Viswanathan Anand went into the World Chess Championship as a slight favorite to win the tournament. Having proved himself as an adept player in this type of tournament, he has sprinted to a seemingly insurmountable lead with three rounds remaining. Only a tragic mental collapse could prevent the Indian star from winning and meeting Vladimir Kramnik in a head-to-head match. He is currently on 7½-3½ and 1½-points ahead of 2nd place Boris Gelfand. There is a rest day today and the then the final three rounds will finish an exciting tournament.
Anand has escaped tragedy more than once in Mexico City after getting bad position with the white pieces against Gelfand and nearly losing to Kramnik. Despite this, he has been the most steady player in the field. Gelfand seems to have run out of steam and he has gone winless in his last five games. Kramnik, who was vying for the top spot has been unable to win a game since crushing Alexander Morozevich in round 2.
The field is rather balanced and this is to be expected in such a strong tournament. However, the Russian era of chess dominance appears to be over. After 11 rounds, three Russians occupy the last three places in the field. Even World Champion Kramnik is only on an even score and looks sluggish. Looking at other events such as the Olympiad and other team tournaments, the balance of power is certainly changing.
Coverage (Drum Blog)