aggression, attack, positive play are the options left for the Indian chess king. Anand will be expected to play sharp and also hopefully for the Indians, reduce the deficit. Anand has scored 3.5/4 in a world championship match at Tehran 2000. He will need to repeat that to keep the title.
Carlsen who is enjoying a double point lead is sitting pretty. People in Norway are expecting a change of guard as to who rules world chess from November 28, 2013.
Indian fans, scribes and even people from the chess fraternity are nervous about what Anand is doing in the match. Two games down, he quietly takes two easy games.
Great champions keep a cool at difficult moments. Anand belongs to that genius category. While watching a cricket match, with the required run rate huge, a champion called M.S. Dhoni walks in and blocks the first ball. Then he goes for the calculated assault. That is what Anand will be doing. Risking himself in game seven and eight would have spoilt his chance as he is still thinking about game five and six in the back of his mind. Now, he will be “trying” from game nine.
The winner will receive Rs.8.40 Crores and the loser will get Rs.5.60 Crores. The entire prize fund is sponsored by the Tamil Nadu Government who have offered a budget of Rs.29 Crores.
The winner will keep the title until next year. The loser will play in the Candidates Tournament at Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia along with seven others from Feb-Mar 2014. The winner of this Candidates tournament will play the winner of the Anand v Carlsen bout.
Four games remain to be played in this best of 12-seroes. Carlsen leads Anand by 5-3. In case of a 6-6 tie, the match will be decided in a four game rapid playoff.
If Carlsen wins the series, he will become 20th player in the history of world chess since 1886 to do so. Anand who should be hoping to make a big turnaround in the match will win it for the sixth time if he does so.
Expect a sharp ninth game. Book your ticket in the playing hall or watch Doordarshan Sports television channel. Keep your fingers crossed. Anand fans need to pray and hope. Carlsen supporters can wait before ordering champagne!