Posts Tagged ‘Carlsen-Anand’

Carlsen vs Anand World Chess Championship 2014: Game 11 Analysis

December 15, 2014

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

 

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

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

Below are my thoughts on game 11 of the 2014 FIDE World Chess Championship Match. It has been my goal during this match to break down the though processes of Magnus Carlsen and Viswanathan Anand to a level where it is accessible to the school age chess stars and weekend chess warriors. I hope you have enjoyed the effort.
[Event “FIDE World Chess Chamopionship 2014”]
[Site “Sochi, Russia”]
[Date “2014.11.23”]
[Round “11”]
[White “Carlsen, Magnus (NOR)”]
[Black “Anand, Viswanathan (IND)”]
[Result “1-0”]
[Eco “C67”]
[Annotator “Chris Torres”]

{[ RUY LOPEZ. BERLIN def.,C67]}

1.e4 e5
2.Nf3 Nc6
3.Bb5 Nf6
4.O-O {For 4. d3, see Game 2 from the Carlsen-Anand World Championship Match of 2014 or Game 6 and Game 7 from their 2013 World Championship Match.}
4… Nxe4
5.d4 Nd6 {5… Be7 was Lasker’s favorite:
5… Be7 6.Qe2 Nd6 7.Bxc6 bxc6 8.dxe5 Nb7 9.Nd4 O-O 10.Nc3 Nc5 11.Re1 Ne6
12.Nf5 f6 13.Nxe7+ Qxe7 14.exf6 Qxf6 15.Ne4 Qg6 16.c3 d6 17.Ng3 Bd7 18.Be3 Rae8
19.Qc4 Kh8 20.Rad1 c5 21.Qh4 Bc6 22.Qb4 {1/2-1/2, Mason, James (ENG) Lasker, Emanuel (GER), London 1892 Match)}
6.Bxc6 dxc6 {It is best for black to take back with the queen’diagonals’s pawn to open up lines for his pieces.}
7.dxe5 Nf5
8.Qxd8+ Kxd8
9.h3 {Of course, Nc3 is also very playable as demonstrated by Tal:
{( 9.Nc3 Ke8 10.Ne2 Be7 11.Re1 Nh4 12.Ng5 Ng6 13.Ng3 h6 14.Nf3 c5 15.h3 h5
16.Ne4 Be6 17.Nfg5 Bxg5 18.Bxg5 b6 19.Rad1 Ne7 20.Rd3 Rd8 21.Bf6 Rxd3 22.Bxg7
Rd4 23.Bxh8 h4 24.Bf6 Ng6 25.f3 Kd7 26.Kf2 Kc6 27.Ke3 Ra4 28.a3 Rd4 29.Re2 Rd1
30.Nc3 Rg1 31.Kf2 Rh1 32.Rd2 Bf5 33.Ne2 Ra1 34.Ke3 a5 35.Nf4 c4 36.Nxg6 fxg6
37.c3 Bd3 38.Bxh4 Kd5 39.Kf4 b5 40.Bd8 Kc6 41.e6 Re1 42.e7 Kd7 43.b4 {1-0, Tal, Mikhail N (LAT) 2660  Shamkovich, Leonid (USA) 2540 , Dubna 1973}
9… Bd7 {Vishy played this move in Game 4 from the Anand-Carlsen World Championship Match of 2013. For 9… Ke8, see game 7 and game 9 from the Carlsen-Anand 2014.}
10.Nc3 {In game 4 from 2013, Magnus played Rd1 here.}
10… h6
11.b3 Kc8 {Both Carlsen and Anand are playing straight out of “the book.”}
12.Bb2 c5 {Anand is choosing a rare line in order to test Carlsen’s preparations.}
13.Rad1 b6
14.Rfe1 {Magnus took a long think and played Rfe1 rather than the usual Nd5.}
( 14.Nd5 a5 15.Rd2 a4 16.Rfd1 Bc6 17.c4 axb3 18.axb3 Kb7 19.g4
Ne7 20.Kg2 Ra2 21.Kg3 b5 22.Nc3 Ra5 23.cxb5 Bxb5 24.Rc2 Bc6 25.Nd2 Ng6 26.Nc4 Ra8 27.Nd5 h5 28.Rcd2 hxg4 29.hxg4 Bb5 30.f4 Be7 31.Nxe7 Nxe7 32.f5 Rhe8 33.Na3 Bc6 {…1-0, Zhigalko Andrey (BLR) 2554 – Podolchenko Evgeniy (BLR) 2460 , Minsk 1/17/2007 Ch Belarus})
( 14.Rd3 Bc6 15.Re1 Be7 16.Nd5 Kb7 17.e6 Bxd5 18.Rxd5 Nd6 19.exf7 Bf6 20.Bxf6 gxf6 21.Re6 Nxf7 22.Rxf6 Nd6 23.Rh5 Rhe8 24.Re5 Rxe5 25.Nxe5 Ne4 26.Rxh6 Rd8 27.Nd3 c4 28.bxc4 Rd4 29.Rh4 {1-0, Carlsson Pontus (SWE) 2502 – Aboudi M (JOR) 2192 , Dubai 4/12/2011 It (open)})
14… Be6 ( 14…Ne7 15.Ne2 Ng6 16.h4 Be7 17.e6 Bxe6 18.h5 Nh4 19.Nf4 Nxf3+ 20.gxf3 Bd6 21.Nxe6 fxe6 22.Rxe6 Rf8 23.Bxg7 Rf5 24.Re8+ Kb7 25.Rxa8 Kxa8 26.Bxh6 Rxh5 27.Be3 Kb7 28.c4 Kc6 29.Kg2 Rh2+ 30.Kf1 Rh1+ 31.Ke2 Rxd1 32.Kxd1 Kd7 33.Bg5 Ke6 34.a4 {…1/2-1/2, Anand Viswanathan (IND) 2800 – Nakamura Hikaru (USA) 2733 , London 12/ 8/2010 It (cat.19)})
( 14…a5 15.a4 Ne7 16.Ne2 Ng6 17.h4 h5 18.g3 Be7 19.c4 Bf5
20.Nc3 Kb7 21.Nd2 c6 22.Nf1 Bg4 23.Rc1 Rad8 24.Nd1 Rhe8 25.Nde3
Rd3 26.Bc3 Bc8 27.Nd1 Nf8 28.f4 Ne6 29.Nf2 Rdd8 30.Ne4 Nd4 31.Nfd2
Bf5 32.Kf2 Rd7 33.Nf6 Bxf6 34.exf6 {…1/2-1/2, Motylev Alexander (RUS) 2710 – Ponomariov Ruslan (UKR) 2727 , Khanty Mansyisk 11/28/2009 Cup World})
15.Nd5 g5 {A rare and interesting idea developed by the Russian chess player Yuri N Vitoshinskiy. With this move, Anand is allowing Carlsen’s knight an outpost on f6 but is stopping white from mobilizing his four on three pawn majority. Allowing your opponent a knight on the sixth is usually a disastrous mistake
which is why this idea has only been tried once before.}
Position after Viswanathan Anand played 15... g5.

Position after Viswanathan Anand played 15… g5.

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

Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 20… Be7.

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

Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 23… b5.

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

Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 27… Rb4.

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

Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 28… cxb4.

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

Position after Magnus Carlsen plays 34. Nd5.

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

Position after Magnus Carlsen plays 36. Rxc7+.

36… Rxc7 {Even with perfect play from black, white wins.}
37.Nxc7 Kc6 {The obvious recapture leads to an even more obvious loss.}
( 37…Kxc7 38.Rc1 b3 39.Rxc4 b2 40.Rxc5+ Kd8 41.Rb5 )
38.Nb5 Bxb5
39.axb5+ Kxb5
40.e6 b3 {I think Anand could have made Carlsen work a little harder by playing:}
( 40…a4 41.Kd3 Be7 42.h4 b3 43.g5 {ends up the same as in the game.})
41.Kd3 Be7
42.h4 a4
43.g5 hxg5 ( 43…a3 44.g6 a2 45.Kc3 Bb4+
46.Kxb3 Bxe1 47.Kxa2 Bxh4 48.g7 {is a more eventful way to lose.})
44.hxg5 a3
45.Kc3 {and Viswanathan Anand resigns in what will likely be his last World Championship game.}
1-0
The final position from the 2014 FIDE World Chess Championship Match between Magnus Carlsen and Viswanathan Anand.

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

 

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

Game 1

Game 2

Game 3

Game 4

Game 5

Game 6

Game 7

Game 8

Game 9

Game 10

Carlsen vs Anand 2014 World Chess Championship: Game 7 Analysis

November 20, 2014

The best chess education available comes from attempting to grasp the work of the greatest masters. In game 7 of the 2014 FIDE World Chess Championship Match between Magnus Carlsen and Viswanathan Anand, students of the game are treated to a battle between the great master of maneuvering and the great master of the fortress.

 

 

The key move of this game belongs to Viswanathan Anand. On move 31, Vishy sacrificed his bishop to eliminate the threat of Carlsen’s passed pawns. Magnus, who was left with an extra knight, tried every trick in the book but was unable to break Anand’s super fortress.

 

[Event “FIDE World Chess Championship 2014”]
[Site “Sochi, Russia”]
[Date “2014.11.17”]
[Round “7”]
[White “Carlsen, Magnus (NOR)”]
[Black “Anand, Viswanathan (IND)”]
[Result “1/2-1/2”]
[Eco “C67”]
[Annotator “Chris Torres”]

{[ RUY LOPEZ. BERLIN def.,C67]}

1.e4 e5

2.Nf3 Nc6

3.Bb5 Nf6

4.O-O {For 4. d3, see Game 2 from the Carlsen-Anand World Championship Match of 2014 or Game 6 and Game 7 from their 2013 World Championship Match.}

 

Position after Magnus Carlsen castles on move 4.

Position after Magnus Carlsen castles on move 4.

 

4… Nxe4

5.d4 Nd6 {5… Be7 was Lasker’s favorite:}
( 5…Be7 6.Qe2 Nd6 7.Bxc6 bxc6 8.dxe5 Nb7 9.Nd4 O-O 10.Nc3 Nc5
11.Re1 Ne6 12.Nf5 f6 13.Nxe7+ Qxe7 14.exf6 Qxf6 15.Ne4 Qg6 16.c3
d6 17.Ng3 Bd7 18.Be3 Rae8 19.Qc4 Kh8 20.Rad1 c5 21.Qh4 Bc6 22.Qb4
{1/2-1/2, Mason James (ENG) – Lasker Emanuel (GER), London 1892 Match})

6.Bxc6 dxc6 {It is best for black to take back with the queen’s pawn to open up lines for his pieces.}

 

Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 6... dxc6.

Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 6… dxc6.

7.dxe5 Nf5

8.Qxd8+ Kxd8

9.h3 {Of course, Nc3 is also very playable as demonstrated by Tal:}
( 9.Nc3 Ke8 10.Ne2 Be7 11.Re1 Nh4 12.Ng5 Ng6 13.Ng3 h6 14.Nf3
c5 15.h3 h5 16.Ne4 Be6 17.Nfg5 Bxg5 18.Bxg5 b6 19.Rad1 Ne7 20.Rd3
Rd8 21.Bf6 Rxd3 22.Bxg7 Rd4 23.Bxh8 h4 24.Bf6 Ng6 25.f3 Kd7 26.Kf2
Kc6 27.Ke3 Ra4 28.a3 Rd4 29.Re2 Rd1 30.Nc3 Rg1 31.Kf2 Rh1 32.Rd2
Bf5 33.Ne2 Ra1 34.Ke3 a5 35.Nf4 c4 36.Nxg6 fxg6 37.c3 Bd3 38.Bxh4
Kd5 39.Kf4 b5 40.Bd8 Kc6 41.e6 Re1 42.e7 Kd7 43.b4 {1-0, Tal Mikhail N (LAT) 2660 – Shamkovich Leonid (USA) 2540 , Dubna 1973 It})

 

Position after Magnus Carlsen plays 9. h3.

Position after Magnus Carlsen plays 9. h3.

 

 

9… Ke8 {For 9… Bd7, see Game 4 from the Anand-Carlsen World Championship Match of 2013.}

10.Nc3 h5

11.Bf4 ( 11.Bg5 Be6 12.b3 Be7 13.Rad1 h4
14.Rfe1 Rd8 15.Rxd8+ Kxd8 16.Ne4 b6 17.Bf4 Kc8 18.Neg5 Bxg5 19.Bxg5
Bd5 20.Nh2 c5 21.Rd1 Bc6 22.c3 a5 23.Ng4 Bd7 24.f3 a4 25.Kf2
{1/2-1/2, Aronian Levon (ARM) 2805 – Kramnik Vladimir (RUS) 2801 , Zuerich 4/25/2012 Match})

11… Be7

12.Rad1 ( 12.Ne4 Nh4 13.Nxh4 Bxh4 14.Ng5 Bf5 15.c3 Bxg5
16.Bxg5 Kd7 17.Rad1+ Kc8 18.Rd2 b6 19.Rfd1 Kb7 20.Rd8 Raxd8 21.Rxd8
Rxd8 22.Bxd8 Bg6 {1/2-1/2, Bacrot Etienne (FRA) 2721 – Jakovenko Dmitry (RUS) 2760 , Dortmund 7/ 4/2009 It (cat.20)})

 

Position after Magnus Carlsen plays 12. Rad1.

Position after Magnus Carlsen plays 12. Rad1.

 

 

12… Be6

13.Ng5 Rh6

14.g3 ( 14.Nxe6 Rxe6 15.Rfe1 Rd8 16.Rxd8+ Kxd8
17.Ne4 c5 18.Ng5 Bxg5 19.Bxg5+ Kd7 20.c3 Kc6 21.Kh2 Nd6 22.f4
f6 23.Bh4 fxe5 24.fxe5 Nc4 25.b3 Nb6 26.Kg3 c4 27.Re4 cxb3 28.axb3
g6 29.Kf4 Nd5+ 30.Kg5 b5 31.c4 bxc4 32.Rxc4+ Kd7 33.Kh6 Ne3 {…1-0, Dominguez Lenier (CUB) 2734 – Alekseev Evgeny (RUS) 2683 , St. Petersburg 10/ 7/2012 Cup St. Petersburg (active)})

 

Position after Magnus Carlsen plays 14. g3.

Position after Magnus Carlsen plays 14. g3.

 

 

14… Bxg5

15.Bxg5 Rg6

16.h4 ( 16.Bf4 Nh4 17.Kh1 Nf3 18.Kg2 Nh4+ 19.Kh1 Nf3 20.Kg2 {1/2-1/2, Grischuk Alexander (RUS) 2757 – Anand Viswanathan (IND) 2817 , Monaco 3/15/2011 It “Amber” (blindfold)})

 

Position after Magnus Carlsen plays 16. h4.

Position after Magnus Carlsen plays 16. h4.

 

 

16… f6

17.exf6 gxf6

18.Bf4 Nxh4

19.f3 Rd8 ( 19…Rg7 20.Ne4 Kf7
21.Kf2 Nxf3 22.Kxf3 Bg4+ 23.Kf2 Bxd1 24.Rxd1 Kg6 25.Nc5 Re7 26.Kf3
Rae8 27.Bd2 Kf7 28.Nd3 b6 29.Re1 Rxe1 30.Bxe1 c5 31.Bc3 Rh8 32.Be1
Re8 33.b3 c6 34.Bf2 Rd8 35.Be3 Rh8 36.Bf2 Rd8 37.a4 Rd7 38.Be3
Rd8 39.Nf4 {…0-1, Efimenko Zahar (UKR) 2703 – Bacrot Etienne (FRA) 2705 , Poikovsky 10/13/2011 It (cat.19)})

 

Position after Anand plays 19... Rd8.

Position after Anand plays 19… Rd8.

 

 

20.Kf2 ( 20.Rxd8+ Kxd8 21.Kf2 Nf5 22.Rh1 Ng7 23.Bd2 Bf5 24.Nd1
Bxc2 25.Ne3 Bd3 26.Ng2 Ne6 27.Rxh5 Rg7 28.Bc3 Ke7 29.Rh6 Rf7
30.g4 Bb1 31.a3 f5 32.g5 Nxg5 33.Nf4 Ke8 34.Rg6 Nh7 35.Rg8+ Rf8
36.Rg7 Rf7 {1/2-1/2, Anand Viswanathan (IND) 2817 – Nakamura Hikaru (USA) 2753 , Sao Paulo 10/ 7/2011 It (cat.20)})

20… Rxd1 {I am sure that Magnus Carlsen and especially Viswanathan Anand have studied this line as it is a major possibility stemming from the above Anand-Nakamura game.}

21.Nxd1 {White shouldn’t recapture with the rook or else:}
( 21.Rxd1 {?} Nxf3 22.Kxf3 Bg4+ )

 

Position after Magnus Carlsen plays 21. Nxd1.

Position after Magnus Carlsen plays 21. Nxd1.

 

 

21… Nf5

22.Rh1 Bxa2 {I’d be surprised if this was not all part of Anand and Carlsen’s preparation.}
23.Rxh5 Be6 24.g4 Nd6 25.Rh7 Nf7 {The first original move of this game is an improvement over:
{ 25… f5 26. g5 Nf7 27. Rh5 Rg8 28. Kg3 Rh8 29. Rxh8+ Nxh8 30. Bxc7 Ng6 31.
Nc3 Kd7 32. Bb8 a5 33. Na4 Kc8 34. Bf4 b5 35. Nc5 Ba2 36. c3 a4 37.Bd6 Bd5 38.
f4 Kd8 39. Kf2 Nh4 40. Ke3 Ke8 41. Nd3 Be4 42. Nf2 Bd5 43. Ba3 Kf7 44. Kd4 Ke6
45. Nd3 Ng6 46. Nc5+ Kf7 47. Na6 Nxf4 48. Ke5 Nd3+ 49. Kxf5 c5 50. g6+ Kg8 51.
Nxc5 Nxc5 52. Bxc5 1/2-1/2, Giri, Anish 2768 – Radjabov, Teimour 2726, Tashkent UZB 2014.10.20}
26.Ne3 Kd8 {Anand must defend the pawn on c7 from Carlsen’s bishop.}

 

Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 26... Kd8.

Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 26… Kd8.

 

27.Nf5 c5 {The first move of the game that is not a computer suggestion. Houdini showed
27… a6 as black’s number one choice. Obviously not 27… Bxf5 because:}
( 27…Bxf5 28.gxf5 {just loses for black.} )

28.Ng3 {Carlsen is threatening to move his knight to h5 where it can attack Anand’s isolated pawn.}

28… Ne5 {Anand’s knight improves but not without presenting Carlsen with two good moves (Bxe5 or Rh8+.)}

29.Rh8+ {Carlsen’s other plan would have been to capture Anand’s knight straight away:}
( 29.Bxe5 fxe5 30.Rh8+ Rg8 31.Rh5 Rf8 32.Ke3 Bd5 33.Ne4 Bxe4
34.Kxe4 Rf4+ 35.Ke3 Rb4 36.b3 c4 37.Rxe5 cxb3 38.cxb3 Rxb3+ 39.Kf4
Rd3 40.g5 {and Carlsen’s advanced passed pawns are quite dangerous.} )

 

Position after Magnus Carlsen plays 29. Rh8+.

Position after Magnus Carlsen plays 29. Rh8+.

 

29… Rg8 {Vishy would like to trade as Carlsen’s rook has been a monster.}

30.Bxe5 {The move order is different but the result is the same as in the notes after move 29.}

30… fxe5

31.Rh5 Bxg4 {!} {This has nothing to do with calculation and everything to do with the instincts of one of the greatest chess masters ever!}

 

Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 31... Bxg4.

Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 31… Bxg4.

 

32.fxg4 Rxg4

33.Rxe5 b6 {Anand wisely defends a pawn with a pawn rather than relegating his last piece to its defence.}

34.Ne4 Rh4 {Anand wants his rook free to defend the pawns from any rank and that means distancing it from white’s pieces.}

 

Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 34... Rh4.

Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 34… Rh4.

 

35.Ke2 Rh6

36.b3 Kd7

37.Kd2 Kc6 {Anand is setting up a fortress against white’s offensive. Vishy has proven many times over that he is likely the world’s best defender in positions requiring a fortress strategy.}

38.Nc3 a6 {There will be much debate as to whether Anand’s fortress can withstand perfect play from white.}

 

Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 38... a6.

Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 38… a6.

 

39.Re4 Rh2+ {The rook can always move back to h6 and defend.}

40.Kc1 Rh1+

41.Kb2 Rh6

42.Nd1 Rg6 {Anand just needs to hold his present formation and not trade rooks. If the rooks leave the board, Carlsen will likely win.}

 

Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 42... Rg6.

Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 42… Rg6.

 

43.Ne3 {So we have a great master of maneuvering vs a great master of the fortress!}

43… Rh6

44.Re7 Rh2 {The rook can dance a little but the pawns should not be moved unless necessary because once a pawn moves forward, it is a permanent commitment.}

45.Re6+ Kb7

46.Kc3 Rh4

47.Kb2 Rh2

48.Nd5 Rd2 {The faithful rook defends its master when the knight gets to close for comfort.}

 

Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 42... Rd2.

Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 42… Rd2.

 

49.Nf6 Rf2

50.Kc3 Rf4

51.Ne4 Rh4

52.Nf2 Rh2

53.Rf6 Rh7

54.Nd3 Rh3

55.Kd2 {Carlsen has made no progress against Anand’s fortress.}

 

Position after Magnus Carlsen plays 55. Kd2.

Position after Magnus Carlsen plays 55. Kd2.

 

55… Rh2+

56.Rf2 Rh4

57.c4 {Magnus must add a pawn into the mix if he plans on breaching Anand’s defenses.}

 

Position after Magnus Carlsen plays 57. c4.

Position after Magnus Carlsen plays 57. c4.

 

57… Rh3

58.Kc2 Rh7

59.Nb2 Rh5

60.Re2 Rg5 {Anand’s rook is currently guarding a strong pawn on c5 because he plans to
start moving pawns forward which will make c5 a target.}

 

Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 60... Rg5.

Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 60… Rg5.

 

 

61.Nd1 {Magnus wants his knight to get to d5.}

61… b5 {Again, Anand is trusting his instincts and changing his pawn formation.}

62.Nc3 c6 {Anand takes d5 from the knight.}

63.Ne4 Rh5

64.Nf6 Rg5 {Anand’s rook refuses to be distracted by Carlsen’s knight and continues to guard the weak pawn on c5.}

 

Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 64... Rg5.

Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 64… Rg5.

 

65.Re7+ Kb6

66.Nd7+ Ka5

67.Re4 {Moves such as Re5 won’t force the exchange of rooks because Carlsen’s king is an easy target:}
( 67.Re5 Rg2+ 68.Kd3 Rg3+ 69.Kd2 Rg2+ {and black is fine.} )

 

Position after Magnus Carlsen plays 67. Re4.

Position after Magnus Carlsen plays 67. Re4.

 

67… Rg2+

68.Kc1 Rg1+

69.Kd2 Rg2+

70.Ke1 bxc4 {With white’s king far away, now is the perfect time for Anand to play this exchange and force this game into a draw.}

71.Rxc4 ( 71.bxc4 Kb4 72.Ne5 Ra2 73.Re3 a5 74.Kd1 a4 75.Kc1 Rg2
76.Nd3+ Kxc4 77.Ne1 Rf2 78.Nc2 Rg2 79.Kb2 Rd2 {Also leads to a draw.} )

71.. Rg3 {It is no accident that Anand always seems to have his rook on the perfect rank and safely away from trouble.}

 

Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 71... Rg3.

Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 71… Rg3.

 

72.Nxc5 Kb5

73.Rc2 a5

74.Kf2 Rh3

75.Rc1 Kb4 {The pawn on b3 is Carlsen’s last hope for a victory and it is doomed.}

 

The position after Viswanathan Anand plays 75... Kb4.

The position after Viswanathan Anand plays 75… Kb4.

 

76.Ke2 Rc3

77.Nd3+ {Carlsen escapes trading rooks but will lose his pawn on b3.}

77… Kxb3

78.Ra1 {At this point, Carlsen’s only hope is for Anand to blunder his rook. But his name is Magnus and he will play on!}

 

The position after Magnus Carlsen plays 78. Ra1.

The position after Magnus Carlsen plays 78. Ra1.

 

78… Kc4

79.Nf2 Kb5

80.Rb1+ Kc4 {The game is a draw unless an epic blunder occurs. Many chess players who are not world champions questioned Carlsen’s motives for playing on. Not giving up the fight is a huge part of what makes Magnus “Magnus!” and why he has been able to achieve so much in his young career. Perhaps rather than questioning Magnus Carlsen’s tenacity at the chess board, we should be enjoying it.}

 

The position after Viswanathan Anand plays 80... Kc4.

The position after Viswanathan Anand plays 80… Kc4.

 

81.Ne4 Ra3

82.Nd2+ Kd5

83.Rh1 a4

84.Rh5+ Kd4

85.Rh4+ Kc5

86.Kd1 Kb5

87.Kc2 Rg3

88.Ne4 Rg2+

89.Kd3 a3

90.Nc3+ Kb6

91.Ra4 a2

92.Nxa2 Rg3+

93.Kc2 Rg2+

94.Kb3 Rg3+

95.Nc3 Rh3

96.Rb4+ Kc7

97.Rg4 Rh7

98.Kc4 Rf7

99.Rg5 Kb6

 

slide_58

 

100.Na4+ Kc7

101.Kc5 Kd7

102.Kb6 Rf1

103.Nc5+ Ke7

104.Kxc6 Rd1

105.Rg6 Kf7

106.Rh6 Rg1

107.Kd5 Rg5+

108.Kd4 Rg6

109.Rh1 Rg2

110.Ne4 Ra2

 

f9f885f8-2092-4552-a37d-031e4abfa4c7

 

111.Rf1+ Ke7

112.Nc3 Rh2

113.Nd5+ Kd6

114.Rf6+ Kd7

115.Nf4 Rh1

116.Rg6 Rd1+

117.Nd3 Ke7

118.Ra6 Kd7

119.Ke4 Ke7

120.Rc6 Kd7

121.Rc1 Rxc1

122.Nxc1 1/2-1/2 

 

Finally a draw by  Insufficient Material (http://www.leninimports.com/lovis_corinth.html)

With only one old knight left, this game is finally a draw by insufficient material (http://www.leninimports.com/lovis_corinth.html)

 

If you thought this lessons was useful, please check out my analysis of:

Game 1

Game 2

Game 3

Game 4

Game 5

Game 6

 

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

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: http://susanpolgar.blogspot.com/)

Magnus Carlsen’s expression after Anand played 17. Ng5(photo from: http://susanpolgar.blogspot.com/)

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.}
26.Rc6
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.}
1-0

 

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: World Chess Championship 2014

November 6, 2014
Official Photograph for Carlsen-Anand 2014

Official Photograph for Carlsen-Anand 2014

Championship rematches are a source of the historic rivalries which provide intrigue for fans and motivate the competitors to perform at their highest level. Historically, chess has had many such occasions because a World Champion who failed to defend his title used to be awarded an automatic rematch. The fact that there is no longer a rematch clause did little slow Viswanathan Anand‘s pursuit of regaining his title from Magnus Carlsen.

Regular readers of this blog will remember that Magnus Carlsen stunned the world by throttling Viswanathan Anand in their first encounter. Many expected Anand to retire after his crushing defeat and chess to be taken over by the “young guns” of the sport. However, Viswanathan Anand quickly returned to form and convincingly defeated his rivals at the 2014 Candidates Tournament. In doing so, he won the right to a rematch against the man who humiliated him in front of his own countrymen.

Kasparov vs. Karpov 1986

Kasparov vs. Karpov 1986

Rematches have been hugely important for the overall popularity of chess in the 20th century. Who can forget the five epic matches between Anatoly Karpov and Garry Kasparov? Perhaps the only worthy comparison of the Kasparov-Karpov rivalry can be drawn from the battles between boxing’s Muhammed Ali and Joe Frazier. Another great chess rematch occurred between Mikhail Tal and Mikhail Botvinnik in 1961. In their first match, Mikhail Tal’s attacking style was too much for the strategic Botvinnik to handle but in their second encounter, Mikhail Botvinnik was able to shut down Tal’s offensives and win the match convincingly. In order for an Anand-Carlsen rivalry to achieve anywhere near the same level of notoriety, Viswanathan Anand will have to follow in Botvinnik’s footsteps and bounce back convincingly.

Vishy Anand needs to go on the offensive.

Vishy Anand needs to go on the offensive.

Perhaps the most important strategy for Anand in his rematch will be going on the offensive. In their first encounter, Viswanathan Anand was defending his title and his play was lifeless. In 2014, Vishy has nothing to lose and thus nothing to gain by being ultra-conservative. Indeed, for the much elder Anand, it is vitally important to be the aggressor as much as possible.

Magnus Carlsen needs to assume the role of the World Champion.

Magnus Carlsen needs to assume the role of the World Champion.

For Magnus, the key to victory is being a professional. Magnus Carlsen is the highest rated player on the planet and has already defeated Anand in match play. In his first defense of his title, it is critical that Magnus assumes the role of the champion and not take any unnecessary risks early in the match. Carlsen needs to allow Anand, who didn’t win a single game in their first match, to be the one to gamble with risky strategies. Finally, Carlsen needs to forget about losing rating points and accept drawing opportunities as a chance to move closer to a possible rapid play tiebreak and his goal of retaining his title.

In chess, rematches fuel rivalries and it is these rivalries that create legends. Very few chess players are ever crowned a World Champion and within hours two of them will be writing their rivalry into the book of chess lore. Regardless of the outcome, the winner will be chess itself.

Check back here often for updates on the 2014 FIDE World Chess Championship in Sochi, Russia.

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.”}

dxe4

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.}

h6

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.”}
Bh7

9.Bd3 {This forces and exchange of bishops which helps Anand develop quickly by recapturing with his queen.}
Bxd3

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)}
)

cxd5

19.h5 {Anand could have also tried “g4” but I suppose he is still being “prudent.”}
b5

20.Rh3 {Viswanathan Anand smells a drawing line after “Rg3.”}
a5

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

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

October 26, 2013

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

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

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

Home Field Advantage

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

Ratings

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

Youthfulness

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

Match Play

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

Anand’s Legacy

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

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

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

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

The official site for the 2013 FIDE World Chess Championship.


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