Posts Tagged ‘2013 world chess championship’

World Chess Championship 2013: Anand Loses Again in Game 6

November 18, 2013

The 2013 Fide World Chamionship Match is close to being over at the half-way point. Viswanathan Anand received his second straight loss after playing poorly in a “drawish” rook and pawn endgame. At the press conference, for the second round in a row, Anand failed to recognize the location of his actual loosing mistake. What Anand does seem clear about is what today’s loss means to his future as a chess champion. After the loss in round 6, Anand simply said, “Today is a heavy blow…. I won’t pretend otherwise.”

An always classy Anand appears solemn at the post game press conference.(Photo courtesy of

An always classy Anand appears solemn at the post game press conference.(Photo courtesy of

[Event “World Chess Championship”]
[Site “Chennai”]
[Date “2013.11.16”]
[Round “6”]
[White “Viswanathan Anand”]
[Black “Magnus Carlsen”]
[Result “0-1”]
[Eco “C65”]
[Annotator “Chris Torres”]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 {The same position as in game four. In other words, it is a Ruy Lopez Berlin Defence.}
4.d3 {Viswanathan Anand chose “4.O-O Nxe4 5.d4 Nd6” in game four. This is the other main variation.}
Bc5 {Magnus Carlsen could have also played d6 here.}

5.c3 {White had a lot of good choices but this is a rather Anand like move.}
( 5.Nxe5 Bxf2+ 6.Kxf2 Nxe5 {Proof that the Fork Trick does not work so well here.}

O-O {I often employ something like this:} ( 5…Qe7 6.O-O a6
7.Bxc6 dxc6 8.Nxe5 Qxe5 9.d4 Qe7 10.dxc5 O-O 11.Bg5 Qxe4 12.Bxf6
gxf6 13.Re1 Qg4 14.Qc1 Bf5 15.Re3 Bg6 16.Nd2 Rfe8 17.Nb3 Qg5
18.Rxe8+ Rxe8 19.Qxg5 fxg5 20.Na5 Re2 21.b3 Rc2 22.Nxb7 Rxc3
23.f3 Rc2 24.b4 g4 25.Re1 {…1/2-1/2, Aagaard Jacob (SCO) 2522 – Christensen Tobias (DEN) 2346 , Denmark 1/15/2012 Ch Denmark (team) 2011/12}

6.O-O Re8 {More often, black plays d6 to defend e5.}

7.Re1 {Some other good choices are:} ( 7.Nbd2 a6 8.Bxc6 dxc6 9.Nc4
Nd7 10.Re1 Bf8 11.d4 exd4 12.cxd4 Nf6 13.Nce5 Be6 14.h3 Nd7 15.Nd3
f6 16.Qc2 Bf7 17.Bd2 a5 18.b3 Ba3 19.Rad1 Nf8 20.Bc1 Bxc1 21.Nxc1
Qd7 22.Ne2 Bh5 23.Nh4 Qe7 24.f3 Bf7 25.Nc3 Rad8 26.Qf2 Qb4 {…1-0, Alekseev Evgeny (RUS) 2683 – Godena Michele (ITA) 2526 , Eilat 10/11/2012 Cup European Club}
) ( 7.Bg5 h6 8.Bh4 Bf8 9.Nbd2 d6 10.d4 exd4 11.Nxd4 Bd7 12.Nxc6
bxc6 13.Bd3 Be7 14.f4 Qb8 15.Bxf6 Bxf6 16.e5 dxe5 17.Ne4 Qxb2
18.f5 Red8 19.Bc4 Be8 20.Qh5 Rd6 21.Rab1 Qc2 22.Qg4 Kf8 23.h3
Rad8 24.Kh2 Qa4 25.Rb4 Qa3 26.Rb7 R6d7 {…1-0, Carlsen Magnus (NOR) 2826 – Howell David WL (ENG) 2633 , London 12/ 3/2011 It (cat.20)}


8.Ba4 b5 ( 8…h6 9.h3 b5 10.Bb3 Bb6 11.Nbd2 d5 12.exd5
Nxd5 13.d4 Nf4 14.Nf1 Nxg2 15.Kxg2 Qd7 16.Ng1 Bb7 17.d5 Na5 18.Be3
c5 19.f3 f5 20.d6+ Nxb3 21.axb3 Re6 22.b4 Rxd6 23.Qe2 Rg6+ 24.Kh1
Bc7 25.bxc5 Qc6 26.Nh2 Re8 27.Rad1 Ree6 28.Qd2 {…1-0, Abreu Aryam (CUB) 2487 – Alvarez Pedraza Aramis (CUB) 2466 , Habana 5/11/2008 Memorial J.Capablanca (open)}

9.Bb3 {The famous chess queen, Alexandra Kosteniuk, lost with Bc2.}
( 9.Bc2 d5 10.exd5 Nxd5 11.a4 b4 12.Ng5 h6 13.Ne4 Bb6 14.Qh5
Nf6 15.Qf3 Nxe4 16.Qxe4 Qd6 17.Nd2 f5 18.Qh4 Qe7 19.Qg3 bxc3
20.bxc3 Qf6 21.Nc4 Bd7 22.Nxb6 cxb6 23.Rb1 Na7 24.Qe3 Qg6 25.f3
b5 26.axb5 Nxb5 27.Bb3+ Kh8 28.Ba4 Bc6 {…0-1, Zhao Dindin (CHN) 2217 – Kosteniuk Alexandra (RUS) 2469 , Szeged 1994 Ch World (juniors) (under 10) (g)}

d6 {This is a very equal position. I like Carlsen’s move a little better than:}
( 9…h6 10.Nbd2 d6 11.h3 Bd7 12.Nf1 Qc8 13.Be3 Bxe3 14.Nxe3
Be6 15.Bc2 Bd7 16.Nh4 Qd8 17.Nhf5 Bxf5 18.Nxf5 Ne7 19.g4 Nxf5
20.gxf5 d5 21.Qe2 dxe4 22.dxe4 c6 23.a4 Nh7 24.Kh2 Qh4 25.Rg1
Ng5 26.Rg3 Red8 27.Qe3 Qf4 28.Bd3 Rab8 29.axb5 {…1-0, Recuero Guerra David (ESP) 2471 – Rodriguez Gonzalez Ruben (ESP), Santa Olaya 2000 It (open)}

10.Bg5 {Viswanathan Anand goes straight for the pin. Here are some other interesting games from this line:}
( 10.a4 Bb7 11.Nbd2 h6 12.Nf1 Ne7 13.Ng3 Ng6 14.axb5 axb5 15.Rxa8
Bxa8 16.Ba2 Qd7 17.h3 Bb6 18.Nh2 d5 19.Nh5 Nxh5 20.Qxh5 Nf4 21.Bxf4
exf4 22.Nf3 c6 23.d4 Qa7 24.Bb1 c5 25.e5 Bc6 26.Qf5 cxd4 27.cxd4
Bxd4 28.Nxd4 Qxd4 29.Qh7+ Kf8 {…1-0, Bauer Christian (FRA) 2631 – Marciano David (FRA) 2522 , Switzerland 10/22/2011 Ch Switzerland (team) 2011}
) ( 10.Nbd2 Be6 11.Nf1 Bb6 12.h3 h6 13.Ng3 Bxb3 14.axb3 a5 15.Nh2
Qd7 16.Ng4 Nxg4 17.hxg4 f6 18.Nf5 Ne7 19.Be3 Bxe3 20.Rxe3 d5
21.Re1 d4 22.Qc2 c5 23.c4 Nxf5 24.gxf5 Reb8 25.Ra3 Kh7 26.Rea1
Qc7 27.Qd2 bxc4 28.bxc4 Rb4 29.b3 Rab8 {…1/2-1/2, Dominguez Lenier (CUB) 2716 – Karjakin Sergey (UKR) 2717 , Moscow 11/16/2009 It “World Blitz”}


11.Nbd2 h6 12.Bh4 Bxb3 13.axb3 {Viswanathan Anand’s rook on a1 is all of a sudden developed without ever moving.}
Nb8 {Explaining all the reasoning behind this move would take too much space in the
context of analyzing this game. However, it is quite common to redeploy the
knight to d7 in the Breyer System of the Ruy Lopez. Clearly this is what Magnus intends.}
( 13…Bb6 14.Nf1 g5 15.Bg3 d5 16.exd5 Qxd5 17.Ne3 Qd7 18.h3
Rad8 19.Rxa6 Qxd3 20.Qc1 Re6 21.Kh2 Ne4 22.Rxb6 cxb6 23.Rd1 Qe2
24.Re1 Qd3 25.Rd1 Qe2 26.Re1 Qd3 {1/2-1/2, Spraggett Kevin (CAN) 2580 – Fedorchuk Sergey A (UKR) 2645 , Metz 4/19/2007 It (open)}

14.h3 {Viswanathan Anand is creating a whole so he can redeploy his knight as well.}

15.Nh2 Qe7 {Magnus Carlsen has completed my three opening goals: 1. Pawn in the center, 2. Castle, 3. Unify rooks.}
16.Ndf1 {This is not for defence. Viswanathan Anand want his knight on e3 where it would see d5 and f5.}
Bb6 {Magnus Carlsen gets his bishop out of the way so that he can play c5 and prevent Anand from playing pawn to d4.}
17.Ne3 Qe6 {This stops the threats surrounding Nd5 and also places tthe queen on a more active square.}
18.b4 a5 19.bxa5 Bxa5 20.Nhg4 {Viswanathan Anand has succesfully redeployed both his knights.}

21.Bxf6 Nxf6 22.Nxf6+ Qxf6 23.Qg4 {?} {A slight inaccuracy which give Carlsen some rope to work with. Better was something along the lines of:}
( 23.Qe2 Bxe3 24.Qxe3 c5 25.b4 Qe7 26.Reb1 cxb4 27.cxb4 Ra4 28.Rxa4
bxa4 29.b5 Rb8 30.b6 a3 31.Ra1 d5 32.exd5 Qd6 )


24.fxe3 Qe7 25.Rf1 c5 {Magnus Carlsen has an advantage in space and pawn structure.}
26.Kh2 c4 {Magnus is trying to make something happen because he has a small advantage,
Really, this game should be a draw. But, I could say that about the starting position as well.}
27.d4 Rxa1 {I didn’t expect Magnus Carlsen to give up control of the a-file.}
28.Rxa1 Qb7 {Afther this, the a-file is rather useless for Anand anyways.}
29.Rd1 {Anand is pushing toward complications because he is behind in the match. An easier draw can be had after playing pawn to d5.}
Qc6 {I think Magnus is kind of offering a draw by coaxing Anand to play pawn to d5.}
30.Qf5 {Viswanathan Anand still is hoping for something.}


31.Rxd4 Re5 32.Qf3 Qc7 {Magnus Carlsen thrives in endgame complications.}

33.Kh1 {Viswanathan Anand’s instincts are to take his king off of the same diagonal as
his opponents queen so that he does not lose the game to tactics.}

34.Qg4 Kh7 35.Qf4 g6 36.Kh2 Kg7 {Should the pieces come off the board the kings want to be as close to the action as possible.}
37.Qf3 Re6

Anand plays 38.Qg3 which simply blunders a pawn.

Anand plays 38.Qg3 which simply blunders a pawn.

38.Qg3 {?} {Anand blunders a pawn without explanation.}

39.Qxd6 Rxe3 40.Qxe7 Rxe7 41.Rd5 Rb7 {A pawn up, Magnus Carlsen is definitely in the drivers seat in a “drawish” rook and pawn endgame.}
42.Rd6 f6 43.h4 Kf7 {“At this point I missed the whole h5 idea. I didn’t really think you could give up a pawn like that.”-Magnus Carlsen}

Magnus Carlsen admits to missing Anand's next idea of pawn to h5.

Magnus Carlsen admits to missing Anand’s next idea of pawn to h5.

44.h5 gxh5 45.Rd5 Kg6 46.Kg3 Rb6 {Magnus Carlsen keeps placing his rook in the same rank as his king so that he
can move pawns forward without annoying checks by Anand.}

47.Rc5 f5 48.Kh4 Re6 49.Rxb5 Re4+ 50.Kh3 Kg5 51.Rb8 {Viswanathan Anand’s rook wants to have checking distance.}
h4 {“Now it’s a draw but I had one little trap, Kf4 to Ke3. Well fortunately, he went for it.”-Magnus Carlsen}

Magnus Carlsen has "one little trap" left.

Magnus Carlsen has “one little trap” left.

52.Rg8+ Kh5 53.Rf8 Rf4 54.Rc8 {One of the players would need to make a huge blunder for this game to result into a full point for someone.}

55.Rf8 Rg3+ 56.Kh2 Kg5 57.Rg8+ {This is where Anand wrongly believed he lost the game. “Here I gave
this check…. Rc8 is just a draw.”-Viswanathan Anand}

This is where Anand feels he lost the game.

This is where Anand feels he lost the game.



58.Rc8 Ke3 59.Rxc4 {“I thought he was going to go for Rg4 or a similar idea and then I’m OK. But I just blundered into f4.”-Viswanathan Anand}

60.Ra4 {??} {This is the real location of Viswanathan Anand’s fatal error. I am sure he knows this now.}
( 60.b4 h3 61.gxh3 Rg6 62.Rc7 f3 63.Re7+ Kf4 64.Rf7+ Ke4 65.c4
Rg2+ 66.Kh1 Rc2 67.c5 Rc1+ 68.Kh2 Ke3 69.Re7+ Kf4 70.Rf7+ Ke3
71.Re7+ Kf4 72.Rf7+ Ke3 {and this is the three-fold repition draw.} )

This is where Anand really lost the game.

This is where Anand really lost the game.

h3 {!}

61.gxh3 Rg6 {Perfect technique by Magnus Carlsen.}

62.c4{?} {Ra7 had a better chance for a draw.} ( 62.Ra7 f3 63.b4 Rg2+
64.Kh1 Re2 65.Re7+ Kd2 66.Rd7+ Ke1 67.Ra7 Kf1 68.c4 f2 69.Kh2
Re1 70.Rf7 Ke2 71.Kg3 f1=Q {But Carlsen still would have won.} )


63.Ra3+ Ke2 64.b4 f2 65.Ra2+ {Anand keeps trying to avoid another loss in front of his fans, but his defeat is inevitable.}

66.Ra3+ Kf4 67.Ra8 Rg1 {A very solem Anand resigned as white for his second consecutive loss.}

Game 1 Analysis

Game 2 Analysis

Game 3 Analysis

Game 4 Analysis

Game 5 Analysis


World Chess Championship 2013: Carlsen Wins Game 5!

November 15, 2013
Magnus is all smiles after winning round 5. (Photo courtesy of

Magnus is all smiles after winning round 5. (Photo courtesy of

In Round 5 of the 2013 Fide World Chess Championship Match, Magnus Carlsen delivered a figurative punch to the gut of the Champion, Viswanathan Anand. It has become clear that Magnus Carlsen respects Viswanathan Anand’s  opening knowledge much more than he respects his actual chess skills. Carlsen’s plan with the white pieces has been to get Anand “out of book” and then outplay the champion in unconventional positions. That is precisely what Magnus did in round 5.

[Event “World Chess Championship”]
[Site “Chennai”]
[Date “2013.11.15”]
[Round “5”]
[White “Magnus Carlsen”]
[Black “Viswanathan Anand”]
[Result “1-0”]
[Eco “D31”]
[Annotator “Chris Torres”]
[Source “”]

1.c4 e6 2.d4 d5 {This is the Queen’s Gambit Declined(1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6.)}
3.Nc3 c6 {Semi-Slav variation.}

4.e4 {Most common here is Nf3. Carlsen is quickly trying to steer this game into lesser known variations.}

5.Nxe4 Bb4+ 6.Nc3 {Another uncommon move. Bishop to d2 is the standard reply.}

7.a3 Ba5 8.Nf3 {This move has only been played 12 times before. I give the more common move and variation below.}
( 8.Be3 Nf6 9.dxc5 Qxd1+ 10.Rxd1 Ne4 11.Nge2 Nxc3 12.Nxc3 Bxc3+
13.bxc3 Bd7 14.Be2 Bc6 15.O-O Nd7 16.Rd2 O-O-O 17.Rb2 e5 18.f4
Rhe8 19.fxe5 Nxe5 20.Bd4 f6 21.Rfb1 Be4 22.Rd1 Nc6 23.Kf2 Re7
24.Rbd2 Red7 25.Bg4 f5 26.Re2 Bxg2 27.Bxf5 Rf8 {…1-0, Piskov Yury (RUS) 2442 – Dreev Alexey (RUS) 2711 , Yurmala 1982 Ch URS (juniors)}


9.Be3 {Be2 is also playable.} ( 9.Be2 O-O 10.O-O cxd4 11.Nb5
e5 12.Nxe5 Bb6 13.b4 a6 14.c5 axb5 15.cxb6 Qxb6 16.Bb2 Rd8 17.Qd3
Be6 18.Rfd1 Nc6 19.Nxc6 bxc6 20.Bxd4 Qc7 21.Qe3 Ne8 22.Bb6 Rxd1+
23.Rxd1 Qe7 24.Bf3 Rc8 25.h3 Nf6 26.Bc5 Qe8 27.Rd6 Nd5 28.Qg5
h6 {…1-0, Dziuba Marcin (POL) 2556 – Guichard Pauline (FRA) 2277 , Warsaw 12/21/2008 Ch Europe (active)}

Nc6 ( 9…O-O 10.Qc2 cxd4 11.Bxd4 Nc6 12.Bc5 Bxc3+ 13.Qxc3
Ne4 14.Qe3 Nxc5 15.Qxc5 Qf6 16.O-O-O Qf4+ 17.Qe3 Qxe3+ 18.fxe3
e5 19.Be2 f6 20.Rd6 Kf7 21.Rhd1 Ke7 22.c5 Be6 23.Bb5 Rac8 24.Bxc6
bxc6 25.e4 Rc7 26.R1d3 Rb8 27.Ne1 Rb5 28.b4 a5 29.Nc2 {…0-1, Mester Gyula (HUN) 2400 – Hajnal Zoltan (HUN) 2225 , Miskolc 1998 It (open) “Avas”}

10.Qd3 {This is the first time this position has occurred in recorded chess history.}
( 10.Be2 Ne4 11.Rc1 cxd4 12.Nxd4 Nxc3 13.bxc3 Nxd4 14.Bxd4 O-O
15.O-O Bd7 16.Bf3 {1/2-1/2, Mellado Trivino Juan (AND) 2460 – Korneev Oleg (RUS) 2605 , Manresa 1995 It (open)}
) ( 10.dxc5 Bxc3+ 11.bxc3 Qa5 12.Qc2 Ng4 13.Qc1 O-O 14.Be2 Nxe3
15.Qxe3 Ne7 16.O-O Nf5 17.Qe4 Qxc5 18.Rfd1 f6 19.Bd3 g6 20.h4
Ng7 21.Qd4 Qxd4 22.cxd4 Bd7 23.Be4 Rab8 24.Rab1 Rfc8 25.Bxb7
Rxc4 26.d5 Rc7 27.dxe6 Bxe6 28.Be4 Rxb1 29.Rxb1 Nf5 {…1/2-1/2, Polgar Zsuzsa (USA) 2545 – Portisch Lajos (HUN) 2585 , Budapest 1993 Zt}
) ( 10.d5 exd5 11.Bxc5 Ne4 12.Qe2 Be6 13.O-O-O Nxc5 14.cxd5 Qf6
15.dxe6 Nxe6 16.Nd5 Qh6+ 17.Kb1 O-O 18.Qb5 Rab8 19.Ne7+ Nxe7
20.Qxa5 Nc6 21.Qf5 g6 22.Qf6 Qg7 23.Qxg7+ Kxg7 24.Bc4 Kf6 25.Bxe6
fxe6 26.Rd7 h6 27.Rhd1 Rbd8 28.Kc2 Rxd7 29.Rxd7 Rf7 {…1/2-1/2, Kubala Martin (CZE) 2295 – Splosnov Sergei (BLR) 2350 , Frydek-Mistek 1998 It (cat.4)}


11.Nxd4 Ng4 {This position looks dead even. Now it will be up to the better chess player to win.}
12.O-O-O {Castling queen-side is a signal that Magnus Carlsen is confident playing for the win.}
Nxe3 {Viswanathan Anand isolates one of Carlsen’s pawns and gets rid of his bishop pair.}
13.fxe3 Bc7 {?} {If Anand had played Qe7 instead he would have stopped the trade of queens and
made playing pawn to b4 rather tricky for Carlsen. Play might have continued as follows:}
( 13…Qe7 14.Kb1 O-O 15.Qc2 Rd8 16.Bd3 g6 17.Nf3 Bd7 {And Viswanathan Anand would have a solid position in a flavor he feels comfortable with.}

14.Nxc6 bxc6 15.Qxd8+ Bxd8 16.Be2 Ke7 {?} {Anand’s play is not aggressive enough. It is better to develop with threats and play Bb6.}
17.Bf3 {Magnus Carlsen is more than happy to attack weak and pinned targets.}

18.Ne4 Bb6 {?} {It is too late for this move to work now. Magnus can just play pawn to c5.}
19.c5 f5 {Nice, but now Anand loses his bishop pair.}

20.cxb6 fxe4 21.b7 {!} {I am fairly confident that Anand missed this move when he played 18… Bb6.}

22.Bxe4 Rxb7 {White has, “a better bishop and a better pawn structure.”-Magnus Carlsen}

White has, "a better bishop and a better pawn structure."-Magnus Carlsen

White has, “a better bishop and a better pawn structure.”-Magnus Carlsen

23.Rhf1 {and “two open files.”-Chris Torres}

Rb5 {It is not stated as often as it should be that, “rooks on open ranks are pretty good too.”}
24.Rf4 {!?} {Magnus goes about forming a rook battery in not the safest of ways but I
believe the intent is to trick Anand into replying with pawn to g5.}
g5 {Most everybody who is anybody would have played as Anand. Is the “Mozart of Chess” tricking the world?}
25.Rf3 h5 26.Rdf1 Be8 {Obviously this stops Rf7+.}

27.Bc2 {Clearly Carlsen wants Anand to play Rc5.}
Rc5 {Anand does not let Carlsen’s desires stop him from playing strong moves.}
28.Rf6 h4 {Now Magnus Carlsen’s king side pawns can’t move without creating unnecessary
weaknesses or allow the rook on h8 to become a powerful contributor.}
29.e4 {Blocks the bishop but gains the center.}


30.Kd2 {The king must be active in the endgame.}

31.b3 {Magnus Carlsen’s bishop is now blocked on both diagonals by its own pawns yet his position it still clearly better.}
Bh5 {Anand now has a clearly superior bishop.}

32.Kc3 Rc5+ {This puts a stop to the white king’s incursions.}
33.Kb2 Rd8 {?} {This move looks so good Anand failed to see that it was a key mistake. Better was:}
( 33…g4 34.R6f2 Rd8 35.g3 hxg3 36.hxg3 Bg6 {And Anand is fine.} )

Moving the rook to "d8" looks so good that Anand failed to see that it was a key mistake.

Moving the rook to “d8” looks so good that Anand failed to see that it was a key mistake.

34.R1f2 {Carlsen takes away Anand’s chances of gaining “the seventh.”}
Rd4 {Anand considers this his “decisive mistake” and believes he should have played
Rg8 instead. It is worth noting that the computers disagree with his opinion of
this move being a mistake, so it is likely that Anand did not quite know where he lost the game.}
35.Rh6 {Carlsen is playing with purpose.}


36.Bb1 {!} {Trading bishops here would have resulted in another draw. Play would have followed something like:}
( 36.Bxd1 Rxd1 37.Rg6 Kd6 38.Rg7 Rd3 39.Ka2 Rd4 40.Re2 Re5 41.Kb2
Rdxe4 42.Rxe4 Rxe4 43.Rxg5 )


37.Kc3 {Here comes the king again.}

38.Rb2 e5 39.Rg6 a4 {?} {Anand should have discovered this:}
( 39…g4 40.Bd3 Rxb3+ 41.Rxb3 Bxb3 42.Rxg4 c4 43.Be2 Kd6 {Is an easy draw.}

Anand misses an easier way to draw.

Anand misses an easier way to draw.

40.Rxg5 Rxb3+ 41.Rxb3 Bxb3 42.Rxe5+ Kd6 43.Rh5 Rd1 44.e5+ Kd5
45.Bh7 {Carlsen is obviously planning Bishop to g8+.}

Rc1+ {??}{Anand is not looking his best today.} ( 45…Ra1 46.Bg8+ Kc6
47.Bxb3 Rxa3 {and Anand is fine.} )

Anand is not looking his best today.

Anand is not looking his best today.

46.Kb2 Rg1 47.Bg8+ Kc6 48.Rh6+
Kd7 49.Bxb3 axb3 50.Kxb3 Rxg2 51.Rxh4 {Three passed pawns against one is not good odds for Anand.}

52.a4 Kxe5 53.a5 Kd6 54.Rh7 {Carlsen is using good technique but we would not expect otherwise.}
Kd5 55.a6 c4+ 56.Kc3 Ra2 57.a7 Kc5 58.h4 {Viswanathan Anand resigns.} 1-0

Round 1 analysis

Round 2 analysis

Round 3 analysis

Round 4 analysis

World Chess Championship 2013: Anand vs. Carlsen Game 4

November 14, 2013
The Chess Match of the Century! (photo courtesy of

The Chess Match of the Century! (photo courtesy of

The Anand-Carlsen World Championship Match of 2013 is evolving into a sporting event similar to that of Ali-Frasier 1971. In both cases, the battles were marketed as being the “Fight of the Century/Match of the Century ” and in both cases the athletes exceeded the promotional hype with super human abilities during the event. Joe Frazier ended up issuing Muhammad Ali his first professional defeat after 15 hard fought rounds. Sadly, I was not alive to witness the greatest bout in boxing history. However I am witnessing what I believe will be the greatest match in chess history and I have the pleasure of covering it for you, my readers.

There is definitely a crescendo occurring with each round of the 2013 World Chess Championship. Thus far, each round has been more hard fought and full of tension than the previous. So it is, that round four took the normally tame Ruy Lopez Berlin Defense line and turned it into an event worthy of being considered one of the greatest chess games ever played. Below are my extensive thoughts on the game:

[Event “World Chess Championship”]
[Site “Chennai”]
[Date “2013.11.13”]
[Round “4”]
[White “Viswanathan Anand”]
[Black “Magnus Carlsen”]
[Result “1/2-1/2”]
[Eco “C67”]
[Annotator “Chris Torres”]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 {The Ruy Lopez Berlin Defense. A lot of uninformed chess enthusiasts immediately
proclaimed that this game would be a boring draw and they were all wrong!}

4.O-O Nxe4 5.d4 Nd6 {This maneuver is almost as old as time.}

6.Bxc6 dxc6 7.dxe5 Nf5 8.Qxd8+ Kxd8 9.h3 {Nc3 is the usual continuation here.}
Bd7 {And Ke8 is the usual continuation here. 😉 All of a sudden our game is going to be of theoretical importance.}
10.Rd1 Be7 {Here are two other important alternatives:}
( 10…Kc8 11.a4 a5 12.g4 Ne7 13.Ra3 Nd5 14.Rad3 Be7 15.c4 Nb6
16.b3 h5 17.Bg5 f6 18.e6 Bxe6 19.Re1 fxg5 20.Rxe6 Bf6 21.Nbd2
hxg4 22.hxg4 Nd7 23.Ne4 b6 24.Kg2 Rb8 25.Nd4 Kb7 26.Nxc6 Rbe8
27.Rxe8 Rxe8 28.Nxf6 Nxf6 29.Nd8+ Kc8 30.Nf7 {…1/2-1/2, Sutovsky Emil (ISR) 2687 – Harikrishna P (IND) 2684 , Istanbul 9/ 3/2012 Olympiad}
) ( 10…Ke8 11.Nc3 h6 12.Bf4 Be6 13.g4 Ne7 14.Nd4 Nd5 15.Nxe6
fxe6 16.Ne2 Bc5 17.c4 Ne7 18.Bg3 Ng6 19.Kg2 h5 20.Rd3 Rd8 21.Rxd8+
Kxd8 22.Rd1+ Kc8 23.Nc3 h4 24.Bh2 Rf8 25.Ne4 Be7 26.f3 Nf4+ 27.Bxf4
Rxf4 28.b3 a5 29.a4 b6 30.Kf2 {…1-0, Ganguly Surya Shekhar (IND) 2627 – Meier Volker (GER) 2232 , Dresden 8/24/2012 It (open)}

11.Nc3 {Anand chooses a unique move order which ends up a transposition of the game below.}
( 11.Bg5 Kc8 12.g4 h6 13.Bxe7 Nxe7 14.Kh2 Re8 15.Nbd2 b6 16.Re1
c5 17.Ne4 Bc6 18.h4 Kb7 19.Rad1 Ng6 20.h5 Nf8 21.Kg3 Re7 22.Rd3
Rae8 23.Ned2 g6 24.Rde3 gxh5 25.g5 hxg5 26.Nxg5 Ne6 27.Nxe6 fxe6
28.Ne4 Rg7+ 29.Kh3 Bxe4 30.Rxe4 Rf8 {…0-1, Sutovsky Emil (ISR) 2690 – Hammer Jon Ludvig (NOR) 2601 , Aix les Bains 3/27/2011 Ch Europe}


12.Bg5 h6 13.Bxe7 Nxe7 {All of this has been played by Jon Ludvig Hammer, Carlsen’s second for this match.}
14.Rd2 ( 14.a4 a5 15.Rd2 c5 16.Rad1 Bc6 17.e6 fxe6 18.Ne5 Re8
19.Nb5 Bxb5 20.axb5 Nd5 21.c4 Nb6 22.h4 a4 23.h5 a3 24.b3 a2
25.Ra1 Rd8 26.Rdxa2 Rxa2 27.Rxa2 Rd1+ 28.Kh2 Rb1 29.Ra3 Nd7 30.Ra8+
Nb8 31.Ra3 Nd7 32.Ra8+ Nb8 33.Ra3 Nd7 {…1/2-1/2, Berg Emanuel (SWE) 2573 – Hammer Jon Ludvig (NOR) 2638 , Achaea 6/30/2012 Ch Greece (team)}

c5 15.Rad1 Be6 16.Ne1 {?} {Honestly kids… This is a weird move. I am not sure what Anand was thinking at
this point but would love to have the chance to ask him sometime.}

Anand played 16. Ne1 ?!

Anand played 16. Ne1 ?!


17.Nd3 b6 18.Ne2 Bxa2 {!} {Brings back memories of a Spassky-Fischer game from the World Championship in
1972. Fischer’s capture of a pawn on “h2” was not correct. Carlsen’s capture here is beautiful.}
19.b3 {Viswanathan Anand is trying to see if he can catch Carlsen’s bishop sleeping.}

20.Ndc1 cxb3 21.cxb3 Bb1 {Carlsen’s bishop is going to flee the coup.}
22.f4 {Anand gives up on hunting bishops and turns his attention to winning a chess
game. At this point, Anand’s chances look good as his rooks are coordinated in
an open file and his advantage in space is impressive.}


23.Nc3 Bf5 24.g4 Bc8 {Viswanathan Anand must have been amused to chase Carlsen’s bishop back to where
it started. Really, however, there is no time to celebrate. If Carlsen can
activate his pieces rapidly, he will be a solid pawn up in a good endgame for black.}
25.Nd3 h5 26.f5 Ne7 ( 26…Nh4 27.Kf2 g6 28.Rc1 hxg4 29.hxg4
gxf5 30.Nb5 c5 31.b4 a6 32.Nd6+ Kc7 33.bxc5 b5 34.Nxf7 Rh7 35.Nd6
fxg4 36.Nf4 Nf3 {Is an extremely complicated alternative where both colors have a protected knight on the “sixth” and passed pawns.}

27.Nb5 hxg4 {My chess instincts were expecting something like this:}
( 27…a6 28.Nd4 hxg4 29.hxg4 a5 30.Rc1 a4 )

28.hxg4 Rh4 {I am again surprised by Carlsen’s choice. The variation below seems very obvious and strong for black:}
( 28…a6 29.Nd4 a5 30.Rh2 Rxh2 31.Kxh2 a4 32.bxa4 Rxa4 33.Nf4
c5 34.e6 f6 35.Nde2 Kc6 )

29.Nf2 Nc6 30.Rc2 {Anand signals his intentions to attack “c7” with a lot of force. Perhaps this
is why my instincts favored pawn to a6 on move 27.}


31.Rc4{I love this move. It keeps the fourth rank secure while still allowing for a rook battery on the C-file.}
g6 {!} {All of a sudden, Carlsen opens up a can of Spinach and becomes Popeye. This does not look good for Anand at all.}

Carlsen opens up a can of spinach(Popeye reference.)

Carlsen opens up a can of spinach(Popeye reference.)

32.Rdc1 {Anand chooses to stick to his guns. Ladies and gentlemen, let’s get ready to rumble!}
Bd7 {As best as I can tell, any other move would have likely resulted in a loss for Carlsen.}
33.e6 fxe6 34.fxe6 Be8 {Taking back with the bishop would have cost Carlsen his knight on c6.}
35.Ne4 {Anand has placed all of his pieces on strong squares.}

36.Kf2 {Of course the king needs to move towards the action. But, did you also notice
Anand’s threat of Ne4-d6+ which would win Carlsen’s rook on g4?}

Anand's sneaky threat throws Carlsen off.

Anand’s sneaky threat throws Carlsen off.

Rf4+ {?} {Such a pity that Carlsen was distracted by Anand’s threat and missed a chance to win the game with something like:}
( 36…Rd8 37.Ke3 Rd5 38.Nbc3 Re5 39.Kf3 Rgxe4 40.Rxe4 Rxe6 41.Rxe6
Nd4+ 42.Ke3 Nxe6 43.Ne4 g5 44.Rg1 Bg6 45.Nxg5 Nxg5 46.Rxg5 Bc2
47.Kd2 Bxb3 48.Kc3 Be6 49.Re5 Bd7 50.Kd4 Kc6 51.Rg5 Be6 52.Ke5
Bf7 53.Rg4 b5 {And with good technique, Carlsen will win!} )
37.Ke3 Rf8 {?} {Perhaps Carlsen realized that his chance at winning had somehow evaporated.
Playing pawn to g5 seems more logical than retreating the rook.}
38.Nd4 Nxd4 39.Rxc7+ Ka6 40.Kxd4 Rd8+ 41.Kc3 {Anand has his own ideas for what the draw should look like.}

42.Kb2 Re3 {Rooks belong behind passed pawns.}

43.Rc8 Rdd3{With this move, Carlsen exclaims, “Not so fast Mr. Anand.”}
44.Ra8+ Kb7 45.Rxe8 Rxe4 46.e7 Rg3 47.Rc3 Re2+ 48.Rc2 Ree3 49.Ka2
g5 {Passed pawns must be pushed.}

50.Rd2 Re5 51.Rd7+ Kc6 52.Red8{Anand and Carlsen make drawing these kinds of endings look easy. Believe me, its
not. There are plenty of ways to make a single mistake which could undo the
effort put into the last 52 moves. This is why chess is so exciting.}

53.Rd6+ Kb7 54.R8d7+ Ka6 55.Rd5 Re2+ 56.Ka3 Re6 57.Rd8 g4
58.Rg5 {Again, we see that rooks belong behind passed pawns.}

59.Ra8+ Kb7 60.Rag8 a4 61.Rxg4 axb3 62.R8g7 Ka6 63.Rxe7
Rxe7 64.Kxb3 {Every Russian school boy knows this is a draw.} 1/2-1/2

World Chess Championship 2013: Anand vs. Carlsen Game 3

November 14, 2013

The third game of the Anand-Carlsen World Chess Championship Match was perhaps the most exciting and revealing game yet. Magnus Carlsen employed the Reti Opening as white but it was Anand who seemed better prepared for its complexities. After gaining an advantage, Vishy, as in game 2, failed to take the risks necessary to really bring the point home. The key point of the game occurs when Magnus muddies the waters with “28. e3.” For Anand to play for a win after this move, he would have had to go out on a limb on move 29. Carlsen rightly calculated that  Anand was unwilling to risk a loss to obtain a win. Armed with this information, Magnus Carlsen should be able to adjust his match strategy to capitalize on Anand’s cautious play.

On move 28, Magnus Carlsen creates complexities to throw Viswanathan Anand off.

On move 28, Magnus Carlsen creates complexities to throw Viswanathan Anand off.

[Event “World Chess Championship“]
[Site “Chennai”]
[Date “2013.11.12”]
[Round “3”]
[White “Magnus Carlsen”]
[Black “Viswanathan Anand”]
[Result “1/2-1/2”]
[Eco “A09”]
[Annotator “Chris Torres”]

1.Nf3 d5 2.g3 g6 3.c4 {Despite what I keep reading on other sites, this really should be called a
“Reti” not a “King’s Indian Attack.” IMHO the King’s Indian Attack should play
like the King’s Indian Defence in reverse. Bobby Fischer was excellent at
employing the King’s Indian Attack. The Reti, on the other hand, features an
early “c4” and allows for more early traps. Also, as in this game, white is not
just placing pieces “where they go” as he does in the King’s Indian Attack.}
dxc4 4.Qa4+ {Sometimes it seems that Magnus Carlsen just wants to make the job of being a
chess coach that much harder. Here he doesn’t have a center pawn but has brought
his queen out early. This is the kind of play we generally discourage young players from.}
Nc6 {Viswanathan Anand chose the best scoring move. Other ideas are presented below:}
( 4…Qd7 5.Qxc4 Qc6 6.Na3 Qxc4 7.Nxc4 Nc6 8.Bg2 Bg7 9.d3 Nf6
10.Bd2 Nd5 11.Rb1 a5 12.h3 e6 13.a3 a4 14.e4 Nde7 15.Bc3 Bxc3+
16.bxc3 b6 17.d4 Bb7 18.Nfd2 Na5 19.Nxa5 Rxa5 20.O-O O-O {1/2-1/2, Soppe Guillermo (ARG) 2440 – Lima Darcy (BRA) 2475 , Sao Paulo 1997 It (open) “Braganca Paulista”}
) ( 4…Nd7 5.Bg2 Bg7 6.Qxc4 Ngf6 7.O-O O-O 8.d3 Nb6 9.Qh4 Nfd5
10.d4 Nb4 11.Na3 c6 12.Rd1 a5 13.e4 h5 14.h3 f6 15.b3 Be6 16.Be3
Bf7 17.g4 g5 18.Nxg5 fxg5 19.Bxg5 hxg4 20.Bxe7 Qd7 21.Bc5 Be6
22.hxg4 Bxg4 23.Bxb6 Bxd1 24.Rxd1 {…0-1, Arsovic Zoran (SRB) 2444 – Raicevic Momcilo (MNE) 2379 , Kraljevo 9/19/2011 Ch Central Serbia (team)}

5.Bg2 Bg7 6.Nc3 ( 6.Qxc4 e5 7.Ng5 Nh6 8.Bxc6+ bxc6 9.d4 Qd5
10.Qxd5 cxd5 11.dxe5 Bxe5 12.Nc3 Bxc3+ 13.bxc3 O-O 14.Bf4 Re8
15.Nf3 {1/2-1/2, Shoker Samy (EGY) 2512 – Tkachiev Vladislav (FRA) 2631 , Mulhouse 5/27/2011 Ch France (team) 2011}
) ( 6.O-O e5 7.Nxe5 Bxe5 8.Bxc6+ bxc6 9.Qxc6+ Bd7 10.Qe4 f6 11.f4
Bf5 12.Qc6+ Bd7 13.Qe4 Bf5 14.Qc6+ {1/2-1/2, Markowski Tomasz (POL) 2557 – Kruppa Yuri (UKR) 2603 , Koszalin 1999 It (open)}

e5 7.Qxc4 Nge7 8.O-O ( 8.d3 O-O 9.O-O h6 10.Bd2 Nf5 11.Rac1
Re8 12.Ne4 Ncd4 13.Nxd4 Nxd4 14.Rfe1 c6 15.e3 Ne6 16.Bb4 Bf8
17.Bc3 Bg7 18.f4 exf4 19.gxf4 Nc7 20.Bxg7 Kxg7 21.Kh1 f6 22.Bf3
Be6 23.Qb4 Rb8 24.Nd6 Re7 25.Rg1 Kh7 26.Ne4 Rf7 27.Nc5 Qe7 {
…1-0, Martinovic Sasa (CRO) 2525 – Rubil Marko (CRO) 2094 , Sv. Filip i
Jakov 4/17/2009 Ch Croatia (team) (1st league) (juniors)} )
O-O 9.d3

h6 {This move signals to Magnus Carlsen that Viswanathan Anand is well within his preparation.}
( 9…Be6 10.Qa4 h6 11.Rd1 Nd4 12.Rb1 c6 13.b4 a5 14.Rd2 b5 15.Qa3
c5 16.Nxd4 exd4 17.Nxb5 cxb4 18.Qb2 Rb8 19.a4 Bd5 20.Rc2 Bxg2
21.Kxg2 Nd5 22.Bd2 Nc3 23.Bxc3 Qd5+ 24.Kg1 dxc3 25.Qb3 Qd7 26.Rd1
Rfc8 27.h4 h5 28.Kg2 Rb6 29.f3 {…0-1, Managadze Nikoloz (GEO) 2459 – Vorobiov Evgeny E (RUS) 2598 , Paleochora 7/23/2009 It (open)}
) ( 9…Nd4 10.Nxd4 exd4 11.Ne4 Be6 12.Qb5 b6 13.Bg5 f6 14.Bc1
a6 15.Qa4 c5 16.Nd2 Ra7 17.Nf3 Re8 18.Bd2 Nd5 19.b4 Bf7 20.bxc5
bxc5 21.Ba5 Qd7 22.Qxd7 Rxd7 23.Rfc1 Bf8 24.Kf1 Rb7 25.Nd2 Rb2
26.Bf3 Bh6 27.Rd1 Nc3 28.Bxc3 dxc3 29.Ne4 {…0-1, Seul Georg (GER) 2443 – Heyken Enno (GER) 2356 , Germany 1993 Bundesliga 1992/93}

10.Bd2 {The only reasonable path for unifying the rooks is developing the bishop as Magnus Carlsen did.}
( 10.Be3 Nf5 11.Bc5 Re8 12.Rfe1 Ncd4 13.Rac1 c6 14.Nxd4 exd4
15.Ne4 Be6 16.Qc2 Bd5 17.a4 b6 18.Ba3 a5 19.b3 c5 20.Rb1 Ne7
21.Bh3 Nc6 22.Rbd1 Ra7 23.Nd2 h5 24.Nc4 Bh6 25.Bc1 Nb4 26.Qb1
Bxc1 27.Qxc1 Rae7 28.Qd2 h4 29.Bg4 f5 {…0-1, Dumpor Atif (BIH) 2411 – Atalik Suat (BIH) 2583 , Zenica 12/ 8/2006 Memorial I.Subasic (cat.9)}
) ( 10.Qh4 Nf5 11.Qxd8 Rxd8 12.Nb5 Rb8 13.Bd2 a6 14.Nc3 Nfd4
15.Nxd4 Nxd4 16.f4 Bg4 17.Rf2 exf4 18.Bxf4 Rd7 19.h3 {1/2-1/2, Huzman Alexander (ISR) 2390 – Khmelnitsky Sergei (UKR) 2403 , Ukraine 1986 Ch Ukraine (1/2 final)}

Nd4 {Viswanathan Anand plays an aggressive innovation. I definitely believe Anand
had looked at this position with his team prior to this game.}
( 10…Be6 11.Qa4 Nd4 12.Rfc1 f5 13.Ne1 c5 14.Bxb7 Rb8 15.Bg2
Rxb2 16.Be3 Nxe2+ 17.Nxe2 Rxe2 18.Bxc5 e4 19.d4 f4 20.Rc2 Rxc2
21.Qxc2 e3 22.fxe3 fxe3 23.Qe4 Qd7 24.Nf3 Re8 25.Qxe3 Nf5 26.Qf2
Bd5 27.Re1 Rxe1+ 28.Qxe1 Bxf3 29.Bxf3 Nxd4 30.Bg2 {…1/2-1/2, Kuzubov Yuriy (UKR) 2623 – Negi Parimarjan (IND) 2631 , New Delhi 1/14/2011 It “Parsvnath Open”}
) ( 10…Nf5 11.Na4 Ncd4 12.Nxd4 Nxd4 13.Rfe1 c6 14.e3 b5 15.Qc1
bxa4 16.exd4 Qxd4 17.Re4 Qxd3 18.Bxh6 Bf5 19.Bxg7 Kxg7 20.Rxe5
Rab8 21.Ra5 Qd4 22.Qc3 Rfd8 23.Rxa4 Qxc3 24.bxc3 Rb2 25.h4 Rdd2
26.Rf4 c5 27.a4 a5 28.Re1 Be6 29.Re5 c4 30.Rxa5 {…1/2-1/2, Obukhov Alexander (RUS) 2475 – Yevseev Denis (RUS) 2554 , Krasnoyarsk 2003 Ch Russia}

11.Nxd4 exd4 12.Ne4 c6 13.Bb4 Be6 {Viswanathan Anand seemed quite comfortable in this position as is playing very
accurately. Here he simply, “develops with a threat.”}

14.Qc1 Bd5 15.a4 b6 16.Bxe7 Qxe7 {I am starting to really like Anand’s position better because he has more space and the bishop pair.}
17.a5 {Magnus is using a minority attack to create weaknesses on Anand’s queen side.}
Rab8 18.Re1 Rfc8 {
This is why Anand did not play 17… Rfb8. He wanted to place his “f8” rook
into the same file as his opponent’s queen. Placing your rook in the same file
as your opponents queen often times leads to something good down the road.}
19.axb6 axb6

20.Qf4 {?} {Magnus Carlsen has to use another tempo to get his queen in the game. His
choice of where to deploy his queen lacks a lot to be desired and with accurate play, Anand will push it around quite easily.}

21.h4 {Nobody can state that Magnus Carlsen is not playing for a win.}

22.Nd2 Be5 23.Qg4 {Magnus’s queen may look impressive here, but how many good squares does it actually see? Answer: Not many.}

24.Qh3 {Right about now, Magnus Carlsen is starting to question why he brought his Queen to “f4” in the first place.}

25.Qh1 {Nobody plans to place the queen next to their king on “h1.” This is turning into a nightmare for Carlsen.}

26.Ne4 Kg7 27.Ng5 b5 {!} {Magnus Carlsen stated, “I underestimated Anand’s plan with b5 giving up the bishop.”}
28.e3 {!?} {
This is the most hotly debated move of the match thus far. Computers seem to
think it is a mistake. IMHO, Magnus is creating complexities to throw Anand off
track. Magnus’ move 28 shows that he is not going to go down quietly. In fact,
Magnus obviously believes that he can out calculate Anand or he would not have played such a provocative move.}

29.Rxe3 Bd4 {?} {
Unlinke Carlsen, Anand seems to fear complexity in this match. He could have
given himself a passed pawn and serious winning chances with the line below.}
( 29…Bxb2 30.Rae1 Rb6 31.Bd5 Bd4 32.Rxe6 fxe6 33.Rxe6 Qf8 )
30.Re2 c4 {Anand believes that he, “has enough counterplay here.” I would rather hear the
World Champion focusing on what is enough to win rather than what is enough to counter.}
31.Nxe6+ fxe6 32.Be4 cxd3 33.Rd2 Qb4 {Anand played this move very quickly. Perhaps better was:}
( 33…Rf8 34.Bxd3 Qd6 35.Qg2 Rxf2 36.Rxf2 Rf8 37.Raf1 Bxf2+
38.Rxf2 Rxf2 39.Qxf2 Qxd3 40.Kh2 e5 {and Anand would have a passed pawn which is half way to home plate.}

34.Rad1 Bxb2 35.Qf3 Bf6 36.Rxd3 Rxd3 37.Rxd3 ( 37.Bxd3 Qg4
38.Qxg4 hxg4 {Is also playable but leaves Anand with a dangerous passed pawn.}

Rd8 {?} {
This was a minor mistake but one that erases much of Anand’s advantage. It
would have been much better to leave the rook where it was for another move and play for complications like this:}
( 37…Bd4 38.Qe2 Rf8 39.Rf3 Rxf3 40.Qxf3 Qe1+ )

38.Rxd8 Bxd8
39.Bd3 {Someone of Magnus Carlsen’s abilities will not have a hard time achieving a draw from an opposite colored bishop endgame.}

40.Bxb5 Qf6 {Viswanathan plays this move and offers a draw.}
41.Qb7+ {Magnus declines the draw and elects to play the game out for the pleasure of chess amateurs everywhere.}

42.Kg2 g5 43.hxg5 Qxg5 44.Bc4 h4 45.Qc7 hxg3 46.Qxg3 e5 47.Kf3
Qxg3+ 48.fxg3 Bc5 49.Ke4 Bd4 50.Kf5 Bf2 51.Kxe5 Bxg3+ {Neither side has mating material so the game is a draw.}

World Chess Championship 2013: Anand vs. Carlsen Game 2

November 11, 2013

So, as in game 1, the second round of the 2013 World Chess Championship ended in a rather short draw. Many chess enthusiasts feel that this is the sort of play that gives chess a bad name among sports writers and casual fans. However, this is far to simplistic of a view point given the enormity of what is at stake for both men. Anand and Carlsen are in Chennai to fight for the World Chess Championship. Entertaining their fans must come second to winning the match. When everything is on the line, all that matters in chess is winning.

This is where Viswanathan Anand could have played for a win rather than trading down to a draw. (see move 18)

This is where Viswanathan Anand could have played for a win rather than trading
down to a draw. (see move 18)

[Event “World Chess Championship”]
[Site “Chennai”]
[Date “2013.11.7”]
[Round “2”]
[White “Viswanathan Anand”]
[Black “Magnus Carlsen”]
[Result “1/2-1/2”]
[Eco “B19”]
[Annotator “Chris Torres”]
[Source “”]

1.e4 c6 {Magnus Carlsen chooses the Caro-Kann Defence. Botvinnik and Karpov both played
this defence in World Championships with good effect.}

2.d4 {When black’s first move is a pawn up one square, it is usually best for white to move his “royal” pawn up two squares as well.}
d5 {Black shouldn’t waste time challenging white’s center domination. This is the proper second move of the Caro-Kann.}
3.Nc3 {This is the classical Carro-Kann. If Anand had played 3. e5 it would be the
“Advance Variation” and if Anand had played 3. exd5 it would be the “Exchange
Variation.” The “Classical” and the “Advance” create more problems for black than the “Exchange.”}


4.Nxe4 Bf5 5.Ng3 Bg6 6.h4 {This moves grabs space and forces black to scoot his “h” pawn forward a square
so his bishop does not become trapped after white plays “h5.” All this is book knowledge for the Carro-Kann.}


7.Nf3 {Anand could have also played “h5” here and forced the black bishop into the
hole. Both moves are equally as good and the variations can transpose back and forth easily.}

e6 {Other common moves for black include “Nd7” and “Nf6.”}

8.Ne5 {Anand could have also forced Carlsen’s bishop into the hole by playing “h5.”}

9.Bd3 {This forces and exchange of bishops which helps Anand develop quickly by recapturing with his queen.}

10.Qxd3 Nd7 11.f4 {This has been played in about 120 high-level games.}
Bb4+ {At first glance, this move looks odd because Anand can easily deflect Carlsen’s
bishop with pawn “c3.” However, black scores relatively well by coaxing white
to place all his pawns on dark squares to interfere with the bishop on “c1.”
The other major choices for black are given below:}
( 11…c5 12.Be3 Qa5+ 13.Bd2 Qa4 14.Qf3 Ngf6 15.Qxb7 Rb8 16.Qc7
cxd4 17.b3 Qa6 18.Qc6 Rb6 19.Qa8+ Rb8 20.Qc6 Rb6 21.Qa8+ Rb8
22.Qc6 {1/2-1/2, Topalov Veselin (BUL) 2733 – Dreev Alexey (RUS) 2676 , Sarajevo 2001 It (cat.16)}
) ( 11…Ngf6 12.Bd2 Bd6 13.O-O-O Qc7 14.Kb1 O-O 15.Ne2 Rad8
16.Qf3 h5 17.Rhg1 c5 18.g4 Bxe5 19.dxe5 Nxg4 20.Ng3 f5 21.exf6
Ndxf6 22.Nxh5 Nxh5 23.Qxg4 Rf5 24.Qe2 Qf7 25.Rde1 Nxf4 26.Bxf4
Rxf4 27.h5 Rf6 28.a3 Rd5 29.Qh2 b6 30.Qb8+ Kh7 31.Rh1 {…1/2-1/2, Anand Viswanathan (IND) 2771 – Ivanchuk Vassily (UKR) 2702 , Linares 1999 It (cat.20)}

12.c3 Be7 13.Bd2 Ngf6 14.O-O-O O-O 15.Ne4 Nxe4 ( 15…Nxe5
16.fxe5 Nxe4 17.Qxe4 Qd5 18.Qg4 Kh7 19.b3 c5 20.Bg5 f5 21.exf6
Bxf6 22.c4 Qc6 23.dxc5 Qxc5 24.Qe4+ Kh8 25.Bxf6 Rxf6 26.Rhf1
Rxf1 27.Rxf1 Rd8 28.Kb1 a5 29.g4 a4 30.g5 axb3 31.axb3 Qa3 32.Qf3
Ra8 33.gxh6 Qa1+ 34.Kc2 Qa2+ 35.Kc3 {…1-0, Mrdja Milan (CRO) 2401 – Zelcic Robert (CRO) 2589 , Zagreb 5/13/2008 It (open)}

16.Qxe4 Nxe5 ( 16…Nf6 17.Qe2 Qd5 18.g4 h5 19.gxh5 Qe4 20.Qf2
Qf5 21.Rdg1 Nxh5 22.Qf3 Rfd8 23.Rg5 Bxg5 24.hxg5 g6 25.Ng4 Qd5
26.Qh3 Kg7 27.b3 b5 28.Re1 Rh8 29.Nh6 Rad8 30.Re5 Qd6 31.Qe3
Rxh6 32.gxh6+ Kh7 33.Rc5 Qc7 34.Qd3 Rd5 35.Qxb5 Nxf4 36.Rxc6
{…1/2-1/2, Fercec Nenad (CRO) 2477 – Zelcic Robert (CRO) 2531 , Zadar 12/16/2004 It (open)}
) ( 16…f5 17.Qe2 Nxe5 18.dxe5 Qd5 19.c4 Qd7 20.Bb4 Qe8 21.Bd6
c5 22.Qf3 b6 23.Bxe7 Qxe7 24.Rd6 Rad8 25.Qc6 Rc8 26.Qd7 Qxd7
27.Rxd7 Rf7 28.Rd6 Re7 29.h5 Kf7 30.Kd2 Ree8 31.Rd7+ Re7 32.Rd6
Ree8 33.Rd7+ Re7 34.Rd3 Ree8 35.Ke3 Red8 36.Rhd1 {…1-0, Smeets Jan (NED) 2613 – Lauber Arnd (GER) 2465 , Germany 10/21/2012 Bundesliga 2012/13}

17.fxe5 Qd5 {I am only aware of two high-level games where this position has occured.}
18.Qxd5 {This is where Viswanathan Anand could have played for a win rather than trading
down to a draw. “Well, I think I have a taken a prudent decision today. Yes,
after the queen exchange there was nothing much happening. It was sharp. I
thought he had more details than me in the line.”-Anand In other words, Anand
felt that if he played “Qg4” Carlsen might have a trick up his sleave. Some
would interpret Anand’s “prudent” play as nothing more than cowardly. Below is my only example after white plays “Qg4.”}
( 18.Qg4 Kh7 19.b3 c5 20.Bg5 f5 21.exf6 Bxf6 22.c4 Qc6 23.dxc5
Qxc5 24.Qe4+ Kh8 25.Bxf6 Rxf6 26.Rhf1 Rxf1 27.Rxf1 Rd8 28.Kb1
a5 29.g4 a4 30.g5 axb3 31.axb3 Qa3 32.Qf3 Ra8 33.gxh6 Qa1+ 34.Kc2
Qa2+ 35.Kc3 Qa5+ 36.Kd3 Rd8+ 37.Ke4 Qc5 {…1-0, Mrdja Milan (CRO) 2401 – Zelcic Robert (CRO) 2589 , Zagreb 5/13/2008 It (open)}


19.h5 {Anand could have also tried “g4” but I suppose he is still being “prudent.”}

20.Rh3 {Viswanathan Anand smells a drawing line after “Rg3.”}

21.Rf1 Rac8 22.Rg3 {At least in the press conference after game 2, Anand apologized to his fans for playing for the draw with the white pieces.}
Kh7 23.Rgf3 Kg8 24.Rg3 Kh7 25.Rgf3 Kg8 1/2-1/2

Why You Should Care About the Upcoming World Chess Championship Match

November 6, 2013
FIDE World Chess Championship Match 2013

FIDE World Chess Championship Match 2013

On November 9, 2013 the world is going to stop. Billions of people around the globe will be watching live as two titans clash in what may be the greatest chess match ever played. Viswanathan Anand, the Pride of India, will be taking on the charismatic “Mozart of Chess,” Magnus Carlsen.  By the end of November, the player who utterly destroys his opponent will be crowned “The King of Chess.”

Viswanathan Anand at the chess board.

Viswanathan Anand at the chess board.

Viswanathan Anand is more than a World Chess Champion. He is the greatest sportsmen ever produced from the second most populous country in the world. “Vishy,” as his friends call him, became India’s first grandmaster in 1988. Anand was also first to receive the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award in 1992. In 2007, he was awarded the Padma Vibhushan, India’s second highest civilian honor. Viswanathan Anand has also won the coveted Chess Oscar a total of six times! Indeed, historians tell us that chess has its roots in ancient India, but it was not until Viswanathan Anand became World Champion that chess took a hold of the sub-continent’s imagination.

The charismatic "Mozart of Chess."

The charismatic “Mozart of Chess.”

Many consider Magnus Carlsen to be for chess, what Mozart was for music. In the long and distinguished history of chess prodigies, Magnus may be the greatest of them all. Magnus Carlsen, who started chess at the age of five, became a chess Grand Master at thirteen and the number one rated player in the world before the age of twenty. A short while later, Carlsen established the highest rating ever in the game of chess and in doing so surpassed his former teacher, Garry Kasparov. Often mentioned in the same class as Paul Morphy, Jose Raul Capablanca and Bobby Fischer, Magnus is missing only the title of World Champion to establish his residency on Mount Olympus.

Throughout human history, there have been certain events which demonstrate the greatness of human achievement. The Hammurabi Code of 1750 B.C., the dawn of Democracy in 594 B.C., The Wright Brothers taking flight in 1903 are important events on the timeline comparable to what, I believe, will result from the FIDE World Chess Championship of 2013. Chess is about to become “cool” again and our world may never be the same.

Don’t miss the event:

The Official Site for the Anand-Carlsen World Chess Championship Match of 2013

Watch live on you Android device.

Watch live on your iphone or ipad.

Get Norway’s perspective on the Anand-Carlsen World Chess Championship Match of 2013

See what India feels about Anand’s play against Carlsen.

Blogs covering the 2013 World Chess Championship:

World Chess Championship Blog

Susan Polgar’s Blog

Alexandra Kosteniuk’s Blog

Chris Torres’ Blog



World Chess Championship 2013: Preview 2 of the Anand-Carlsen Match

November 1, 2013

In our first preview game to the 2013 World Chess Championship, we studied a game where a young Magnus Carlsen demolishes his opponent. In preview two to the World Chess Championship Match between Anand and Carlsen, we will examine a game where our current World Chess Champion destroys Vassily Ivanchuk with style.

What is the best way for white to stop Anand's attack?

What is the best way for white to stop Anand’s attack?


[Event “It”]

[Site “Reggio Emilia (Italy)”]

[Date “1989”]

[Round “35”]

[White “Ivanchuk, Vassily (UKR)”]

[Black “Anand, Viswanathan (IND)”]

[Result “0-1”]

[Eco “C42”]

[Annotator “Chris Torres”]

1.e4 e5

2.Nf3 Nf6 {This is called Petroff’s Defence or, simply, The Russian Game.}

3.Nxe5 d6 ( 3…Nxe4 4.Qe2 Nf6 5.Nc6+ {Is a famous Queen winning trap every chess player should know.}


4.Nf3 Nxe4

5.d4 {This is the classical Petroff Defence.}

( 5.Nc3 Nxc3 6.dxc3 Be7 {Is another fun line which gives white easy development and a strong attack.}

) ( 5.Qe2 Qe7 6.d3 Nf6 7.Nc3 Qxe2+ 8.Bxe2 Be7 9.Nd4 O-O 10.Bf4

c6 11.O-O d5 12.Rfe1 Na6 13.Bf3 Bd8 14.a3 Bb6 15.Nb3 Re8 16.Na4

Bc7 17.Bg5 Bf5 18.Bxf6 gxf6 19.g3 Bd6 20.Na5 Rxe1+ 21.Rxe1 Rb8

22.Nc3 Bd7 23.Nb3 Nc5 24.Nxc5 Bxc5 {…1/2-1/2, Ivanchuk Vassily (UKR) 2775  – Wang Yue (CHN) 2697 , Beijing 12/16/2011 It “Sportaccord WMG” (blindfold)}



6.Bd3 Be7 ( 6…Bd6 7.O-O O-O 8.c4 c6 9.Nc3 Nxc3 10.bxc3

dxc4 {Black can keep the symetry a little longer with this old line. The modern preference is as played by Anand.}


7.O-O Nc6

8.Re1 Bg4

9.c3 f5

10.Qb3 {This is a nice way to get rid of the pin.}

Qd6 {Viswanathan Anand plays a rare move which I have also employed with success.}

( 10…O-O 11.Nbd2 Na5 12.Qc2 Bd6 13.Ne5 Bh5 14.b4 Nc6 15.Ndf3

Re8 16.Bb2 Qf6 17.Qb3 Kh8 18.Be2 Rxe5 19.dxe5 Nxe5 20.Nxe5 Bxe5

21.Bxh5 Bxh2+ 22.Kxh2 Qh4+ 23.Kg1 Qxf2+ 24.Kh2 {1/2-1/2, Leko Peter (HUN) 2751  – Anand Viswanathan (IND) 2788 , Linares  2/25/2005 It (cat.20)}


11.Nfd2 O-O-O

12.f3 Bh4 {I like this move but Ne5 is also interesting.}

( 12…Ne5 13.Bxe4 dxe4 14.fxg4 Bh4 15.Re2 Qa6 16.Qd1 Nxg4 17.h3

Qd3 18.hxg4 e3 19.Na3 Rde8 20.Nc2 Bf2+ 21.Rxf2 exf2+ 22.Kxf2

fxg4 23.Qxg4+ Kb8 24.Nf3 Qxc2+ 25.Kg1 {+0.04 CAP} )


( 13.Re2 Bh5 14.Nf1 Rhf8 15.Qc2 Kb8 16.Na3 f4 17.fxe4 f3 18.gxf3

Rxf3 19.e5 Rxf1+ 20.Kxf1 Qe6 21.Kg1 Rf8 22.Be3 Qh3 23.Qd2 Bf3

24.Nc2 g5 25.Rg2 g4 26.Bf1 g3 27.Rxg3 Qf5 28.Rxf3 Qxf3 29.Bg2

Rg8 30.Kh1 Qh5 31.Bxd5 Rd8 32.Bxc6 {1-0, Anka Emil (HUN) 2400  – Mosna Stefano (ITA) 2149 , Budapest 1996 It (cat.2)}


Bh3 {Viswanathan Anand is not known for this kind of aggression but is certainly capable of it.}

( 13…Bf2+ 14.Rxf2 Nxf2 15.Kxf2 Qxh2 16.Nf1 Qh4+ 17.Kg1 Bh5

18.Bxf5+ Kb8 19.Be3 Rdf8 20.Bd7 Rxf3 21.Nbd2 Rf6 22.Qxd5 Rd8

23.g3 Rg6 24.Qg2 Qe7 25.Bf5 Rgd6 26.Nc4 Rd5 27.Be4 Bf7 28.Bf4

Rh5 29.Bxc6 Bxc4 30.Bxb7 Rb5 31.Bc6 Ra5 32.Ne3 Bxa2 33.Nc4 {…1-0, Kovacevic Aleksandar (SRB) 2541  – Saric Ante (CRO) 2489 , Zadar 12/13/2006 It (open)}

) ( 13…Rhf8 14.Qc2 h5 15.Nb3 Rde8 16.Na3 f4 17.fxg4 hxg4 18.Bxe4

dxe4 19.Nb5 Qh6 20.Bxf4 Rxf4 21.Rxf4 Qxf4 22.g3 Bxg3 23.hxg3

Qxg3+ 24.Qg2 Qe3+ 25.Qf2 Qd3 26.Nc5 Qxb5 27.Qf4 {1-0, Bruzon Lazaro (CUB) 2534  – Andres Gonzalez Alberto (ESP) 2362 , Oviedo 2000 Tournament (team)}

) ( 13…Nxd2 14.Nxd2 Bh5 15.Bxf5+ Kb8 16.Qc2 Ne7 {+0.56 CAP} )


14.Qc2 ( 14.Nxe4 fxe4 15.fxe4 dxe4 16.Bxe4 Rhf8 17.Nd2 Rde8 18.Qb5

Rxf1+ 19.Qxf1 Bd7 20.Nc4 Qf6 21.Qxf6 gxf6 22.g3 Rxe4 23.gxh4

Ne7 24.Bd2 Nf5 25.Be1 Rg4+ 26.Bg3 Be6 27.Nd2 Nxg3 28.hxg3 Rxg3+

29.Kf2 Rh3 30.Ne4 Bd5 31.Nc5 b6 32.Na6 Rxh4 33.b3 Rh3 {…1/2-1/2, Woda Jacek (POL) 2383  – Ostrowski Leszek (POL) 2340 , Poznan 1987 It}



15.Nb3 Rhf8

16.Na3 ( 16.Kh1 {+1.38 CAP} )

Rde8 {Ivanchuk must play Bf4 followed by Kh1 to survive Anand’s attack.}

17.Kh1 {??} ( 17.Bf4 {!} Nd8

( 17…Bg5 {+1.46 CAP} ) 18.Kh1 Ne6 19.Be5 $18 {Borriss – Camejo, Chile 1990}

Bf6 20.gxh3 Bxe5 21.dxe5 Nf4 22.fxe4 fxe4 23.Bb5 Rxe5 24.Nd4

c6 25.Rg1 Qh6 26.Be2 Nxh3 27.Bg4+ Kb8 28.Bxh3 Qxh3 29.Qg2 Qh5

30.Raf1 Rxf1 31.Rxf1 g6 32.Qg3 a6 33.Nf5 {1-0, Borriss Martin (GER) 2427  – Camejo Rui (POR) 2296 , Santiago 1990 Ch World (juniors) (under 20)}


Nf2+ {!} {Anand punishes Ivanchuk’s careless play.}

18.Rxf2 Bxg2+ {!} {There is nothing for Ivanchuk to do except resign.} 0-1

World Chess Championship 2013: Why I think Anand will win.

October 26, 2013

The majority of chess commentators seem to be figuring that Magnus Carlsen will defeat Viswanathan Anand and win the World Championship in his first attempt. This is likely do to the fact that, lately, Carlsen has been playing better chess than the current World Champion.  Certainly, the challenger has proven that he is capable of playing chess at the level of a world chess champion and Magnus is the current “number one.” However, the smart money will be placed on Viswanathan Anand to retain his title. Here’s why:

Viswanathan Anand will likely celebrate another World Championship with his beautiful wife Aruna.

Viswanathan Anand will likely celebrate another World Championship with his beautiful wife Aruna.

Home Field Advantage

The match will take place in Chennai, India. When FIDE announced that the match would be in Anand’s home country, I felt this gave the current World Champion a decisive advantage. In fact, FIDE could not have selected a more advantageous location for Anand than his home town.  The young Norwegian will be more distracted in India and his team will need to work hard to keep him comfortable in such an exotic location. Magnus Carlsen is used to performing under pressure but being completely surrounded by Anand’s fans will certainly make even the toughest competitor feel uneasy.


Too much is being made of Magnus Carlsen being rated number one in the world. Magnus’ rating proves that he is the future of chess but he has acquired his number one ranking through tournament play. Anand has played very poorly in tounaments since becoming World Champion for reasons that are easy to explain. Tournaments to Anand are a necessary distraction from competing in world championship matches. Anand’s priority number one is retaining his world title.  Viswanathan rarely plays any of his critical innovations when it does not help him win a World Championship. Because he employs a weaker version of himself during the vast majority of his rated games, Anand’s rating does not accurately reflect his true strength


Many see this match as the chance for chess to move completely into the twenty-first century. Indeed, if the “Mozart of Chess” manages to dethrone the old champion he will be the king of chess.  While no one will dispute that being young is incredibly advantageous in chess, it is also common knowledge that young chess players also perform more inconsistently. If Magnus plays his best chess, he has a reasonable chance of winning the match. However, we can be sure that Viswanathan Anand will be in top form and will bring the consistency of a seasoned pro to every game. I believe Anand’s experience and wisdom will more than make up for Magnus Carlsen’s youthful energy.

Match Play

As stated above, Anand is unbelievably good at match play. Magnus Carlsen has limited experience in matches and has never felt the pressure of playing for a world championship. Coupled with the aforementioned home field advantage, this should be enough for Anand to take an early lead in the match and then close it out before Magnus ever gets comfortable.

Anand’s Legacy

This represents the first time that Anand has had a chance to play a World Championship for “his people.” Anand is a national hero in India and I believe nothing is more important to the future of Indian chess than Anand retaining the World Championship title in Chennai.  A failure on his part will be a seen as a failure for Indian chess. FIDE’s gift to India is the chance for their greatest player to establish his name as one of the greatest chess champions ever while playing in his hometown. I believe Anand is acutely aware of what is at stake and will rise to the occasion.

As for Magnus, perhaps failing in his first attempt at winning the World Championship will be the best thing for his chess future. A defeat on chess highest stage will make the “Mozart of Chess” work even harder to ensure it doesn’t happen the second time around. The next time Magnus plays for the World Championship, one can only hope that FIDE chooses a site that is fair for both competitors.

Magnus Carlsen will likely benefit from defeat in his first attempt at the world chess championship.

Magnus Carlsen will likely benefit from defeat in his first attempt at the world chess championship.

The official site for the 2013 FIDE World Chess Championship.

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