Posts Tagged ‘anand vs carlsen’

Carlsen vs Anand 2014 Word Chess Championship: Game 3 Analysis

November 12, 2014

Viswanathan Anand was in a desperate search for a victory in Round 3 and he found it! A large portion of today’s game followed established Queen’s Gambit Declined Theory. On move seventeen, it was obvious by Magnus Carlsen’s agonized expression and long pause that he was unprepared for Anand’s Ng5. What followed was a brilliant display of Vishy combining his incredible memory with the killer instinct that earned him the nickname, “Tiger from Madras.”


The "Tiger from Madras" has returned!

The “Tiger from Madras” has returned!

An area of great interest in round three occurred on move twenty-six when Carlsen played pawn to g5 threatening Anand’s Bishop. Anand retreated his bishop to g3 rather than punishing the Norwegian’s inaccurate play with Be5. The limited success achieved by Vishy’s retreat was short lived however. Carlsen, who was under extreme pressure from the clock, employed a misguided plan from move 27… Bb4 until 29… Bxc7. It was this failed idea that allowed Anand to gain a decisive advantage and equalize the match heading into game four.
Below is my analysis of Game 3 from the 2014 FIDE World Chess Championship:
[Event “FIDE World Chess Championship 2014”]
[Site “Sochi, Russia”]
[Date “2014.11.11”]
[Round “”]
[White “Anand, Viswanathan (IND)”]
[Black “Carlsen, Magnus (NOR)”]
[Result “1-0”]
[Eco “D37”]
[Annotator “Chris Torres”]

{[ QUEEN’S gam. var. WITH 5.BF4,D37]}

1.d4 Nf6
2.c4 e6
3.Nf3 d5 {Magnus Carlsen has chosen the reliable Queen’s Gambit Declined this time around.}
4.Nc3 Be7
Position after Magnus Carlsen played 4... Be7.

Position after Magnus Carlsen played 4… Be7.

5.Bf4 {Historically, this is white’s second most popular placement for the bishop with Bg5 being the most frequently played move.}
5… O-O
6.e3 Nbd7
7.c5 {This move has been in fashion following some nice successes by Levon Aronian. However, the match commentator, Peter Svidler preferred 7. Qc2 in an interesting game from 2008.}
( 7.Qc2 c5 8.dxc5 Nxc5 9.Be2 dxc4 10.Bxc4 Bd7 11.O-O Qb6 12.Rfd1
Rfd8 13.Be2 Be8 14.Nd2 Nd5 15.Nc4 Nb4 16.Nxb6 Nxc2 17.Nxa8 Nxa1
18.Rxd8 Bxd8 19.Bd6 Na4 20.Nd1 Bf6 21.b3 Nc3 22.Nxc3 Bxc3 23.Bf3
Bc6 24.Bxc6 bxc6 25.Bc5 a6 26.Nc7 a5 {…1-0, Svidler Peter (RUS) 2727 – Jakovenko Dmitry (RUS) 2737 , Sochi 8/13/2008 It (cat.19)})
Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 7. c5.

Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 7. c5.

7… c6 {Carlsen chooses the c6 line. A nice alternative is Nh5.}
( 7…Nh5 8.Bd3 Nxf4 9.exf4 b6 10.b4 a5 11.a3 c6 12.O-O Qc7 13.g3
Ba6 14.Kg2 Bf6 15.Bxa6 Rxa6 16.Qc2 Rfa8 17.Rab1 axb4 18.axb4
Ra3 19.Rb3 Rxb3 20.Qxb3 Qb7 21.Rb1 h6 22.h4 h5 23.Ne5 {1/2-1/2, Radjabov Teimour (AZE) 2752 – Kramnik Vladimir (RUS) 2791 , Kazan 5/ 9/2011 Ch World (candidates) (active)})
8.Bd3 b6
9.b4 a5
10.a3 Ba6 {This has all been played hundreds of times at the highest levels of chess.}
11.Bxa6 {Viswanathan Anand chooses a relatively rare line that creates a dangerous passed pawn for white.}
( 11.O-O Qc8 12.Qc2 Bxd3 13.Qxd3 Nh5 14.Be5 Qb7 15.Rfc1 Rfc8
16.h3 Nxe5 17.Nxe5 b5 18.Rcb1 Qc7 19.a4 axb4 20.axb5 bxc3 21.Nxc6
Nf6 22.Qxc3 Bf8 23.Rxa8 Rxa8 24.Ra1 Ne4 25.Qb2 Re8 26.Ne5 Nxc5
27.b6 Qb7 28.Qb5 Ra8 29.Rxa8 Qxa8 30.dxc5 Qa1+ {…1-0, Nyback Tomi (FIN) 2639 – Carlsen Magnus (NOR) 2786 , Dresden 11/19/2008 Olympiad})
Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 11. Bxa6.

Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 11. Bxa6.

11… Rxa6
12.b5 cxb5
13.c6 {A passed pawn is born.}
13… Qc8 {Magnus Carlsen defends his knight with a pin.}
( 13…b4 14.Nb5 bxa3 15.cxd7 Bb4+ 16.Ke2 Qxd7 17.Qd3 Ne4 18.Rhc1
f6 19.Rc7 Qd8 20.Na7 b5 21.Nxb5 Rb6 22.Rc2 Qe8 23.Nxa3 Qa4 24.Raa2
Rc6 25.Nb1 Rfc8 26.Rcb2 Qxa2 27.Rxa2 Rc1 28.Rb2 g5 29.Nfd2 Bxd2
30.Nxd2 Nc3+ 31.Kf3 gxf4 32.Rb7 f5 33.Qa6 {…1-0, Olafsson Helgi (ISL) 2270 – Al-Tamimi Hamad (QAT) 2302 , Turin 6/ 4/2006 Olympiad})
14.c7 {A lot of extra tactical possibilities exist for the player whose pawn is but one step away from promotion.}
( 14.Nxb5 Qxc6 15.Nc7 Ra7 16.Rc1 Qb7 17.a4 Bb4+ 18.Ke2 Rc8 19.Qd3
Nh5 20.Nb5 Nxf4+ 21.exf4 Raa8 22.f5 Nf8 23.Ne5 Rxc1 24.Rxc1 Rc8
25.Rc2 f6 26.Ng4 exf5 27.Ne3 f4 28.Qf5 Rxc2+ 29.Nxc2 Qc6 30.Kd1
Bd6 31.Nc3 Be5 32.Kd2 g6 33.Qh3 Bd6 {…1-0, Efimov Igor (MNC) 2467 – Costantini Roberto (ITA) 2314 , Reggio Emilia 2001 It (cat.8)})
Position after Viswanathan  Anand plays 14. c7.

Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 14. c7.

14… b4 {Both Viswanathan Anand and Magnus Carlsen are deep within their memorized territory.}
15.Nb5 a4 {Carlsen’s other choice were:} ( 15…Ne4 16.O-O bxa3
17.Qa4 g5 18.Bg3 g4 19.Ne1 Nd2 20.Qd1 Nxf1 21.Qxg4+ Kh8 22.Kxf1
Ra8 23.Nc2 Qa6 24.Qe2 Rg8 25.Ncxa3 Rac8 26.Bf4 f6 27.Rc1 Nc5
28.dxc5 bxc5 29.e4 dxe4 30.Nd6 Qxe2+ 31.Kxe2 Rxc7 32.Nf7+ Kg7
33.Bxc7 Kxf7 34.g3 a4 35.Nc4 {…1-0, Karpov Anatoly (RUS) 2688 – Georgiev Kiril (MKD) 2654 , Dubai 2002 Cup World (active)}
) ( 15…bxa3 16.O-O Nh5 17.Qc2 Nxf4 18.exf4 Qb7 19.Ne5 Nc5 20.dxc5
bxc5 21.Rfb1 c4 22.Nd7 Rfa8 23.Qa4 h6 24.h3 Qc8 25.Nb8 Rb6 26.Kh2
Bb4 27.g3 Raxb8 28.cxb8=Q Qxb8 29.Nd4 Bc5 30.Nb5 Bb4 31.Nd4 Bc5
32.Nb5 {1/2-1/2, Sedlak Nikola (SRB) 2550 – Pavlovic Milos (SRB) 2531 , Vrnjacka Banja 8/29/2010 Ch Serbia (team) (1 liga)})
16.Rc1 Ne4
17.Ng5 {Watching the live broadcast, I couldn’t help but notice that this move made Carlsen very uncomfortable.}
( 17.Nd2 e5 18.Nxe4 dxe4 19.Bxe5 Nxe5 20.dxe5 Bc5 21.Qd5 bxa3
22.O-O Qa8 23.Qd7 Qc8 24.Rfd1 Qxd7 25.Rxd7 Raa8 26.Nd6 h6 27.Nxe4
Rfc8 28.Nd6 Bxd6 29.exd6 b5 30.Re7 b4 31.d7 b3 32.dxc8=Q+ Rxc8
33.Rd7 b2 34.Rd8+ Kh7 35.Rf1 Rxc7 36.Rb8 Rc1 {…0-1, Jendrichovsky Peter (SVK) 2147 – Goumas Georgios (GRE) 2315 , Fermo 9/ 3/2009 Ch Europe (juniors) (under 18)})
Magnus Carlsen's expression after Anand played 17. Ng5(photo from:

Magnus Carlsen’s expression after Anand played 17. Ng5(photo from:

17… Ndf6 {Magnus thought for about half-an-hour before choosing Ndf6. A more aggressive response would have been:}
( 17…Bxg5 18.Bxg5 Ra5 19.Be7 Rxb5 20.Bxf8 Kxf8 21.Qxa4 Ra5
22.Qxb4+ Ke8 23.f3 Nef6 )
18.Nxe4 Nxe4
19.f3 Ra5 {Another idea worth considering is:}
( 19…Nc3 20.Nxc3 bxc3 21.Rxc3 b5 )
20.fxe4 {I really like Anand’s innovation here. Levon Aronian chose to play 20. Qe2 in 2013:}
{ [20. Qe2 Qd7 21. fxe4 Rc8 22. exd5 exd5 23. axb4 Rxb5 24. O-O Rxb4 25. Qa6 h6
26. Rc6 Bg5 27. Bxg5 hxg5 28. Rfc1 Rc4 29. R1xc4 dxc4 30. Qxb6 a3 31. Rxc4 a2
32. Qa5 Qe6 33. Qxa2 Rxc7 34. Qa8+ Kh7 35. Rxc7 Qxe3+ 36. Kf1 Qf4+ 37. Qf3 Qxc7
38. Qh5+ Kg8 39. Qxg5 Qc4+ 40. Kf2 Qxd4+ 1/2-1/2 Levon Aronian 2795 – Michael Adams 2753 Bilbao 10/07/2013 Bilbao Masters]}
Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 20. fxe4.

Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 20. fxe4.

20… Rxb5
21.Qxa4 Ra5
22.Qc6 {From watching the live broadcast it is clear that Anand is still playing moves from
his memory while Carlsen has really been having to work.}
22… bxa3
23.exd5 {This was a key moment in the game for Magnus Carlsen with his options being: 1)Bb4+, 2)Rxd5 and 3)exd5}
23… Rxd5 {Some analysis of the other two options:} ( 23…Bb4+ 24.Kf2
Rxd5 25.Qxb6 Be7 26.Rhf1 {and white looks good.} )
( 23…exd5 24.O-O Ra8 25.Qxd5 Qe6 26.Qb7 {Here, white also looks good.})
Position after Magnus Carlsen plays 23... Rxd5.

Position after Magnus Carlsen plays 23… Rxd5.

24.Qxb6 Qd7 {Unfortunately for Magnus, white also looks good here.}
25.O-O {This was likely Anand’s first move that wasn’t preconceived and he missed the best attacking possibility of Qa6.}
( 25.Qa6 Qc8 26.Qc4 Rf5 27.Rb1 a2 28.Qxa2 Rxf4 29.exf4 Qxc7 30.O-O )
25… Rc8 {Magnus Carlsen is actually doing quite well when one considers that he played
against Anand’s preparation so deeply into this game.}
Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 26. Rc6.

Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 26. Rc6.

26… g5 {?} {The first in a series of inaccuracies for Magnus.}
( 26…Bb4 27.Ra1 h6 )
27.Bg3 {?} {Anand responds with an inaccuracy of his own.}
( 27.Be5 Ra5 28.Rxe6 {!} Qxe6 29.Qxa5 )
27… Bb4 {?} ( 27…g4 28.Be5 Bg5 29.Rc3 Be7 {is likely good enough for a draw.} )
28.Ra1 Ba5{?} {And this mistake gave Anand a decisive advantage.}
29.Qa6{!} {When the smoke clears, Carlsen will be down material with no compensation.}
Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 29. Qa6.

Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 29. Qa6.

29… Bxc7 {?} {This whole plan by Carlsen was ill-conceived.}
30.Qc4 {!} {The Tiger from Madras has returned!}
30… e5
31.Bxe5 Rxe5
32.dxe5 Qe7
33.e6 Kf8
34.Rc1 {And Carlsen resigned without looking Anand in the eyes.}


In round 3, Viswanathan Anand returned to vintage form.

In round 3, Viswanathan Anand returned to vintage form.


2014 FIDE World Chess Championship Game 1 Analysis


2014 FIDE World Chess Championship Game 2 Analysis

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

November 9, 2014

Game 2 of the 2014 Fide World Championship between Magnus Carlsen and Viswanathan Anand will likely set the tone for the rest of the match. Magnus Carlsen chose to begin with 1) e4 and Anand attempted to steer the game into an early endgame by way of the Berlin Defense. (Those who followed last years match hopefully recall that the Berlin Defense made several appearances.) In Game Six of  the 2013 World Chess Championship, Viswanathan Anand used 4) d3 against Carlsen and suffered a disappointing loss. This time around, it was Carlsen’s turn to use 4) d3 and, unfortunately for Vishy’s many fans, Anand lost again.

A photo of Anand and Carlsen in round 2(photo from

A photo of Anand and Carlsen in round 2(photo from


I believe a key moment in the 2014 FIDE World Chess Championships occurred on move nine of game two. Magnus Carlsen unleashed a novelty with 9) Nbd2 and Viswanathan Anand began to cower with 9) …Nd7. Twenty years ago, I am certain, the “Tiger of Madras” would have played more aggressively with Be6, Rb8 or a5. To make matters worse, Vishy played another retreating move on move ten. Once Anand started retreating for no explainable reason on the board, Carlsen began attacking and the best result Anand could hope for was a difficult draw. Through a series of very clever maneuvers, Magnus was able to construct a formation known as Alekhine’s Gun. Once the gun was loaded, the game morphed from a World Championship Chess Match into live coverage of Anand playing Russian Roulette in Sochi. Both games concluded with Anand putting himself out of misery with a very basic blunder on move 37.

(Disclaimer: Die-hard fans of Anand fans will probably not like what I have to say next.)

Viswanathan Anand is a different chess player when facing Magnus Carlsen. (photo from

Viswanathan Anand is a different chess player when facing Magnus Carlsen. (photo from

I have been a fan of Viswanathan Anand for nearly two decades and have covered his many World Championship matches on this blog. Because of this, I can speak with authority in stating that the Viswanathan Anand we are witnessing in games against Magnus Carlsen is vastly different than the Anand we see against any other formidable opponent. In my opinion, Viswanathan Anand believes that Magnus Carlsen is his superior in chess and thus self-fulfills his own losing prophecy. Perhaps Anand’s game would really benefit from sessions with a good sports psychologist. On the other hand, if Anand’s  assessment of Carlsen’s talent level is correct,  then I can’t help but feel badly for Anand as this torture continues.


Below are my thoughts on Game Two:


[Event “FIDE World Chess Championship 2014”]
[Site “Sochi, Russia”]
[Date “2014.11.9”]
[Round “2”]
[White “Carlsen, Magnus (NOR)”]
[Black “Anand, Viswanathan (IND)”]
[Result “1-0”]
[Eco “C65”]
[Annotator “Chris Torres”]

{[ RUY LOPEZ. BERLIN def.,C65]}

1.e4 e5

2.Nf3 Nc6

3.Bb5 Nf6

4.d3 {Magnus Carlsen declines an opportunity to go into the famous Berlin endgame.}

Position after Carlsen plays 4. d3.

Position after Carlsen plays 4. d3.

4… Bc5

5.O-O d6

6.Re1 ( 6.c3 O-O 7.h3 Ne7 8.Nbd2 a6
9.Ba4 Ng6 10.d4 Ba7 11.Re1 b5 12.Bc2 c5 13.d5 c4 14.Nf1 Nh5 15.Bg5
f6 16.Be3 Nhf4 17.Ng3 Ne7 18.a4 Qc7 19.axb5 axb5 20.Ra3 Bxe3
21.Rxa8 Bb6 22.Qd2 Qc5 23.Qe3 Qc7 24.Qd2 Qc5 25.Qe3 Qc7 {…1/2-1/2, Radjabov Teimour (AZE) 2784 – Kramnik Vladimir (RUS) 2801 , Moscow 6/10/2012 Memorial M.Tal (cat.22)})

6… O-O ( 6…Bd7 7.c3 a6 8.Ba4 O-O 9.d4 exd4 10.cxd4 Bb6 11.Bg5
Bc8 12.e5 dxe5 13.dxe5 Qxd1 14.Rxd1 Ne4 15.Rf1 Nxg5 16.Bxc6 Nxf3+
17.Bxf3 Bd4 18.Nc3 Bxe5 19.Rac1 Rb8 20.Be4 Re8 21.Rfe1 Bxc3 22.Rxc3
Bf5 23.Rce3 Bxe4 24.Rxe4 Rxe4 25.Rxe4 Kf8 26.Rc4 {…1/2-1/2, Schmitz Joachim (GER) 2310 – Elke Christian, Friedrichroda 1997 Ch Germany (juniors) (under 13)})

Position after Anand plays 6... 0-0.

Position after Anand plays 6… 0-0.



7.Bxc6 bxc6

8.h3 Re8

9.Nbd2 {Fans of chess are treated to an invention by Magnus Carlsen on move nine. Be3
was played the only other time this position has been reached in recorded chess history.}
( 9.Be3 Bb6 10.Nbd2 Bb7 11.Nf1 Qd7 12.Ng3 Bxe3 13.Rxe3 g6 14.Qd2
Kg7 15.Rf1 Ng8 16.Nh2 Ne7 17.f4 f5 18.fxe5 dxe5 19.exf5 Nxf5
20.Nxf5+ gxf5 21.Rg3+ Kh8 22.Qg5 Rf8 23.Re1 Rae8 24.Nf3 e4 25.dxe4
fxe4 26.Nh4 Qd4+ 27.Kh2 Rg8 28.Qh5 Qd6 29.Ree3 Rxg3 30.Rxg3 Rg8
31.Nf5 Qe5 32.Ng7 Qd6 33.Nf5 Qf4 34.Qf7 Qxg3+ 35.Nxg3 Rg7 36.Qf6
Kg8 37.Nf5 {1-0, Moritz Aron (GER) 2127 – Kyas Philipp (GER) 2100, Willingen (Germany) 2006.06.07})

Position after Carlsen plays 9. Nbd2.

Position after Carlsen plays 9. Nbd2.


9… Nd7 {One move after Magnus unleashes a novelty, Anand cowers. Twenty years ago the “Tiger of Madras” would have played Be6, Rb8 or a5.}

10.Nc4 {Magnus Carlsen is unveiling a whole new plan for white against the Berlin Defense.}
10… Bb6 {I have to believe that bringing a new piece into the game with a move
like 10… Qf6 would be an improvement over retreating the bishop so early in the opening.}

11.a4 {Magnus is immediately critical of Anand’s last move.}

11… a5

12.Nxb6 cxb6

13.d4 {With  Anand’s dark squared bishop gone, Magnus wastes no time in attacking the center by moving his pawn to d4.}

Position after Carlsen plays 13. d4.

Position after Carlsen plays 13. d4.

13… Qc7 {This is a perfect example of the kind of slow and defensive chess that
contributed to Vishy losing his first match against Magnus.}

14.Ra3 {!} {Carlsen senses weakness from his opponent and initiates a very creative attack.Magnus Carlsen is the kind of player that when Anand gives him an inch, he will take a mile.}

14… Nf8 {Viswanathan Anand realizes that Carlsen is in the driver’s seat and essentially “buckles up” with his knight for king safety.}

Position after Anand plays 14... Nf8.

Position after Anand plays 14… Nf8.

15.dxe5 {Magnus opens the center because he has better piece placement.}

15… dxe5

16.Nh4 {!} {Creative moves like this and 14. a3 is why Magnus Carlsen is the Mozart of Chess!}

16… Rd8 {Anand challenges Carlsen’s queen to grab the open d-file.}

17.Qh5 {Magnus doesn’t mind because he really wanted to involve his queen in the attack anyway.}

Position after Carlsen plays 16. Qh5.

Position after Carlsen plays 17. Qh5.

17… f6 {Another defensive pawn move by Anand. One has to wonder how he expects to win
the game with all his pieces hiding behind his pawns.}

18.Nf5 {Magnus Carlsen is leading in king safety, time, and force. For Anand,  that is a recipe for disaster .}
18… Be6

19.Rg3 {At this point it is worth noting that four of Magnus Carlsen’s pieces are applying pressure on black’s kings safety.}

19… Ng6

20.h4 {!} {Magnus Carlsen shows that he is a patient attacker by avoiding the speculative Bh6. However, 20. Bh6! does seem to work:}
( 20.Bh6 gxh6 ( 20…Rd7 21.h4 Rf8 22.Qg4 Bxf5 23.exf5 Nf4 24.h5
Kh8 25.Bxf4 exf4 26.Rf3 Rd4 27.c3 Rd2 28.Rxf4 Rxb2 29.Rfe4 {with a big advantage for white.}
) 21.Rxg6+ hxg6 22.Qxg6+ Kf8 23.Qxf6+ Qf7 24.Qxh6+ Ke8 25.Qh8+
Kd7 26.Rd1+ Kc7 27.Qxe5+ Kb7 28.Nd6+ Rxd6 29.Rxd6 Re8 30.Qc3
Qc7 31.e5 {with a small advantage for white.} )

Position after Carlsen plays 20. h4.

Position after Carlsen plays 20. h4.


20… Bxf5 {Not good. If Anand had wanted to trade his Bishop for the knight on f5 he could have done it in one turn on move eighteen. Rd7 seems more consistant with
fortifying black’s defenses and doesn’t turn 18… Be6 into a wasted move.}
( 20…Rd7 21.Bh6 Ra7 22.Qf3 Bxf5 23.exf5 Nf8 24.h5 c5 )

21.exf5 Nf4

22.Bxf4 exf4

23.Rc3 {Magnus chooses the best method for aligning his rooks in the e-file. First stop is rook to c3. Watch what happens next!}

Position after Carlsen plays 23. Rc3.

Position after Carlsen plays 23. Rc3.

23… c5

24.Re6 {Magnus continues with step two toward combining his rooks in the e-file.}

24… Rab8

25.Rc4 {Obviously a necessary move in order to stack the rooks.}

25… Qd7 {Anand creates some minor threats of his own.}

Position after Anand plays 25... Qd7.

Position after Anand plays 25… Qd7.



26.Kh2 {Problem solved.}

26… Rf8 {The best Vishy can do now is set up as strong as a defense as possible and hope that Magnus can’t find a lethal combination.}

27.Rce4 {Finally the rooks are both in the e-file. But Magnus isn’t done yet!}

27… Rb7

28.Qe2 {This formation is known as Alekhine’s Gun! The idea consists of placing two
rooks in the same open file with the queen behind them.}

Position after Carlsen plays 28. Qe2.

Position after Carlsen plays 28. Qe2.


28… b5 {Viswanathan Anand adds a little complexity to the mix. This is precisely what
you should do when your opponent has a much better position.}

29.b3 bxa4

30.bxa4 {Re7 was also a fine choice but Magnus said that it, “Felt more natural to take with the pawn.”}

30… Rb4

31.Re7 Qd6

32.Qf3 Rxe4 {There is now much less pressure on Anand now that one of the rook pairs have been traded off.}

Position after Anand plays 32... Rxe4.

Position after Anand plays 32… Rxe4.


33.Qxe4 f3+

34.g3 {If Magnus had played anything else he wouldn’t be the World Chess Champion.}

34… h5 {???} {Loses immediately! Playing moves like this is precisely why Viswanathan Anand is no longer a world champion. Better was:}
( 34…Qd2 35.Qxf3 Qxc2 36.Kg2 Kh8 37.Qc6 Rg8 38.Ra7 Qc3 39.Qd5
h6 40.Rc7 Qc2 41.Rxc5 Qxa4 42.Rxa5 Qc2 {and black is still fighting.} )

Position after Anand plays 34. h5???

Position after Anand plays 34. h5???

35.Qb7 {Viswanathan Anand resigns after collapsing under Magnus Carlsen’s pressure.}


If you enjoyed this lesson please check out my analysis from Game 1.



Carlsen vs. Anand 2014: Rematch of Generations

November 8, 2014

Former World Champion Garry Kasparov has offered his thoughts on the 2014 FIDE World Chess Championship Match between Magnus Carlsen and Viswanathan Anand. Garry Kasparov’s letter is written from his uniquely experienced perspective and hits many of the same points I raised in my own preview for the match. 

Garry Kasparov is "excited to watch this rematch of generations."

Garry Kasparov is “excited to watch this rematch of generations.”

Last year’s first world championship match between Magnus Carlsen and Vishy Anand was quite one-sided. After a predictably anxious start, Carlsen dominated to claim the crown in just ten games of the twelve scheduled, a 6.5-3.5 score without suffering a loss. A year has gone by and Carlsen is already forced to defend his title. To the surprise of most, myself included, his challenger is Anand, who played his best chess in many years to win the Candidates tournament handily.

At first sight, this rematch looks like an unequal proposition. Both players are a year older, which can hardly be to the advantage of the 44-year-old Anand against his 23-year-old opponent. Over the past year Anand has been playing well and Carlsen playing less than his best, although tournament form has rarely been a useful indicator for world championship match success. Match play has many unique considerations and rematches have their own as well.

The quest to become world champion is a fire that burns hotter than any other. It is not possible to maintain the same level of a challenger’s relentless desire as champion. Anxiety and complacency are the natural enemies of the defending champion and they can be difficult to deal with, especially for the first time as Carlsen is doing in this match.

It has long been my belief that the anxiety of defending his reputation and his title, of facing even the tiniest possibility he might lose, is what drove Bobby Fischer away from the board for 20 years after he became champion. I stayed on top of the rating list for 20 years, even after losing my title to Kramnik in 2000, by always trying to find new challenges. I retired in 2005 when I felt I could no longer maintain my motivation in professional chess, without feeling like I was making a difference.

I played five world championship matches against Anatoly Karpov, though only the fourth, Seville 1987, was truly what I would consider a rematch in psychological terms. The first match was terminated, the second gave me the title, and the third was Karpov’s guaranteed rematch that really felt like an extension of the second. When Seville began it was the chance to finally put the endless cycle of matches, and Karpov, behind me for a while and I felt a very different kind of pressure, which showed in my inconsistent play. Karpov, like any great sportsman, sensed his opponent’s anxiety and took strength from it. When I won the final game to tie the match and retain my title the feeling of relief was indescribable. My victory cry to my team, “Three more years!” was the release of years of constant pressure.

Anand is playing in Sochi free of expectations or burdens. He has already held the highest title and will be remembered as a great champion. And he cannot do worse than the last match, after all! Carlsen is in the opposite position. With barely a year to enjoy his title, the goal of his short lifetime, he is now on the defensive with everything to lose and little to prove.

Of course, chess is not only about desire and psychology! Carlsen is stronger than Anand and should win the match -– and I hope he does. Magnus is an active and ambitious young champion who will do many good things for the chess world I still care about deeply. It is only that it is a rematch that gives rise to any doubts at all. The human mind is not a computer and our powers of calculation cannot be isolated from our emotions. That is why chess is a sport and not a science, and why I am excited to watch this rematch of generations.

Garry Kasparov

November 7, 2014

New York City

World Chess Championship 2013: Anand Drops His Sword in Round 9

November 22, 2013

Behind by two points with a maximum of four rounds left,  Anand had to attack with the white pieces in round 9 because he faced the grim prospect of never having another opportunity to make the first move as a World Champion again. Vishy chose “pawn to d4” as his first move in, what will probably become, his most memorable game ever. Unfortunately, for Viswanathan Anand, this most memorable game included his devastating blunder on move 28. In the heat of the battle and at the peak of his attack, the reining king of chess dropped his sword.  Now, it is Magnus Carlsen who looks down upon Anand and only needs but one draw to clinch the World Chess Championship.


[Event “World Chess Championship”]
[Site “Chennai”]
[Date “2013.11.21”]
[Round “9”]
[White “Viswanathan Anand”]
[Black “Magnus Carlsen”]
[Result “0-1”]
[Eco “E25”]
[Annotator “Chris Torres”]

1.d4 {Anand enters with the sword in his left hand for this fight.}
Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 {This is what chess players refer to as the Nimzo-Indian Defense. The difference
between this and the other Indian Defenses is that black does not immediately
fianchetto his bishop. Instead, his bishop pinning the knight on c3 prevents white
from playing pawn to e4 and gaining total control of the center.}
4.f3 {Alexei Shirov taught us all respect for this line back in the 1990’s.}

Alexei Shirov taught us all respect for this line back in the 1990's.

Alexei Shirov taught us all respect for this line back in the 1990’s.

d5 5.a3 {White attacks the annoying pin quickly in what is known as the Samisch Variation.}
Bxc3+ 6.bxc3 c5 {Black has no problems with opening up the center because he has better development and is ready to castle.}
7.cxd5 exd5 8.e3 c4 {This move signals that Magnus Carlsen is aware of the latest developments in
the Samisch Variation. Viswanathan Anand must have realised by this point that
he did not catch Carlsen out of his preparation.}

Carlsen knows the latest theory of the Samisch Variation.

Carlsen knows the latest theory of the Samisch Variation.

9.Ne2 {White has collected some nice wins by moving the g-pawn here.}
( 9.g3 Nc6 10.Nh3 Na5 11.Ra2 Nb3 12.Re2 O-O 13.Bg2 b5 14.O-O
a5 15.e4 b4 16.e5 Ne8 17.Bb2 bxc3 18.Bxc3 Nc7 19.a4 Bd7 20.f4
Qc8 21.f5 Bxf5 22.Nf4 Qd7 23.Ref2 Bg4 24.Qc2 Rad8 25.h3 Bf5 26.Qe2
Qxa4 27.g4 Be6 28.Qe3 Qd7 {…1-0, Berkes Ferenc (HUN) 2706 – Saric Ante (CRO) 2489 , Neum 6/ 5/2011 Ch Bosnia & Herzegovina (team)}
) ( 9.g4 Nc6 10.Bg2 Na5 11.Ne2 Bd7 12.O-O Nb3 13.Ra2 h6 14.h3
Bc6 15.e4 dxe4 16.fxe4 Nxe4 17.Ng3 Nxg3 18.Bxc6+ bxc6 19.Re1+
Kd7 20.Bf4 Qh4 21.d5 c5 22.d6 Rae8 23.Re7+ Rxe7 24.dxe7+ Kxe7
25.Qd6+ Ke8 26.Bxg3 Qe7 27.Qc6+ Kd8 28.Qa8+ Kd7 {…1-0, Yudkevich Mikhail (RUS) 2200 – Demianjuk Alexander (RUS) 2313 , Moscow 3/ 5/2012 Ch Moscow (1/2 final)}

Nc6 10.g4 {White’s pawn structure makes it hard for black to make use of his developmental
advantage but also prevents white from developing comfortably. In practice,
black has been doing pretty well from this position.}

The resulting pawn structure is uncomfortable for both sides.

The resulting pawn structure is uncomfortable for both sides.


O-O {Carlsen’s other choices were also good. The exception being 10…h6, which
Kasparov employed in his win against Judit Polgar.}
( 10…Na5 11.Ng3 h6 12.Ra2 Bd7 13.a4 Qb6 14.Ba3 O-O-O 15.Be2
Rde8 16.Kf2 h5 17.g5 h4 18.gxf6 hxg3+ 19.hxg3 Qxf6 20.f4 Bf5
21.Bf3 Qe6 22.Re2 Nb3 23.Ree1 Be4 24.Bxe4 Qxe4 25.Qg4+ f5 26.Qxg7
Rxh1 27.Rxh1 Qxh1 28.Bd6 Qh2+ {0-1, Sisatto Olli (FIN) 2236 – Alekseev Evgeny (RUS) 2659 , Rogaska Slatina 9/25/2011 Cup European Club}
) ( 10…g5 11.Ng3 h5 12.e4 h4 13.Nf5 dxe4 14.Bxg5 Bxf5 15.gxf5
exf3 16.Qxf3 Qe7+ 17.Qe2 Qxe2+ 18.Bxe2 Ne4 19.Bd2 Na5 20.Ra2
O-O-O 21.Rc2 Rhg8 22.Bf3 Rde8 23.Be3 h3 24.Ke2 Nd6 25.Kf2 Nxf5
26.Bf4 Nh4 27.Bg3 Nxf3 28.Kxf3 Nc6 29.Rb2 Re6 30.Re2 {…0-1, Santos Latasa Jaime (ESP) 2399 – Inkiov Ventzislav (BUL) 2460 , Creon 8/ 1/2012 It (open)}
) ( 10…h5 11.g5 Nh7 12.h4 Nf8 13.Ng3 Ng6 14.e4 Qc7 15.Kf2 Be6
16.Nf5 O-O-O 17.Nxg7 Bd7 18.Be2 Na5 19.Rb1 Nb3 20.Rxb3 cxb3 21.Qxb3
Ne7 22.Qb4 Bc6 23.c4 dxe4 24.d5 Rh7 25.dxc6 Nxc6 26.Qc5 Rxg7
27.Qf5+ Rd7 28.Bf4 e3+ 29.Kg2 Nd4 30.Qe4 {
…1/2-1/2, Moranda Wojciech (POL) 2536 – Gajewski Grzegorz (POL) 2577 ,
Polanica Zdroj 8/21/2008 Memorial A.Rubinstein (cat.13)} )
( 10…h6 11.Bg2 Na5 12.O-O Nb3 13.Ra2 O-O 14.Ng3 Bd7 15.Qe1
Re8 16.e4 dxe4 17.fxe4 Nxg4 18.Bf4 Qh4 19.h3 Nf6 20.e5 Rad8 21.Qf2
Nh5 22.Bxh6 Re7 23.Nf5 Qxf2+ 24.Rfxf2 Re6 25.Be3 Bc6 26.Bf1 f6
27.Bxc4 Bd5 28.Be2 fxe5 29.Bxh5 exd4 30.Bg5 {…1-0, Kasparov Garry (RUS) 2820 – Polgar Judit (HUN) 2670 , Tilburg 1997 It (cat.17)}

11.Bg2 Na5 {Again, Magnus Carlsen shows that he is aware of the latest trends in this
variation. Viswanathan Anand must be a little dissappointed that his opponent is so well prepared.}
( 11…b5 12.O-O Na5 13.Ng3 Nb3 14.Ra2 Bb7 15.g5 Nd7 16.e4 Qb6
17.Kh1 a5 18.e5 b4 19.Bb2 bxc3 {1/2-1/2, Vlaic Branko (CRO) 2269 – Saric Ante (CRO) 2489 , Sibenik 5/19/2011 Cup Croatia (team)}

Again, Magnus Carlsen shows that he is up to date on the latest trends of this variation.

Again, Magnus Carlsen shows that he is up to date on the latest trends of this variation.


12.O-O Nb3 13.Ra2 {This and Rb1 have both been played ten times in the last year or so.}
b5 {I was anticipating pawn to h6 here. Pawn to b5 has only ever been tried on two
other occasions and I was not aware of it’s existence in high-level chess.}
14.Ng3 {This position occured by transposition in Vlaic, Branco – Saric, Ante, Cro-Cup 2011. The game ended in a draw on move 19!?}
a5 {!} {A quality innovation by the genius that is Magnus Carlsen.}
15.g5 {!} {This is a double edged position with extreme volatility on both wings.}

This is a very double-edged position..

This is a very double-edged position..

Ne8 {Magnus Carlsen is an incredible chess talent. At first I did not realise why he
retreated his knight to this square. Later, it became clear that Carlsen needed
his knight to have access to g7 in order to prevent Anand from playing pawn to f5.}
16.e4 {Viswanathan Anand is clearing the path for his bishop on c1.}
Nxc1 {So much for the bishop on c1. ;-)}

17.Qxc1 Ra6 {!} {We always hear chess caches preaching the value of a rook in an open file.
However, rooks in open ranks are pretty good as well. In fact, Carlsen rook can
be used to aid his attack on the queenside while simultaneously providing
defensive measures for his castled king on the opposite side of the board.}

Magnus' rook becomes extremely useful on the open sixth rank.

Magnus’ rook becomes extremely useful on the open sixth rank.

18.e5 {Anand is ready to weaponize the f-pawn.}

Nc7 {!} {Carlsen really wanted to play pawn to g6 and then knight to g7. However, he saw
problems in that line and decided to place his knight on c7 in order to defend
the rook on a6. It is amazing that Carlsen was able to calculate so accurately
as to know that his knight would have time to return to the king’s defence.}
19.f4 b4 20.axb4 axb4 21.Rxa6 Nxa6 22.f5 {!} {Nobody should claim that Anand did not play aggressively after seeing this game.}

Nobody should claim that Anand did not play aggressively after viewing this game.

Nobody should claim that Anand did not play aggressively after viewing this game.

b3 {!} {Interesting that, for both colors, the pawns are the most dangerous weapons.}
23.Qf4 Nc7 {Carlsen’s knight must race back!}

24.f6 g6 25.Qh4 Ne8 {The knight returned to stop Qg7 mate.}

26.Qh6 b2 {Magnus could prevail in acquiring a second queen only to lose by being checkmated after Anand plays Rf4 followed by Rh4.}
27.Rf4 {!} b1=Q+

This is such an incredible position!

This is such an incredible position!

{!} 28.Nf1 {????} {Viswanathan Anand drops his sword in the heat of the battle. Play should have continued:}
( 28.Bf1 Qd1 29.Rh4 Qh5 30.Nxh5 gxh5 31.Rxh5 Bf5 32.g6 Bxg6 33.Rg5 )

The reigning king of chess drops his sword.

The reigning king of chess drops his sword.

Qe1 {!} {Now if Anand plays rook to h4, Carlsen’s new Queen will just capture it. Anand
put all of his eggs in one basket and then dropped the basket.} 0-1

The 2013 Fide World Championship Chess Match:

Chess Game from Round 1

Chess Game from Round 2

Chess Game from Round 3

Chess Game from Round 4

Chess Game from Round 5

Chess Game from Round 6

Chess Game from Round 7

Chess Game from Round 8

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 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 1 of the Anand-Carlsen Match

October 29, 2013

With the Anand-Carlsen World Championship Match just days away, I have decided to start posting some of my favorite games played by either Viswanathan Anand or Magnus Carlsen. Our first game is taken from the 2003 World Youth Chess Championships. In the gem below, a fourteen-year-old Magnus Carlsen drops the “hammer” on his fellow Norwegian.

Black to move and win. (What did Magnus Carlsen play on move 17?)

Black to move and win. (What did Magnus Carlsen play on move 17?)

[Event “FIDE World Youth Chess Championship”]

[Site “Halkidiki (Greece)”]

[Date “2003”]

[Round “1”]

[White “Hammer, Jon Ludvig (NOR)”]

[Black “Carlsen, Magnus (NOR)”]

[Result “0-1”]

[Eco “B07”]

[Annotator “Chris Torres”]

1.Nf3 {Thus begins an exciting encounter between Norway’s two young superstars. I am sure Norway’s coaches were wondering why this had to happen in round 1}


2.d4 Nf6

3.Nbd2 g6

4.e4 {Jon Ludvig Hammer has complete control of the center.}


5.Bd3 O-O

6.O-O Nc6

7.c3 e5 {Magnus Carlsen strikes at white’s central advantage.}

8.h3 {Hammer plays a clever but slow move here. In doing so, he keeps control of the

Center and makes Carlsen’s bishop on “c8” a very difficult piece to develop usefully.}

Nh5 {Magnus Carlsen chooses to complicate matters after his opponent’s “slow” move.}

9.dxe5 {Hammer plays what Carlsen was hoping for. Better was}

( 9.Nb3 Nf4 10.Bxf4 exf4 11.Qd2 {

Jon Ludvig Hammer would still be controlling the center, his king is castled

and his rooks are unified(the rooks can “see” each other.} )


{Hammer’s center is fracturing and Magnus Carlsen’s knight has invaded his territory with initiative.}

10.Bb5 {?} {Hammer bishop would be way better on “c4” sharing a diaganol with Carlsen’s

king. On “b5” it pins Carlsen’s knight to an empty square.}

Nxe5{!} {Carlsen’s knights are becoming Hammer’s problems.}

11.Nxe5{?} {Big mistake. Better was:} ( 11.Nc4 Ned3 12.Bxf4 Nxf4 13.Ne3

c6 14.Bd3 Be6 )

Qg5 {!} {The obvious punishment for Hammer’s last crime.}

12.Ng4 Qxb5

13.Nb3 Ne2+ {!} {Carlsen is still punishing Hammer’s eleventh move. I can almost hear Montell Jordan singing “This is How We Do it.”}

14.Kh1 Bxg4

15.hxg4 Rae8 {!} {If you can spot why Carlsen played his last move, you are doing better than Hammer did in this game.}

16.Be3 {????} {Correct was:} ( 16.a4 Qc4 17.Be3 )

Rxe4 17.Re1

{Jon Ludvig Hammer must have been praying that Magnus Carlsen does not see the neat finish.}

Qh5+ {!} {Of course Hammer resigns. After gxh4, Rh4 is mate.} 0-1

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