If on Monday they ended before the sun went down, on Tuesday it was over even earlier. Game 8 of the World Chess Championship match was shorter than a football match. "I wasn't really in the mood to think," said Magnus Carlsen after the quick draw where he took 30 seconds each for the first 22 moves.
"With the line I chose, the moves suggest themselves, there wasn't too much to think... I set him a one or two traps but otherwise I was comfortable with a draw," said the challenger, now enjoying a healthy two-point lead with four games to go.
A more detailed evaluation of how things have gone so far came from Henrik Carlsen. "This match has taken a different course after each rest day. The first rest day came after the players sort of introduced themselves to each other. In games 3 and 4, they traded serious blows. Black was good in both and I felt (Viswanathan) Anand could have continued with (in Game 3) but chose not to.
"In games 5 and 6, Magnus was a bit fortunate to get into winning positions and frankly, we would have been happy if at this stage he had one win. After those two rounds, both players needed the calm of these last two games. Over the next 48 hours, the match could go in another direction. If Anand draws Game 9, he would be in real trouble," the man who initiated Magnus Carlsen to chess told HT.
Win within sight
Should that happen, Carlsen would be one win or two draws away from his maiden world title.
After the early end, Anand said "the match situation speaks for itself and it's my job to liven it up", adding that he would use the "bonus evening" to "try and prepare something for the next game after two relatively easy games".
"This was a fairly solid system for white and not entirely without chances if black plays inaccurately," said Anand, who played black on Tuesday.
"If Anand can win one game, he will make Carlsen nervous and we can see some exciting games after that. If the contest goes to the tie-breakers, it will be advantage Anand. But at the moment, Anand seems to have hit a wall. He can't find any answers," said Leontxo Garcia, a former player and journalist who has been at all World Championship matches since 1983.