Leading the tournament by half a point over Gelfand going into the second half of the tournament, Anand faced a crucial matchup against the second-placed Gelfand in a game with big implications for deciding the winner:
After this painless draw Anand may have had dangerous ambitions against Aronian in the next round, where another Marshall Attack was in store...
The recording cut out, but the finish was 16...Qd7 17. Bxd5 cxd5 18. Nd2 Bd3 19. Re3 Bg6 20. Nf1 a5 21. a3?! and the game was agreed drawn.
Black was slightly for choice in this position with the bishop pair and typically better piece activity in the MarshallAttack, though still down a pawn. However, the draw suited Anand who remained the leader and perhaps Aronian who was already effectively out of the race and may have been battling illness.
After two quick but interesting draws, Anand benefited greatly from Morozevich upsetting Kramnik in round 9 and Grischuk bouncing back with a win over Gelfand, giving Anand a commanding lead over the field. Meanw
hile, the key game for the tournament was shaping up for round 10, where Kramnik was to have the white pieces against Anand in a must-wingame.