Bonn (Germany):Viswanathan Anand looks all set to retain his World Champion title when the battle against Russian Vladimir Kramnik resumes on Thursday after a rest day.
The Indian ace, who started the 12-game match with black pieces, will play as white in the seventh game and it all looks effectively over at the halfway stage itself with the score reading 4.5-1.5 in favour of Anand.
In the conference after the sixth game that he lost, Kramnik effectively agreed that the world match title would be heading to India yet again.
Losing his third game out of last four, the Russian's expressions said it all if not his words. Kramnik perfectly realised that the 3 points deficit would probably be too great to overcome.
When asked about his chances, Kramnik deflected the question, saying "I just have to try to show good chess, to try to play better to win a game. If I do this maybe I could get some chances at the end of the match..." with his voice trailing off at the end of the sentence.
The traditional quote of the Russian "I will fight", also went missing for the first time.
The sixth game was opened by legendry world champion Anatoly Karpov of Russia who made the first move on behalf of Anand. It was only a coincidence that Anand won the sixth game in true-Karpov style: confusing Kramnik, probing his defenses and finally making him suffer a great deal before the Russian finally resigned.
Looking back, it is easy to say that Kramnik was simply not himself coming to this match and Anand was the much better player. The stage was set in the third game that the Indian ace won with consummate ease and another victory in the fifth game as black sealed Kramnik's hopes almost decidedly.
The sixth game would probably be remembered as the proverbial final-nail in the coffin and now only the hopes remain for the Russian.
Going by the history, only Boris Spassky was able to produce some excellent chess after trailing by a huge margin against Robert (Bobby) Fischer in the famous 1972 match. In recent years, the top players are not known for doing this in big competitions.
Just before the match, Anand did not try much to improve his last spot in the Bilbao Grand Slam while Kramnik's show in the Tal Memorial and Dortmund were also forgettable.
It looks like party time for Anand and Co already. As things stand, it will be a miracle if Kramnik can last till the final game.