World Champion Viswanathan Anand will be keen to notch up his first victory in the London Chess Classic when he takes on lowest-rated Gawain Jones of England in the fifth round at the Olympia here.
A lucky escape after a blunder against Luke McShane of England, a missed opportunity against Levon Aronian of Armenia and a dull draw with Russian Vladimir Kramnik has been the story so far for Anand. And the Indian is now under tremendous pressure to post a win which has eluded him for 17 straight classical chess games.
With three draws in four rounds apart from a bye in the opener, Anand finds himself on just three points under the Soccer-like scoring system that gives three points for a win and one for a draw.
In a tight corner, it has become a now-or-never situation for Anand who is going to play all lower rated opponents in the upcoming rounds except Magnus Carlsen of Norway.
Carlsen, meanwhile, leads the table with 10 points from four matches and the World number one has all the reasons to be pleased with his results.
In live ratings the Norwegian superstar has gone to an all time high surpassing former mentor Garry Kasparov’s record. Kasparov had an all-time high live rating of 2856 points while his best published rating stood at 2851 points.
In current live rating, Carlsen is on 2857 points and he looks hungry for more if the games are any indication.
Carlsen has scored three victories out of four games and is sitting pretty in the tournament with a two points lead over nearest rival Kramnik.
Michael Adams of England is on third spot with seven points while Hikaru Nakamura of USA is next with five points.
Anand holds the sixth spot behind Aronian on three points with five games still to go in UK’s highest category tournament.
Anand’s encounter with Carlsen is slated in the last round but before that the Indian has to meet Jones, Adams, Polgar and Nakamura.
Anand enjoys a psychological edge against Adams with an excellent score and is set to play against him here with white pieces.
Against Polgar and Nakamura, the Indian ace can surely expect some complicated middle games which might just set the tone for his way to the top here.
Kramnik has given nothing away and Aronian is back to his winning ways after a sluggish start.