Friday’s fifth game will be crucial in the ongoing World Chess Championship match between challenger Viswanathan Anand and champion Magnus Carlsen of Norway.
The reason is, Anand, who is an underdog in this match has impressed with the opening preparation with the white pieces. In the fifth game, he will be sitting behind the white pieces.
Favourite, Carlsen is using the “jump” tactic for the opening which means he is known to play a new variation each time. In the queen’s gambit declined, Carlsen was wiped out when Anand chose the 5.Bf4 variation in the third game. In the opening game, Carlsen played the Grunfeld and did not return to it in the third game.
In the third black game, it is unlikely that Carlsen might have a third opening choice in his preparation choice. And if he does, he is likely to have a broad choice but not real bone deep preparation.
However, it is a possibility that he could return to the Grunfeld. In the opening game, black’s play required minor tinkering as far as the opening. So, Carlsen could go for this option.
A seasoned match player like Anand may also want to check what Carlsen has prepared against 1.e4 and open with the king pawn in this fifth game. However, Anand might not like to risk that option in this match since he is doing well with white and it makes sense to press with the queen pawn.
Eight games remain to be played in this 12-match series. Either way, king pawn or queen pawn, an interesting game is in store today.