The first two games of the World Chess Championship in Sofia, Bulgaria, have left the two contestants — World champion Viswanathan Anand of India and his challenger Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria —with a lot to work out on the first rest day on Monday.
The scores are level 1-1 with both winning a game each —- the Bulgarian drew first blood on Saturday and the Indian struck back on Sunday.
The real match starts now!
In the third game on Tuesday, Topalov will play with white pieces and it will be a chance for Anand to put back on rails his preparation with black pieces after he goofed up in the first game. The question foremost on everybody’s mind was whether the reigning World champion will choose the Grunfeld Defence with black after Game 1 disaster.
Whether it was something he practiced to play with black against Topalov will be known if he chooses Grunfeld again and does well in Game 3. That will force Topalov to look for his second-choice opening with white pieces. In case Anand wants to avoid repeating Grunfeld so early, he will have to opt for his second-choice preparation for black.
Anand, who recovered well by outplaying his opponent on Sunday, has to press home the psychological advantage and steer the game into simple, uncomplicated positions and let Topalov take all the risks.
Topalov is expected to come hard at him and take the initiative back and Anand will have to fight fire with ice.