Stavanger: Former world champion Viswanathan Anand will take on Hikaru Nakamura of the United States in the seventh round of Altibox Norway Chess tournament.
After a rather slow start that cost him two losses in the first five rounds, Anand rose back in style defeating Fabiano Caruana of United States in the previous round.
Nakamura and Levon Aronian of Armenia are leading the tournament with four points each, a full point clear of Russian duo of Vladimir Kramnik and Sergey Karjakin, Anish Giri of Holland and Wesley So of United States.
Anand shares the seventh spot in the ten-player round-robin tournament alongside world champion Magnus Carlsen of Norway, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave of France and Caruana who all have 2.5 points apiece.
In the last three remaining games, Anand gets two white and one black which might just help the Indian ace to turn the tide in his favour. After the white game against Nakamura, Anand will play with black against Aronian and in the final round he will again have white against Carlsen.
The world champion has been clearly struggling on his home turf and time might already be running out for him.
Magnus Carlsen is still looking for his first victory in the tournament and is yet to show an impressive display.
Aronian, with a scalp of two former world champions, has done quite well. Inflicting a loss to Carlsen, the Armenian followed it up with a victory against Kramnik in the previous round and he seems to be the man-in-form. Much would depend on how things shape up in his game against Anand.
Nakamura started with a victory and has been in sole or shared lead right from the first day. However, his ambitious approach along with complex play could either make him a runaway winner or he may miss out on the top spot.
Pairing round 7: V Anand (Ind, 2.5) v Hikaru Nakamura (Usa, 4); Vladimir Kramnik (Rus, 3) v Magnus Carlsen (Nor, 2.5), Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (Fra, 2.5) v Anish Giri (Ned, 3); Sergey Karjakin (Rus, 3) v Levon Aronian (Arm, 4); Wesley So (Usa, 3) v Fabiano Caruana (Usa, 2.5).
Updated Date: Jun 15, 2017 10:21:47 IST