Viswanathan Anand produced what he came out to do in Game 9 of the World Chess Championship, which is hold Magnus Carlsen to a draw, and that too in ridiculously quick time after just 20 moves.
Having avoided all hurdles with the black pieces, the onus is now firmly on Anand to take advantage of playing with the white pieces when the two chess stars resume battle in hope-it-is-more-intriguing-than-the-last-game Game 10 in Sochi on Friday.
With just three games to go before this much-closer World Chess Championship wraps up, Anand trails world champion Magnus Carlsen by a point, with the Norwegian currently leading 5-4.
The need of the hour is for Anand to come up trumps and post that much-needed win, and the fact that he is playing with the white pieces – the Indian will have the white in two of the last three games -- will give him hope and confidence he can do just that.
"You have to just play the positions you get, the situations you get," said Anand. "I can count, I know the score but I think I still have some chances.
"I mean also an easy draw like this with black, I just have to try harder with white."
Carlsen would have been disappointed at having to settle for a draw after just 20 moves while playing with the white on Thursday. The soon-to-be 24-year-old admitted that this World Chess Championship match is a lot closer and "tougher" than the last one in Chennai, when he ran away with the contest.
"It's always better to be able to press a bit with white, of course," said Carlsen. "On the other hand, every half a point brings me half a point closer to 6.5 [the score needed to win the match outright] so that's not too bad.
"It's a tough match, right now its look like it's going the distance.
"Going in to the last games when the score is pretty even, it is always going to be tough, it is a pretty even match so far. In Chennai, I was up three at this point. This is much tougher."
After the draw in Game 9, where Anand was clearly the better prepared player, Carlsen will be wary of his opponent going into this all-to-play-for Game 10. Anand, after all, is not one of the best chess players of all time for no reason, and even if there have been slight signs of his powers waning of late, there have been plenty of signs as well that that seasoned mind of his is still working at a computer's pace.
Game 10 will give everyone an idea if Anand can step up that extra level, put pressure on Carlsen, and walk away with the victory which will tie the World Chess Championship 2014 match going into the final two games.
Where to Watch Live
The crucial Game 10 of the World Chess Championship in Sochi is scheduled to begin at 3 pm local time (5.30 pm IST, 1 pm CET). While there is no live coverage on TV, Game 10 can be watched via free live streaming online on the FIDE Live Video Feed or with Analysis and Live Video.