The eighth game of the FIDE World Championship Match, sponsored by Tamil Nadu state and currently ongoing in Chennai, finished in draw after 33 moves of play. Carlsen preserved the two points advantage, and with four games to go needs only 1,5 points to become World Champion.
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A doping control was performed after game 8. The press conference was delayed for a few minutes because the players were being introduced to anti-doping control protocols. The samples were given after the press conference. In the meantime the players were accompanied by officials to prevent any kind of rules intrusion.
The challenger and world’s top rated player Magnus Carlsen changed his opening strategy and went for 1.e4 this time. The defending champion Viswanathan Anand echoed Carlsen’s repertoire and defended with Berlin Ruy Lopez, to the surprise of everyone in the press room here in Chennai.
Carlsen does not like to enter the Berlin endgame often with white pieces, and instead played the less frequent 5.Re1. The resulting pawn structure is symmetrical but with more pieces on the board.
Only two months ago Carlsen had a similar position with black against Hikaru Nakamura in Saint Louis. In 2010 Carlsen and Anand already tested the system, with same colours, in Kristiansund and Nanjing. All these games were drawn.
After the massive exchanges on the open e-file, the game ended in a draw on 33rd move. Carlsen spent only 20 minutes for the whole game. The current score is 5-3 in favour of the challenger.
Photos by JM Mahesh