Defending champion Magnus Carlsen of Norway drew the first blood by defeating challenger Viswanathan Anand in the second game of the World Chess Championship in Sochi on Sunday.
It turned out to be a shocking defeat for Anand, who played the black side of a Ruy Lopez after what appeared like a seemingly innocuous position for the Indian ace.
The spectators online from across the world were cheering for Anand on various social media networks after he got a tangible posiiton from what seemed like a complete lost position and this was when the Indian missed the thread and played an inexplicable blunder to let the game end on an abrupt note.
With his first victory as early as in the second tie of the 12-game match, Carlsen now leads the series by 1.5-0.5 and Team Anand will now have to think of something out-of-the-box to contain the Carlsen juggernaut.
The opening took shape in familiar territory only for a brief while as Carlsen came up with a new idea as early as on move nine in a closed Ruy Lopez set up to make Anand think something of his own.
The middle game featured routine manoeuvres after Carlsen settled for a relatively simple position in the middle game with Bishops of opposite colours. Even though the computer suggested a miniscule advantage for Carlsen, the world elite opined that Anand was well within equalising stage.
However, Carlsen's imaginative manoeuvres over the board proved too much for Anand to handle and soon enough the Indian was staring at a dangerous attack on his Kingside. Anand tried to come up with his defensive manoeuvres but he could not really create any real counter play, which was the main cause of the disaster.
Keeping a huge advantage even after the trade of the last minor piece, Carlsen kept his queen and rooks on the same file and while Anand saved himself temporarily trading a pair of rooks his 34th move was a blunder leading to the defeat immediately as Carlsen's Queen and rook seized the seventh rank.
Anand, to his fans, is known for some great defensive technique but this was certainly not his day. Yet again, Carlsen got what he wanted out of the middle game and never gave any real chance to the Indian.
This turns out to be a huge setback for Anand who began quite well in the first game of the match and was close to being equal in the second game. The five-time world champion from India will now get a day's rest and the players will be back for the third game on Tuesday.