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Game 9 ends in a draw, Carlsen leads by a point

A very quick draw resulted in Game 9 of the world championship match at Sochi. World Champion, Magnus Carlsen opted to repeat the position thrice when faced with an unusual opening idea from the Challenger, Viswanathan Anand.  

Carlsen opened with the King Pawn as he has done throughout this match. Anand responded with the Berlin Defence to the Spanish Opening for the third time. The game proceeded on theoretical lines until  move 13, when Carlsen actually made the first new move. However, white was consuming much more time and it appeared that he did not know the position well.

Anand responded quickly to Carlsen’s novelty by relocating his bishop by moving it for the second time in succession. Carlsen   committed himself to a pawn advance, which led to a quick dissolution of the centre. On move 16, White started checking with one of his knights and he repeated the position thrice to force a draw on move 20.

At this stage, Carlsen had spent about 50 minutes while Anand had spent just 15. Carlsen said at the press conference that he was satisfied with the draw since he thought Anand looked better prepared in this position and every draw brings Carlsen a little closer to retaining the title. The last time the Berlin was  played in Game Seven, a draw also resulted. But it came only after 122 moves.

This result left Carlsen leading by 5-4 in the 12 game match. But Anand will play twice with the white pieces in the remaining games. This could constitute an advantage since white usually scores a little better due to the advantage of the first move and all three decisive results in this match have gone in white’s favour.  As Anand said at the press conference, having got a quick draw with black, he will now have to try harder with white.  The nervous tension is likely to mount as the match draws to a close and that could obviously affect the result.

White: Carlsen, Magnus Vs Black: Anand,Viswanathan 
Game 9, World CM Sochi 2014

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.0–0 Nxe4 5.d4 Nd6 6.Bxc6 dxc6 7.dxe5 Nf5 8.Qxd8+ Kxd8 9.h3 Ke8 10.Nc3 h5 11.Ne2 b6 12.Rd1 Ba6 13.Nf4 Bb7 14.e6 Bd6 15.exf7+ Kxf7 16.Ng5+ Kf6 17.Ne4+ Kf7 18.Ng5+ Kf6 19.Ne4+ Kf7 20.Ng5+ (½–½)

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