World champion Viswanathan Anand got an easy draw with black as challenger Magnus Carlsen continued his march towards the throne after the end of the eighth game of the World Chess Championship.
The morale boosting draw, first since the first game of the match, is likely to help Anand psychologically before the home stretch but the fact remains that the defending champion still has a lot to catch up.
For the records, Carlsen now leads by 5-3, just three draws or 1.5 points shy of winning his maiden world title with four games still to come in the 12-games match.
The eighth game was over in just 75 minutes, after 33 moves giving the indication that the defending champion Anand might be crawling back after some tough games and tougher defenses he has had to put in. From Carlsen’s perspective, the draw took the Norwegian a step closer in his quest.
It turned out to be an opening surprise from Carlsen when he pushedthe King pawn two squares after settling behind the white pieces in the eighth game.
Anand chose the Berlin defense, an opening used by Carlsen himself in the match on as many as three occasions and it was evident that the Norwegian did not have an ace up his sleeves.