World chess champion Gary Kasparov and challenger Anatoly Karpov showed signs of caution in their ninth title chess game Wednesday. The careful start came as no surprise after their two-day marathon duel, which ended in a draw Tuesday after 84 moves.
The challenger began Game 9 with his customary advance of the queen's pawn.
Kasparov was the first to demonstrate the subdued mood by scrapping the risky King's Indian Defense he had used in every game with black pieces so far.
On his third turn, Kasparov initiated the Gruenfeld Defense, a more conservative system that was his regular choice in previous title matches.
Karpov also refrained from heightening the tension, choosing a quiet variation that simplified the position and aimed for a small but safe advantage.
Although the game did not show signs of developing into an aggressive struggle, experts thought Karpov was showing sound strategy.
"It's his kind of position, and he can play all day," international master Michael Valvo said.
Experts expected Karpov to probe the champion's defenses in the kind of quiet technical positions that are his forte.
The match is tied at 4-4 with one win for each player and six draws. Kasparov will keep the title in the event of a 12-12 tie.
Sources close to the champion said the mood in his camp was good after his successful escape from grave danger in the protracted eighth game.
Here are the opening moves from Wednesday's Game 9:
Opening: Gruenfeld Defense
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5.e4 Nxc3 6. bxc3 Bg7 7. Be3 c5 8. Qd2 cxd4 9. cxd4 Nc6 10. Rd1 Qa5 11. Qxa5 Nxa5 12. Nf3 0-0 13. Be2 Bd7 14. Bd2 b6 15. 0-0 Rfd8 16. Rc1 Bg4 17. d5 Nb7
Here are the complete moves from Game 8, which ended Tuesday night in a draw:
Opening: Ruy Lopez
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. 0-0 Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 d6 8. c3 0-0 9. h3 Nd7 10. d4 Bf6 11. a4 Bb7 12. Be3 Na5 13. Bc2 Nc4 14. Bc1 d5 15. dxe5 Ndxe5 16. Nxe5 Nxe5 17. axb5 axb5 18. Rxa8 Qxa8 19. f4 Ng6 20. e5 Bh4 21. Rf1 Be7 22. Nd2 Bc5+ 23. Kh2 d4 24. Qe2 dxc3 25. bxc3 Rd8 26. Ne4 Ba3 27. Bxa3 Bxe4 28. Qxe4 Qxa3 29. f5 Ne7 30. Qh4 f6 31. Qg3 Kf8 32. Kh1 Qc5 33. exf6 gxf6 34. Bb3 Nd5 35. Qh4 Kg7 36. Rd1 c6 37. Rd4 Qxc3 38. Rg4+ Kh8 39. Bxd5 Qa1+ 40. Kh2 Qe5+ 41. Rg3 cxd5 42. Qg4 Qc7 43. Qd4 Qd6 44. Kh1 Re8 45. Qg4 Qd7 46. Rd3 Re1+ 47. Kh2 Re4 48. Qg3 Re5 49. Ra3 Re8 50. Qf4 Qb7 51. Kh1 Qb8 52. Qh4 Qb6 53. Qb4 d4 54. Rg3 Qc7 55. Rd3 Qc1+ 56. Kh2 Qf4+ 57. Kg1 Qc1+ 58. Kh2 Qf4+ 59. Kg1 Rc8 60. Rd1 Rd8 61. Qxb5 Qe3+ 62. Kh1 d3 63. Qa5 Qd4 64. Qa1 Qb6 65. Qa2 Kg7 66. Qd2 Qc5 67. Rf1 Rd4 68. Rf3 Qd6 69. Re3 Ra4 70. Re1 h5 71. Rb1 Qd7 72. Qd1 Kh6 73. Qd2+ Kg7 74. Qe3 h4 75. Qf3 Kh6 76. Qe3+ Kg7 77. Qf3 d2 78. Qh5 Qf7 79. Qxf7+ Kxf7 80. Rd1 Rd4 81. Kg1 Rd5 82. Kf2 Rxf5+ 83. Ke2 Rg5 84. Kf2 Draw agreed.