Sochi (Russia): Despite being down 4-5 with just three more games to go, Viswanathan Anand on Thursday said he was fine with an easy draw in the ninth game and insisted that he still has a chance of posting a win in the World Chess Championship match.
"You have to just play the positions you get, the situations you get. I can count, I know the score but I think I still have some chances," Anand said at the post-match conference after the ninth game ended in a quick draw.
Asked about the level of confidence at this point, the five-time world champion said, "Quite reasonable"!
"I mean also an easy draw like this with black, I just have to try harder with white," Anand said, pointing to his remaining two white games in the last three rounds.
"A lot of this (theory) is known, this idea is often met with Bishop move, but I didn't really expect it. But when it happened there is not really much that black can do."
Anand refused to draw comparisons to his match in Chennai.
"I am going to focus on this match, I don't sit and think about Chennai a lot, even though we are off early (today) there is a game going to be played tomorrow, so I will go and focus on that now," he said.
Meanwhile, calling it a pretty even match so far, world champion Magnus Carlsen said nerves will play a part in the remaining games. Carlsen agreed that this was a much tougher match than he played against Anand in Chennai a year back.
"Going in to the last games when the score is pretty even, its always going to be tough, it's a pretty even match so far. In Chennai, I was up three at this point. This is much tougher," Carlsen said.
On the shortest game in the match so far, lasting barely an hour, Carlsen said, "It was very short indeed, I didn't quite see what to do in this (final) position, he is better prepared than I am."
Asked if he was happy with the outcome, Carlsen said he was not really thrilled with the draw. "It's always better to be able to press a bit with white of course. On the other hand, every half a point brings me half a point closer to 6.5 (the winning score in this 12-game match) so that's not too bad. It's a tough match, right now its look like it's going the distance," said the 23-year old.
Carlsen also agreed that Anand was better prepared today.
"He was better prepared than I was today, it's also been the opposite a couple of times. If there is any disappointment in a short draw with white it's easier to swallow when you are up in the match," said Carlsen, needing three draws to retain the crown now.
Carlsen was a bit critical of himself, saying, "Apparently it was not good enough today to get a game but its not a disaster, my play has been quite inconsistent both in terms of preparation and play, but let's see," he said.
On the psychological warfare, Carlsen said his mind was at ease.
"I think you can never be completely prepared, the nerves are always going to be there. I have been in this situation before. After all, the rules are still the same regardless of the match situation and regardless of what part in the match you are in."