Moscow: Going through a tough time, world champion Viswanathan Anand will hope for a turn around as he faces Shakhriyar Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan in the seventh round of Tal memorial chess tournament.
With three defeats, two draws and a solo win against Alexander Morozevich of Russia, Anand shares the last spot in one of the strongest tournament ever and needs a major reversal in fortunes to make a comeback.
However with just three rounds to come, the task is not easy and given the fact that Anand plays two black games out of that makes it all the more daunting.
Things don't seem to be going Anand's way right from the first day when he lost to Italian Fabiano Caruana as white, another loss at the hands of Magnus Carlsen of Norway in the fifth round followed a shocker when Anand also lost to tournament leader Hikaru Nakamura of United States in the sixth round.
Anand had Nakamura as company in points table as the latter had also started the tournament with a loss against Mamedyarov. However, the American pulled himself back like no one else and has won four out of next five games to lead the tables on 4.5 points.
Anands last World championship challenger Boris Gelfand is playing his best chess here and occupies the second spot on four points. Carlsen is not far behind on 3.5 along with Mamedyarov while Dmitry Andreikin of Russia and Caruana have three points apiece.
Sergey Karjakin of Russia is sole seventh on 3.5 points while Anand, Vladimir Kramnik and Morozevich are at the bottom of the tables with just two points to back them. After Mamedyarov, Anand will meet Kramnik and Karjakin.
Nakamura has the best chance but is yet to play some of the in-form players. His game against Carlsen in the penultimate round might be crucial to decide the winner of the 100000 Euros prize money tournament.
Pairings round 8: Shakhriayar Mamedyarov (Aze, 3.5) v V Anand Anand (Ind, 2); Magnus Carlsen (Nor, 3.5) v Alexander Morozevich (Rus, 2); Hikaru Nakamura (Usa, 4.5) v Boris Gelfand (Isr, 4); Vladimir Kramik (Rus, 2) v Dmitry Andreikin (Rus, 3); Sergey Karjakin (Rus, 2.5) v Fabiano Caruana (Ita, 3).