Belying expectations of chess fans across the world for a positive result, Norwegian world chess champion Magnus Carlsen and title challenger Viswanathan Anand on Tuesday decided to split points in 41 moves in the eighth round of their title match at Sochi in Russia. (Highlights | Full Coverage)
It was a very good preparation by Carlsen and his team, who introduced a new idea and the game quickly fizzled out into a dull position which Carlsen held very easily," World No.7 and Grandmaster Anish Giri summed up.
Playing white, Anand opened the game pushing his queen pawn two squares. The game progressed to what is technically called Queen's Gambit Declined.
Making his moves pretty fast, Carlsen made it clear that he was well prepared in this line.
"Carlsen played one of the rare lines in the main line with the move Re8 on his 9th move," World No.23 and Indian Grandmaster P. Harikrishna told IANS.
It was evident that Carlsen and his team had prepared well as the champion was playing fast even till the 25th move, Harikrishna said.
When Anand realised that he walked into Magnus' home preparation, he took his time and got a decent position. But it was just not enough to convert," Susan Polgar, a four-time women's World chess champion, told IANS.
The game progressed evenly and on the 23rd move the queens got exchanged.
"Even if the queens were not exchanged, Anand would not have got any winning position," Harikrishna said.
According to him, it looked Anand had some initiative but was not sufficient to convert that into a winning position.
On the 41st move, both the players signed their peace treaty.
Anand, who is himself a five-time world champion before he lost the title to
Carlsen, was not concerned much.
To a query whether Anand should have tried hard, Polgar said: "He knows himself best. He knows his body better than anyone else. But if I was white, I would have pushed on, even with just 0.01 percent chance. White's position was slightly better and black has to aim for draw. It was a no risk push and it could give Magnus a psychological message. But Anand has to do what is best for him, not the fans."
At the end of this round, Carlsen leads the 12-round match with 4.5 points to Anand's 3.5 points.
The match would resume Thursday after a day of rest.
Anand,Viswanathan (2792) - Carlsen, Magnus (2863)
World Chess Championship 2014 Sochi (8), Nov 18
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 Be7 5.Bf4 0-0 6.e3 c5 7.dxc5 Bxc5 8.a3 Nc6 9.Qc2 Re8 10.Bg5 Be7 11.Rd1 Qa5 12.Bd3 h6 13.Bh4 dxc4 14.Bxc4 a6 15.0-0 b5 16.Ba2 Bb7 17.Bb1 Rad8 18.Bxf6 Bxf6 19.Ne4 Be7 20.Nc5 Bxc5 21.Qxc5 b4 22.Rc1 bxa3 23.bxa3 Qxc5 24.Rxc5 Ne7 25.Rfc1 Rc8 26.Bd3 Red8 27.Rxc8 Rxc8 28.Rxc8+ Nxc8 29.Nd2 Nb6 30.Nb3 Nd7 31.Na5 Bc8 32.Kf1 Kf8 33.Ke1 Ke7 34.Kd2 Kd6 35.Kc3 Ne5 36.Be2 Kc5 37.f4 Nc6 38.Nxc6 Kxc6 39.Kd4 f6 40.e4 Kd6 41.e5+