Viswanathan Anand may be digging into some excellent pizzas, pastas and some exotic sushi along with Russian food during his stay in Sochi, but down by a point with just four games to go, the five-time world champion is in a now-or-never situation in the World Chess Championship match against Magnus Carlsen.
With the scores favouring Carlsen 4.5-3.5 after eight games, Anand is now under serious pressure to score at least one victory, and if that does not happen in the next two games, it might be already too late.
Ahead of the ninth game on Thursday, it is not only the match situation which is a worrying factor for Anand but also Carlsen's preparation.
The Indian ace had come up with a fine new idea to win the third game but since then Carlsen seems to have caught the 'preparation bug' too.
The Norwegian is blitzing out the opening moves in quick time as well as producing new ideas, something that was considered Anand's forte.
The Anand camp stayed upbeat though. "We had been hoping that Anand plays the chess we know he can. He has in his own silent way, reinvented his chess," Anand's wife and manager Aruna said.
"(During his time in Sochi) Anand has been visiting the gymnasium daily and he prefers to walk along the beach after working on chess. He listens to music, avoids newspapers and television. The Economist is the only thing he reads," Aruna added.
For Anand, it would be best to go for the kill at the earliest. The time to think about being white or black should not matter anymore and all the Indian ace should be thinking about is to complicate the position as soon as possible.
In the ninth game on Thursday, Anand will be playing black. If there is a twist in this world championship, it looks most likely to happen in the next two days because after that it might be too late for Anand to script a comeback.