Challenger Vishwanathan Anand and defending champion Magnus Carlsen drew the ninth game of the World Chess Championship at Sochi on Thursday.
Game 9 saw Anand, playing with black pieces, drawing with Carlsen after just 20 moves. The Norwegian prodigy now leads the contest 5-4, with just three games remaining.
Speaking of the quick draw, the world champion stated: "I don't quite see what to do. It seems like the match is going the distance. I think my play has been quite inconsistent both in terms of preparation and overall play. Anand was better prepared than me in this game. It is tougher than in Chennai. Even if there's any disappointment with a short draw with white, it's easier to swallow (it) when you're up in the match."
Anand, on the other hand, was happy that his preparation with black paid off.
"I would rather not explain (the opening strategy). (My confidence is) quite reasonable. I'll have to try harder with white. I don't think about Chennai (match) a lot. I will focus on this match," the 44-year-old stressed.
The competition will have 12 games overall, and the first player to reach 6.5 points will be declared the new world champion.
The 2014 world championship has effectively been a rematch of last year's showpiece in Chennai as both Carlsen and Anand had appeared in the 2013 edition of the competition, though the Indian was the world champion then - and the Norwegian, the challenger.
Anand had lost to Carlsen 6.5-3.5 in Chennai after 10 of the 12 scheduled games, handing the then 22-year-old his first ever world championship.
— Susan Polgar (@SusanPolgar) November 20, 2014
Well that was quick... #CarlsenAnand
— Robin van Kampen (@GMRobinVK) November 20, 2014