Viswanathan Anand held an upper hand with an extra Pawn but settled for a draw in a tense encounter with Vladimir Kramnik of Russia after 32 moves in the Second game of the world chess championship now underway here.
In a daring strategy, Anand abandoned his pet King Pawn (1.E4) on the first move and opted opening the game with the Queen Pawn, thus aiming to surprise his Russian opponent.
Thus, Anand seems to be aiming to sidestep Kramnik's ploy which worked well for him against Kasparov in 2000 World Championship match.
Avoiding both the Petroff or the Berlin system of the Ruy Lopez against 1.E4, Anand may thus be trying to reach dynamic positions and invite Kramnik to come out of his shell.
If this is going to be Anand's strategy with White pieces for the match, the world of Chess will definitely be treated to some open fights on the even-numbered games, as witnessed today.
Starting with 1.D4 for which Kramnik responded with the Nimzo Indian Defence, Anand went in for an Open middlegame position with irrational Pawn structure, thus making his intentions clear to have an open fight.
With his unconventional 8..F5, Kramnik aimed to surprise his opponent in turn and the game entered a tense middlegame, where Anand enjoyed a slight advantage due to his Bishop pair.
Understandably, this being the early stages of the match both traded slight inaccuracies between moves 14 17 and by move 18th, Anand had once again regained a slight initiative, though Kramnik managed to exchange Queens.