World Champion Viswanathan Anand kept challenger Vladimir Kramnik at bay and drew the ninth game on Sunday night to keep his three-point lead intact and inch towards retaining his world title.
The draw in ninth game gave NIIT MindChampion, Anand a 6-3 lead with three more games to go in the 12-game World Chess Championship final in Bonn. Anand needs just one draw to win the title while Kramnik needs to win all three remaining games to send the match into a tie-breaker.
The 45-move ninth game was the second longest after the 47-move win which Anand achieved with white in the sixth game.
Anand has won three games, the third, fifth and sixth and drawn the rest.
The ninth game with Anand playing white saw an opening in the Queen's Gambit declined and in the anti-Meran variation. Kramnik held the stronger position towards the end, but was unable to convert that advantage into his first win. Anand played the end perfectly to hold the Russian at bay and keep his three-point lead.
The two players will share a purse of 1.5 million euros regardless of the result.
Kramnik, who has not won with black since 2006 against Veselin Topalov gave a strong display and did have Anand struggling but the Indian held on. Towards the end, Anand played perfect defence, while Kramnik was unable to squeeze the win he so desperately needed to keep some interest alive in the match.
Anand did make an attempt early to see if he could finish off the match in the ninth game itself - having won the third, fifth and sixth games earlier on
Kramnik accepted the challenge and entered the sharp Anti Moscow Gambit.
Kramnik finally got a novelty in on 12th move. He got a sharp position that gave him a chance to play for a win, which he gladly accepted.
Black (Kramnik) held a good position for long. And his rook was very actively placed.
But Anand seemed to be steering the game towards opposite coloured bishops ending, which is generally a draw, unless one of them blundered.
Kramnik came through the first time control and then attempted to gather his resources for a win, but Anand had enough to keep danger away and hold on to his unbeaten run world championship.