Anand shares the second spot spot with Karjakin, with three points from five rounds so far. He is currently behind Norway’s Magnus Carlsen, the world champion, who has 3.5 points in his kitty. Ding Liren of China, Alexander Grischuk of Russia, David Navara of Czech Republic and local star Teimour Radjabov possess 2.5 points apiece.
With four rounds still left, Anand has a good chance of winning the title.
He has secured wins over Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Anish Giri, and has suffered a solitary loss — against Magnus Carlsen. He could have won one more — against David Navara; he had a winning position but the contest resulted in a draw. In contrast, against Mamedyarov, he looked to be moving towards a defeat but turned the tables.
Against Giri, he secured his first-ever classical-game victory.
For Anand to stay in contention for the title, the key might be the white games. He has the favourable colour against Grischuk and Topalov, in the seventh and ninth rounds.
Carlsen faces a tough opponent in the next round, too, in Ding Liren. Liren is the second player from Asia, after Anand, to have crossed the 2800 ELO rating barrier.