SANDNES, Norway >> Chess world champion Viswanathan Anand of India halved a point with the Norwegian world No. 1 Magnus Carlsen to draw in Thursday’s second round of the Norway Chess Tournament.
Playing white, the 22-year-old Carlsen showed aggressive intent, turning down an early opportunity to force a draw.
But the game slowed in mid-section after an exchange of queens before both players grinded out a draw with just a white pawn and the two kings left on the board.
Anand said the psychological boost of a win would have been significant for their coming championship match in November in Anand’s hometown, Chennai.
“I think it is silly to pretend that it isn’t. So this is half way,” Anand said. “I think that if somebody had won that would definitely be a boost, but we shouldn’t go beyond that either. There is still a tournament to play.”
Carlsen, who hopes to snatch the world title from the 43-year-old five-time champion in India, was more equivocal.
“I think this is another game between us. We have played lots of games over the years and it was probably a sign of the time to come — that games are going to be relatively interesting and hard fought and nothing is going to come easy,” Carlsen told reporters.
Asked if he would have played down the psychology of the occasion had he secured a win, Carlsen replied “most definitely not.”
The two have drawn their last four full-length games. They also halved the match in the supercharged blitz tournament on Tuesday that set up the pairings for the rest of the tournament.
Hundreds of chess fans watched the game in the hall of the Quality Hotel in Sandnes on the west coast of Norway, with many thousands more following the live stream online.
World No. 10, Sergey Karjakin, leads the round robin tournament after day two having won both his games. The final round of the 10-man tournament will be played on May 18.