Anand to meet Carlsen in Shamkir opener
Shamkir (Azerbaijan): Indian chess wizard Viswanathan Anand will meet reigning world champion Magnus Carlsen of Norway in the first round of Shamkir Chess, held in the memory of Vugar Gashimov, here.
Drawing number ‘4’ in the drawing of lots, Anand will not only have the advantage of playing white in the first game but the Indian ace will also get to play five games in all with white pieces in the 10-player, nine-rounds, round-robin tournament.
While the white pieces is good news, Anand would probably want to forget the last encounter against Carlsen at the Grenke Chess Classic earlier this year. Playing white then, Anand suffered a defeat after attaining a better position first and then missing out on a draw.
With five whites, Anand can look forward to re-enter the 2800 ELO rating club from here. Seeded third, Anand would need six points to break the magic barrier once again. For the records, Anand will play white against Anish Giri of Holland, Wesley So of United States, Michael Adams of England and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan.
Besides, the Indian will get black against, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave of France, Vladimir Kramnik of Russia, Rauf Mamedov of Azerbaijan and second seed Fabiano Caruana of Italy.
Carlsen said he was happy to be here.
“It is great to be back. I remember the first tournament was very well organised and as a chess player I appreciate the way we are treated here,” said Carlsen on his impressions about the city.