The first round of the much awaited 2014 World Chess Championship being held in Sochi, Russia ended in a draw.
This year’s match was almost forfeited by the incumbent champion due to some disagreements with FIDE regarding several issues, among which was the venue and the prize money. However, after competing in the 2014 Sinquefield Cup, Carlsen announced on Twitter that he was going to defend his title and even posted a picture of him signing the contract for this year’s championship.
Anand meanwhile was able to win the Candidates Tournament which qualified him as the number one contender. He also went to win the 7th Grand Slam Masters at Bilbao, Spain. Having lost the championship to Carlsen last year, he hopes to regain the title in this year’s rematch.
Round 1 opened in the Gruenfeld Defense, Exchange Variation. Mid-game, Anand was able to dominate the center by posting his white-squared bishop on e6 and support it with pawns on d5 and f5. Meanwhile, Carlsen was able to open up and control the c-file with his queen and a rook and, after a few exchanges, was able to free up his game and gain a slight advantage in the end game. However, with his king cornered and with not a lot of pieces to defend the position, Anand was left with launching a perpetual check to draw the game.