NEW DELHI: World No. 1 Viswanathan Anand will take on World champion Vladimir Kramnik in the opening round of the Sparkassen Chess Meeting at Dortmund.

Defending champion Kramnik, a seven-time winner of the premier event, will open his campaign with white pieces.

Peter Leko, winner in 1999 and 2002 will play 16-year old debutant Magnus Carlsen. The other two first-timers in the fray are, third seed Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and winner of the Aeroflot Open title, Russia’s Evgeny Alekseev.

Anand is due to play white against Leko, local favourite Arkadij Naiditsch and Elekseev in the even-numbered rounds. In the third, fifth and seventh rounds, Anand will sit behind the black against Boris Gelfand, Mamedyarov and Carlsen.

First round pairings: Vladimir Kramnik (Rus, 2772) vs. Viswanathan Anand (Ind, 2786); Boris Gelfand (Isr, 2733) vs. Evgeny Alekseev (Rus, 2679); Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Aze, 2757) vs. Arkadij Naiditsch (Ger, 2654); Magnus Carlsen (Nor, 2693) vs. Peter Leko (Hun, 2738).

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