Carlsen vs Anand 2014 World Chess Championship: Game 8 Analysis

After an epic battle of 122 moves in round 7, both contestants returned to the chess board in round 8 looking a little worse for the wear. Carlsen, in a World Championship first, even fell asleep in his chair during the early going of the game. Being a point down in the match, Anand returned to play “1. d4” as he did in his round 3 victory. Magnus was more prepared this time and had little trouble neutralizing any advantage Anand had with the white pieces.

 

Magnus Carlsen used round 8 to catch up on some much needed rest.

Magnus Carlsen used round 8 to catch up on some much needed rest.(www.sportsrediscovered.com)

 

A key moment in this game came when Magnus Carlsen played 10… Be7 which is an innovation. Magnus had little trouble with Anand for the remainder of the game and the resulting draw was a huge victory for everyone on Carlsen’s team.

 

[Event “FIDE World Chess Championship 2014”]
[Site “Sochi, Russia”]
[Date “2014.11.18”]
[Round “8”]
[White “Anand, Viswanathan (IND)”]
[Black “Carlsen, Magnus (NOR)”]
[Result “1/2-1/2”]
[Eco “D37”]
[Annotator “Chris Torres”]

{[ QUEEN’S gam. var. WITH 5.BF4,D37]}

1.d4 {Anand is obviously hoping to play a game that resembles his win from round 3.}

1… Nf6

2.c4 e6

3.Nf3 d5 {A Queen’s Gambit Declined as in game 3.}

4.Nc3 Be7

5.Bf4 O-O

6.e3  6. c5 {Magnus Carlsen changes course from following what was played during his loss in round 3. In that contest, Carlsen played 6… Nbd7 and found out the hard way that Vishy was extremely prepared for that continuation.}

 

The position after Magnus Carlsen plays 6... c5.

The position after Magnus Carlsen plays 6… c5.

 

7.dxc5 Bxc5

8.a3 Nc6

9.Qc2 Re8

10.Bg5 ( 10.O-O-O e5 11.Bg5 d4
12.Nd5 Be6 13.Bd3 Bxd5 14.cxd5 Qxd5 15.Bxf6 gxf6 16.Bxh7+ Kf8
17.Be4 Qd6 18.Kb1 Rac8 19.Rc1 Bb6 20.Qd3 Red8 21.Rhd1 Rc7 22.Bxc6
Rxc6 23.e4 Rdc8 24.Nh4 Qe6 25.Nf5 Rc3 26.Qd2 Rxc1+ 27.Rxc1 Rxc1+
28.Qxc1 Qc6 29.Qxc6 bxc6 {…1-0, Forintos Gyozo V (HUN) 2317 – Vaisser Anatoly (FRA) 2536 , Tallinn 1986 It (open)})

10… Be7 {According to my database, this is actually an innovation though I suspect it
has been played many times in informal games as the move seems pretty obvious.}
( 10…d4 11.Bxf6 gxf6 12.exd4 Nxd4 13.Nxd4 Qxd4 14.Bd3 Qe5+
15.Kf1 Kg7 16.Re1 Qc7 17.b4 Be7 18.Re3 f5 19.g4 f4 20.Rh3 h6
21.Rh5 Rd8 22.h4 Qd6 23.Rh3 e5 24.Bf5 Be6 25.Qe4 f6 26.g5 Bxf5
27.gxf6+ Qxf6 28.Rxf5 Qc6 29.h5 Qxe4 30.Nxe4 {…1-0, Delchev Aleksander (BUL) 2623 – Elbilia Jacques (MAR) 2390 , France 6/ 6/2010 Ch France (team) 2010})

( 10…dxc4 11.Rd1 Qa5 12.Bxf6 gxf6 13.Bxc4 Be7 14.O-O Rd8
15.Rxd8+ Nxd8 16.Rd1 a6 17.Ba2 Nc6 18.Bb1 f5 19.e4 Bf6 20.exf5
exf5 21.Nd5 Bd8 22.Ne3 Be6 23.Nxf5 Bxf5 24.Qxf5 Qxf5 25.Bxf5
Bf6 26.b3 Na5 27.Rd3 Re8 28.Kf1 Re7 29.Nd2 Rc7 30.Be4 {…1-0, Lev Ronen (ISR) 2449 – Ruderfer Mark B (RUS) 2344 , Israel 2002 Ch Israel (team)})

 

The position after Magnus Carlsen plays 10... Be7.

The position after Magnus Carlsen plays 10… Be7.

 

 

11.Rd1 {Vishy pins the d5 pawn to Carlsen’s queen.}

11… Qa5 {and Carlsen unpins the queen by using it to pin Anand’s knight.}

12.Bd3 h6

13.Bh4 {Taking the knight would allow Carlsen to add more pressure to the c3 pin after he recaptures with his bishop.}

13… dxc4 {Carlsen could have added more pressure to the center with a move like Rd8 but instead aims for a very symmetrical pawn structure.}

 

The position after Magnus Carlsen plays 13... dxc4.

The position after Magnus Carlsen plays 13… dxc4.

 

 

14.Bxc4 a6

15.O-O b5

16.Ba2 Bb7 {Both sides are done with development and Anand is just a tiny bit better.}

 

The position after Magnus Carlsen plays 16... Bb7.

The position after Magnus Carlsen plays 16… Bb7.

 

17.Bb1 {The obvious threat is Bxf6 followed by Qh7.}

17… Rad8 {Magnus isn’t too worried about Anand’s little threat and decides to take shared control of the open file.}

18.Bxf6 Bxf6

19.Ne4 {Anand improves his knight with tempo which is far better than:}
( 19.Qh7+ Kf8 20.Qh8+ Ke7 21.Qh7 {This is the kind of over-zealous mistake a lot of scholastic players make that results in white’s queen being out of play.})

 

The position after Viswanathan Anand plays 19. Ne4.

The position after Viswanathan Anand plays 19. Ne4.

 

 

19… Be7

20.Nc5 Bxc5 {Magnus is more than happy to trade his inactive bishop for Anand’s pesky knight.}

21.Qxc5 b4 {Magnus offers to trade queens.}

 

The position after Magnus Carlsen plays 19... b4.

The position after Magnus Carlsen plays 21… b4.

 

 

22.Rc1 {Anand politely declines for now. Had he captured on a5, play would have continued:}
( 22.Qxa5 Nxa5 23.axb4 Nc4 24.Rd3 Nxb2 25.Rb3 Bxf3 26.Rxb2 Bc6
{and now it is black that has the small edge.} )

22… bxa3

23.bxa3 Qxc5

24.Rxc5 {With the queens off the board, there is not much here for Anand to use to pressure his opponent.}

 

The position after Viswanathan Anand plays 24. Rxc5.

The position after Viswanathan Anand plays 24. Rxc5.

 

24… Ne7

25.Rfc1 Rc8 {Carlsen has easily and completely neutralized white’s opening.}

26.Bd3 Red8

27.Rxc8 Rxc8

28.Rxc8+ Nxc8 {Barring a catastrophe, this game is a complete draw.}

 

The position after Magnus Carlsen plays 28... Nxc8.

The position after Magnus Carlsen plays 28… Nxc8.

 

29.Nd2 Nb6 {Still, it is nice to see Anand play on so that students of the game have more moves to learn from.}

30.Nb3 Nd7 {It was very important to stop Anand from playing Nc5 and doubling up on a6.}

31.Na5 {So Anand has to settle for the second best square for his knight.}

31… Bc8

32.Kf1 {Endgame rule number two from the Thirty Rules of Chess states that, “The king must be active in the ending.”}

 

The position after Viswanathan Anand plays 32. Kf1.

The position after Viswanathan Anand plays 32. Kf1.

 

32… Kf8

33.Ke1 Ke7

34.Kd2 Kd6

35.Kc3 Ne5 {Carlsen’s knight is allowed to improve on Anand’s time.}

36.Be2 Kc5 {I will be setting this position up for my students and seeing how close their games match the outcome of this one.}

37.f4 {Kicks the knight but sets up another trade.}

 

The position after Viswanathan Anand plays 34. f4.

The position after Viswanathan Anand plays 37. f4.

 

 

37… Nc6

38.Nxc6 Kxc6

39.Kd4 f6

40.e4 Kd6

41.e5+ {The players agrede to a draw which would have been the outcome in so many more moves. One possible continuation is:} (41… fxe5+ 42.fxe5+ Kc6 43.h3 g5 44.a4 a5 45.Bf3+ Kb6 46.Be4 Bd7 47.Bc2 Be8 48.g4 {with neither side having any hope for victory.)} 1/2-1/2

 

The final position from game 8 of the 2014 World Chess Championship.

The final position from game 8 of the 2014 World Chess Championship.

 

If you found this lesson useful, feel free to read through my other lessons on the 2014 World Championship Match between Magnus Carlsen and Viswanathan Anand:

Game 1

Game 2

Game 3

Game 4

Game 5

Game 6

Game 7

and be sure to visit the official site of the 2014 Fide World Chess Championship in Sochi, Russia.

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