London: World champion Viswanathan Anand got a favourable draw as he will start his campaign at the London Classic from round two on Sunday and will be seen assisting in daily commentary in the opening round of the event at the Olympia here.
It will be a test of time for Anand who slipped to number six in World rankings in the official FIDE rating list released yesterday.
The Indian ace has been going through a rough patch and only finished fifth in a field of six in the Final Masters, which was the last event Anand played.
The London Classic will see Anand pitted against his usual rivals and big three -- Magnus Carlsen of Norway, Levon Aronian of Armenia and Vladimir Kramnik of Ukraine -- besides World's best woman player Judit Polgar of Hungary and Hikaru Nakamura of the United States.
The nine-player round robin tournament will also see three top Britishers in action and leading the local challenge will be Michael Adams along with Luke McShane and debutant Gawain Jones.
Anand got a decent draw in the draw as he drew number one and will start his campaign from the second round against McShane with white pieces. The battle royale is slated in the last round when the Indian will meet Carlsen.
Carlsen starts the proceedings against McShane in round one and the Briton has been a dangerous opponent for the world number one in the last two editions of London Classic. In 2010, McShane had beaten Carlsen while last year their encounter had ended in a draw.
Nakamura will take on Aronian while Polgar is slated to meet Kramnik in the opener which is going to be a stellar event with Anand assisting in the commentary.
The opening ceremony saw the players pitted against the world through a twitter game and the team of Classic won the game rather easily.
The arrival of Ian Nepomniachtchi whose visa was delayed raised some questions but in the end tournament director Malcolm Pein assured that the Russian would be arriving in time to help Carlsen with his games.
Anand's main rival will be Carlsen on rating but Kramnik is one player who has also taken a liking for the London Classic with some awesome performances.
Carlsen is also on the threshold of eclipsing the all-time high rating record of 2851 points which was set by his former trainer Garry Kasparov. The Norwegian appeared extremely motivated and needs just four rating points from here to become the highest rated chess player of all time.
Nakamura had beaten Anand during the last London Classic and the Indian will be looking to avenge that loss. The world champion will be hoping for a positive start to the event when he sits across the board on Sunday.
Story first published on: Saturday, 01 December 2012 18:33 IST