Carlsen vs. Anand 2014 World Chess Championship: Game 1 Analysis

The 2014 FIDE World Chess Championship began today in Sochi, Russia. This is a rematch from last year’s world championship in which Norway’s Magnus Carlsen stole the crown from India’s Viswanathan Anand. Thus far, both players seem much more relaxed in 2014 than they did in their previous encounter.

Viswanathan Anand battling Magnus Carlsen in round 1 of their 2014 World Chess Championship Match(photo by Beatriz Marinello)

Anand battling Carlsen in round 1 of their 2014 World Chess Championship Match(photo by Beatriz Marinello)

In round one, Carlsen attempted to surprise Vishy by employing the Grunfeld Defense. Anand responded with a calm demeanor and rather aggressive play. Both Carlsen and Anand played very strong chess with neither side gaining a winning advantage at any point. After the game, chess pundits were busy trying to make conclusions about what psychological advantages each player gained from the first round of their struggle. I doubt such claims have any validity as both players presented themselves well and played really high-level chess. Below is my analysis of game 1:

 

[Event “FIDE World Chess Championship 2014”]
[Site “Sochi, Russia”]
[Date “2014.11.8”]
[Round “1”]
[White “Anand, Viswanathan (IND)”]
[Black “Carlsen, Magnus (NOR)”]
[Result “1/2-1/2”]
[Eco “D85”]
[Annotator “Chris Torres”]

{[ GRUNFELD def.,D85]}

1.d4 Nf6

2.c4 g6

3.Nc3 d5 {This opening is known as the Grunfeld Defense and is not a normal part of Magnus Carlsen’s opening repertoire. Adherents of the Grunfeld believe that the imposing pawn center white is allowed to create will actually end up being a
liability for them later in the game. Garry Kasparov often employed this
defense in his world championship matches against Anatoly Karpov.}

Magnus Carlsen attempted to surprise Viswanathan Anand by chosing the Grunfeld Defense.

Magnus Carlsen attempted to surprise Viswanathan Anand by using the Grunfeld Defense.

4.cxd5 Nxd5

5.Bd2 {Viswanathan Anand chooses the very safe and time tested approach of 5. Bd2.}

5…Bg7

6.e4 Nxc3 {Previously, Magnus Carlsen played 6…Nb6 here as seen in the game below.}
( 6…Nb6 7.Be3 O-O 8.Bb5 Be6 9.Nge2 c6 10.Bd3 Nc4 11.Bxc4 Bxc4
12.O-O Nd7 13.Qd2 Qa5 14.Rfd1 Rad8 15.Bh6 Bxe2 16.Nxe2 Qxd2 17.Bxd2
Nb6 18.Bc3 Rd7 19.b3 f5 20.f3 Rfd8 21.Re1 fxe4 22.fxe4 e5 23.dxe5
Rd3 24.g3 Nd7 25.e6 Bxc3 26.Nxc3 {…0-1, Wang Yue (CHN) 2732 – Carlsen Magnus (NOR) 2826 , Medias 6/25/2010 It (cat.20)})

7.Bxc3 O-O {Viswanathan Anand has the center and Magnus Carlsen has king safety.}

(Another possibility is: 7…c5 8.d5 Bxc3+ 9.bxc3 O-O 10.Nf3 Bg4 11.h3 Bxf3 12.Qxf3
e5 13.dxe6 fxe6 14.Qg3 Nc6 15.Rd1 Qe7 16.Bb5 Rad8 17.Bxc6 Rxd1+
18.Kxd1 bxc6 19.Ke2 Qb7 20.Rd1 Qa6+ 21.Qd3 Qxa2+ 22.Rd2 Qb3 23.c4
Qb4 24.h4 Kh8 25.f3 a5 26.Qd6 Qxc4+ 27.Kf2 {…1-0, Shirov Alexei (ESP) 2726 – Gauglitz Gernot (GER) 2397 , Germany 12/13/2008 Bundesliga 2008/09})

Position after Magnus Carlsen castled on move 7.

Position after Magnus Carlsen castled on move 7.

 

8.Qd2 {Viswanathan Anand chooses an aggressive line that can lead to very sharppositions with kings castled on opposite sides of the board.}

8… Nc6 {Magnus Carlsen takes the road less traveled. Most common at high-level chess is 8…c5.}
( 8…c5 9.d5 Bxc3 10.bxc3 Qd6 11.f4 Nd7 12.e5 Qc7 13.h4 c4 14.h5
Nb6 15.Nf3 Bg4 16.hxg6 fxg6 17.Ng5 Rad8 18.d6 exd6 19.Rxh7 Qc5
20.Rh6 dxe5 21.Rxg6+ Kh8 22.Nf7+ Kh7 23.Rh6+ Kg7 24.Nxd8 Rxd8
25.Rh4 Rxd2 26.Rxg4+ Kf8 27.Kxd2 Qf2+ 28.Be2 {…0-1, Riazantsev Alexander (RUS) 2710 – Edouard Romain (FRA) 2607 , Belfort 6/ 9/2012 Ch France (team) 2012})

Magnus Carlsen chooses the rarely played 8... Nc6.

Magnus Carlsen chooses the rarely played 8… Nc6.

 

9.Nf3 Bg4 {Magnus Carlsen is planning on exchanging his bishop for Anand’s knight and then attepting to undermine Vishy’s control of the center.}

10.d5 {If Viswanathan Anand would have castled queen-side right away then Magnus would have had the strong response of 10…e5!}

Position after Anand plays 10. d5.

Position after Anand plays 10. d5.

 

10… Bxf3 {All of the coming exchanges will do little to blunt the sharpness of this
position. Viswanathan Anand is definately playing more aggressively the second time around.}
11.Bxg7 Kxg7

12.gxf3 Ne5

13.O-O-O c6 {Magnus Carlsen had to use a lot of time on this move in order to be prepared to meet 14. f4, 14. Qc3 and 14. Bh3.}

Position after Carlsen plays 13... c6.

Position after Carlsen plays 13… c6.

14.Qc3 {More sharp play for Viswanathan Anand as he chooses to pin Carlsen’s knight and allow his rook to stare down black’s queen.}
14… f6 {Carlsen takes care of one of his problems.}

15.Bh3 {15. Bh3 unifies white’s rooks and stops Carlsen from playing the menacing Rc8.}

Position after Anand played 15. Bh3.

Position after Anand played 15. Bh3.

 

cxd5 16.exd5 {Magnus Carlsen has managed to ruin Viswanathan Anand’s pawn structure. As compensation, Vishy will be able to kick Magnus’ knight away from e5 with ease and will remain in control of e6.}

16… Nf7 {Magnus Carlsen ops to redeploy his knight before Anand gets to do any “kicking.”}

Position after Carlsen plays 16... Nf7.

Position after Carlsen plays 16… Nf7.

17.f4 {Viswanathan Anand decides to play f4 to hold Carlsen’s kingside in place. An
alternative idea would be simply playing Kb1 in order to move white’s king out of the dangerous c-file.}
17… Qd6 {One thing is for sure, after this move it seems really hard for white to penetrate black’s position.}
18.Qd4 Rad8 19.Be6 {Eventually, we knew that the bishop would find its way to e6.}

Position after Anand plays 19. Be6.

Position after Anand plays 19. Be6.

 

19… Qb6 {Magnus offers Anand a chance at an endgame.}

20.Qd2 {This is a real turning point in the game. In order to avoid the endgame, Anand
retreats his queen to a less effective square. Basically, Anand is willing to
allow Magnus to gain some initiative in order to avoid steering his first opportunity with the white pieces toward a draw.}

Position after Anand plays 20. Qd2.

Position after Anand plays 20. Qd2.

 

20… Rd6

21.Rhe1 {Anand’s last two moves have been sub-optimum. On move 21, Kb1 or Qe3 would have been better choices and kept alive the possibility of weaponizing the h-pawn.}

Nd8 {Magnus Carlsen is more than happy to trade his weak knight for Anand’s influential bishop.}

Position after Carlsen plays 21... Nd8.

Position after Carlsen plays 21… Nd8.

22.f5 {Viswanathan Anand didn’t have to go along with Carlsen’s plans. He could have
simply retreated his bishop to h3 and left black with a poorly placed knight.}
22… Nxe6

23.Rxe6 {Black seems better after the trade of the knight for the bishop. Now, Anand
must be careful to not allow Magnus any more opportunities to improve his position.}

23… Qc7+

24.Kb1 Rc8 {Magnus Carlsen allows Anand to keep his rook on e6 a little longer. Had Carlsenplayed Rxe6 then play likely would have continued like this:}( 24…Rxe6 25.dxe6 Rc8 26.Qc3 Qxc3 27.bxc3 Kf8 28.Rd7 b6 29.fxg6hxg6 30.Rxa7 Rc6 31.Kc2 g5 )

Position after Carlsen plays 24... Rc8.

Position after Carlsen plays 24… Rc8.

 

25.Rde1 Rxe6 {At this point, Carlsen can not hold off on trading rooks any longer.}

26.Rxe6 Rd8

27.Qe3 {Despite some of the analysis I have seen posted around the internet, this is very drawish.}

 

Position after Anand plays 27. Qe3.

Position after Anand plays 27. Qe3.

 

27… Rd7

28.d6 exd6

29.Qd4 Rf7

30.fxg6 hxg6

31.Rxd6 {Anand’s pawns on f2 and h2 are weak but he has more active pieces than Carlsen.}

Position after Anand plays 31. Rxd6.

Position after Anand plays 31. Rxd6.

31… a6

32.a3 Qa5

33.f4 {Both combatants are playing fairly rapidly through this phase of the game
demonstrating that they are equally comfortable with this kind of endgame.}

Position after Anand plays 33. f4.

Position after Anand plays 33. f4.

33… Qh5

34.Qd2 Qc5

35.Rd5 Qc4

36.Rd7 Qc6

37.Rd6 Qe4+

38.Ka2 Re7

39.Qc1 {Anand is on the defensive but there is little chance for Carlsen to make any signifigant progress.}

Position after Anand plays 39. Qc1.

Position after Anand plays 39. Qc1.

39… a5

40.Qf1 a4

41.Rd1 Qc2 {Magnus continues to make small improvements in hopes of discovering a deadly combination.}

Position after Carlsen plays 41... Qc2.

Position after Carlsen plays 41… Qc2.

42.Rd4 Re2

43.Rb4 b5 {One last little trap. If Anand captures the pawn on b5 then Carlsen will play Qc4+!}

Position after Carlsen plays 43. b5.

Position after Carlsen plays 43. b5.

44.Qh1 {Viswanathan Anand is far too good of a player to fall for scholastic chess tactics.}

44… Re7

45.Qd5 Re1

46.Qd7+ Kh6

47.Qh3+ Kg7

48.Qd7+ {And game 1 of the 2014 FIDE World Chess Championship ends in a draw by way of perpetual check.}
1/2-1/2

"And game 1 of the 2014 FIDE World Chess Championship ends in a draw by way of perpetual check."

“And game 1 of the 2014 FIDE World Chess Championship ends in a draw by way of perpetual check.”

 

Official site for the 2014 Fide World Chess Championship in Sochi, Russia.

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6 Responses to “Carlsen vs. Anand 2014 World Chess Championship: Game 1 Analysis”

  1. vamsi Says:

    Nice analysis

  2. Carlsen vs. Anand 2014 World Chess Championship: Game 2 Analysis | Chess Musings Says:

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