The third game of the World Championship match in Chennai between Magnus Carlsen, playing the white pieces, and Viswanathan Anand ended in a draw after 51 moves. With Garry Kasparov among the spectators, Carlsen was under pressure but just before the time control he escaped. The score is 1.5-1.5, with 9 more games to go.
With an exciting game that went on beyond the first time control, the World Championship match in Chennai has finally started for real. Again, the defending champion didn't have problems out of the opening and even got a better position when he could push his opponent's queen to the corner.
Carlsen played the same as in his first white game, and with 3.c4 he made it a proper Réti Opening. However, the 22-year-old Norwegian didn't manage to get an advantage. On the contrary: at some point Black had more space, and the bishop pair.
Later on, Anand could win a pawn, but he felt that the compensation for his opponent would be sufficient. Just before the time control, when his queen got back into play, Carlsen could equalize the position. He even declined a draw offer on move 40, even though the game was a dead draw by then.
"I made a couple of misjudgements in the middlegame. My position was worse and I probably made it even worse. (...) I'm happy to survive. (...) It looked scary."
Carlsen: "It looked scary."
Carlsen also revealed that he wasn't one hundred percent relaxed during the game, and he felt his opponent wasn't either. "I think it was good to get the match going a little bit. I guess both of us were a bit nervous today. (...) There was some tension, both on the board and some nerves as well. But really that's what it's all about."
Despite having the two bishops, Anand didn't feel his advantage was big. "White's control of the a-file generates enough counterplay."
One of the spectators in the playing hall during the third game was the 13th World Champion, who arrived in Chennai on Monday night. According to this report he was "ignored" by the organizers. However, at the start of the round Garry Kasparov was sitting next to and chatting with FIDE Vice President and chief organizer D.V. Sunar, so perhaps the relations weren't so bad after all.
However, during the game it became clear that Kasparov had not been given access to the press room (from where he could have given a press release), and he wasn't welcome to join the commentators either. Perhaps the latter would have been a bit too much, since Kasparov is a clear supporter of Carlsen, but it's clear that all 150 journalists present would have loved have a press conference. But FIDE didn't like the idea.
During the press conference, the journalists were trying hard to provoke a statement from the players about Kasparov's visit, but they didn't really succeed. Carlsen said: "I haven't seen him here yet I think it's good that one of the legends of the game is here to watch the match. It gives an extra dimension in a way."
A Norwegian journalist asked Anand what he thought about Kasparov being "in the building" (no doubt referring to last year's statements by Kasparov about Anand). The Indian replied: "Like Elvis? Well, it's good that he's here to watch."
Anand: "Like Elvis?"
"Are you sure?" the journalist asked. "Sure." When Carlsen was getting the question again, he said: "I don't want to get into politics. I think he deserves to be treated with respect, regardless that he is opposing Kirsan [Ilyumzhinov] as a Presidential Candidate."
About his stay in India so far, Carlsen was very positive. "I think it's been better than expected. I'm being treated so well and I am very grateful for that. Whatever happens in the match, that's not going to be an issue."
Chess fans enjoying the giant chess set in the hotel lobby
The handshake before the third game
Again about 20 photographers were fighting to get a good position...
...but the policemen also found the time to watch the game