There is different ways of looking at the pro.s and con.s of having white in game one of the match as Magnus did here, but clearly one key aspect is having the black pieces two games in a row in the middle of the match. One implication pointed out by observers early in the match was that game 4 to 7 was a really challenging stretch for Magnus (with three black and one white game).
In game 7 Anand seemed to be in damage control mode, despite the white pieces. He continued with 1.e4 and the Ruy Lopez. Magnus again responded with the Berlin defence.
When both castled long the position looked balanced, although Anand was maybe slightly better due to the pawn structure. In the end Magnus was tied up guarding his c6 and f-pawns. Apparently there was not any way to make progress for white, and they repeated moves.
Consequently the game 4 to 7 phase of the match ended 3-1 to Magnus!
In game 8 Magnus played 1.e4 himself for the first time in the match, and Anand seemed quite surprised. Anand went for the Berlin and they played the very old 5.Re1 variation. In my understanding this was not considered very ambitious in modern time until Magnus got a decisive advantage against Anand in this variation in Nanjing 2010. (Anand defended well and saved a draw in that game.)
Magnus had a slightly better position. In the press conference he said that he was not in the mood to think hard and pursue the tiny edge, and simplified to a dead draw ending.
As the day before, the game was not particularly exciting for the spectators.
More importantly the match situation is interesting, and trailing by 2 points with 4 games to go we must expect Anand to come out fighting in game 9 tomorrow.
The interest in the match is still beyond every expectation back in Norway, and the timing of starting the Norway Chess tradition in the Stavanger region this year and bringing the Chess Olympiad to Tromsoe in 2014 could not have been better!
For Team Carlsen, Henrik C., Chennai, November 20th, 2013