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The new record - eight consecutive draws at the start of a match for the world chess championship - was celebrated on American television with a sketch on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno in which two actors portraying Kasparov and Anand were draped with cobwebs.

Apart from the results, however, the Kasparov-Anand match has been anything but dull. Oh, all right then; apart from the results and a tendency for the players to cop out when the position becomes too complicated, the Kasparov-Anand match has been anything but dull. The latest draw was full of excitement.

With his fourth different opening in four White games, Kasparov this time decided to test Anand's readiness for the Scotch Game. Until 9.b3, play followed a Kasparov-Ivanchuk game from 1994, but Anand varied with the bold 9...g5!? in place of Ivanchuk's 9...g6.

The pawn move prevents White from supporting e5 with f4, and may also support a black knight's advance to f4, but lurching forward in such a fashion and abandoning the f6 and f5 squares seems to invite trouble. After Kasparov allowed 12...Bg7, however, it was soon clear that White was worse. The champion thought for 44 minutes over 17.Kd3, but a couple of moves later, Anand was happy to repeat moves and force a draw. The spectators were expecting him to play for a win with 19...Re2, but after 20.Bc5 Rxa2 21.b4 White is ready to play dxc7 followed by Rf6, finally exploiting the weaknesses created by 9...g5.

White: Garry Kasparov

Black: Viswanathan Anand

Game Eight

1 e4 e5 13 cxd5 Bxe2

2 Nf3 Nc6 14 Kxe2 Bxa1

3 d4 exd4 15 Rc1 0-0-0

4 Nxd4 Nf6 16 Rxc6 Rhe8+

5 Nxc6 bxc6 17 Kd3 Rd7

6 e5 Qe7 18 Nc3 Bxc3

7 Qe2 Nd5 19 Kxc3 Re5

8 c4 Ba6 20 Kc4 Re4+

9 b3 g5 21 Kd3 Re5

10 Ba3 d6 22 Kc4 Re4+

11 exd6 Qxe2+ draw agreed

12 Bxe2 Bg7

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