Posts Tagged ‘carlsen anand chess games’

Carlsen vs Anand 2014 World Chess Championship: Game 6 Analysis

November 17, 2014

Chess is sometimes a cruel game. I was reminded of this in game 6 of the 2014 FIDE World Chess Championship Match between Magnus Carlsen and Viswanthan Anand. Early on, Anand dug himself into a hole by choosing passive play and dubious plans. There was a glimmer of hope when Magnus Carlsen tossed him a lifeline by blundering but, on this day, the Tiger from Madras was toothless and completely missed his opportunity to attack. Still, all hope was not lost if Viswanathan Anand could regain his footing and escape with a draw. Anand, however, was not able to do this and the world watched as he self destructed. Now, only one question  remains unanswered from round six: Is the hole Anand dug the final resting place for his dreams of another world championship title?

 

Viswanathan Anand in Sochi, Russia(photo from: http://susanpolgar.blogspot.com/)

Viswanathan Anand in Sochi, Russia(photo from: http://susanpolgar.blogspot.com/)

 

The key moment in game 6 of the 2014 Carlsen-Anand Match came on move twenty-six when Magnus Carlsen made a terrible mistake with Kd2. At the time of the blunder, I started receiving excited messages from chess fans across the globe asking questions about Anand’s chances. Then, the most extraordinarily shocking moment of the game took place. Viswanathan Anand allowed Carlsen to escape from his blunder unharmed. At the time, I honestly thought that there must be some problem with the moves being relayed properly. However, it soon became clear that Viswanathan Anand had been so preoccupied with his own strategy for the game that he simply failed to examine all of his checks, captures and threats. At least there is a valuable lesson to be learned from round 6…

Below is my analysis:

 

[Event “FIDE World Chess Championship 2014”]
[Site “Sochi, Russia”]
[Date “2014.11.15”]
[Round “6”]
[White “Carlsen, Magnus (NOR)”]
[Black “Anand, Viswanathan (IND)”]
[Result “1-0”]
[Eco “B41”]
[Annotator “Chris Torres”]

{[ SICILIAN def. Paulsen/Kan var.,B41]}

1.e4 c5

2.Nf3 e6

3.d4 {Magnus is coming back to the main lines after his 3. g3 detour in game 4.}

3… cxd4

4.Nxd4 a6 {This move classifies black’s opening play as the Kan Variation of the Sicilian Defense. The Kan is a good choice for those thinking of trying out the Sicilian Defense because it does not require massive amounts of memorized theory in order to play well.}

 

The position after Viswanathan Anand plays 4... a6.

The position after Viswanathan Anand plays 4… a6.

5.c4 {Magnus Carlsen is not concerned with hiding his intentions and immediately sets up the Maroczy Bind. In the Maroczy Bind, white’s pawns on e4 and d4 make it very difficult for black to strike at the center with d5.}

5… Nf6

6.Nc3 Bb4

7.Qd3 {Vishy has played this move himself so we know that he knows this idea well.}
( 7.Bd3 Nc6 8.a3 Bxc3+ 9.bxc3 Ne5 10.O-O d6 11.f4 Nxd3 12.Qxd3
e5 13.fxe5 dxe5 14.Bg5 h6 15.Bh4 exd4 16.e5 dxc3 17.Qxd8+ Kxd8
18.exf6 g5 19.Rad1+ Bd7 20.Bg3 Re8 21.Rd3 c2 22.Rd2 Re6 23.Rxc2
Ke8 24.Rd2 Rc8 25.c5 Bb5 26.Rf5 b6 {…1-0, Radjabov Teimour (AZE) 2748 – David Alberto (LUX) 2589 , Bastia 10/29/2010 It “Corsica Masters” (1/4 final) (active)})

 

The position after Magnus Carlsen plays 6. Qd3.

The position after Magnus Carlsen plays 6. Qd3.

 

 

7… Nc6 {The game below has a neat trick for white which is worthy of study.}
( 7…Qc7 8.a3 Bxc3+ 9.Qxc3 Nxe4 10.Nb5 axb5 11.Qxg7 Rf8 12.Bh6
Qc5 13.f3 bxc4 14.Bxc4 d5 15.Bb5+ Bd7 16.Rc1 Qxc1+ 17.Bxc1 Bxb5
18.Bh6 Nd7 19.fxe4 Ra4 20.exd5 Re4+ 21.Kd1 Re5 22.d6 Rd5+ 23.Kc1
Rxd6 24.Rd1 Bd3 25.Qg3 Nc5 26.b4 Ne4 27.Qg7 Rc6+ 28.Kb2 Rc2+
29.Ka1 {1-0, Kovacevic Aleksandar (SRB) 2575 – Kontic Djordjije (MNE) 2364, Cetinje (Montenegro) 2009.08.16})

8.Nxc6 dxc6

9.Qxd8+ Kxd8 {Anand’s position is known to be better than it looks. However, this is the kind of position that Magnus Carlsen is notoriously very strong at playing.}

 

The position after Viswanathan Anand plays 9... Kxd8.

The position after Viswanathan Anand plays 9… Kxd8.

 

10.e5 ( 10.Bd2 e5 11.O-O-O Ke7 12.f3 Be6 13.a3 Bc5 14.Na4 Nd7
15.Nxc5 Nxc5 16.Bb4 b6 17.Kc2 Rhd8 18.Be2 f6 19.Rxd8 Rxd8 20.Kc3
a5 21.Bxc5+ bxc5 22.Rc1 Rb8 23.Bd1 Kd6 24.Ba4 Kc7 25.Rg1 h5 26.h4
Rd8 27.Bc2 Rd4 28.Bd3 g5 29.Rh1 Bf7 {…1/2-1/2, Ruan Lufei (CHN) 2453 – Cherenkova Kristina (RUS) 2256 , Sochi 5/ 2/2007 Ch Russia (club) (w)})

10… Nd7 {Anand plays the very passive Nd7 rather than the more agressive Ne4. We saw Vishy make passive choices like this last year in Chennai when he first lost his title to Carlsen.}
( 10…Ne4 11.a3 Bxc3+ 12.bxc3 Kc7 13.Be3 b6 14.Bd3 Nc5 15.Bxc5
bxc5 16.O-O-O Bb7 17.Rhe1 Rad8 18.Re3 Rd7 19.Bf1 Rxd1+ 20.Kxd1
Rd8+ 21.Kc2 Kd7 22.Rg3 g6 23.Rh3 Rh8 24.Bd3 h6 25.Kb3 Kc7 26.Rf3
Rh7 27.g4 Kb6 28.Rh3 Bc8 29.Be2 Bd7 30.Rf3 {…1-0, Flores Rios Mauricio (CHI) 2499 – Lemos Damian (ARG) 2495 , Villa Martelli 3/12/2008 Memorial R.Fischer (cat.9)})

11.Bf4 Bxc3+

12.bxc3 {Carlsen’s queen side pawn structure has been damaged but he can activate pieces much more easily than Anand.}

12… Kc7 {Anand’s position is cramped but has no weaknesses.}

13.h4 {Carlsen sends forth a pawn to irritate Anand’s kingside pawns structure. Also,there is the potential to move the rook to h3 giving it access to squares like d3 and g3.}

 

The position after Magnus Carlsen plays 13. h4.

The position after Magnus Carlsen plays 13. h4.

 

13… b6 {Anand is making it possible for his bishop to move to b7. Once there he can play c5 and his bishop will control the long diagonal.}

14.h5 {Carlsen commences the “irritation.”}

14… h6 {?} {By reacting to Carlsen’s pawn in this way, Anand creates a weakness on g7 that will come back to haunt him later in this game. Better was:}( 14…Bb7 15.h6 g6 )

15.O-O-O

 

The position after Magnus Carlsen castles queen-side on move 15.

The position after Magnus Carlsen castles queen-side on move 15.

 

 

15… Bb7

16.Rd3 c5

17.Rg3 {Carlsen wastes little time in attacking the target that Anand gave him.}

 

The position after Magnus Carlsen plays 17. Rg3.

The position after Magnus Carlsen plays 17. Rg3.

 

17… Rag8

18.Bd3 Nf8 {Anand’s plan becomes clear. He wants to start exchanges on g6 which will finally allow his pieces to enter the game.}

 

The position after Viswanathan Anand plays 18... Nf8.

The position after Viswanathan Anand plays 18… Nf8.

 

19.Be3 g6

20.hxg6 Nxg6

21.Rh5 {The best way of defending the pawn on e5. Had Carlsen simply played pawn to f4, he would have blocked his own bishop.}

 

The position after Magnus Carlsen plays 21. Rh5.

The position after Magnus Carlsen plays 21. Rh5.

 

21… Bc6

22.Bc2 {Magnus is shoring up his position before pushing ahead for victory. Now Anand’s Bishop, knight and rooks have no way to penetrate white’s position.}

22… Kb7 {?!} {I am not sure as to why Anand felt it was necessary to move his king to b7. Probably because it wasn’t.}

23.Rg4 {?!} {Carlsen is getting a little overly prophylactic. His rook was better on g3 as it allows his king to move to d2 without it being a blunder as seen on move 26.}

23… a5

 

The position after Viswanathan Anand plays 23... a5.

The position after Viswanathan Anand plays 23… a5.

 

24.Bd1 {?!} {Carlsen will have to admit to the dubious nature of this move when his bishop returns to c2 on his very next turn.}

24… Rd8

25.Bc2 Rdg8 {Based on Anand’s passive play, a draw by repition would suit him fine.}

26.Kd2 {?} {A terrible blunder by Magnus Carlsen. If he had left his rook on g3 a few moves back this would be fine.}

 

The position after Magnus Carlsen plays 26. Kd2.

The position after Magnus Carlsen plays 26. Kd2.

 

26… a4 {?} {Viswanathan Anand is to focused on his own plans to consider all his checks, captures and threats. Had he explored his options he would not have lost this game and may have even taken the lead in the match. Play could have continued like this:}
( 26…Nxe5 27.Rxg8 Nxc4+ {I believe Anand may have missed this check in his calculations.} 28.Ke2 ( 28.Kd3 Nb2+ 29.Kd2 Rxg8 30.g3 Rd8+ 31.Kc1 Nd3+ 32.Kb1( 32.Bxd3 Rxd3 33.Kb2 Be4 34.Rxh6 Rd1 35.a4 Rb1+ 36.Ka2 ) Ne1 33.Rxh6 Nxc2 34.Kxc2 Be4+ ) Rxg8 29.g3 Na3 30.Bd3 c4 31.Bh7 Rd8 32.Rxh6 Nb5 33.Bd2 Bf3+ {and white still has drawing chances but the road to the half point will be difficult.})

27.Ke2 {Magnus Carlsen was visably relieved to escape unpunished.}

27… a3 {?!} {Anand wants to play Ra8 and then exchange bishops after Ba4. The problem is that this takes a lot of time and Magnus isn’t going to wait around.}

 

The position after Viswanathan Anand plays 27... a3.

The position after Viswanathan Anand plays 27… a3.

 

28.f3 {!} {I really like this move. Magnus prevents Anand’s bishop from causing any trouble while simultaneously defending his rook on g4.}

28… Rd8

29.Ke1 {This is a high class waiting move. Whichever way Anand decides to go, Magnus will be able to react efficiently and attack Vishy’s weaknesses.}

29… Rd7

30.Bc1 {!} {It’s worth pointing out that Magnus would not have had a target on a3 without Anand placing it there.}

 

The position after Magnus Carlsen plays 30. Bc1.

The position after Magnus Carlsen plays 30. Bc1.

 

30… Ra8

31.Ke2 Ba4 {After a long wait, we finally get to see Anand’s plan come to fruition. The only problem being that, it doesn’t work.}

32.Be4+ Bc6 {?} {At this point, the game became painful to watch. Anand’s chess has gone from dubious to ugly. It is worth pointing out that he did have one last potentially game saving idea:}
( 32…Ka7 33.Bxa8 Kxa8 34.Bxa3 Rd1 35.Rxh6 Ra1 {and black still has a fighting chance for a draw.})

 

The position after Viswanathan Anand plays 32... Bc6.

The position after Viswanathan Anand plays 32… Bc6.

 

 

33.Bxg6 {!} fxg6

34.Rxg6 {All the dominoes begin to fall.}

34… Ba4

35.Rxe6 Rd1

36.Bxa3 Ra1

37.Ke3 Bc2 {?}

38.Re7+ {and Anand just couldn’t take it any more.}
1-0

 

The final position from game 6 of the 2014 World Chess Championship Match between Magnus Carlsen and Viswanathan Anand.

The final position from game 6 of the 2014 World Chess Championship Match between Magnus Carlsen and Viswanathan Anand.

 

Please check out my analysis of the other World Championship rounds:

Game 1

Game 2

Game 3

Game 4

Game 5

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

Carlsen vs Anand 2014 World Chess Championship: Game 4 Analysis

November 14, 2014

After a disappointing loss in Game 3, Magnus Carlsen returned with the white pieces and played “1. e4” in game 4 of the 2014 FIDE World Championship. Viswanathan Anand replied with c5 and the hopes of again proving that his opening preparation is superior to the young Norwegian’s. However, Magnus opted out of the main lines with “3. g3” and thus the stage was set for a long and strategic battle.

 

Magnus Carlsen (white) vs Viswanathan Anand (black) photo: http://www.sochi2014.fide.com/

Magnus Carlsen (white) vs Viswanathan Anand (black) photo: http://www.sochi2014.fide.com/

 

Game four of the Carlsen-Anand Match hit a critical phase at move thirty-two. After the exchange of rooks, the ideas expressed through the moves of Magnus and Vishy offer a rare glimpse into the understanding of complicated endgames that these two great chess players possess. Their play should provide great study material to chess enthusiasts worldwide.

 

Below is my analysis of Game 4:

 

[Event “FIDE World Chess Championship 2014”]
[Site “Sochi, Russia”]
[Date “2014.11.12”]
[Round “4”]
[White “Carlsen, Magnus (NOR)”]
[Black “Anand, Viswanathan (IND)”]
[Result “1/2-1/2”]
[Eco “B40”]
[Annotator “Chris Torres”]

{[ SICILIAN def.,B40]}

1.e4 c5

2.Nf3 e6

3.g3 {After a negative result in round 3, Magnus decides it is best not to test Anand’s preparation and avoids the main lines of the Sicilian Defense.}

 

The position after Magnus Carlsen plays 3. g3.

The position after Magnus Carlsen plays 3. g3.

 

3… Nc6

4.Bg2 d5

5.exd5 exd5

6.O-O Nf6 ( 6…d4 7.c3 Nf6 8.cxd4 Nxd4
9.Nxd4 cxd4 10.Qa4+ Qd7 11.Re1+ Be7 12.Qxd7+ Kxd7 13.d3 Rd8 14.Bf4 Ke8 15.Na3 Kf8 16.Nb5 a6 17.Na3 Nd5 18.Be5 Nb4 19.Bc7 Rd7 20.Bb6 Nxd3 21.Re2 Nxb2 22.Rxb2 Bxa3 23.Rb3 Be7 24.Rd1 a5 25.a4 d3 26.Rbxd3{…0-1, Geurink Jasper (NED) 2305 – Klinkhammer Johan (NED) 2017 , Groningen 4/13/2011 Tournament (open)})

 

The position after Viswanathan Anand plays 6... Nf6.

The position after Viswanathan Anand plays 6… Nf6.

 

 

7.d4 {Magnus strikes at the center with plans of isolating a black pawn.}

7… Be7 {It is important to allow oneself the ability to castle in such positions.}

8.Be3 {Taking with dxc4 also makes sense as it forces black to make Be7 a time waster.}
( 8.dxc5 Bxc5 9.Bg5 Be6 10.Nc3 O-O 11.Qd3 h6 12.Bf4 Re8 13.Rad1
Rc8 14.a3 a6 15.h3 Qd7 16.g4 Ba7 17.Rfe1 d4 18.Ne2 Bd5 19.Ng3
Rxe1+ 20.Rxe1 Re8 21.Nf5 Be4 22.Qb3 Bxf5 23.Rxe8+ Nxe8 24.gxf5
Nf6 25.Ne5 Nxe5 26.Bxe5 Qxf5 27.Bg3 b5 {…1-0, Bauer Christian (FRA) 2634 – Milov Vadim (SUI) 2680 , Ajaccio 10/25/2007 Ch Europe (blitz)})

8… cxd4 {Anand chooses the proactive approach to dealing with the pawn situation in the center.}
( 8…O-O 9.dxc5 Ne4 10.Nc3 Nxc3 11.bxc3 Qa5 12.Qxd5 Be6 13.Qe4
Qxc3 14.Nd4 Nxd4 15.Bxd4 Qc4 16.Rfd1 Bxc5 17.Bf1 Qb4 18.Rab1
Qa3 19.Bd3 g6 20.Bb2 Qxa2 21.Qe5 Bxf2+ 22.Kxf2 f6 23.Qf4 Rad8
24.Kg1 Rf7 25.Re1 Bd5 26.Qb4 Bc6 27.Bc4 {1-0, Hasangatin Ramil (RUS) 2498 – Santos Antonio P (POR) 2336 , Cappelle la Grande 3/ 3/2011 It (open)})

9.Nxd4 Bg4 ( 9…O-O 10.Nc3 Bg4 11.Qd3 a6 12.Rfe1 Qd7 13.Nxc6
bxc6 14.Na4 Qf5 15.Bf4 Bb4 16.Qxf5 Bxf5 17.c3 Ba5 18.Bf1 Bd8
19.b3 Ne4 20.h4 Bf6 21.Rac1 g5 22.hxg5 Nxg5 23.Bg2 Nh3+ 24.Bxh3
Bxh3 25.Be5 Bg5 26.f4 Be7 27.Bd4 Rfe8 28.Re3 Bf5 29.Nc5 {…1/2-1/2, Jones Gawain C (ENG) 2653 – Caruana Fabiano (ITA) 2736 , Reykjavik 3/10/2012 It (open)})

10.Qd3 Qd7

11.Nd2 O-O {Here we have a classic situation where only one side has a center pawn but it is isolated and therefor a weakness.}

The position after Viswanathan Anand castles on move 11.

The position after Viswanathan Anand castles on move 11.

 

12.N2f3 {Magnus improves his less influential knight.}

12… Rfe8 {Vishy grabs the open e-file with his rook.}

13.Rfe1 {Magnus responds by doing the same.}

13… Bd6 {Both sides are making small improvements to their overall position.}

14.c3 h6

15.Qf1 {Magnus plays the first tricky looking move of the game. His plan is to take away Anand’s ability to play Bh3 while preparing to play pawn to h3.}

 

The position after Magnus Carlsen plays 15. Qf1.

The position after Magnus Carlsen plays 15. Qf1.

 

15… Bh5 {Anand doesn’t wait for h3 and instead decides it is best to get his bishop to the b1-h7 diagonal a move faster.}

16.h3 Bg6

17.Rad1 Rad8 {Now both players have centralized the action of their rooks.}

18.Nxc6 {Carlsen decides to end the small maneuvers and fire the opening shot.}

18… bxc6

19.c4 {Carlsen, for the second time in this game, challenges Anand’s control of the center.}

The position after Magnus Carlsen plays 19.c4.

The position after Magnus Carlsen plays 19.c4.

 

19… Be4 {Now Anand’s early Bh5 move in route to Bg6 looks pretty good.}

20.Bd4 {Magnus is threatening to capture on f6 which would expose Anand’s King.}

20… Nh7 {Very interesting play by Anand. Re6 would be the common response in such situations but then black’s rooks would no longer be a unified force.}

21.cxd5 Bxd5 {Anand now has two isolated pawns to watch out for.}

22.Rxe8+ Rxe8

23.Qd3 {Redeploying the queen to a6 is also a fine idea.}
( 23.Qa6 Bf8 24.Qa4 Qb7 25.Qxa7 Qxa7 26.Bxa7 Bxa2 27.Rc1 Re2
28.Bd4 Bd5 {but does not result in a large advantage for white.} )

23… Nf8

24.Nh4 {“Knights on the rim are grim,” unless you are Magnus Carlsen.}

24… Be5 {Anand makes a key move at a very important point in the game. Be5 effectively shuts down Carlsen’s threats on the kingside.}

The position after Viswanathan Anand plays 24... Be5.

The position after Viswanathan Anand plays 24… Be5.

 

25.Bxd5 {Carlsen is happy to trade pieces as each trade he makes gets him closer to an endgame where Anand’s pawn weaknesses can be exploited.}

25… Qxd5

26.Bxe5 Qxe5 {Trading queens would create many more difficulties for Anand given his weak pawn structure.}

27.b3 {It is better to move the pawn forward than to dedicate a piece to its protection.}

27… Ne6

28.Nf3 {Both sides return their knights to duty.}

 

The position after Magnus Carlsen plays 28. Nf3.

The position after Magnus Carlsen plays 28. Nf3.

 

 

28… Qf6

29.Kg2{It is much better to use the king to defend the knight rather than limiting the queen’s aggressiveness.}

29… Rd8

30.Qe2 Rd5

31.Rxd5 cxd5 {This is an interesting point in the game. Magnus Carlsen could try for a trade of queens with Qe5 or leave the queens and knights on the board with Ne5.}

The position after Viswanathan Anand plays 31... cxd5.

The position after Viswanathan Anand plays 31… cxd5.

 

32.Ne5 {The knight and pawn endgame would have required very precise play from Anand. However, Anand was not forced to trade queen after Qe5.}

32… Qf5

33.Nd3

33… Nd4 {Anand stops any ideas Magnus may have had about initiating a trade of queen with Qf3.}

The position after Viswanathan Anand plays 33... Nd4.

The position after Viswanathan Anand plays 33… Nd4.

 

34.g4 {Carlsen obviously believes that the doubled pawns he receives after the trade of queens is an acceptable price for reasonable chances in a tricky knight endgame.}

34… Qd7 {Anand is wise to the young Norwegian’s motives and declines the offer.}

35.Qe5 {Carlsen improves his queen with tempo.}

 

The position after Magnus Carlsen plays 35. Qe5.

The position after Magnus Carlsen plays 35. Qe5.

 

 

35… Ne6

36.Kg3 Qb5 {Vishy is happy to steer the game towards a queen ending.}

37.Nf4 Nxf4

38.Kxf4

 

The position after Magnus Carlsen plays 38. Kxf4.

The position after Magnus Carlsen plays 38. Kxf4.

 

38… Qb4+ {Anand prepares to advance his passed pawn.}

39.Kf3 d4 {If Anand’s passed pawn becomes too threatening, Carlsen will need to settle for some kind of perpetual check/threat draw. On the other hand, if Magnus can trade queens he will win the endgame easily.}

 

The position after Viswanathan Anand plays 39... d4.

The position after Viswanathan Anand plays 39… d4.

40.Qe8+ Kh7

41.Qxf7 {The extra pawn in material is rather meaningless as Carlsen’s king is exposed and Anand’s passed pawn has already crossed the equator.}

41… Qd2 {This is likely the most important move of the game for Anand and is almost forced. For example:}
( 41…Qc3+ 42.Ke4 d3 43.Qf3 Qc2 44.Qxd3 Qxf2 {is very dangerous for black.})

 

The position after Viswanathan Anand plays 41... Qd2.

The position after Viswanathan Anand plays 41… Qd2.

 

 

42.Qf5+ Kh8

43.h4 {Magnus does not have time to get a pawn to g6.}

43… Qxa2

44.Qe6 {Magnus manages to keep a little complexity in the endgame.}

 

The position after Magnus Carlsen plays 44. Qe6.

The position after Magnus Carlsen plays 44. Qe6.

 

44… Qd2 {A important move by Anand which defends his passed pawn and prevents Carlsen from playing pawn to g5.}

45.Qe8+ {With his hopes for a win dashed, Magnus agrees to a draw by perpetual check.}

45… Kh7

46.Qe4+ Kh8

47.Qe8+ Kh7 1/2-1/2

 

Final position from Game 4 of the 2014 FIDE World Chess Championship

Final position from Game 4 of the 2014 FIDE World Chess Championship

 

If you enjoyed this lesson, please check out my analysis of:

Game 1

Game 2

Game 3

 

and be sure to visit the official site for the 2014 FIDE World Championship in Sochi, Russia.

 

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.

 

 


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