World champion Viswanathan Anand and challenger Magnus Carlsen played out another quick draw in game 8. This brings Carlsen close to winning the 12-game match. The 22-year-old Carlsen leads 5-3 and needs to score another 1.5 points in the next four games to wrest the title away.
The game proceeded along quiet lines after Anand chose to defend with the Berlin Defence against Carlsen's Spanish opening. This was the fourth time the Berlin featured in the match but the first time Anand adopted it. The Indian Grandmaster's supporters were somewhat disappointed that he did not choose a more aggressive system, given that he is behind in the match.
Carlsen played very quickly, as the two players headed into a quiet and theoretically equal position, known since the 1880s. By move 21, most of the pieces had been exchanged, leaving an absolutely symmetrical structure, with no prospects. On move 25, Carlsen initiated a drawing combination that ensured every piece was exchanged and the draw was quickly agreed on move 33.
In the press conference, Carlsen admitted he was quite happy to sign the peace treaty and took only 20 minutes to play out the entire game. Anand took only a little longer and admitted that, given the match situation, it was up to him to make the running.
THE GAME SCORE
Carlsen, Magnus Vs Black: Anand, Viswanathan
World Championship Match 2013, Chennai, Game # 8
* 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.0-0 Nxe4 5.Re1 Nd6 6.Nxe5 Be7 7.Bf1 Nxe5 8.Rxe5 0-0 9.d4 Bf6 10.Re1 Re8 11.c3 Rxe1 12.Qxe1 Ne8 This position was first played in the first world championship match of 1886 between Wilhelm Steinitz and Johannes Zukertort.
* 13.Bf4 d5 14.Bd3 g6 15.Nd2 Ng7 16.Qe2 c6 17.Re1 Bf5 18.Bxf5 Nxf5 19.Nf3 Ng7 20.Be5 Ne6 21.Bxf6 Qxf6 22.Ne5 Re8 23.Ng4 Qd8 24.Qe5
* The diagram position. Black to play has only one move to prevent the deadly threats of Nf6+ and Nh6+. That response leads to a forced draw, after a pseudo-sacrifice, followed by a knight fork.
* Anand played 24. - Ng7! 25.Qxe8+ Nxe8 26.Rxe8+ Qxe8 27.Nf6+ Kf8 28.Nxe8 Kxe8 29.f4 f5 30.Kf2 b5 31.b4 Kf7 32.h3 h6 33.h4 h5 (½-½). There are no prospects of either side making a breakthrough.
Image: Viswanathan Anand (right) in action against Magnus Carlsen
Photograph: FIDE World Chess Championship