Safety first: Anand draws on Day 3
World champion Viswanathan Anand played safe, simple chess as the third game of the World Championship match against Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria ended in a draw at the Central Military Club in Sofia, Bulgaria, on Tuesday.
The question doing the rounds before the start of the game was whether Anand would go for Grunfeld Defence after the first game disaster or opt for some other system.
And the answer was soon out as Anand chose Slav Defence. This was a clear indication that the Indian maestro was going to be patient. He would try and put the onus on Topalov to go for victory in every game.
Topalov did make an effort to create complications and force things out but Anand played precise moves, most of the time choosing the best option available to maintain his position. The arbiter declared the game a draw after Anand repeated the same move thrice. They played 46 moves in all.
The players are now level on 1.5 points each. Topalov won the first game and Anand the second. Anand's strategy to play risk-free chess was right as the Indian GM will have white pieces in the fourth game on Wednesday and he can then opt for some special preparation to put pressure on his Bulgarian rival. Initially, Topalov developed his pieces effectively and had some space advantage.
Anand's position was a bit cramped and, after the queens were exchanged, the Indian had to make some effort to bring his two bishops into play. On the 20th move, Topalov offered a pawn to free up the position and create complications, but Anand chose a safer continuation and the position remained equal.