Former World champion Viswanathan Anand made it to the knock-out stage in the London Chess Classic with an easy draw against Andrei Istratescu of France in the fifth round of the preliminaries that concluded at the Olympia.
After scoring three wins in the first four games itself, Anand was destined to move to the quarter-final stage in this 16-player event, spilt in to four groups.
With one round still to go in the prelims, Anand is likely to head group 'A' with 11 points in his kitty under the soccer scoring system in place in the tournament.
Michael Adams of England trounced compatriot Luke McShane and joined Anand on 11 points. The two meet in the next round to determine the group winner.
Traditionally a super tournament, the London Classic this time became a Rapid tournament as the World Championship was held just two weeks before its commencement.
Anand will play black against Adams in the decider for the first place in the last round, having made the knock-out quarter-finals in the 16-players event split in to four groups.
Among other groups, Russians Vladimir Kramnik and Peter Svidler looked poised to qualify from group 'B' while in the group 'C' Boris Gelfand of Israel and Hikaru Nakamura of United States already made the cut like Anand and Adams.
The situation in group 'D' is also clear with Nigel Short of England hitting form and the two qualifiers from here are Fabiano Caruana of Italy along with the English Grandmaster who holds a high repute.
Image: Viswanathan Anand