Archive for the ‘Magnus Carlsen’ Category

Chess: Carlsen and Caruana set for $430,000 Isle of Man showdown | Magnus Carlsen | The Guardian

October 19, 2019

Chess: Carlsen and Caruana set for $430,000 Isle of Man showdown | Magnus Carlsen | The Guardian

“After Friday’s eighth round Carlsen’s unbeaten streak reached 98 games, surpassing Mikhail Tal’s 95 in 1973-74 and closing in on Ding Liren’s record of 100 against high-level opponents. The record could fall in the 11th and final Isle of Man round on Monday if he continues to avoid defeat.

— Read on


Magnus Carlsen Silences His Critics

November 29, 2018

The simplest way to silence your critics is to do what they claim you can’t do. They may mock your process loudly but never allow their words to cause you to take unnecessary risks.

[Event “Carlsen – Caruana World Championship Match”]
[Site “London ENG”]
[Date “2018.11.28”]
[Round “Tiebreaker 1“]
[White “Magnus Carlsen”]
[WhiteElo “?”]
[Black “Fabiano Caruana”]
[BlackElo “?”]
[Result “1-0”]

1.c4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.g3 Bb4 4.e4 O-O 5.Nge2 c6 6.Bg2 a6 7.O-O b5 8.d4 d6 9.a3
Bxc3 10.Nxc3 bxc4 11.dxe5 dxe5 12.Na4 Be6 13.Qxd8 Rxd8 14.Be3 Nbd7 15.f3 Rab8
16.Rac1 Rb3 17.Rfe1 Ne8 18.Bf1 Nd6 19.Rcd1 Nb5 20.Nc5 Rxb2 21.Nxe6 fxe6 22.Bxc4
Nd4 23.Bxd4 exd4 24.Bxe6+ Kf8 25.Rxd4 Ke7 26.Rxd7+ Rxd7 27.Bxd7 Kxd7 28.Rd1+
Ke6 29.f4 c5 30.Rd5 Rc2 31.h4 c4 32.f5+ Kf6 33.Rc5 h5 34.Kf1 Rc3 35.Kg2 Rxa3
36.Rxc4 Ke5 37.Rc7 Kxe4 38.Re7+ Kxf5 39.Rxg7 Kf6 40.Rg5 a5 41.Rxh5 a4 42.Ra5
Ra1 43.Kf3 a3 44.Ra6+ Kg7 45.Kg2 Ra2+ 46.Kh3 Ra1 47.h5 Kh7 48.g4 Kg7 49.Kh4 a2
50.Kg5 Kf7 51.h6 Rb1 52.Ra7+ Kg8 53.Rxa2 Rb5+ 54.Kg6 Rb6+ 55.Kh5

[Event “Carlsen – Caruana World Championship Match”]
[Site “London ENG”]
[Date “2018.11.28”]
[Round “Tiebreaker 2“]
[White “Fabiano Caruana”]
[WhiteElo “?”]
[Black “Magnus Carlsen”]
[BlackElo “?”]
[Result “0-1”]

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e5 6.Ndb5 d6 7.Nd5 Nxd5 8.exd5 Ne7
9.c4 Ng6 10.Qa4 Bd7 11.Qb4 Qb8 12.h4 h5 13.Be3 a6 14.Nc3 a5 15.Qb3 a4 16.Qd1
Be7 17.g3 Qc8 18.Be2 Bg4 19.Rc1 Bxe2 20.Qxe2 Qf5 21.c5 O-O 22.c6 bxc6 23.dxc6
Rfc8 24.Qc4 Bd8 25.Nd5 e4 26.c7 Bxc7 27.Nxc7 Ne5 28.Nd5 Kh7

[Event “Carlsen – Caruana World Championship Match”]
[Site “London ENG”]
[Date “2018.11.28”]
[Round “Tiebreaker 3”]
[White “Magnus Carlsen”]
[WhiteElo “?”]
[Black “Fabiano Caruana”]
[BlackElo “?”]
[Result “1-0”]1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.c4 Nc6 4.d4 cxd4 5.Nxd4 Bc5 6.Nc2 Nf6 7.Nc3 O-O 8.Be3 b6
9.Be2 Bb7 10.O-O Qe7 11.Qd2 Rfd8 12.Rfd1 Ne5 13.Bxc5 bxc5 14.f4 Ng6 15.Qe3 d6
16.Rd2 a6 17.Rad1 Qc7 18.b3 h6 19.g3 Rd7 20.Bf3 Re8 21.Qf2 Ne7 22.h3 Red8
23.Bg2 Nc6 24.g4 Qa5 25.Na4 Qc7 26.e5 dxe5 27.Nxc5 Rxd2 28.Rxd2 Rxd2 29.Qxd2
Ba8 30.fxe5 Qxe5 31.Nd7 Qb2 32.Qd6 Nxd7 33.Qxd7 Qxc2 34.Qe8+ Kh7 35.Qxa8 Qd1+
36.Kh2 Qd6+ 37.Kh1 Nd4 38.Qe4+ f5 39.gxf5 exf5 40.Qe3 Ne6 41.b4 Ng5 42.c5 Qf6
43.c6 Ne6 44.a4 Nc7 45.Qf4 Ne6 46.Qd6 Qa1+ 47.Kh2 Nd4 48.c7 Qc3 49.Qc5 Qe3
50.c8=Q f4 51.Qg4

The Magnus Carlsen Doctrine

November 27, 2018

There’s more to being the world champion in chess than playing great moves and controlling your nerves. After eleven successful draws against Fabiano Caruana, Magnus Carlsen chose to abandon his advantageous position in game 12 in favor of a draw offer. Why would the World Champion do so such a thing? Perhaps as Kasparov put it, “he seems to be losing his (nerves.)” Or perhaps Magnus Carlsen knows that the least dangerous path to remaining the World Chess Champion is exploiting the loopholes in FIDE’s tiebreak system.

Experience in this format has taught Magnus Carlsen to favor a cautious approach. And why wouldn’t he? If the classical portion of the match remains even after 12 games the combatants break the tie by battling in rapid play and then blitz if necessary. Magnus Carlsen classical rating (2835) is just three points better than Fabiano Caruana’s (2832.) Where as, Carlsen’s rapid rating is 2880, and his blitz rating is 2939; vs. Caruana’s rapid rating of 2789, and his blitz rating of 2767. In short, by being overly cautious in classical time controls, Magnus has a much better probability of remaining champion. One could argue that rapid and blitz games shouldn’t determine the classical chess world champion, but as long as they do, The Magnus Carlsen Doctrine of winning by not losing makes sense.

#Chess Lesson Worth Sharing: Carlsen vs. Xiangzhi 2017 FIDE World Cup

September 14, 2017

One of my favorite jazz artists, Charles Mingus once said, “Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity.” In chess, it is quite common for the more confident player to add complications to the position in order to allow him/her more opportunities to prove superior skill. In general, this is a good strategy and oftentimes the resulting victories are praised by chess aficionados. Of course, another result is also quite possible.

In the 2017 FIDE World Cup match between Bu Xiangzhi and World Champion Magnus Carlsen, Magnus’ over complicated style with the white pieces was dealt a devastating blow by Bu’s straight forward approach as black. Magnus chose a slow developing line of the Giuoco Piano which included several slow pawn moves and piece redeployments. Bu Xiangzhi on the other hand played a fairly straight forward opening with only one cryptic move (9… Rab8.) The result of the game clearly demonstrated the dangers of being too fancy as Magnus’ 11. h3 was severely punished by a common bishop sacrifice and a very creative early advancement of the h-pawn.

As a fan of Magnus Carlsen this game was painful to watch. As a chess educator, this game is a golden opportunity to demonstrate important lessons. For this reason I am sharing my lesson plans on this game. Try pairing the moves with Charles Mingus’ “Music Written for Monterey.”

Carlsen – Xiangzhi page 1


Carlsen – Xiangzhi page 2


Carlsen – Xiangzhi page 3


Carlsen – Xiangzhi page 4


Carlsen – Xiangzhi page 5


#Chess Puzzle Worth Sharing 69

September 12, 2017

What is black’s best move?

What is black’s best move? (Magnus Carlsen – Bu Xiangzhi, 2017 FIDE World Cup)

#Chess Puzzle Worth Sharing 68

September 9, 2017

What is white’s best move?

What is white’s best move? (Magnus Carlsen – Alexey Dreev, 2017 FIDE World Cup)

#Chess #News: New Porsche 911 Ad Stars Magnus Carlsen

December 14, 2015

Magnus Carlsen wins rapid chess world title

October 13, 2015

Norwegian chess superstar Magnus Carlsen has been crowned the world champion in rapid chess once again, after a thrilling three day defence of last year’s title in Berlin….

Read the full article via

Carlsen vs Anand World Chess Championship 2014: Game 11 Analysis

December 15, 2014

Timing is critical whether you are playing in a poker tournament at your kitchen table or in the World Chess Championship match. Often times, chess players wait until they are too far behind to play ambitiously enough to win the game.  In game 11 of the 2014 FIDE World Chess Championship Match, Viswanathan Anand decided to “go for it” on move 27. Down a point with only one more game to go, Vishy took a calculated gamble on move 27 and unfortunately followed it up with an inaccuracy on move 28. Magnus Carlsen steered through the remaining pitfalls in the position with ease and emerged victorious in the game and match.


Norway's Magnus Carlsen shows his trophy at the award ceremony of the FIDE World Chess Championship Match  in Sochi, Russia, Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014.   Magnus Carlsen won against India's former World Champion Vishwanathan Anand, left. At right is FIDE president Kirsan Ilyumzhinov. AP/PTI(AP11_26_2014_000006A)

Norway’s Magnus Carlsen shows his trophy at the award ceremony of the FIDE World Chess Championship Match in Sochi, Russia, Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014. Magnus Carlsen won against India’s former World Champion Vishwanathan Anand, left. At right is FIDE president Kirsan Ilyumzhinov. AP/PTI(AP11_26_2014_000006A)

Below are my thoughts on game 11 of the 2014 FIDE World Chess Championship Match. It has been my goal during this match to break down the though processes of Magnus Carlsen and Viswanathan Anand to a level where it is accessible to the school age chess stars and weekend chess warriors. I hope you have enjoyed the effort.
[Event “FIDE World Chess Chamopionship 2014”]
[Site “Sochi, Russia”]
[Date “2014.11.23”]
[Round “11”]
[White “Carlsen, Magnus (NOR)”]
[Black “Anand, Viswanathan (IND)”]
[Result “1-0”]
[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.}
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)}
6.Bxc6 dxc6 {It is best for black to take back with the queen’diagonals’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}
9… Bd7 {Vishy played this move in Game 4 from the Anand-Carlsen World Championship Match of 2013. For 9… Ke8, see game 7 and game 9 from the Carlsen-Anand 2014.}
10.Nc3 {In game 4 from 2013, Magnus played Rd1 here.}
10… h6
11.b3 Kc8 {Both Carlsen and Anand are playing straight out of “the book.”}
12.Bb2 c5 {Anand is choosing a rare line in order to test Carlsen’s preparations.}
13.Rad1 b6
14.Rfe1 {Magnus took a long think and played Rfe1 rather than the usual Nd5.}
( 14.Nd5 a5 15.Rd2 a4 16.Rfd1 Bc6 17.c4 axb3 18.axb3 Kb7 19.g4
Ne7 20.Kg2 Ra2 21.Kg3 b5 22.Nc3 Ra5 23.cxb5 Bxb5 24.Rc2 Bc6 25.Nd2 Ng6 26.Nc4 Ra8 27.Nd5 h5 28.Rcd2 hxg4 29.hxg4 Bb5 30.f4 Be7 31.Nxe7 Nxe7 32.f5 Rhe8 33.Na3 Bc6 {…1-0, Zhigalko Andrey (BLR) 2554 – Podolchenko Evgeniy (BLR) 2460 , Minsk 1/17/2007 Ch Belarus})
( 14.Rd3 Bc6 15.Re1 Be7 16.Nd5 Kb7 17.e6 Bxd5 18.Rxd5 Nd6 19.exf7 Bf6 20.Bxf6 gxf6 21.Re6 Nxf7 22.Rxf6 Nd6 23.Rh5 Rhe8 24.Re5 Rxe5 25.Nxe5 Ne4 26.Rxh6 Rd8 27.Nd3 c4 28.bxc4 Rd4 29.Rh4 {1-0, Carlsson Pontus (SWE) 2502 – Aboudi M (JOR) 2192 , Dubai 4/12/2011 It (open)})
14… Be6 ( 14…Ne7 15.Ne2 Ng6 16.h4 Be7 17.e6 Bxe6 18.h5 Nh4 19.Nf4 Nxf3+ 20.gxf3 Bd6 21.Nxe6 fxe6 22.Rxe6 Rf8 23.Bxg7 Rf5 24.Re8+ Kb7 25.Rxa8 Kxa8 26.Bxh6 Rxh5 27.Be3 Kb7 28.c4 Kc6 29.Kg2 Rh2+ 30.Kf1 Rh1+ 31.Ke2 Rxd1 32.Kxd1 Kd7 33.Bg5 Ke6 34.a4 {…1/2-1/2, Anand Viswanathan (IND) 2800 – Nakamura Hikaru (USA) 2733 , London 12/ 8/2010 It (cat.19)})
( 14…a5 15.a4 Ne7 16.Ne2 Ng6 17.h4 h5 18.g3 Be7 19.c4 Bf5
20.Nc3 Kb7 21.Nd2 c6 22.Nf1 Bg4 23.Rc1 Rad8 24.Nd1 Rhe8 25.Nde3
Rd3 26.Bc3 Bc8 27.Nd1 Nf8 28.f4 Ne6 29.Nf2 Rdd8 30.Ne4 Nd4 31.Nfd2
Bf5 32.Kf2 Rd7 33.Nf6 Bxf6 34.exf6 {…1/2-1/2, Motylev Alexander (RUS) 2710 – Ponomariov Ruslan (UKR) 2727 , Khanty Mansyisk 11/28/2009 Cup World})
15.Nd5 g5 {A rare and interesting idea developed by the Russian chess player Yuri N Vitoshinskiy. With this move, Anand is allowing Carlsen’s knight an outpost on f6 but is stopping white from mobilizing his four on three pawn majority. Allowing your opponent a knight on the sixth is usually a disastrous mistake
which is why this idea has only been tried once before.}
Position after Viswanathan Anand played 15... g5.

Position after Viswanathan Anand played 15… g5.

16.c4 {Even in the heavily analyzed Berlin Defense to the Ruy Lopez, our players are “out of book” by move 16!}
( 16.Nh2 Kb7 17.f4 Nd4 18.Bxd4 cxd4 19.Nf6 gxf4 20.Nf3 Bb4 21.Rf1 c5 22.Nd2 a5 23.Rxf4 a4 24.Nde4 axb3 25.axb3 Ra2 26.Rf2 Rha8 27.g4 Ra1 28.Rxa1 Rxa1+ 29.Kh2 b5 30.h4 c4 31.bxc4 bxc4 32.g5 hxg5 33.h5 Bf8 34.Nxg5 Bh6 35.Nxe6 fxe6 36.Ng8 Re1 37.Nxh6 Rxe5 38.Ng4 Rxh5+ 39.Kg3 Rd5 40.Kf4 d3 {1/2-1/2, Zhidkov – Vitoshinskiy Yuriy N (RUS) 2165, Dubna (Russia) 2001})
16… Kb7 {This is a fine place for the king in order to move closer towards giving the rooks free access to the back rank.}
17.Kh2 {Carlsen responds by moving his king out the back rank as well. I imagine Magnus is waiting to discover Anand’s intentions before commiting to a more concrete plan.}
17… a5 {Anand grabs more space for his rook and could postentially open up the file if Carlsen falls asleep behind the wheel.}
18.a4 {Magnus shuts down all the activity on the queen-side for now.}
18… Ne7 {Anand makes a nice move that adds an extra attacker to Carlsen d5 knight as well as keeps the options open as to where Anand’s knight will transfer to.}
19.g4 {Carlsen blocks Anand off on the king-side as well. For the moment, Carlsen’s rook is the only rook in an open file.}
19… Ng6 {Capturing Carlsen’s knight here would be disastrous for black:} ( 19…Nxd5 20.cxd5 Bc8 )
20.Kg3 Be7 {Finally, Anand’s rooks are unified. Both players have navigated the opening well.}
Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 20... Be7.

Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 20… Be7.

21.Nd2 {Magnus prepares his advance of a knight to the f6 outpost.}
21… Rhd8 {Anand places a rook into the open file as well.}
22.Ne4 Bf8 {Anand gives his bishop the option of moving to the a1-h8 diagonal.}
23.Nef6 {Magnus’ pieces are placed beautifully.}
23… b5 {!} {This is an aggressive and somewhat unexpected response from Anand. A more tempered approach would be:}
( 23…c6 24.Ne3 Nf4 25.Nf5 )
Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 23... b5.

Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 23… b5.

24.Bc3 {Magnus avoids playing axb5 immediately as it would give Anand the upper hand.}( 24.axb5 a4 25.bxa4 Rxa4 26.Rc1 Ra2 27.Bc3 Be7 )
24… bxa4 {Anand had several other paths to consider:}
( 24…bxc4 25.bxc4 Kc6 26.Rd3 ( 26.Kf3 Be7 ) Bg7 {and black looks good in either of these.})
( 24…b4 25.Ba1 Bxd5 26.Nxd5 Bg7 27.f4 gxf4+ 28.Nxf4 Rxd1
29.Rxd1 Bxe5 30.Bxe5 Nxe5 31.Nd3 Nxd3 32.Rxd3 Re8 {Would draw.} )
25.bxa4 Kc6
26.Kf3 Rdb8 {!?} {Better would have been Be7, but Anand has an interesting gamble in mind.}
27.Ke4 Rb4 {?!} {Anand takes a dangerous gamble based on his overall situation in the match rather.Vishy’s idea is to create mega imbalances by sacking the exchange for a strong passed pawn while retaining his bishop pair.}
Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 27... Rb4.

Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 27… Rb4.

28.Bxb4 {Carlsen accepts Anand’s rook and moves closer to retaining his World Championship title.}
28… cxb4 {?} {Better would have been recapturing with the a-pawn in part because it would create a semi-open file for the rook on a8 to enjoy. It’s unfortunate that Anand followed his gamble with a mistake.}
Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 28... cxb4.

Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 28… cxb4.

29.Nh5 {Magnus is preparing f4 in order to open the position and trade pieces.}
29… Kb7
30.f4 gxf4
31.Nhxf4 Nxf4 {With every trade of the pieces, Carlsen is that much closer to victory in the game and match.}
32.Nxf4 Bxc4
33.Rd7 {At this point it is very clear that Anand’s gamble just did not pay off.}
33… Ra6
34.Nd5 {Magnus is making sure that Vishy feels the pressure of his material advantage.}
Position after Magnus Carlsen plays 34. Nd5.

Position after Magnus Carlsen plays 34. Nd5.

34… Rc6 {Anand is clinging to life by a thread.} 35.Rxf7 Bc5
36.Rxc7+{!} {This move pretty much seals the deal.}
Position after Magnus Carlsen plays 36. Rxc7+.

Position after Magnus Carlsen plays 36. Rxc7+.

36… Rxc7 {Even with perfect play from black, white wins.}
37.Nxc7 Kc6 {The obvious recapture leads to an even more obvious loss.}
( 37…Kxc7 38.Rc1 b3 39.Rxc4 b2 40.Rxc5+ Kd8 41.Rb5 )
38.Nb5 Bxb5
39.axb5+ Kxb5
40.e6 b3 {I think Anand could have made Carlsen work a little harder by playing:}
( 40…a4 41.Kd3 Be7 42.h4 b3 43.g5 {ends up the same as in the game.})
41.Kd3 Be7
42.h4 a4
43.g5 hxg5 ( 43…a3 44.g6 a2 45.Kc3 Bb4+
46.Kxb3 Bxe1 47.Kxa2 Bxh4 48.g7 {is a more eventful way to lose.})
44.hxg5 a3
45.Kc3 {and Viswanathan Anand resigns in what will likely be his last World Championship game.}
The final position from the 2014 FIDE World Chess Championship Match between Magnus Carlsen and Viswanathan Anand.

The final position from the 2014 FIDE World Chess Championship Match between Magnus Carlsen and Viswanathan Anand.


I hope you enjoyed the series of lessons I posted from this epic match. Feel free to look through the other games in this series by clicking the links below:

Game 1

Game 2

Game 3

Game 4

Game 5

Game 6

Game 7

Game 8

Game 9

Game 10

Carlsen vs Anand 2014 World Chess Championship: Game 10 Analysis

November 22, 2014


The tenth game of the 2014 FIDE World Championship Match between two of most talented chess players ever was a study in adaptation. Anand opened, as I expected he would, with “1.d4″ and Magnus Carlsen chose to play the Grunfeld Defense. A brilliant strategist, Viswanathan Anand knew that he could not play against the Grunfeld as he did in round one, so he changed up his game plan and aggressively went after “The Mozart of Chess” with the double edged Russian Variation. Anand’s new strategy was met with Kasparov’s old line and the fight that ensued had Garry’s influence all over it.

The key point in this game occurred when Magnus played an inaccuracy on move sixteen. After Carlsen’s mistake, Anand was able to masterfully apply pressure to the young Norwegian right up until he let Magnus off the hook with his own inaccuracy on move twenty-four. After Vishy’s unfortunate mistake, all of his hard fought gains evaporated and the players quickly traded down to a draw.

Please enjoy my analysis of Game 10 from the 2014 FIDE World Chess Championship Match between Magnus Carlsen and Viswanathan Anand.


[Event “FIDE World Chess Chamopionship 2014”]
[Site “Sochi, Russia”]
[Date “2014.11.21”]
[Round “10”]
[White “Anand, Viswanathan (IND)”]
[Black “Carlsen, Magnus (NOR)”]
[Result “1/2-1/2”]
[Eco “D97”]
[Annotator “Chris Torres”]

{[ GRUNFELD def.,D97]}

1.d4 Nf6

2.c4 g6

3.Nc3 d5

4.Nf3 Bg7 {Magnus Carlsen has returned to the Grunfeld Defense which he used successfully all the way back in Game 1.}

5.Qb3 {After 5. Qb3, no one will rightfully be able to claim that Anand played passively in Game 10.}


Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 5. Qb3.

Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 5. Qb3.


5… dxc4

6.Qxc4 O-O

7.e4 Na6 {It’s no secret that Carlsen trained with Kasparov in the past and this
“Kasparovesque” line demonstrates the effect of the training.}


Position after Magnus Carlsen plays 7... Na6.

Position after Magnus Carlsen plays 7… Na6.


8.Be2 {This move is the best by test(over 800 high-level games worth.)}

8… c5 {The reason behind the knight being on a6.}

9.d5 e6 {The idea is for black to leave white with an isolated d-pawn. If white can
promote this passed pawn, he/she will likely win. On the other hand, if black
can capture it, then he/she will be playing for a win.}


Position after Magnus Carlsen plays 9... e6.

Position after Magnus Carlsen plays 9… e6.



10.O-O exd5

11.exd5 Re8 {Carlsen chooses a line that Kasparov used twice against Anand. The first of
those occasions ended in a loss for Vishy and the second a draw.}
( 11…Bf5 12.Rd1 Qb6 13.d6 Rad8 14.Na4 Qc6 15.Be3 Ne4 16.Qb5
Bd7 17.Qxc6 Bxc6 18.Bxa6 Bxa4 19.Bxb7 Bxd1 20.Bxe4 Bxf3 21.Bxf3
Bxb2 22.Rd1 Bd4 23.Bxd4 cxd4 24.Rxd4 Rd7 25.h4 Rfd8 26.Ra4 Rb8
{0-1, Anand Viswanathan (IND) 2771 – Kasparov Garry (RUS) 2851 , Frankfurt 1999 It (active) (cat.21})

12.Bg5 {Anand responded with a move that Piket employed to defeat Kasparov.}
( 12.Rd1 Bf5 13.d6 h6 14.Bf4 Nd7 15.Rd2 Nb4 16.Qb3 Be6 17.Bc4
Nb6 18.Bxe6 Rxe6 19.Na4 Re4 20.Bg3 Nc4 21.Nxc5 Nxd2 22.Nxd2 Re2
23.Qxb4 a5 24.Qxb7 Rxd2 25.d7 Rxb2 26.Qd5 Rb5 27.Rd1 Bf8 28.Bd6
Bxd6 29.Qxd6 Rab8 30.h3 Rb1 31.Rxb1 Rxb1+ {…1-0, Piket Jeroen (NED) 2625 – Kasparov Garry (RUS) 2795 , Amsterdam 1995 Memorial M.Euwe (cat.18)})

( 12.Be3 Bf5 13.Rad1 Qb6 14.b3 Ng4 15.Bd2 Ne5 16.Nxe5 Bxe5
17.Be3 Qa5 18.Rc1 Rac8 19.Rfd1 Nb4 20.d6 Red8 21.Bf4 Bd4 22.a3
Nc6 23.Nb5 Bb2 24.Bg5 Rd7 25.Qxc5 Re8 26.b4 Qa4 27.Bf1 Bxc1 28.Qxc1
Qc2 29.Qa1 h5 30.Nc7 Re4 31.Bd3 Qxd1+ {…1/2-1/2, Van Der Sterren Paul (NED) 2555 – Timman Jan H (NED) 2625 , Rotterdam 1997 Ch Netherlands})

( 12.Bf4 Bf5 13.Rad1 Ne4 14.Nb5 Bd7 15.Bd3 Bxb5 16.Qxb5 Nd6
17.Qb3 c4 18.Bxc4 Nc5 19.Qc2 Rc8 20.Bd3 Nxd3 21.Qxd3 Bxb2 22.Rb1
Bf6 23.Bxd6 Qxd6 24.Rxb7 Red8 25.Rxa7 Qxd5 26.Qxd5 Rxd5 27.Re1
Rc2 28.g3 g5 29.h3 h5 30.Kg2 Kg7 31.Ra6 Rf5 {…1/2-1/2, Kramnik Vladimir (RUS) 2780 – Ivanchuk Vassily (UKR) 2754 , Khanty Mansyisk 9/29/2010 Olympiad})


Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 12. Bg5.

Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 12. Bg5.



12… h6

13.Be3 {This move is regarded as the strongest continuation. However, the alternatives are very interesting as well.}
( 13.Bh4 Qb6 14.a3 Bf5 15.Bd3 Bxd3 16.Qxd3 Qxb2 17.Ra2 Qb6 18.Rb1
c4 19.Qxc4 Rac8 20.Qf1 Qc5 21.Bxf6 Bxf6 22.Nb5 Nb8 23.d6 Red8
24.Rd2 a6 25.Nbd4 Rxd6 26.Rxb7 Qxa3 27.Rd1 Bxd4 28.Nxd4 Qa4 29.Nb3
Rxd1 30.Qxd1 Qc6 31.Re7 Qc4 32.h3 Nc6 {…1/2-1/2, Szczechowicz Bartosz (POL) 2200 – Miton Kamil (POL) 2415 , Trzebinia 1998 Ch Poland (juniors) (under 20)})

( 13.Bf4 Bf5 14.Ne5 Qb6 15.d6 Be6 16.Qd3 Qb4 17.Qd2 g5 18.Bg3
c4 19.f4 gxf4 20.Bxf4 Nd5 21.Bxh6 Nxc3 22.Bxg7 Nxe2+ 23.Qxe2
Kxg7 24.Qh5 Qxd6 25.Rxf7+ Bxf7 26.Qxf7+ Kh6 27.Ng4+ Kg5 28.Qg7+
{1-0, Antoshin Vladimir S (RUS) 2250 – Kozma Julius (CSR) 2380 , Sochi 1963 It})

13… Bf5

14.Rad1 Ne4 {Magnus plays a strong novelty. The question begging to be answered is if it was shown to him by Kasparov in their historic training sessions.}
( 14…Qb6 15.b3 Rad8 16.Rd2 Ng4 17.Bf4 Qa5 18.Rc1 g5 19.Bg3
Bxc3 20.Qxc3 Qxc3 21.Rxc3 Nf6 22.Bb5 Ne4 23.Re3 Nxd2 24.Rxe8+
Rxe8 25.Bxe8 Ne4 26.Ne5 f6 27.Nc4 Kf8 28.Bb5 Nxg3 29.Bxa6 bxa6
30.hxg3 Ke7 31.f3 Bb1 32.a3 Bc2 33.Na5 Kd6 34.Nc4+ {…0-1, Wojtaszek Radoslaw (POL) 2733 – Ponomariov Ruslan (UKR) 2735 , Poikovsky 9/29/2012 It (cat.18)})


Position after Magnus Carlsen plays 14... Ne4.

Position after Magnus Carlsen plays 14… Ne4.



15.Nxe4 Bxe4 {Also possible was Rxe4 with play likely to continue with:}
( 15…Rxe4 16.Qc1 Nb4 17.d6 Rc8 18.Qd2 Be6 )

16.Qc1 Qf6 {?}
{Carlsen plays the first innacuracy of the game. Better was:}
( 16…Nb4 17.d6 Nd5 18.Qxc5 Rc8 {and black is developing a dangerous initiative.})

17.Bxh6 {!} {The most direct punishment for Carlsen’s mistake.}


The position after Viswanathan Anand plays 17. Bxh6.

The position after Viswanathan Anand plays 17. Bxh6.


17.. Qxb2

18.Qxb2 Bxb2

19.Ng5 Bd4

20.Nxe4 {Given the situation, this is a somewhat automatic capture but Bb5 should also be considered.}
( 20.Bb5 Bxd5 21.Bxe8 Rxe8 22.Rfe1 Rc8 {is a peculiar position with a very interesting set of imbalances.})


The position after Viswanathan Anand plays 20. Nxe4.

The position after Viswanathan Anand plays 20. Nxe4.



20… Rxe4

21.Bf3 {White still has the initiative and the passed pawn.}

21… Re7

22.d6 Rd7

23.Bf4 Nb4

24.Rd2 {?} {This is where Anand loses his opportunity for a victory. Better was:}
( 24.a3 {!} Nc6 25.Rfe1 Rad8 26.Rb1 {and only Caissa knows if Anand could have converted this into a victory in route to taking back the world championship title.})


The position after Viswanathan Anand played 24. Rd2.

The position after Viswanathan Anand played 24. Rd2.


24… Re8 {Carlsen manages to escape from the tiger’s claws again.}

25.Rc1 Re6

26.h4 {Anand shows that he has some resources left in pushing his kingside pawns.}
Be5 {Now Anand must trade bishops or Carlsen will trade for him.}

27.Bxe5 Rxe5

28.Bxb7 {Vishy throws in the towel with this move. At this point in the match, he needs
to keep the complexity in whichever advantageous positions he has left. To try
and claw his way back into the match he needed to play something like:}
( 28.g3 Nc6 29.Bg4 f5 30.f4 {and give Carlsen more opportunities to lose.})


The position after Viswanathan Anand plays 28. Bxb7.

The position after Viswanathan Anand plays 28. Bxb7.



28… Rxb7

29.d7 {The pawn looks threatening if you don’t notice that Carlsen has an extra knight within striking distance.}

29… Nc6



The position after Viswanathan Anand plays 30. d8=Q+

The position after Viswanathan Anand plays 30. d8=Q+


30… Nxd8

31.Rxd8+ Kg7

32.Rd2 {and the players agreed to a draw. Anand is still a point down in the match and is running out of opportunities to equalize.}


If you enjoyed this lesson, please check out my posts on the previous rounds:

Game 1

Game 2

Game 3

Game 4

Game 5

Game 6

Game 7

Game 8

Game 9

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

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