World champion Viswanathan Anand continued his title defence, holding off world number one Magnus Carlsen of Norway to a draw in quick time in the second game of the World chess championship on Sunday.
Anand was playing with white pieces and said he was mildy surprised at Carlsen's opening moves, in the press conference that followed the game.
The opening move of the second game today was a big success for Carlsen and it was a great pull back by the Norwegian after Anand had got an easy draw as black in the first game yesterday.
"I will not talk too much about the opening move. I think the critical point was on move 18 when Vishy could have tried but black seemed to be doing fine," world number one Carlsen said.
Anand said things might have become risky for him after Carlsen's opening surprise coming in the form of a Caro Kann defense.
"I had to decide whether to fly blind because it's clear that he would have been into more details. I decided to go for a slightly solid line, a slightly prudent decision today, essentially after the queen exchange there is nothing much happening," said the five-time champion Anand.
"It was a quick game, nothing to analyse much", said Anand. He also apologized for another draw and said he is expecting longer matches after this.
"Today it's my turn to tender a slight apology," said Anand. "The position we got after move 12 is a very sharp one. I have studied it in the past, it's very very complicated and I had not really expected it. That's clear," he added.
Magnus as usual answered to the point and revealed nothing big in his answers. Both players refused to comment on whether a 12 game format was good enough to choose a world champion. "Thats the way it is, no point discussing it now," said Magnus.
When the first game of the world chess championship match between defending champion Viswanathan Anand and Magnus Carlsen ended in a draw, the 22-year-old Norwegian grandmaster said he had no option but to pull emergency brakes once he knew he did not have clear advantage early on.
“I have had a few such embarrassing draws in the Candidates Tournament,” said Carlsen in the press conference after the end of first game.
Anand was perfectly happy with the draw playing with black pieces. “Yes, it was a satisfactory result for black… I think we just exchanged information in Game One,” he said.
In Game 2, Anand kept his game theoretical, with no rash moves. Carlsen, except some risks at the start of the game, also made careful moves.
If Carlsen wins the tournament, he would herald a new era in world championship. If Anand wins, he would be rated along with Garry Kasparov as the most successful world champion in modern chess.
There will be a rest day after the second, fourth, sixth, eighth, 10th, 11th and 12th games. After the sixth game, the colours will be reversed.
The players are fighting for a purse of $3 million with the winner standing to earn $1.45m and the loser just under $1m. Carlsen has already pocketed $137,000 of the prize fund for agreeing to play on his opponent’s home turf.
The time control for the 12 games will be: 40 moves in two hours for each player, the next 20 moves in one hour and 15 minutes for the rest of the game, with an increment of 30 seconds per move starting after move 61.
If the match goes into tiebreakers after a 6-6 tie in Classical chess, there will be a four 25-minute rapid chess games to break the tie. If that also ends in a tie, blitz chess mini-matches of two games each will be played. If the first set ends in a tie, the second, third and fourth will follow. In all five sets (10 games) will be played to break the tie.
Even then if the match is tied, the Armageddon (sudden death game) will be applied. In that game, white will get five minutes and black four but black needing only a draw to win the game and match. The rapid, blitz and Armageddon will have separate draw of lots to choose the colour.
The chief arbiter for the championship is, Ashot Vardapetyan from Armenia the same official who was in charge of the Anand-Boris Gelfand World championship match in 2012 in Moscow.
(With inputs from PTI and AFP)