Anand to meet Smeets, eyes good finish


The victory over Shirov of Spain may not have boosted confidence of the world champion but certainly set the stage for Anand as a good finish in the remaining three rounds –- in first of which he meets tail ender Jan Smeets of Holland –- can propel the Indian to the podium.

After losing to Anand, Shirov was dethroned as the leader of the tournament for the first time in the tournament, while Vladimir Kramnik of Russia emerged as the new sole leader on seven points. Carlsen and Shirov are now joint second with 6.5 points each.

Anand shares the next position along with Hikaru Nakamura of United States, Leinier Dominguez of Cuba, Vassily Ivanchuk of Ukraine and Karjakin, who all have 5.5 points each.
Apart from Smeets, Anand has a match with Kramnik lined up on the penultimate day of competition and in the last round he plays with another Dutchman -– Loek van Wely –- against whom the Indian ace has a great record.

Meanwhile, Anish Giri of Holland remained in front on seven points in Group B and it seems the Dutch chess has found a new star in the 15-year-old. The simplicity with which Anish handled the strong opposition speaks volumes about this prodigy.
Erwin l'Ami of Holland and Ni Hua are still on Giri's toes a half point behind and Parimarjan Negi has emerged as the best Indian hope here having 5.5 points so far.
Another Indian Grandmaster P Harikrishna is on five points now and has a lot of catching up to do in the remaining three rounds.

Abhijeet Gupta, 2008 world junior champion, had started off well but the two losses between the second and the third rest day have been crucial to his aspirations.
Abhijeet stands joint fifth on 5.5 points and needs a good finish, while world junior girls' champion Soumya Swaminathan will hope to improve her standing in the remaining three games.

Barring a debacle Chinese Li Chao is poised to win this section as he has already accumulated 7.5 points and enjoys a 1.5 points lead over the nearest rivals.

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