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Advantage Anand

other Updated: May 23, 2012 00:35 IST

Having bounced back with an emphatic victory in the previous round, Indian Grandmaster Viswanathan Anand holds a psychological advantage in the crucial remaining four games of the World Championship against Israeli Boris Gelfand here.

With points levelled at 4-4 and with four games to go, the championship match is interestingly poised.

The eighth game provided the Indian ace a much needed breather after a shocking loss in the seventh game, and the manner in which the win came was something that's bound to dent the confidence of Gelfand.

In a way, this match was reminiscent of the 1995 World Championship clash between Garry Kasparov and Anand that the latter had lost in the end. The first eight ties of the 20-game match had then ended in draws and then Anand had drawn first blood thanks to some careless play by Kasparov.

What happened from the 10th game onwards is history. Kasparov was well prepared in the opening and outclassed Anand in all departments of the game. Seventeen years later, Anand finds himself in Kasparov's shoes against Gelfand.

Oozing confidence
Anand now plays black in the ninth game on Wednesday after a day's break in the $2.55 million Championship. Gelfand will have to rebuild from scratch which is not easy for a challenger who, at 43, is in all likelihood playing his last World Championship match unless he wins it.

For the Indian, this is simply turning out to be a roller-coaster ride. Gelfand was a picture of confidence coming into the eighth game. He put up a brave front after the loss, even occasionally invoking laughter from the pressmen in the post-match conference. If he was disturbed, he did not show it. Meaning that he intends to fight till it's all over.