Game eight of the World Chess Championship match ended in a draw after 41 moves. It was a relatively a quiet game, the quietest of this match, with neither side being able to wrest a significant advantage at any stage. World Champion Magnus Carlsen leads in the match against his challenger Viswanathan Anand, with scores of 4.5 and 3.5 respectively. There are four games left.
Playing with the white pieces, Anand opened with the Queen’s Pawn and Carlsen opted for the Queen’s Gambit Declined. On Move 10, black played the first new move in a well-known position and that set up a steady defence with black maintaining a stable symmetrical pawn position.
Anand thought for a fairly long time but he was unable to find a set up, which created serious threats though he retained a very small advantage. Black calmly embarked on a series of exchanges liquidating most of the pieces. By move 29, the position had simplified to a minor piece endgame with both sides possessing a Bishop and Knight and an exactly symmetrical pawn structure with five pawns each. Carlsen had some time advantage, but both players were playing quite quickly and there were no chances left for either side after a knight exchange.
The players signed the peace treaty on move 41.
Both players admitted they were still feeling the effects of the marathon seventh game, which was drawn after 122 moves. Carlsen gave credit to his team for finding the opening idea which helped him to draw the sting from white’s opening. There is a rest day on Wednesday, which should help them recover their energy. Since only four games are left, Carlsen’s lead assumes more importance but the tension is also rising. Most of the experts covering the match seem to feel Anand is more likely to take risks in his last two games with the white pieces (game 10 & game 12).