Viswanathan Anand will open with white as he bids to reclaim the world title which he lost to Magnus Carlsen last November.
The draw of colours was held in Sochi on Friday evening. The last time the two had met in Chennai, Carlsen had opened with white. This time Anand will hope to have a better share of the deal. Among the seconds working with Anand are India’s K Sasikiran and Polish Grandmasters Radoslaw Wojtaszek and Grzegorz Gajewski.
Wojtaszek has been with Anand since his successful title defence against Vladimir Kramnik in 2008. meanwhile, Gajewski is best known for introducing the Gajewski Gambit in 2007, a novelty from the Black side of the Ruy Lopez opening.
Among Carlsen’s seconds are Norwegian Jon Ludvig Hammer and Peter Heine Nielsen of Denmark.
Nielsen had been with Anand from 2002 to 2012 before teaming up with Carlsen. Hammer is a Norwegian GM and was Carlsen’s second when he won the world championship title.
The bookmakers are slotting Carlsen as 1-4 favourite to win the title. This has a lot to do with his 6.5-3.5 win over Anand last year. Russian President Vladimir Putin is likely to make the traditional opening move with the white pieces on Saturday.
Live at 5:30pm (WWW. SOCHI2014.FIDE.COM)