SOCHI (RUSSIA), Nov 8 (PTI): Indian chess wizard Viswanathan Anand will open his campaign with white pieces against defending champion Magnus Carlsen of Norway in the first game of the World Championship that gets under way here.
Given the first choice, Carlsen drew out a black coloured balloon out of a magician�s box especially prepared for the occasion while Anand got the second remaining white one.
The balloon was then punctured by the magician and there appeared black and white coloured birds in the middle of a colourful opening ceremony.
Contrary to the last time, when Anand opened with the black pieces and even though held a playable position, agreed for a quick draw barely 90 minutes into the game.
Carlsen, on the other hand, remains the favourite but indicated that he too learnt a lot from the last match. �Seriously, it doesn�t really matter for the players. You can only do your best and as soon as the match starts it doesn�t matter whoever was the favourite,� Carlsen said.
�If you play badly you�re not going to win. Last time I didn�t play very successfully at the start and I could have been severely punished for that in a couple of games. Obviously it�s important for me to get off to a better start,� he added. The start will in fact be crucial for Anand too as the rule remains � hit first and hit hard. It�s just 12 games and the race will be over when one of the contestants reaches 6.5 points.