NEW DELHI: As the two-horse title-race of the Corus chess tournament reaches the home stretch, Viswanathan Anand will be required to strike with white pieces twice over the remaining three rounds in order to stop Veselin Topalov from winning the prestigious title at Wijk aan Zee on Sunday.
After 10 rounds, Anand is in the second place at seven points, half-a-point behind Topalov. When the competition resumes after Thursday's rest day, Anand will have the advantage of playing white against Sergey Tiviakov and Boris Gelfand in the 11th and 13th rounds. In between, Anand plays black against Topalov in the most awaited battle of the tournament.
On the other hand, Topalov will have black pieces against Vassily Ivanchuk and defending champion Peter Leko in the odd-number rounds. In the given scenario, a close finish is expected.
In GM `B', Koneru Humpy (5) is sharing the seventh spot and plays Hungary's Zoltan Almasi on Friday. Norway's Magnus Carlsen leads with 7.5 points.
11th round pairings: Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukr, 5.5) vs. Veselin Topalov (Bul, 7.5); Viswanathan Anand (Ind, 7) vs. Sergey Tiviakov (Ned, 4.5); Sergey Karjakin (Ukr, 5.5) vs. Ivan Sokolov (Ned, 3.5); Levon Aronian (Arm, 4.5) vs. Boris Gelfand (Isr, 6); Peter Leko (Hun, 4.5) vs. Shakhiryar Mamedyarov (Aze, 4); Gata Kamsky (USA, 2.5) vs. Loek van Wely (Ned, 5); Michael Adams (Eng, 6) vs. Etienne Bacrot (Fra, 4).