Fresh from his victory against Russian Alexander Morozevich, a resurgent Viswanathan Anand will take on his last world championship challenger Boris Gelfand of Israel in the fourth round of Tal memorial chess tournament here.
Starting out with a loss against Fabiano Caruana of Italy in the opener, Anand followed it up with a draw in a tense affair against Dmitry Andreikin of Russia, and then desperately needed a win to bounce back in the tournament.
The Indian ace overpowered Morozevich from a typically balanced middle game.
With six rounds still remaining in one of the strongest tournament ever, Anand shares the fifth spot along with Andreikin and world number one Magnus Carlsen of Norway on 1.5 points from three games so far.
It`s a four-way lead at the top with Caruana, Gelfand, Hikaru Nakamura of United States and Shakhriyayr Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan stuck together on two points each.
Caruana and Nakmura have played all decisive games so far -- losing one and winning two -- while Gelfand and Mamedyarov have one victory and two draws.
The 100000 Euros prize money tournament has thrown many surprises already in the first three rounds and the biggest one is Vladimir Kramnik losing the first two games in the tournament.
Generally solid, Kramnik has struggled with his form here and unless he pulls himself back in a big way, his chances in the event are quite slim.
Caruana was lucky to beat Carlsen from a drawn endgame and his victory against Anand was possible only after the latter tried hard for an advantage.
Nevertheless the young Italian has proved himself to be a big game player and his joint second finish in the last grand prix is ample proof of that.
Anand chances in the tournament rely heavily on his games against Gelfand, Mamedyarov and Karjakin. After this round, a big match awaits Anand when he takes on Carlsen in the fifth round. Nakamura will play Anand in the sixth round after which the second rest day is scheduled.
Carlsen was a bit subdued after he could not force a draw against Caruana but every chess buff knows that he can be underestimated only at one`s own peril. His victory against Kramnik in the opener was well executed and one can expect the Norwegian to fire now as he is generally been a slow starter in super tournaments.
Pairings round 4: Alexander Morozevich (Rus, 1) v Vladimir Kramnik (Rus, 0.5); Sergey Karjakin (Rus, 1) v Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Aze, 2); Fabiano Caruana (Ita, 2) v Hikaru Nakamura (Usa, 2); Dmitry Andreikin (Rus, 1.5) Magnus Carlsen (Nor, 1.5); V Anand (Ind, 1.5) Boris Gelfand (Isr, 2).