Bilbao (Spain):World Champion Viswanathan Anand will be under pressure to win when he comes out for the sixth round game against Vassily Ivanchuk of Ukraine after the rest day in the Bilbao Grand Slam here.
Anand hit a low against Vaselin Topalov of Bulgaria and lost in the fourth round, besides that the Indian ace has only managed four draws which puts him on 4 points in the soccer-like scoring system, that gives three points for a win and one for draw, being used first time ever in a high-category tournament.
But, according to the experts, Anand is perhaps reserving his best for his forthcoming world championship match against Vladimir Kramnik of Russia a month later and that's probably the reason for his mediocre show thus far in the biggest prize money tournament ever.
Going into the first rest day, Topalov, who many predicted as one of the big favourites due to his uncompromising style, is currently leading the tables on nine points with two wins and three draws and is followed by Magnus Carlsen of Norway who has 8 points with one loss, two wins and two draws.
The third place is held by Levon Aronian of Armenia who has six points and Anand is tied fourth along side Ivanchuk and Teimour Radjabov of Azerbaijan.
In the remaining five games, the Indian ace has two white games against Aronian and Topalov and will probably hold the key for him. Against Ivanchuk, Anand will have black pieces in round six and with both players striving to hit form, it is likely to be an exciting contest.
Veselin Topalov will have white pieces against Radjabov whose form is also in question. The Bulgarian starts as the favourite in this game but Radjabov has repeatedly shown his tenacity and counter-play skills especially while playing black.
In the other game of sixth round Magnus Carlsen will have white against Aronian and the latter will be looking to avenge his defeat at the hands of teenage sensation earlier in the tournament.
The event is being played on a double round robin basis according to fide rules and the draw offers are forbidden. The prize pool is an unprecedented 400000 euros.
Pairings round 6: Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukr, 4) v/s V Anand (Ind, 4); Veselin Topalov (Bul, 9) v/s Teimour Radjabov (Aze, 4); Magnus Carlsen (Nor, 8) v/s Levon Aronian (Arm, 6).