Magnus Carlsen takes safe route for a draw against Viswanathan Anand

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Sochi, Nov 20: Not wanting to take any chances in a drawn position, World chess champion Magnus Carlsen opted to split points with title challenger India's Viswanathan Anand in their ninth game of the World Chess Championship in Sochi, Russia on Thursday.

Carlsen went for a draw through the route of perpetual checks-checks by repetitive moves to Anand's black king.

Both the players signed their peace treaty after Carlsen made his 20th move. Carlsen leads the table with five points to Anand's four in their 12-game match.

Carlsen, Anand match ends in draw

Playing with white pieces Carlsen opened the game pushing his king pawn two squares forward and Anand repeated the same with his king pawn.

The five time world champion from India, Anand decided to opt for Berlin defence which is considered to be solid one by experts. Developing his pieces on his king side, Carlsen took his king to safety by castling.

However he did not allow that luxury to Anand by going in for queen exchange on his eighth move.

While the players made proper movers, on the 16th move Carlsen decided to go for repetitive checks and four moves later the game was over.

"It was a very short draw that both players are happy with. Carlsen is leading, while Anand has two games left with white to try his luck," World number 7 and Grandmaster Anish Giri told IANS soon after the game.

After move 15 it was clear the game would end in a draw

"After move 15 it was clear the game would end in a draw. Carlsen went in the direction of forced draw. The same variation was played in game seven," World number 26 and Indian grandmaster P. Harikrishna told IANS.

"It is good for Anand that the game ended in a quick draw. The result is positive for Anand as he was able to hold Carlsen playing black pieces. Except in one game, Anand had problems playing with black pieces against the world champion," Harikrishna said.

According to him, if Carlsen did not opt for repeat checks and went in for prolonging the game, he could have landed up in a problem.

He said Anand had spent just 15 minutes on his clock whereas Carlsen had spent nearly 50 minutes for the 20 moves.

To the query whether Anand should have prevented exchange of queens early in the game, Harikrishna said the Berlin defence variation is one of the solid chess openings for black.

On Friday, Anand will open the game with white pieces.

IANS

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