Carlsen vs. Anand World Chess Championship 2014: Game 9 Analysis

Game 9 of the 2014 FIDE World Chess Championship was completed before most of my chess pals in the U.S. had even woken up. After a mere 20 moves, Anand and Carlsen played to a draw by threefold repetition(the same position occurring three times in a game.) For Anand, an easy draw with the black pieces must have been a nice surprise. For Carlsen, the quick draw put him one step closer to retaining his title of World Chess Champion. For the chess fans, many on twitter voiced their annoyance that Carlsen didn’t press harder against Anand. The irony is, that many of these same chess fans were the ones criticizing Magnus for “playing on” too long in game 7.

 

Magnus Carlsen and Viswanathan Anand at the finish of Game 9 from the 2014 FIDE World Chess Championship Match.

Magnus Carlsen and Viswanathan Anand at the finish of Game 9 from the 2014 FIDE World Chess Championship Match.

 

I decided to use my analysis of Game 9 to produce a roadmap of the way Anand and Carlsen handle the Berlin Defense in the Ruy Lopez. I hope you enjoy the effort…

 

[Event “FIDE World Chess Championship 2014”]
[Site “Sochi, Russia”]
[Date “2014.11.20”]
[Round “9”]
[White “Carlsen, Magnus (NOR)”]
[Black “Anand, Viswanathan (IND)”]
[Result “1/2-1/2”]
[Eco “C67”]
[Annotator “Chris Torres”]

{[ RUY LOPEZ. BERLIN def.,C67]}

1.e4 e5

2.Nf3 Nc6

3.Bb5 Nf6

4.O-O {For 4. d3, see Game 2 from the Carlsen-Anand World Championship Match of 2014 or Game 6 and Game 7 from their 2013 World Championship Match.}

 

The position after Magnus Carlsen castles on move 4.

The position after Magnus Carlsen castles on move 4.

4… Nxe4

5.d4 Nd6 {5… Be7 was Lasker’s favorite:
5… Be7 6.Qe2 Nd6 7.Bxc6 bxc6 8.dxe5 Nb7 9.Nd4 O-O 10.Nc3 Nc5 11.Re1 Ne6
12.Nf5 f6 13.Nxe7+ Qxe7 14.exf6 Qxf6 15.Ne4 Qg6 16.c3 d6 17.Ng3 Bd7 18.Be3 Rae8
19.Qc4 Kh8 20.Rad1 c5 21.Qh4 Bc6 22.Qb4 {1/2-1/2, Mason James (ENG) } { Lasker Emanuel (GER), London 1892 Match)}

 

The position after Viswanathan Anand plays 5... Nd6.

The position after Viswanathan Anand plays 5… Nd6.

 

6.Bxc6 dxc6 {It is best for black to take back with the queen’s pawn to open up lines for his pieces.}

7.dxe5 Nf5

8.Qxd8+ Kxd8

9.h3 {Of course, Nc3 is also very playable as demonstrated by Tal:
( 9.Nc3 Ke8 10.Ne2 Be7 11.Re1 Nh4 12.Ng5 Ng6 13.Ng3 h6 14.Nf3 c5 15.h3 h5
16.Ne4 Be6 17.Nfg5 Bxg5 18.Bxg5 b6 19.Rad1 Ne7 20.Rd3 Rd8 21.Bf6 Rxd3 22.Bxg7
Rd4 23.Bxh8 h4 24.Bf6 Ng6 25.f3 Kd7 26.Kf2 Kc6 27.Ke3 Ra4 28.a3 Rd4 29.Re2 Rd1
30.Nc3 Rg1 31.Kf2 Rh1 32.Rd2 Bf5 33.Ne2 Ra1 34.Ke3 a5 35.Nf4 c4 36.Nxg6 fxg6
37.c3 Bd3 38.Bxh4 Kd5 39.Kf4 b5 40.Bd8 Kc6 41.e6 Re1 42.e7 Kd7 43.b4 {1-0, Tal
Mikhail N (LAT) 2660 } { Shamkovich Leonid (USA) 2540 , Dubna 1973 }

 

The position after Magnus Carlsen plays 9. h3.

The position after Magnus Carlsen plays 9. h3.

 

9… Ke8 {For 9… Bd7, see Game 4 from the Anand-Carlsen World Championship Match of 2013.}

10.Nc3 h5 {So far, this game is identical to Game 7 of the 2014 Carlsen-Anand Match.}

11.Ne2 {Magnus switches things up and plays Ne2 rather than the Bf4 he employed in Round 7.}
( 11.Bg5 Be6 12.b3 Be7 13.Rad1 h4 14.Rfe1 Rd8 15.Rxd8+ Kxd8 16.Ne4
b6 17.Bf4 Kc8 18.Neg5 Bxg5 19.Bxg5 Bd5 20.Nh2 c5 21.Rd1 Bc6 22.c3
a5 23.Ng4 Bd7 24.f3 a4 25.Kf2 {1/2-1/2, Aronian Levon (ARM) 2805 – Kramnik Vladimir (RUS) 2801 , Zuerich 4/25/2012 Match})

11… b6

( 11…Be7 12.Ned4 Nxd4 13.Nxd4 c5 14.Nb5 Kd7 15.c4 Kc6 16.Nc3 Be6 17.b3 Rhd8 18.Ne2 a5 19.Nf4 a4 20.Be3 g6 21.Rfd1 Rxd1+22.Rxd1 Bf5 23.Nd5 Bf8 24.Rd2 axb3 25.axb3 Ra3 26.Rb2 Be6 27.Nf4 Bg7 28.Rb1 Bf5 29.Re1 Rxb3 30.Nd5 Rb1 31.Rxb1 {…0-1, Shirov Alexei (ESP) 2732 – Naiditsch Arkadij (GER) 2697 , Villarrobledo 7/26/2009 It (active)})

 

The position after Viswanathan Anand plays 11... b6.

The position after Viswanathan Anand plays 11… b6.

 

 

12.Rd1

( 12.Bg5 Bb7 13.Nf4 c5 14.Nh4 Nxh4 15.Bxh4 Be7 16.Bxe7 Kxe7 17.h4 Rad8 18.Rad1 Rd4 19.Rxd4 cxd4 20.Rd1 c5 21.c3 dxc3 22.bxc3 g6 23.e6 Bc8 24.exf7 Kxf7 25.f3 Bf5 26.Kf2 Rc8 27.a3 Rc7 28.Rd8 Rc8 29.Rd2 Rc7 30.Rd8 Rc8 31.Rd6 Ke7 {…1/2-1/2, Volokitin Andrei (UKR) 2695 – Hovhannisyan Robert (ARM) 2589 , Plovdiv 3/25/2012 Ch Europe})

( 12.Bf4 c5 13.Rad1 Bb7 14.Ng5 Rh6 15.Ng3 Nh4 16.f3 Be7 17.Rfe1 Rg6 18.N5e4 Bc6 19.Kh2 Nxg2 20.Kxg2 h4 21.c4 hxg3 22.Nc3 Rd8 23.Nd5 Rd7 24.b3 Bd8 25.Re4 Bb7 26.Bxg3 b5 27.Kf2 Rh6 28.h4 Kf8 29.Ke2 Ra6 30.Rd2 bxc4 31.bxc4 c6 {…1/2-1/2, McShane Luke J (ENG) 2657 – Kramnik Vladimir (RUS) 2780 , London 12/10/2010 It (cat.19)})

12… Ba6

( 12…Bb7 13.Ned4 Nxd4 14.Nxd4 Be7 15.Bf4 Rd8 16.Nf5 Rxd1+ 17.Rxd1 Bc8 18.Nxe7 Kxe7 19.Bg5+ Ke6 20.Bd8 Kxe5 21.Bxc7+ Kf5 22.Bb8 a6 23.Ba7 b5 24.Rd6 Rh6 25.Rd8 Be6 26.b3 Bd5 27.f3 a5 28.Bd4 Re6 29.Kf2 Kg6 30.g4 hxg4 31.hxg4 Re7 32.Bc5 {…1/2-1/2, Grischuk Alexander (RUS) 2763 – Jakovenko Dmitry (RUS) 2736 , Moscow 8/ 7/2012 Ch Russia (superfinal)})

13.Nf4 Bb7 {This move is an innovation by Anand.}

(13…. Rd8 14. Bd2 Nd4 15. Nxd4 Rxd4 16. a4 Bc8 17. a5 a6 18. Be3 Rxd1+ 19. Rxd1 b5 20. Nd3 Be7 21. Bc5 Bd8 22. Nb4 Rh6 23. f4 f5 24. c3 Bh4 25. Rd3 Rg6 26. Kh2 Bb7 27. Nc2 Bc8 28. g3 Bd8 29. h4 Be6 30. Nb4 Bc8 31. Rd2 Bb7 32. Rd1 Bc8 33. Rh1 Bb7 34. Kg2 Be7 35. Nd3 Bd8 36. Kf2 Rh6 37. Re1 Bc8 38. Nb4 Kf7 39. Rd1 Ke8 40. Re1 Kf7 41. Re3 Rg6 42. Ke2 Rh6 43. Kd2 Rg6 44. b3 Rh6 45. c4 Rg6 46. Kc3 Rh6 47. Nc2 Re6 48. Nd4 Re8 49. Rd3 bxc4 50. bxc4 Bd7 51. Re3 Be7 52. Bxe7 Kxe7 53. e6 Bc8 54. Kb4 Kf6 55. Kc5 Bb7 56. Nxc6 g6 57. e7 Ba8 58. Re5 Bb7 59. Nd8 Bg2 60. Nc6 Kf7 61. Nb4 Rxe7 62. Rxe7+ Kxe7 63. Nxa6 Kd8 64. Nb4 Ba8 65. Nc6+ Kc8 66. a6 1-0, Leinier Dominguez Perez (2726) -Ruslan Ponomariov (2741) Leon 2012}

14.e6 {If white wishes to avoid the Carlsen drawing line, he/she could get fancy and play a4! Play could continue like this:}
( 14.a4 c5 15.Nd5 Bxd5 16.Rxd5 Be7 17.a5 b5 18.Bf4 Rd8 19.Rad1
Rxd5 20.Rxd5 {and white still has an advantage to work with.} )

 

The position after Magnus Carlsen plays 14. e6.

The position after Magnus Carlsen plays 14. e6.

 

14… Bd6

15.exf7+ {If Magnus Carlsen didn’t feel like an easy draw he could have played Ng5 instead:}

( 15.Ng5 fxe6 16.b3 Rh6 17.Ngxe6 Kd7 {Is an interesting line we may see in the future.})

( 15.Re1 f6 16.Ng6 Rg8 17.Bf4 Bxf4 18.Nxf4 c5 {doesn’t present black any problems that aren’t easily solved.})

15… Kxf7 {The only real option for Anand.}

16.Ng5+ {and now Carlsen has a draw and is 1 game closer to winning the match.}

16… Kf6

 

The position after Magnus Carlsen plays 16... Kf6.

The position after Magnus Carlsen plays 16… Kf6.

 

17.Ne4+ Kf7

18.Ng5+ Kf6 {If Anand was willing to give Carlsen an edge, he could have kept the game going with:}
( 18…Kg8 19.Nfe6 Rh6 20.Bf4 c5 21.Bxd6 cxd6 22.g3 Rf6 {but if Anand had declined Carlsen’s unspoken draw offer, he would have really been playing with fire!})

19.Ne4+ Kf7

20.Ng5+ 1/2-1/2

 

The final position of Game 9 from the 2014 Fide World Chess Championship Match between Magnus Carlsen and Viswanathan Anand.

The final position of Game 9 from the 2014 Fide World Chess Championship Match between Magnus Carlsen and Viswanathan Anand.

 

For more on this exciting chess match, please see my posts on:

Game 1

Game 2

Game 3

Game 4

Game 5

Game 6

Game 7

Game 8

 

and the official site of the 2014 FIDE World Chess Championship Match in Sochi, Russia.

 

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