Moscow: Defending champion Viswanathan Anand holds the edge going into the fifth game as white in his World Championship match against Boris Gelfand at the State Tretyakov Gallery.
The fourth game was another piece of good preparation by Anand and another indication that Gelfand and his team are yet to even come close to cracking the opening repertoire of the Indian.
The Slav defense had been going through rough weathers lately but it's sure to get a revival post Anand's two successful games as black.
Playing for his fifth world title and third match in a row, Anand will now have to use his white pieces to maximum effect.
Gelfand may not have done well in his white games but it is clear that his surprise has worked well as black in the Grunfeld defense.
Anand, known to play the Grunfeld himself is still looking at ways to dent the system.
"The match is still developing and we are probing," quipped the world champion after game four of the USD 2.55 million championship.
Gelfand knows that he has not been able to push Anand at all and the Indian ace is proving a very hard opponent. "There was no critical point in the game, white was trying to get some advantage but black was all right in the end," the Israeli said in his comments on game four.
Interestingly, Anand has been known to dent the confidence of his opponents early. In the last two matches, Vladimir Kramnik of Russia did not know what hit him right from the beginning in 2008 while after losing the first game, Anand won the second and went on to beat Bulgarian Veselin Topalov quite easily in the end in 2011.
The opinion among experts on the outcome of the match is a bit divided. There are some who are even predicting all-12 draws followed by the result in tie-break games of shorter duration.
This of course is too early to speculate. Team Anand will spend the day working on new plans in the Grunfeld, Anand was not too happy with his effort in the third game when he last played white but fifth game could be different.
Surprise has been the name of the game so far. It's been a hard task for Anand but the Indian has proved himself to be extremely resourceful during matches.
Kramnik and Topalov learned it the hard way, Gelfand has done better then them so far but whether or not he will be able to withstand further pressure remains to be seen.