Posts Tagged ‘Berlin Defense’

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 http://www.sochi2014.fide.com/.)

A photo of Anand and Carlsen in round 2(photo from http://www.sochi2014.fide.com/.)

 

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 http://www.sochi2014.fide.com/)

Viswanathan Anand is a different chess player when facing Magnus Carlsen. (photo from http://www.sochi2014.fide.com/)

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.}
1-0

 

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

 

 

World Chess Championship 2013: A Flawless Draw in Round 8

November 20, 2013
“I didn't particularly mind a draw, as was evident from my play. I was just hoping to set him one or two traps and if not then just to shut it down.”-Magnus Carlsen(photo courtesy http://susanpolgar.blogspot.com/)

“I didn’t particularly mind a draw, as was evident from my play. I was just hoping to set him one or two traps and if not then just to shut it down.”-Magnus Carlsen(photo courtesy http://susanpolgar.blogspot.com/)

 

I actually really enjoyed round 8 of the 2013 Fide World Championship Chess Match. First off, Magnus Carlsen and Viswanathan Anand played an opening variation of the Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense that has not been used in World Championship play since 1886! Secondly, Carlsen and Anand played a flawless chess game and continued to play until it was clear to the hundreds of millions of viewers that it was indeed a draw. This round, coupled with game 4, game 6 and game 7 should provide the reader of my blog with enough knowledge to try the Ruy Lopez Berlin Defense the next time he/she plays chess at their local coffee shop.

Please enjoy my notes on round 8:

 

[Event “World Chess Championship”]
[Site “Chennai”]
[Date “2013.11.19”]
[Round “8”]
[White “Magnus Carlsen”]
[Black “Viswanathan Anand”]
[Result “1/2-1/2”]
[Eco “C67”]
[Annotator “Chris Torres”]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.O-O Nxe4 5.Re1 Nd6 6.Nxe5 Be7 7.Bf1 {Steinitz played Bd3 against Zukertort in their World Chess Championship Match of 1886.}

A position from the World Chess Championship Match of 1886 and 2013!

A position from the World Chess Championship Match of 1886 and 2013!

Nxe5 8.Rxe5 O-O 9.d4 Bf6 10.Re1 Re8 {Previously, Anand had seen Nf5 played by McShane.}
( 10…Nf5 11.d5 d6 12.Nd2 Nh4 13.g3 Ng6 14.a4 Ne5 15.Ra3 a5
16.Ne4 Be7 17.f4 Ng4 18.Bg2 h6 19.c4 Nf6 20.Nc3 Nd7 21.Nb5 Nc5
22.Rae3 Bf6 23.Bf3 Bd7 24.b3 Rb8 25.Kg2 Re8 26.Ba3 Rxe3 27.Rxe3
Bxb5 28.cxb5 b6 29.Bg4 g6 30.h4 {…1/2-1/2, Anand Viswanathan (IND) 2800 – McShane Luke J (ENG) 2657 , London 12/12/2010 It (cat.19)}
)

11.c3 {And as long as I am talking about McShane.}
( 11.Bf4 Rxe1 12.Qxe1 Ne8 13.Nc3 Bxd4 14.Nd5 d6 15.Bg5 Bf6 16.Nxf6+
Nxf6 17.Bxf6 gxf6 18.Qe4 f5 19.Qe3 Be6 20.Qg3+ Kf8 21.Qc3 Ke7
22.Re1 Kd7 23.Bc4 Qh8 24.Bxe6+ fxe6 25.Qb3 Re8 26.Qxb7 Rb8 27.Qxa7
Qxb2 28.Qa4+ Qb5 29.Qh4 Qa5 30.Qxh7+ Kc6 {…1-0, McShane Luke J (ENG) 2706 – Kramnik Vladimir (RUS) 2801 , Moscow 6/16/2012 Memorial M.Tal (cat.22)}
)

Rxe1 12.Qxe1 Ne8 {Qe8 is much more natural but Anand does not want to trade queens just yet.}

Anand plays a strange looking knight move with a neat maneuver in mind.

Anand plays a strange looking knight move with a neat maneuver in mind.

( 12…Qe8 13.Qxe8+ Nxe8 14.Bf4 d5 15.Bd3 a5 16.Nd2 Bd7 17.Re1
c6 18.h3 g6 19.Nf3 Rd8 20.g4 Bg7 21.Kg2 Bf8 22.Bg3 Nd6 23.Bh4
Ra8 24.a4 Kg7 25.b3 f6 26.c4 Re8 27.Rxe8 Nxe8 28.c5 Nc7 29.g5
Be7 30.Bg3 Ne6 31.gxf6+ Bxf6 32.Be5 {…0-1, Frolyanov Dmitry (RUS) 2564 – Alekseev Evgeny (RUS) 2677 , Tiumen 6/26/2012 Ch Russia (Higher League)}
) ( 12…Nf5 13.Bf4 c6 14.Nd2 d5 15.Nf3 Nd6 16.Bd3 Bf5 17.Bxf5
Nxf5 18.Qe2 Qe7 19.Qd3 Nh4 20.Nxh4 Bxh4 21.g3 Bf6 {1/2-1/2, Smeets Jan (NED) 2619 – Kramnik Vladimir (RUS) 2791 , Wijk aan Zee 1/26/2011 It (cat.20)}
)

13.Bf4 {Magnus Carlsen has a very comfortable position and developing either bishop makes sense.}
( 13.Bd3 d5 {1/2-1/2, Koepke Christian (GER) 2319 – Bindrich Falko (GER) 2554 , Nuernberg 9/11/2011 It (open) “LGA Premium Cup”}
)

d5 {Anand gets a piece of the center.}

14.Bd3 g6 {Anand has a tricky knight maneuver in mind. Other ideas for this position are:}
( 14…Be6 15.Nd2 Nd6 16.Nf3 Bf5 17.Bxf5 Nxf5 18.Qd2 c6 19.Bg5
Nd6 20.Bxf6 Qxf6 21.Re1 Ne4 22.Qe3 h5 23.Nd2 Re8 24.Nxe4 Rxe4
25.Qd2 Qe6 26.Kf1 Kf8 27.f3 Rxe1+ 28.Qxe1 Qf5 29.a3 f6 30.Qd2
h4 31.Kf2 g5 32.Qe3 Kf7 33.Qd2 Qb1 34.g3 {…0-1, Geske Julian (GER) 2391 – Levin Felix (GER) 2510 , Wiesbaden 8/25/2012 It “Schlosspark Open”}
) ( 14…Qe7 15.Nd2 Qxe1+ 16.Rxe1 Be6 17.Nb3 Rd8 18.Na5 Bc8 19.Bb5
c6 20.Bxc6 bxc6 21.Nxc6 Kf8 22.Nxd8 Bxd8 23.Bb8 a6 24.Ba7 Be6
25.g4 Nf6 26.Bc5+ Ke8 27.f3 Kd7 28.Kf1 {1/2-1/2, Mamedov Nidjat (AZE) 2601 – Nielsen Peter Heine (DEN) 2665 , Konya 7/16/2012 Ch Turkey (team)}
)

15.Nd2 Ng7 16.Qe2 {Carlsen elects to set up a battery in the e-file rather than move his knight to f3.}
( 16.Nf3 c6 17.Qd2 Bf5 18.Re1 Bxd3 19.Qxd3 Qd7 20.Be5 Bxe5 21.Nxe5
Qf5 22.Qxf5 Nxf5 23.Nd3 Kf8 24.Nc5 Nd6 25.Nd7+ Kg7 26.Nc5 Kf8
27.Nd7+ Kg7 28.Nc5 Kf8 29.Nd7+ Kg7 30.Nc5 Kf8 {1/2-1/2, Salgado Lopez Ivan (ESP) 2618 – Bruzon Lazaro (CUB) 2691 , Quito 4/19/2012 Ch IberoAmerican (final) (Gp A)}
)

c6 17.Re1 {I would much rather be white. Having said that, it is not easy to find a good plan of attack.}
Bf5 18.Bxf5 Nxf5 19.Nf3 Ng7 20.Be5 Ne6 {Anand’s knight has been very busy today.}
21.Bxf6 Qxf6 22.Ne5 Re8 23.Ng4 {Magnus Carlsen’s technique is stellar. He tried a few ideas and now is going to force Anand to settle for another draw.}
Qd8 24.Qe5 Ng7

All the pieces are going to magically disappear.

All the pieces are going to magically disappear.

25.Qxe8+ {This is a pretty way to exchange all the pieces.}
Nxe8 26.Rxe8+ Qxe8 27.Nf6+ Kf8 28.Nxe8 Kxe8 29.f4 {It is not often that we get to see a couple of GM’s play a simple endgame like this.}
f5 30.Kf2 b5 31.b4 Kf7 32.h3 h6 33.h4 h5 {This was a beautiful example of two top chess players playing flawless chess.}
1/2-1/2

It doesn't get more drawn than this!

It doesn’t get more drawn than this!

 

My posts on the Fide World Chess Championship

Round 1 analysis

Round 2 analysis

Round 3 analysis

Round 4 analysis

Round 5 analysis

Round 6 analysis

Round 7 analysis

 


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