Not wanting to take any chances with Norwegian challenger Magnus Carlsen's king pawn two square forward push, defending champion Vishwanathan Anand went for the solid Berlin defence and drew the eighth game of their World Championship title match here Tuesday.
The game ended in 33 moves with each player having their kings and seven pawns on the board. With the draw, Carlsen takes his point tally to five and Anand has three in the FIDE World Chess Championship.
"With a two point lead, Carlsen chose a variation that is drawish and went for exchange of pieces," Grandmaster P. Harikrishna told IANS. According to him it was surprising to see Anand going for Berlin defence instead of Sicillian defence i.e. double edged variation.
Carlsen took his king to safety on the fourth move by castling and Anand castled on the king side on his eighth move. On his 11th move, Anand went for exchange of rooks.
The game saw both players exchanging their pieces in steady fashion. By the 22nd move, it was clear the game was heading for a draw. On his 25th move, Carlsen went for queen exchange taking Anand's rook on e8 square. Anand captured the queen with his knight.
In return, Carlsen captured the knight with his rook and the World Champion took it with his queen. A check to black's king with his knight, which also threatened Anand's queen equalised the position. It was the only interesting sequence of move made by both the players in the drawn game.
Wednesday is rest day and the match would resume Thursday with Anand playing white.