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.
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.
The players were subjected to doping test after the eighth game and that accounted for a mild delay in the arrival at the media hall. The tests were done by Dr Jana Bellin. FIDE to be part of the International Olympic Committee initiated doping tests from the Bled Olympiad of 2002.
In the Bled 2002 Olympiad, Chennai’s women grandmaster Meenakshi was tested for doping after a random pick.
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