Anand eyes another date with Carlsen
Khanty Mansiysk (Russia), pti: march 12, 2014
With odds stacked against him, five times world champion Viswanathan Anand will look forward to make a grand comeback in the Candidates chess tournament that starts here.
With the weather slated to hit -14 degrees during the week, the heated battles are likely to compensate for them as eight of the world elite compete here to find the next challenger for world champion Magnus Carlsen of Norway.
It may be recalled that Carlsen defeated Anand in the last world championship match at Chennai by 6.5-3.5 to become the undisputed king of the 64-squares late last year.
The eight-player super tournament will be played under double round robin basis and there will be 14-grueling rounds in all before the winner is determined. After a recent decline in form and rating, Anand starts only as the fourth seed in the tournament.
Levon Aronian of Armenia starts as the rating favourite with his ELO touching 2830 points. Russian Vladimir Kramnik who missed winning the candidates by a whisker last year, is ranked second ahead of former world champion Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria.
Sergey Karjakin of Russia is behind Anand and is seeded fifth ahead of seven times Russian Champion Peter Svidler. Shakhriyar Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan and Dmitry Andreikin of Russia complete the line-up.
With his remarkable current form Levon Aronian is a threat to all participants and Kramnik will hope to give the Armenian a run for his money. The stakes are high as apart from a match against Carlsen, the tournament has a total prize pool of 600,000 Euros (About Rs. 5 crore) out of which 135,000 Euros is reserved for the winner. The tournament will be played under Classical Chess rules with 120 minutes for the first 40 moves, 60 for the next 20 and then 15 minutes each with a 30 seconds increment from move 61.