After 8 rather uneventful games, today all that can happen in a chess game did indeed happen. The two players got in severe time trouble at move 30, and the blunder fest started. Carlsen blundered first, with a perfectly good blitz move - 35 c5 - that turned out to be not so good in this case and put the World Champion in danger. But Karjakin gave back all his advantage in a couple of moves: after 36 … Nc5, 37 Qd6 the Russian, with less than two minutes on his clock, went with 37 … Qd3 instead of 37 … Qa4, allowing white to get out of the well. Magnus saw and played the nice 38.Ne6+ getting back his pawn and equalizing. The players reached time control, and it looked like there was going to be a repetition of moves, which would have led to a hard-fought draw, with some fireworks, finally. But Carlsen could not accept that after being down and having gotten back from hell the game could end in another draw, and started pushing again. Only, he underestimated the monster a pawn, that was happily running towards the first rank. Magnus played not at his usual level, and Sergey punished him, taking home the full point.
Magnus Carlsen is now - for the first time - behind in a World Championship Match. A new experience for the super-strong Norwegian, who will have to come back and quickly, as there are only four games to go.
Tomorrow is a rest day. Game 9 starts Wednesday the 23rd at 2PM EST.
Here is a 5-minute preview of GM Jon Speelman's analysis of the game.
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