Defending champion Viswanathan Anand was caught off guard by a surprise opening from Magnus Carlsen of Norway as he played out a tame draw against his challenger with white pieces in the second game of the World Chess Championship in Chennai on Sunday.
World No 1 Carlsen showed that he was made of sterner stuff and pulled back the attention on himself with an easiest of draws against Anand, who played with his first white in the match. The first game, in which Anand played with black pieces, was also a drawn affair yesterday.
The scores are now tied 1-1 after two games and there are 10 more games to go under Classical time control in this Rs 14 crore prize money championship.
Just like Anand's mesmerising work in the opening game on Saturday, it was Carlsen all the way as Anand could not do anything.
"It's my turn to offer a slight apology today," Anand said after avoiding any undue risk that might have led to wild complexities out of a Caro Kann defense.
The local hero agreed that the opening was a surprise for him and even more the variation chosen by Carlsen.
It was a repetition of a game played by Anand against Chinese Ding Liren some time back and Anand spent a lot of time thinking about various complicated variations but could not be sure of himself.
The easier way out was to play solid, as Carlsen did when posed with slightest difficulty and the draw was up for grabs for the Norwegian.
While the first game lasted just 16 moves, this one went on till the 25th but the result of the game had been forecasted by many much before that.
Carlsen's surprise opening apparently took Anand completely off guard and the world champion will now have to look at some new options to figure out the Caro Kann.
The variation that Carlsen chose has tendencies to go for wild-play which is a major shift from the Carlsen camp according to general perception that the Norwegian plays well in dry positions.
Moves: 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Bf5 5. Ng3 Bg6 6. h4 h6 7. Nf3 e6 8. Ne5 Bh7 9. Bd3 Bxd3 10. Qxd3 Nd7 11. f4 Bb4+ 12. c3 Be7 13. Bd2 Ngf6 14. O-O-O O-O 15. Ne4 Nxe4 16. Qxe4 Nxe5 17. fxe5 Qd5 18. Qxd5 cxd5 19. h5 b5 20. Rh3 a5 21. Rf1 Rac8 22. Rg3 Kh7 23. Rgf3 Kg8 24. Rg3 Kh7 25. Rgf3 Kg8 ½-½
Image: Magnus Carlsen (left) with Viswanathan Anand
Photograph: FIDE World Chess Championship