Posts Tagged ‘chess fortress’

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




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




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 (

With only one old knight left, this game is finally a draw by insufficient material (


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.

Anand-Gelfand 2012: Game 9

May 24, 2012

Game 9 of the 2012 World Chess Championship match between Viswanathan Anand and Boris Gelfand was a very exciting affair. Boris Gelfand came  close to a win but in the end Viswanathan Anand defended like a world champion. Scholastic chess players would be very wise if they try to comprehend the method in which Anand avoided a loss in this game. As is usually the case, my analysis of game 9 from the 2012 World chess Championship is below.

(For ease of reading try copying the text below and pasting it into your favorite chess program.)


[Event “Anand-Gelfand World Chess Championship”]

[Site “Moscow, Russia”]

[Date “2012.05.23”]

[Round “9”]

[White “Boris Gelfand”]

[Black “Viswanathan Anand”]

[Result “1/2-1/2”]

[ECO “E54”]

[Opening “Nimzo-Indian”]

[Variation “Main Line, Karpov, 10.Bg5 Bb7 11.Rc1”]

1. d4 Nf6 {Anand has chosen to play a different defense to d4. This will not be a slav or semi-slav as in game 2, game 4, game 6 and game 7. After he lost in game 7, I can’t say that I blame Anand for trying a different opening.} 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 {This is the Nimzo-Indian Defence. Over the years, Viswanathan Anand has had tremendous success with this opening.} 4. e3 {Gelfand chooses the Rubinsten line of the Nimzo-Indian.} O-O 5. Bd3 d5 6. Nf3 c5 {Neither Gelfand or Anand is straying from the main line.} 7. O-O dxc4 {Anand chooses the second favorite here. Most popular is Nbd7.} 8. Bxc4 cxd4 {Again, Anand chooses the second most common move. Nbd7 is played three times as often as Anand’s choice.} 9. exd4 b6 {Anyone wanting to learn more about this position should consult the games of Anatoly Karpov. Incidently, Karpov turned 61 today.} 10. Bg5 {Boris Gelfand seemed comfortable and prepared for the Nimzo-Indian.} Bb7 11. Qe2 {I’ve seen this move recently in Nakamura-Giri 2011.} Nbd7 {Anand likes the second favorite choice today. More common and much better scoring is Bxc3.} 12. Rac1 Rc8 13. Bd3 {Boris Gelfand still seems at home in this opening even when choosing this rarely played move. Anand, on the other hand, seems very nervous.} Bxc3 14. bxc3 Qc7 15. c4 Bxf3 {This move has only been played once before and that was on 2/12/12 in the game Kari Pulkkinen vs Jyrki Parkkinen. I doubt Anand knows of this obscure game from Finland. At any rate, I do not like the idea of black voluntarily giving away his bishop, which has great range, for a knight of common placement.} 16. Qxf3 {Boris Gelfand must be pleased to have the bishop pair in an open position.} Rfe8 17. Rfd1 h6 18. Bh4 Qd6 19. c5 {I definitely noticed Anand relax here. It is my guess that he was more concerned about seeing Bg3. Some have criticized Gelfand’s choice as being inaccurate. I do not see this as being the case. In fact, for the remainder of the game, Boris Gelfand has very little chance of loosing but maintains good attacking chances.} bxc5 {Anand must know he will lose his queen in a discovered attack but feels he can defend the position to a draw afterwords.} 20. dxc5 Rxc5 21. Bh7+ Kxh7 22. Rxd6 Rxc1+ 23. Rd1 Rec8 24. h3 {Now that the fireworks are finished, Gelfand chooses a slow move to see what the World Champion’s plan will be.} Ne5 25. Qe2 Ng6 26. Bxf6 {Gelfand must take here or else Anand will get his knight to d5 and then a rook on c7. This type of structure is known as a fortress. Using a fortress is not very fun at all but if successful can keep a player from receiving a loss.} gxf6 27. Rxc1 Rxc1+ 28. Kh2 Rc7 {Now Anand needs to place his knight on d5 and the fortress will be complete.} 29. Qb2 Kg7 30. a4 {Boris Gelfand is playing like a computer and that is not a good thing. His move does nothing to stop Anand from playing Ne7 and then Nd5. A move like g4 would offer the most difficult complications for both white and black.} Ne7 31. a5 Nd5 {With his fortress in place, Viswanathan Anand will have to wait and see if his opponent can crack his improvised defence.} 32. a6 {At some point, if Gelfand wants to, he can place his queen on b7!} Kh7 {Anand will wait and see what Gelfand may have up his sleave.} 33. Qd4 {If Boris Gelfand wants a draw he could begin a repetition sequence with Qb1+. Then if Anand plays Kg7 he can place his queen back onto b2.} f5 34. f4 {The move g4 was also playable but I fail to see how it would break Anand’s fortress. Perhaps starting with pawn to h4, then pawn to g4 and then g5 could create some king safety issues for Anand.} Rd7 35. Kg3 {Gelfand is planning on bringing his king to h4. I am not sure how that will help break Anand’s defence.} Kg6 36. Qh8 {Gelfand has nothing left but to try and swindle Anand into making a blunder. It’s nice to see a top grand master using a strategy commonly employed by a chess hustler.} Nf6 {Scholastic players would be wise to study how Anand handles this endgame.} 37. Qb8 h5 38. Kh4 Kh6 39. Qb2 Kg6 40. Qc3 Ne4 41. Qc8 Nf6 42. Qb8 Re7 43. g4 {This is Boris Gelfand’s final attempt to trick Anand into a blunder.} hxg4 44. hxg4 fxg4 45. Qe5 Ng8 {Now Boris Gelfand knows this will be a draw.} 46. Qg5+ Kh7 47. Qxg4 f6 48. Qg2 Kh8 49. Qe4 Kg7 {Boris Gelfand came very close to a win but in the end Viswanathan Anand defended like a world champion.} 1/2-1/2

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