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Anand to meet Caruana in Grenke Classic opener

By The Assam Tribune
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BADEN-BADEN (GERMANY), Feb 2 (PTI): Five-time world champion Viswanathan Anand will start his campaign against world number two Fabiano Caruana of Italy in the first round of the Grenke Chess Classic that gets underway here.

A winner in the first edition in this spa-town in 2013, Anand will be facing a tough challenge in the tournament, especially from World champion Magnus Carlsen of Norway, who starts as the top seed and hot favourite for the crown.

Apart from Carlsen the organisers have also roped in Levon Aronian of Armenia, Michael Adams of England, Etienne Bacrot of France apart from German Grandmasters Arkadij Naiditsch and David Baramidze. The eight-player tournament will be played on round-robin basis and there will be seven rounds in all.

The time control will be classical with 100 minutes for the first 40 moves, 50 for the next 20 and then a 15-minutes sudden death with a 30-second increment from move one.

After losing the world championship match against Carlsen in November last, Anand recovered pretty quickly to win the London Classic ahead of Caruana and Vladimir Kramnik and all eyes will be on the Indian to see if he can pose a serious threat to Carlsen who just won the Tata Steel tournament for the fourth time.

Anand will be in familiar ground as this is home to his Bundesliga Chess Club � OSG Baden-Baden. Anand is part of the club since 2002 and has won many Bundesliga trophies. Besides, the Indian ace is also known to prepare for important tournaments and matches in Germany.

Carlsen, on the other hand, is fresh from an easy victory at the Tata tournament. After a tentative start, Carlsen came up with six wins on the trot to seal the tournament decidedly in his favour less than two weeks ago and looks in fine fettle.

Caruana�s form has taken a dip since he achieved a career high live rating of 2851 points and the Italian will be eager to stage a comeback. However going by the current trends, it is unlikely that he will pose a serious threat to Carlsen�s quest.

Another player who has not been in good shape lately, is Levon Aronian, who had one of his worst performances in recent years at the Tata tournament only. Finishing a below par 10th, Aronian will also hope to set some records straight. Michael Adams and Etienne Bacrot are both seasoned campaigners and Adams was a part of the 2013 edition that Anand won. Both Adams and Bacrot are well-prepared and the former was also rumoured to have helped Carlsen in the last world championship match against Anand.

The local challenge from Arkadij Naiditsch and Baramidze completes the line-up and it might be crucial for the winner to score victory against these two lowest ranked players in the tournament. Rising back after his second loss against Carlsen in a world championship match, Anand put an end to speculations on his retirement plans. At 45, the Indian is the oldest player in the tournament followed by Adams who is 43. Caruana is the youngest participant at 22 years and Carlsen � the flag bearer of new generation in chess � is 24 years old.

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Anand to meet Caruana in Grenke Classic opener

BADEN-BADEN (GERMANY), Feb 2 (PTI): Five-time world champion Viswanathan Anand will start his campaign against world number two Fabiano Caruana of Italy in the first round of the Grenke Chess Classic that gets underway here.

A winner in the first edition in this spa-town in 2013, Anand will be facing a tough challenge in the tournament, especially from World champion Magnus Carlsen of Norway, who starts as the top seed and hot favourite for the crown.

Apart from Carlsen the organisers have also roped in Levon Aronian of Armenia, Michael Adams of England, Etienne Bacrot of France apart from German Grandmasters Arkadij Naiditsch and David Baramidze. The eight-player tournament will be played on round-robin basis and there will be seven rounds in all.

The time control will be classical with 100 minutes for the first 40 moves, 50 for the next 20 and then a 15-minutes sudden death with a 30-second increment from move one.

After losing the world championship match against Carlsen in November last, Anand recovered pretty quickly to win the London Classic ahead of Caruana and Vladimir Kramnik and all eyes will be on the Indian to see if he can pose a serious threat to Carlsen who just won the Tata Steel tournament for the fourth time.

Anand will be in familiar ground as this is home to his Bundesliga Chess Club � OSG Baden-Baden. Anand is part of the club since 2002 and has won many Bundesliga trophies. Besides, the Indian ace is also known to prepare for important tournaments and matches in Germany.

Carlsen, on the other hand, is fresh from an easy victory at the Tata tournament. After a tentative start, Carlsen came up with six wins on the trot to seal the tournament decidedly in his favour less than two weeks ago and looks in fine fettle.

Caruana�s form has taken a dip since he achieved a career high live rating of 2851 points and the Italian will be eager to stage a comeback. However going by the current trends, it is unlikely that he will pose a serious threat to Carlsen�s quest.

Another player who has not been in good shape lately, is Levon Aronian, who had one of his worst performances in recent years at the Tata tournament only. Finishing a below par 10th, Aronian will also hope to set some records straight. Michael Adams and Etienne Bacrot are both seasoned campaigners and Adams was a part of the 2013 edition that Anand won. Both Adams and Bacrot are well-prepared and the former was also rumoured to have helped Carlsen in the last world championship match against Anand.

The local challenge from Arkadij Naiditsch and Baramidze completes the line-up and it might be crucial for the winner to score victory against these two lowest ranked players in the tournament. Rising back after his second loss against Carlsen in a world championship match, Anand put an end to speculations on his retirement plans. At 45, the Indian is the oldest player in the tournament followed by Adams who is 43. Caruana is the youngest participant at 22 years and Carlsen � the flag bearer of new generation in chess � is 24 years old.