Sergey Karjakin came one step closer to his maiden World Chess Championship as he drew the ninth game against World No.1 Magnus Carlsen on Wednesday to lead 5-4 in the 12-game World Chess Championship.
Carlsen, who is the two-time reigning champion, survived some difficult moments and was in time trouble before he accepted a draw.
The Norwegian opted for a very aggressive continuation in Ruy Lopez opening and sacrificed a pawn to create an unbalanced position, situations he thrives in but are also to the liking of his rival.
Both men had equal chances but Karjakin had a very slight advantage. The Russian Grandmaster improved his position and put Carlsen under more pressure. With the players consuming lot of time in finding the right moves, they landed in time trouble as they scrambled to complete the required 40 moves. In the process, both players made some mistakes.
On move 39, Karjakin played a sharp bishop move that gave him big advantage but Carlsen managed to neutralize it. Karjakin missed a clear chance of winning under time pressure but will take lot of heart from his performance as he created lot of trouble for his Norwegian opponent.
The game lasted 74 moves. With only three games remaining, time is running out for Carlsen.