Challenger Viswanathan Anand did not get much out of his prepared variation and had to settle for a draw in the eighth round to remain a point behind in the World Chess Championship match against Magnus Carlsen.
Carlsen, not known for preparation, again matched Anand move for move like the last game and had nothing to worry about as the Indian’s white pieces were neutralised move for move.
The match seems to have tilted in favour of Carlsen post this game as Anand could not produce anything decisive in terms of opening preparation.
As the game started it was clear that Carlsen and his team was happy to get an equal position out of the opening, and while Anand spent too much time on the first few moves, it was clear that the task given to team Carlsen was performed pretty nicely.
The Indian king tried and did not succeed in finding the path to execute some pressure on the Norwegian giant. The end result was a draw.
For the records, Anand went for the principled variation in the Queens gambit declined but having his long term second and friend, Peter Heine Nielsen, on the other side did not help his cause.
It was surprising to see Anand thinking for long as simply, Carlsen seemed better prepared in the opening. The middle game that arrived was about equal when many of the top Grandmasters were predicting a drawn result on the social network.
Anand, from his end, did his best but it was not enough as the final result justified.
“It was a nice middle game and a decent advantage in the endgame, but it was never close to being winning,” said
Grandmaster Abhijeet Gupta who had been watching the game right from the word go.
Indian Grandmaster Sahaj Grover had a different take on the game as he said, “Anand should have pressed harder for the win in this eighth game.”
“I guess Anand needed to do better, it was clear that Carlsen had to come back to his best opening today and the Queen gambit declined was no exception. If Anand could not find a fault in Carlsen’s stars today then he might find it difficult in the course of the match,” he said.
In the post-match conference, Anand gave nothing away which could mean that the Indian might be plotting a way to disrupt Carlsen’s plans.