Nanjing, China :World Champion Viswanathan Anand will take on Wang Yue of China in the first round of the second half of Pearl Spring Chess tournament here.
It was recuperation time for Anand after a fourth round loss against Etienne Bacrot of France and the Indian ace just played out a quick draw as white against Vugar Gashimov in the next round that was held ahead of the only rest day.
The six-players double round-robin tournament has seen some fascinating performance especially from World Number one Magnus Carlsen of Norway who had lost more than 25 elo rating points coming to this tournament.
The adage about class being permanent came true once again as Magnus has been savaging his opponents in style and is now in sole lead on 4 points out of a possible five.
The tournament has also belonged to Bacrot who had a sedate start with a loss against Carlsen and a draw against Topalov in the first two rounds.
However, the Frenchman has capped that start with three victories on the trot and is now just a half point adrift of Carlsen at the half way stage in this 2,50,000 Euros prize money tournament.
Anand's victory against Topalov, his world championship rival, will be remembered for a long time and so will be his disastrous blunder in against Bacrot in the next game from a drawn position.
On 2.5 points, the World champion currently stands third and it will be a stern test for him if he wants to join the title race.
Making matters tougher is the fact that the Indian is set to play three black games out of the remaining five and will have to strike with the less favourable colour to be in with a chance of catching up or be near to the leaderboard.
Vugar Gashimov has lost one and drawn the remaining games to be fourth at this juncture while the form, or the lack of it, if Topalov continues to desert him. Topalov and Chinese Wang Yue share the fifth spot with just 1.5 points in their kitty.
After dropping many points, Carlsen is now firmly back in place at number one position in the unofficial live ratings ahead of Anand. The Norwegian also has three black games in the last five but he remains top favourite for the title now.
Pairings round 6: Wang Yue (Chn, 1.5) v/s V Anand (Ind, 2.5); Etienne Bacrot (Fra, 3.5) v/s Magnus Carlsen (Nor, 4); Vugar GAshimov (Aze, 2) v/s Veselin Topalov (Bul, 1.5).