Posts Tagged ‘chess games’

#Chess Game Worth Sharing 

July 1, 2017

Here is the game which the position from last night’s puzzle originated from. All in all, a fine miniature against the Philidor Defense, Hanham Variation (C41 – Philidor, Hanham variation: 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 Nd7.)

Position after 10… Bg7.

[Event “Blitz”]

[Site “SocialChess”]

[Date “2017.06.29”]

[White “Chris Torres”]

[Black “Miranda36_2001 (1567)”]

[Result “1-0”]
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 Nd7 4.dxe5 dxe5 5.Bc4 h6 6.Nc3 c6 7.O-O Ngf6 8.Qe2 g6 9.Rd1 Qc7 10.Be3 Bg7 11.Bxf7+ Kxf7 12.Qc4+ Ke8 13.Nb5 Qb8 14.Nd6+ Ke7 15.Bc5 b6 16.Nxe5 bxc5 17.Nxc6+


Hidden Gems Abound at the 2016 Chess Olympiads

September 4, 2016

One of my favorite hobbies is treasure hunting for beautifully instructive chess games during the annual Chess Olympiads. With more than 180 countries each sending their best male and female teams to compete in one event, the Chess Olympiads is a veritable mother load of chess gems. For hunting these chess treasures, I follow along at:

The official site for the 2016 FIDE Chess Olympiads



Chess Daily News


FM Qiu Zhou of Canada

FM Qiyu Zhou of Canada

And to illustrate just the kind of hidden gems I am talking about, I present Sindira Joshi (Nepal) vs. Qiyu Zhou (Canada) from round 1 of the 2016 FIDE Chess Olympiads. Enjoy…

[Event “Chess Olympiad”]
[Site “Baku, Azerbaijan”]
[Date “2016.9.2”]
[Round “1”]
[White “Joshi, Sindira”]
[Black “Zhou, Qiyu”]
[Result “0-1”]
[Eco “C54”]
[Annotator “Chris Torres”]


1.e4 e5

2.Nf3 Nc6

3.d4 {The start to the Scotch.}

3… exd4

4.Bc4 Bc5

5.c3 {Transposing to a Giuoco Piano.}

5… Nf6

6.cxd4 Bb4+

7.Bd2 {White could have also chosen the equally popular Moeller Attack by playing Nc3 and gambitting the e-pawn.}

( 7.Nc3 Nxe4 8.O-O Bxc3 9.d5 Bf6 10.Re1 O-O 11.Rxe4 Ne7 12.d6
cxd6 13.Qxd6 Nf5 14.Qd5 d6 15.Bg5 Bxg5 16.Nxg5 Qxg5 17.Qxf7+
{1-0, Euwe Max (NED) – Van Mindeno A, Netherlands 1927 It “AVRO”} )


Position after 7. Bd2

Position after 7. Bd2


7… Nxe4

8.Bxb4 Nxb4

9.Bxf7+ Kxf7

10.Qb3+ d5 {Discovered by Gioachino Greco, this line is a mere 400 years old.}


Position after 10... d5

Position after 10… d5


11.Qxb4 {Greco preffered Ne5+ here.}

11… Rf8

12.Nc3 {So far so good for the much lower rated Sindira Joshi. Her chances are about equal here.}
( 12.O-O Ng5 13.Ne5+ Kg8 14.Nc3 c6 15.f4 Nf7 16.Ne2 Nd6 17.Ng3
a5 18.Qa3 a4 19.Qb4 a3 20.bxa3 Nb5 21.a4 Qd6 22.Rab1 Qxb4 23.Rxb4
Nc3 24.Rb3 Nxa4 25.Ne2 Ra6 26.g3 Nb6 27.Nc3 Na4 28.Ne2 Nb6 29.Nc3
Nc4 30.Nxc4 dxc4 31.Rb4 b5 {…1/2-1/2, Schaefer Markus (GER) 2390 – Postny Evgeny (ISR) 2595 , Plovdiv 10/19/2010 Cup European Club})

12… Nxc3 13.bxc3 {?} {A slight innacuracy. Better was Qxc3 as seen in this game:}

( 13.Qxc3 Kg8 14.O-O Qd6 15.Ne5 Bf5 16.Rae1 Rae8 17.Re3 Re6 18.Rfe1
Ref6 19.b4 {1/2-1/2, Danilenko Dmitriy (UKR) 1992 – Pavlov Maxim (UKR) 2327 , Alushta 5/18/2006 Ch Ukraine (1/2 final)})

13… Kg8

14.Ne5 {?} {Another harmless looking mistake. Much better was h4 to prevent Qg5.}


Position after 14. Ne5

Position after 14. Ne5


14… Qg5 {Here comes trouble.}

15.g3 {?} {As dangerous as it looks, castling is to be preferred here.}

15… Rxf2 {!} {Qiyu Zhou starts her combination with a beautiful rook sacrifice.}


Position after 15.... Rxf2

Position after 15…. Rxf2


16.Kxf2 Qd2+

17.Kf3 Bh3 {Qiyu Zhou is putting on a tactical clinic.}


Position after 15... Bh3

Position after 15… Bh3


18.Rad1 {Sindira Joshi seems to be playing the most accurate responses but Qiyu Zhou continues to press her advantage.}

18… Bg2+

19.Kg4 Qe2+

20.Kh4 Bxh1 {Not just to win the exchange but also to set up a vicious fork.}


Position after 20... Bxh1

Position after 20… Bxh1


21.Rxh1 Qe4+ {and now Sindira Joshi’s only chance is to hope for a rare blunder from Qiyu Zhou.}

22.Kh3 Qxh1 {Qiyu Zhou concludes the prefectly executed 8 move combination.}

23.Qe7 {Sindira Joshi finally has a choice but it is to pick her own poison.}

( 23.Qxb7 Rf8 24.Qxc7 Qf1+ 25.Kh4 Qf6+ 26.Kh3 Qf5+ 27.g4 Qf1+
28.Kg3 Qf4+ 29.Kg2 g5 {seems very unpleasant for white.} ) {%09DB}

23… Qf1+ {Qiyu Zhou grabs the initiative again.}


Position after 23... Qf1+

Position after 23… Qf1+


24.Kh4 Qf6+ {Qiyu Zhou wisely choses to force an exchange of queens and head into a rook vs. knight endgame.}

25.Qxf6 gxf6

26.Nd7 Kf7

27.Nc5 b6

28.Nd3 Re8

29.Nf4 {Hats off to Sindira Joshi for continueing to play on and give us a chance to study good endgame technique.}


Position after 29. Nf4

Position after 29. Nf4


29… c6

30.Kg4 Re3

31.Kf5 {Nothing can be done to save white’s queenside pawns from a Qiyu Zhou’s rampaging rook.}

31… Rxc3

32.Nh5 Rc2

33.h4 Rxa2

34.Kf4 a5

35.Ke3 b5

36.Nf4 a4

37.Nd3 a3

38.Nb4 Rb2 {Sindira Joshi resigns as there is no hope left for white.} 0-1


Final Position

Final Position

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.}
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 8 Analysis

November 21, 2014

After an epic battle of 122 moves in round 7, both contestants returned to the chess board in round 8 looking a little worse for the wear. Carlsen, in a World Championship first, even fell asleep in his chair during the early going of the game. Being a point down in the match, Anand returned to play “1. d4” as he did in his round 3 victory. Magnus was more prepared this time and had little trouble neutralizing any advantage Anand had with the white pieces.


Magnus Carlsen used round 8 to catch up on some much needed rest.

Magnus Carlsen used round 8 to catch up on some much needed rest.(


A key moment in this game came when Magnus Carlsen played 10… Be7 which is an innovation. Magnus had little trouble with Anand for the remainder of the game and the resulting draw was a huge victory for everyone on Carlsen’s team.


[Event “FIDE World Chess Championship 2014”]
[Site “Sochi, Russia”]
[Date “2014.11.18”]
[Round “8”]
[White “Anand, Viswanathan (IND)”]
[Black “Carlsen, Magnus (NOR)”]
[Result “1/2-1/2”]
[Eco “D37”]
[Annotator “Chris Torres”]

{[ QUEEN’S gam. var. WITH 5.BF4,D37]}

1.d4 {Anand is obviously hoping to play a game that resembles his win from round 3.}

1… Nf6

2.c4 e6

3.Nf3 d5 {A Queen’s Gambit Declined as in game 3.}

4.Nc3 Be7

5.Bf4 O-O

6.e3  6. c5 {Magnus Carlsen changes course from following what was played during his loss in round 3. In that contest, Carlsen played 6… Nbd7 and found out the hard way that Vishy was extremely prepared for that continuation.}


The position after Magnus Carlsen plays 6... c5.

The position after Magnus Carlsen plays 6… c5.


7.dxc5 Bxc5

8.a3 Nc6

9.Qc2 Re8

10.Bg5 ( 10.O-O-O e5 11.Bg5 d4
12.Nd5 Be6 13.Bd3 Bxd5 14.cxd5 Qxd5 15.Bxf6 gxf6 16.Bxh7+ Kf8
17.Be4 Qd6 18.Kb1 Rac8 19.Rc1 Bb6 20.Qd3 Red8 21.Rhd1 Rc7 22.Bxc6
Rxc6 23.e4 Rdc8 24.Nh4 Qe6 25.Nf5 Rc3 26.Qd2 Rxc1+ 27.Rxc1 Rxc1+
28.Qxc1 Qc6 29.Qxc6 bxc6 {…1-0, Forintos Gyozo V (HUN) 2317 – Vaisser Anatoly (FRA) 2536 , Tallinn 1986 It (open)})

10… Be7 {According to my database, this is actually an innovation though I suspect it
has been played many times in informal games as the move seems pretty obvious.}
( 10…d4 11.Bxf6 gxf6 12.exd4 Nxd4 13.Nxd4 Qxd4 14.Bd3 Qe5+
15.Kf1 Kg7 16.Re1 Qc7 17.b4 Be7 18.Re3 f5 19.g4 f4 20.Rh3 h6
21.Rh5 Rd8 22.h4 Qd6 23.Rh3 e5 24.Bf5 Be6 25.Qe4 f6 26.g5 Bxf5
27.gxf6+ Qxf6 28.Rxf5 Qc6 29.h5 Qxe4 30.Nxe4 {…1-0, Delchev Aleksander (BUL) 2623 – Elbilia Jacques (MAR) 2390 , France 6/ 6/2010 Ch France (team) 2010})

( 10…dxc4 11.Rd1 Qa5 12.Bxf6 gxf6 13.Bxc4 Be7 14.O-O Rd8
15.Rxd8+ Nxd8 16.Rd1 a6 17.Ba2 Nc6 18.Bb1 f5 19.e4 Bf6 20.exf5
exf5 21.Nd5 Bd8 22.Ne3 Be6 23.Nxf5 Bxf5 24.Qxf5 Qxf5 25.Bxf5
Bf6 26.b3 Na5 27.Rd3 Re8 28.Kf1 Re7 29.Nd2 Rc7 30.Be4 {…1-0, Lev Ronen (ISR) 2449 – Ruderfer Mark B (RUS) 2344 , Israel 2002 Ch Israel (team)})


The position after Magnus Carlsen plays 10... Be7.

The position after Magnus Carlsen plays 10… Be7.



11.Rd1 {Vishy pins the d5 pawn to Carlsen’s queen.}

11… Qa5 {and Carlsen unpins the queen by using it to pin Anand’s knight.}

12.Bd3 h6

13.Bh4 {Taking the knight would allow Carlsen to add more pressure to the c3 pin after he recaptures with his bishop.}

13… dxc4 {Carlsen could have added more pressure to the center with a move like Rd8 but instead aims for a very symmetrical pawn structure.}


The position after Magnus Carlsen plays 13... dxc4.

The position after Magnus Carlsen plays 13… dxc4.



14.Bxc4 a6

15.O-O b5

16.Ba2 Bb7 {Both sides are done with development and Anand is just a tiny bit better.}


The position after Magnus Carlsen plays 16... Bb7.

The position after Magnus Carlsen plays 16… Bb7.


17.Bb1 {The obvious threat is Bxf6 followed by Qh7.}

17… Rad8 {Magnus isn’t too worried about Anand’s little threat and decides to take shared control of the open file.}

18.Bxf6 Bxf6

19.Ne4 {Anand improves his knight with tempo which is far better than:}
( 19.Qh7+ Kf8 20.Qh8+ Ke7 21.Qh7 {This is the kind of over-zealous mistake a lot of scholastic players make that results in white’s queen being out of play.})


The position after Viswanathan Anand plays 19. Ne4.

The position after Viswanathan Anand plays 19. Ne4.



19… Be7

20.Nc5 Bxc5 {Magnus is more than happy to trade his inactive bishop for Anand’s pesky knight.}

21.Qxc5 b4 {Magnus offers to trade queens.}


The position after Magnus Carlsen plays 19... b4.

The position after Magnus Carlsen plays 21… b4.



22.Rc1 {Anand politely declines for now. Had he captured on a5, play would have continued:}
( 22.Qxa5 Nxa5 23.axb4 Nc4 24.Rd3 Nxb2 25.Rb3 Bxf3 26.Rxb2 Bc6
{and now it is black that has the small edge.} )

22… bxa3

23.bxa3 Qxc5

24.Rxc5 {With the queens off the board, there is not much here for Anand to use to pressure his opponent.}


The position after Viswanathan Anand plays 24. Rxc5.

The position after Viswanathan Anand plays 24. Rxc5.


24… Ne7

25.Rfc1 Rc8 {Carlsen has easily and completely neutralized white’s opening.}

26.Bd3 Red8

27.Rxc8 Rxc8

28.Rxc8+ Nxc8 {Barring a catastrophe, this game is a complete draw.}


The position after Magnus Carlsen plays 28... Nxc8.

The position after Magnus Carlsen plays 28… Nxc8.


29.Nd2 Nb6 {Still, it is nice to see Anand play on so that students of the game have more moves to learn from.}

30.Nb3 Nd7 {It was very important to stop Anand from playing Nc5 and doubling up on a6.}

31.Na5 {So Anand has to settle for the second best square for his knight.}

31… Bc8

32.Kf1 {Endgame rule number two from the Thirty Rules of Chess states that, “The king must be active in the ending.”}


The position after Viswanathan Anand plays 32. Kf1.

The position after Viswanathan Anand plays 32. Kf1.


32… Kf8

33.Ke1 Ke7

34.Kd2 Kd6

35.Kc3 Ne5 {Carlsen’s knight is allowed to improve on Anand’s time.}

36.Be2 Kc5 {I will be setting this position up for my students and seeing how close their games match the outcome of this one.}

37.f4 {Kicks the knight but sets up another trade.}


The position after Viswanathan Anand plays 34. f4.

The position after Viswanathan Anand plays 37. f4.



37… Nc6

38.Nxc6 Kxc6

39.Kd4 f6

40.e4 Kd6

41.e5+ {The players agrede to a draw which would have been the outcome in so many more moves. One possible continuation is:} (41… fxe5+ 42.fxe5+ Kc6 43.h3 g5 44.a4 a5 45.Bf3+ Kb6 46.Be4 Bd7 47.Bc2 Be8 48.g4 {with neither side having any hope for victory.)} 1/2-1/2


The final position from game 8 of the 2014 World Chess Championship.

The final position from game 8 of the 2014 World Chess Championship.


If you found this lesson useful, feel free to read through my other lessons on the 2014 World Championship Match between Magnus Carlsen and Viswanathan Anand:

Game 1

Game 2

Game 3

Game 4

Game 5

Game 6

Game 7

and be sure to visit the official site of the 2014 Fide World Chess Championship in Sochi, Russia.

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:

Viswanathan Anand in Sochi, Russia(photo from:


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 )



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.}


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 1 Analysis

November 9, 2014

The 2014 FIDE World Chess Championship began today in Sochi, Russia. This is a rematch from last year’s world championship in which Norway’s Magnus Carlsen stole the crown from India’s Viswanathan Anand. Thus far, both players seem much more relaxed in 2014 than they did in their previous encounter.

Viswanathan Anand battling Magnus Carlsen in round 1 of their 2014 World Chess Championship Match(photo by Beatriz Marinello)

Anand battling Carlsen in round 1 of their 2014 World Chess Championship Match(photo by Beatriz Marinello)

In round one, Carlsen attempted to surprise Vishy by employing the Grunfeld Defense. Anand responded with a calm demeanor and rather aggressive play. Both Carlsen and Anand played very strong chess with neither side gaining a winning advantage at any point. After the game, chess pundits were busy trying to make conclusions about what psychological advantages each player gained from the first round of their struggle. I doubt such claims have any validity as both players presented themselves well and played really high-level chess. Below is my analysis of game 1:


[Event “FIDE World Chess Championship 2014”]
[Site “Sochi, Russia”]
[Date “2014.11.8”]
[Round “1”]
[White “Anand, Viswanathan (IND)”]
[Black “Carlsen, Magnus (NOR)”]
[Result “1/2-1/2”]
[Eco “D85”]
[Annotator “Chris Torres”]

{[ GRUNFELD def.,D85]}

1.d4 Nf6

2.c4 g6

3.Nc3 d5 {This opening is known as the Grunfeld Defense and is not a normal part of Magnus Carlsen’s opening repertoire. Adherents of the Grunfeld believe that the imposing pawn center white is allowed to create will actually end up being a
liability for them later in the game. Garry Kasparov often employed this
defense in his world championship matches against Anatoly Karpov.}

Magnus Carlsen attempted to surprise Viswanathan Anand by chosing the Grunfeld Defense.

Magnus Carlsen attempted to surprise Viswanathan Anand by using the Grunfeld Defense.

4.cxd5 Nxd5

5.Bd2 {Viswanathan Anand chooses the very safe and time tested approach of 5. Bd2.}


6.e4 Nxc3 {Previously, Magnus Carlsen played 6…Nb6 here as seen in the game below.}
( 6…Nb6 7.Be3 O-O 8.Bb5 Be6 9.Nge2 c6 10.Bd3 Nc4 11.Bxc4 Bxc4
12.O-O Nd7 13.Qd2 Qa5 14.Rfd1 Rad8 15.Bh6 Bxe2 16.Nxe2 Qxd2 17.Bxd2
Nb6 18.Bc3 Rd7 19.b3 f5 20.f3 Rfd8 21.Re1 fxe4 22.fxe4 e5 23.dxe5
Rd3 24.g3 Nd7 25.e6 Bxc3 26.Nxc3 {…0-1, Wang Yue (CHN) 2732 – Carlsen Magnus (NOR) 2826 , Medias 6/25/2010 It (cat.20)})

7.Bxc3 O-O {Viswanathan Anand has the center and Magnus Carlsen has king safety.}

(Another possibility is: 7…c5 8.d5 Bxc3+ 9.bxc3 O-O 10.Nf3 Bg4 11.h3 Bxf3 12.Qxf3
e5 13.dxe6 fxe6 14.Qg3 Nc6 15.Rd1 Qe7 16.Bb5 Rad8 17.Bxc6 Rxd1+
18.Kxd1 bxc6 19.Ke2 Qb7 20.Rd1 Qa6+ 21.Qd3 Qxa2+ 22.Rd2 Qb3 23.c4
Qb4 24.h4 Kh8 25.f3 a5 26.Qd6 Qxc4+ 27.Kf2 {…1-0, Shirov Alexei (ESP) 2726 – Gauglitz Gernot (GER) 2397 , Germany 12/13/2008 Bundesliga 2008/09})

Position after Magnus Carlsen castled on move 7.

Position after Magnus Carlsen castled on move 7.


8.Qd2 {Viswanathan Anand chooses an aggressive line that can lead to very sharppositions with kings castled on opposite sides of the board.}

8… Nc6 {Magnus Carlsen takes the road less traveled. Most common at high-level chess is 8…c5.}
( 8…c5 9.d5 Bxc3 10.bxc3 Qd6 11.f4 Nd7 12.e5 Qc7 13.h4 c4 14.h5
Nb6 15.Nf3 Bg4 16.hxg6 fxg6 17.Ng5 Rad8 18.d6 exd6 19.Rxh7 Qc5
20.Rh6 dxe5 21.Rxg6+ Kh8 22.Nf7+ Kh7 23.Rh6+ Kg7 24.Nxd8 Rxd8
25.Rh4 Rxd2 26.Rxg4+ Kf8 27.Kxd2 Qf2+ 28.Be2 {…0-1, Riazantsev Alexander (RUS) 2710 – Edouard Romain (FRA) 2607 , Belfort 6/ 9/2012 Ch France (team) 2012})

Magnus Carlsen chooses the rarely played 8... Nc6.

Magnus Carlsen chooses the rarely played 8… Nc6.


9.Nf3 Bg4 {Magnus Carlsen is planning on exchanging his bishop for Anand’s knight and then attepting to undermine Vishy’s control of the center.}

10.d5 {If Viswanathan Anand would have castled queen-side right away then Magnus would have had the strong response of 10…e5!}

Position after Anand plays 10. d5.

Position after Anand plays 10. d5.


10… Bxf3 {All of the coming exchanges will do little to blunt the sharpness of this
position. Viswanathan Anand is definately playing more aggressively the second time around.}
11.Bxg7 Kxg7

12.gxf3 Ne5

13.O-O-O c6 {Magnus Carlsen had to use a lot of time on this move in order to be prepared to meet 14. f4, 14. Qc3 and 14. Bh3.}

Position after Carlsen plays 13... c6.

Position after Carlsen plays 13… c6.

14.Qc3 {More sharp play for Viswanathan Anand as he chooses to pin Carlsen’s knight and allow his rook to stare down black’s queen.}
14… f6 {Carlsen takes care of one of his problems.}

15.Bh3 {15. Bh3 unifies white’s rooks and stops Carlsen from playing the menacing Rc8.}

Position after Anand played 15. Bh3.

Position after Anand played 15. Bh3.


cxd5 16.exd5 {Magnus Carlsen has managed to ruin Viswanathan Anand’s pawn structure. As compensation, Vishy will be able to kick Magnus’ knight away from e5 with ease and will remain in control of e6.}

16… Nf7 {Magnus Carlsen ops to redeploy his knight before Anand gets to do any “kicking.”}

Position after Carlsen plays 16... Nf7.

Position after Carlsen plays 16… Nf7.

17.f4 {Viswanathan Anand decides to play f4 to hold Carlsen’s kingside in place. An
alternative idea would be simply playing Kb1 in order to move white’s king out of the dangerous c-file.}
17… Qd6 {One thing is for sure, after this move it seems really hard for white to penetrate black’s position.}
18.Qd4 Rad8 19.Be6 {Eventually, we knew that the bishop would find its way to e6.}

Position after Anand plays 19. Be6.

Position after Anand plays 19. Be6.


19… Qb6 {Magnus offers Anand a chance at an endgame.}

20.Qd2 {This is a real turning point in the game. In order to avoid the endgame, Anand
retreats his queen to a less effective square. Basically, Anand is willing to
allow Magnus to gain some initiative in order to avoid steering his first opportunity with the white pieces toward a draw.}

Position after Anand plays 20. Qd2.

Position after Anand plays 20. Qd2.


20… Rd6

21.Rhe1 {Anand’s last two moves have been sub-optimum. On move 21, Kb1 or Qe3 would have been better choices and kept alive the possibility of weaponizing the h-pawn.}

Nd8 {Magnus Carlsen is more than happy to trade his weak knight for Anand’s influential bishop.}

Position after Carlsen plays 21... Nd8.

Position after Carlsen plays 21… Nd8.

22.f5 {Viswanathan Anand didn’t have to go along with Carlsen’s plans. He could have
simply retreated his bishop to h3 and left black with a poorly placed knight.}
22… Nxe6

23.Rxe6 {Black seems better after the trade of the knight for the bishop. Now, Anand
must be careful to not allow Magnus any more opportunities to improve his position.}

23… Qc7+

24.Kb1 Rc8 {Magnus Carlsen allows Anand to keep his rook on e6 a little longer. Had Carlsenplayed Rxe6 then play likely would have continued like this:}( 24…Rxe6 25.dxe6 Rc8 26.Qc3 Qxc3 27.bxc3 Kf8 28.Rd7 b6 29.fxg6hxg6 30.Rxa7 Rc6 31.Kc2 g5 )

Position after Carlsen plays 24... Rc8.

Position after Carlsen plays 24… Rc8.


25.Rde1 Rxe6 {At this point, Carlsen can not hold off on trading rooks any longer.}

26.Rxe6 Rd8

27.Qe3 {Despite some of the analysis I have seen posted around the internet, this is very drawish.}


Position after Anand plays 27. Qe3.

Position after Anand plays 27. Qe3.


27… Rd7

28.d6 exd6

29.Qd4 Rf7

30.fxg6 hxg6

31.Rxd6 {Anand’s pawns on f2 and h2 are weak but he has more active pieces than Carlsen.}

Position after Anand plays 31. Rxd6.

Position after Anand plays 31. Rxd6.

31… a6

32.a3 Qa5

33.f4 {Both combatants are playing fairly rapidly through this phase of the game
demonstrating that they are equally comfortable with this kind of endgame.}

Position after Anand plays 33. f4.

Position after Anand plays 33. f4.

33… Qh5

34.Qd2 Qc5

35.Rd5 Qc4

36.Rd7 Qc6

37.Rd6 Qe4+

38.Ka2 Re7

39.Qc1 {Anand is on the defensive but there is little chance for Carlsen to make any signifigant progress.}

Position after Anand plays 39. Qc1.

Position after Anand plays 39. Qc1.

39… a5

40.Qf1 a4

41.Rd1 Qc2 {Magnus continues to make small improvements in hopes of discovering a deadly combination.}

Position after Carlsen plays 41... Qc2.

Position after Carlsen plays 41… Qc2.

42.Rd4 Re2

43.Rb4 b5 {One last little trap. If Anand captures the pawn on b5 then Carlsen will play Qc4+!}

Position after Carlsen plays 43. b5.

Position after Carlsen plays 43. b5.

44.Qh1 {Viswanathan Anand is far too good of a player to fall for scholastic chess tactics.}

44… Re7

45.Qd5 Re1

46.Qd7+ Kh6

47.Qh3+ Kg7

48.Qd7+ {And game 1 of the 2014 FIDE World Chess Championship ends in a draw by way of perpetual check.}

"And game 1 of the 2014 FIDE World Chess Championship ends in a draw by way of perpetual check."

“And game 1 of the 2014 FIDE World Chess Championship ends in a draw by way of perpetual check.”


Official site for the 2014 Fide World Chess Championship in Sochi, Russia.

Carlsen vs. Anand 2014: Rematch of Generations

November 8, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Garry Kasparov

November 7, 2014

New York City

Why is Fabiano Caruana Dominating the Strongest Chess Tournament Ever?

September 4, 2014
Fabiano Caruana dominating performance in the 2014 Sinquefield Cup is made possible by a combination of his rare talent, passion for the game, hard work and experience.

Fabiano Caruana’s dominating performance in the 2014 Sinquefield Cup is made possible by a combination of his rare talent, passion for the game, hard work and experience.


Yesterday in chess class, one of my students asked me, “How is it possible for Fabiano Caruana to play chess so well?” I answered her by saying that it is a,”Combination of talent, passion for chess, hard work and experience.” When another child asked me about his experience, I explained that, “It takes learning from thousands of losses to become any good at chess.” I then set up the position below in which Torres Chess and Music Academy coach Emory Tate provides a valuable learning moment to the young Fabiano Caruana.


Position from Fabiano Caruana vs Emory Tate. Black to move and win!

Position from Fabiano Caruana vs Emory Tate. Black to move and win!


Here is the game in its entirety:


[Event “Tournament ‘New York Masters'”]
[Site “New York (USA)”]
[Date “2003”]
[Round “1”]
[White “Caruana Fabiano (ITA)”]
[Black “Tate Emory (USA)”]
[Result “0-1”]
[Eco “B22”]
[Annotator “Chris Torres”]
[Source “Chris’ Portable Treasury of Chess Games”]
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.c3 d5 4.exd5 exd5 5.d4 c4 {Emory Tate chose a different path in his fine victory over Mechem.}
( 5…Nc6 6.Nbd2 Be6 7.Bd3 c4 8.Bc2 b5 9.Nf1 Bd6 10.Ng3 Nf6 11.Nf5
Bxf5 12.Bxf5 Qe7+ 13.Qe2 Ne4 14.Ng5 Nxg5 15.Bxg5 f6 16.Be3 g6
17.Bc2 O-O 18.Qf3 Qf7 19.O-O b4 20.Bf4 Bxf4 21.Qxf4 bxc3 22.bxc3
Rab8 23.Rab1 Rxb1 24.Rxb1 Qe6 25.Kf1 {…0-1, Mechem P – Tate Emory (USA) 2370 , Illinois 1996 It (open)}
) 6.Be2 ( 6.b3 cxb3 7.axb3 Bd6 8.Bd3 Ne7 9.Nbd2 Bf5 10.Nf1 O-O
11.Ne3 Bxd3 12.Qxd3 Qd7 13.O-O Nbc6 14.Ba3 f5 15.Bxd6 Qxd6 16.c4
f4 17.Ng4 Ng6 18.Rfe1 Rae8 19.h4 Qd7 20.Rxe8 Rxe8 21.h5 Nge7
22.Nge5 dxc4 23.bxc4 Nxe5 24.Nxe5 Qf5 25.Rxa7 Qxh5 {…1-0, Rublevsky Sergei (RUS) 2683 – Simonian Hrair (ARM) 2473 , Warsaw 12/18/2010 Ch Europe (active)}
) Bd6 7.O-O a6 ( 7…Ne7 8.b3 cxb3 9.axb3 Nbc6 10.c4 O-O 11.Nc3
Be6 12.Bg5 Qd7 13.Bh4 Rfe8 14.c5 Bc7 15.Nb5 Bg4 16.Nxc7 Qxc7
17.Bg3 Qd7 18.Ne5 Bxe2 19.Qxe2 Nxe5 20.dxe5 Nc6 21.f4 d4 22.Qc4
Qe6 23.Qxe6 fxe6 24.Rfd1 Red8 25.Ra4 a6 26.Rd3 Rd5 27.b4 {…0-1, Chakurira S (ZIM) 2171 – Lautier Joel (FRA) 2365 , Adelaide 1988 Ch World (juniors) (under 20)}
) 8.Ne5 {+0.07 CAP} ( 8.b3 cxb3 9.axb3 Ne7 ( 9…Nf6 10.Bb5+
{+0.48 CAP} ) 10.Re1 O-O 11.Ba3 Nbc6 12.Bd3 Ng6 13.Bxd6 Qxd6
14.Bxg6 hxg6 15.Ra2 Bf5 16.Rae2 Rac8 17.Re3 a5 18.Nbd2 b5 19.Ne5
b4 20.Nxc6 Rxc6 21.c4 a4 22.c5 Qf6 23.bxa4 Qxd4 24.Nb3 Qxd1 25.Rxd1
Ra8 26.a5 Bc2 27.Rxd5 Re6 {…1/2-1/2, Timmermans Ivo (NED) 2247 – Pavlovic Milos (SRB) 2531 , Vlissingen 8/ 6/2011 It (open)}
) ( 8.Re1 Ne7 9.b3 cxb3 10.axb3 Nbc6 11.Bd3 O-O 12.Ng5 g6 13.h4
h5 14.Nd2 Bg4 15.Qc2 Rc8 16.Qb2 Qd7 17.Ngf3 Nf5 18.c4 Rfe8 19.Ne5
Bxe5 20.dxe5 Nxh4 21.cxd5 Qxd5 22.Ne4 Qxd3 23.Nf6+ Kh8 24.Nxe8
Be6 25.Nd6 Nd4 26.Be3 Ndf3+ 27.Kh1 Nxe1 {…0-1, Flaquer Luis (DOM) 2274 – Stanojoski Zvonko (MKD) 2485 , Khanty Mansyisk 9/23/2010 Olympiad}
) Ne7 {This move deserves more attention and is yet another invention by Emory Tate.}
9.Bf3 Nbc6 10.Re1 O-O 11.b3 cxb3 12.axb3 Be6 13.Bg5 Qc7 14.Bxe7
Nxe7 15.Qd2 Rac8 16.h3 {This move unnecessarily creates weakness around white’s king.}
Ng6 {The only thing Emopry doesn’t like about his position is Fabiano’s knight on e5, so he is fixing that.}
17.Nxg6 hxg6 {Black’s position is now better.} 18.Qg5 {?} {
Fabiano makes a strategic and tactical error. The strategic mistake is
attacking when he is not in a superior position. Emory will show us how to
punish the tactical mistake of placing the queen on g5.} Bf4
{!} {The queen is a dead woman walking.} 19.Qh4 g5 {!} 20.Qh5
g6 21.Qh6 g4 {!} {And that my friends is how it’s done! Once again, Emory Tate uses creativity and precise tactics to bust his opponent.}


Solution: After Emory plays 18...Bf4, Fabiano's queen is a, Dead Woman Walking!"

Solution: After Emory plays 18…Bf4, Fabiano’s queen is a, “Dead Woman Walking!”

An American in Tromso

August 12, 2014

Sam Shankland is sensational in his Chess Olympiad debut.


After eight rounds against a difficult international field, Grandmaster Sam Shankland of the United States remains undefeated in Tromso, Norway. Those of us from the United States and especially California couldn’t be prouder of our representative at the 41st Chess Olympiad. Below is my personal favorite from Sam’s play and I invite you to enjoy the game while raising a glass to the United States of America’s newest international chess star.


Sam Shankland has a lot to smile about. (photo from:

Sam Shankland has a lot to smile about these days. (photo from:


[Event “41’st Chess Olympiad”]

[Site “Tromso, Norway”]

[Date “2014.8.8”]

[Round “6”]

[White “Guillermo Vazquez”]

[Black “Samuel Shankland”]

[Result “0-1”]

[Eco “B12”]

[Annotator “Chris Torres”]


{[ CARO-KANN,B12]} 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.h4 {Guillermo Vazquez chooses a very aggressive line as white. The idea is to add to his control on the kingside while creating threats against Shankland’s Bishop on f5. Many amateur players have allowed white to trap their bishop with pawn advances to g4, h5, and f3.}

The position after 4. h4

The position after 4. h4


h5 {Of course, there is nothing amateur about GM Sam Shankland’s chess and he chooses the best line to avoid white’s plans.}

5.Bg5 {This early bishop move gives black a nice target on “b7.” Nc3 is a fine alternative here and can be seen in the game below:}

( 5.Nc3 e6 6.Bd3 Bxd3 7.Qxd3 Qb6 8.Bg5 Qa6 9.Qd2 c5 10.Nf3 cxd4

11.Ne2 Nd7 12.O-O Ne7 13.Nexd4 Nc6 14.a4 Nxd4 15.Nxd4 Qb6 16.a5

Qa6 17.c4 Qxc4 18.Rfc1 Qb4 19.Qc2 Nc5 20.a6 Nxa6 21.Rxa6 Qxd4

22.Qc7 Bb4 23.Rxe6+ fxe6 24.Qxg7 Rf8 {…1-0, Zelcic Robert (CRO) 2564  – Bartels Hans A (NED) 2297 , Caorle 1993 It (open)})

Qb6 {Sam Shankland develops with a threat and grabs the initiative. So much for trying to play a peaceful Caro-Kann.}

6.Bd3 {!?} {Guillermo Vazquez is willing to pay the price of a pawn on “b2” or “d4” in order to gain a strong attack. In a sense, he is allowing Sam Shankland to pick his own poison.}

The position after 6. Bd3

The position after 6. Bd3


Qxd4 {Sam chooses the pesto rather than the hemlock.}

( 6…Bxd3 {was Alexei Shirov’s choice in a nice victory over Anand.}

7.Qxd3 Qa6 8.Qf3 e6 9.Ne2 c5 10.c3 Nc6 11.Nd2 Nge7 12.Nb3 cxd4

13.cxd4 Nf5 14.O-O Be7 15.Bxe7 Ncxe7 16.g3 b6 17.Nf4 g6 18.Nh3

O-O 19.Qf4 Qe2 20.Rfd1 Rac8 21.Rd2 Qg4 22.Qxg4 hxg4 23.Ng5 a5

24.f3 Rc4 25.Kf2 Rfc8 26.fxg4 {…0-1, Shirov Alexei (ESP) 2713  – Anand Viswanathan (IND) 2817 , Leon  6/ 5/2011 Match “Leon Masters”}) ( 6…Qxb2 7.Bxf5 Qxa1 8.e6 {Is probably what Guillermo Vazquez was hoping for.})

7.Nf3 {Vazquez develops with a threat and is still hoping Shankland plays Qxb2.}

Qg4 {Sam Shankland avoids his opponent’s plans while simultaneously placing the queen in a very dangerous position for white.}

( 7…Qxb2 8.Bxf5 Qxa1 9.e6 Nh6 10.exf7+ Kxf7 11.Bc8 Na6 12.Bh3

e5 13.O-O Bd6 14.Nfd2 Ng4 15.Bxg4 hxg4 16.Qxg4 Nc5 17.Nb3 Qxa2

18.Qf5+ Kg8 19.Nc3 Qa6 20.Nxc5 Bxc5 21.Qe6+ Kh7 22.h5 Qc4 23.h6

Rhg8 24.Qf5+ Kh8 25.Qh3 g6 26.Bf6+ Kh7 27.Qd7+ {…1-0, Kislinsky Alexey (UKR) 2495  – Krutul Piotr (POL) 1854 , Warsaw 12/16/2006 Ch Europe (active)})

The position after 7... Qg4

The position after 7… Qg4



8.O-O {White’s best move is to castle into danger. Below is fine example of strong play for black had white chosen to play Nc3 instead.}

( 8.Nc3 e6 9.O-O Nd7 10.Bxf5 Qxf5 11.Re1 Be7 12.Nd4 Qg4 13.Qd2

Bc5 14.Nb3 Be7 15.Nd4 Bxg5 16.hxg5 h4 17.f3 Qh5 18.Rad1 Ne7 19.Ne4

O-O 20.Nf2 a6 21.b4 Qh7 22.Ng4 Nf5 23.c4 Rfd8 24.c5 a5 25.bxa5

Nxd4 26.Qxd4 Rxa5 27.Re2 Rxc5 {…0-1, Malykh Yuriy A (RUS) 2140  – Airapetian Gor (RUS) 2451 , Lipetsk  3/28/2010 Ch Region})

Bxd3 {Sam decides to exchange the bishop which lacks scope for his opponent’s most active piece.}

( 8…e6 9.Be2 Qb4 10.c4 Ne7 11.Nc3 dxc4 12.Nd2 b5 13.a4 Nd7 14.axb5 cxb5 15.Nxb5 Nd5 16.Nxc4 Be7 17.Nbd6+ {1-0, Robson Ray (USA) 2466 – Rowley Robert (USA) 2234, Tulsa (USA) 2008.03.30})

9.Qxd3 {Vazquez recaptures while developing rather than attempting to restablish a pawn on “d4” by playing cxd3.}

e6 {Sam Shankland creates a standard Caro-Kann pawn structure in route to playing Be7.}

10.Nbd2 {The knight is better placed here rather than on “c3” because white will want to have the ability to move his c-pawn soon.}

Be7 {Shankland is a solid pawn up but will have to defend accurately in order to achieve victory against Vazquez’s dynamic style.}

11.c4 {Guillermo Vazquez is a very bold chess player.}

The position after 11. c4

The position after 11. c4


11… Bxg5

12.Nxg5 Ne7

13.Qb3 {The real reason behind “11. c4.”}

b6 {Shankland is playing very accurately when it counts the most.}

The position after 13... b6

The position after 13… b6


14.cxd5 cxd5

15.Rac1 Nbc6 {Sam’s defensive skills are exceptional.}

16.f4 {Vazquez is striking furiously on all sides of the board.}

The position after 16. f4

The position after 16. f4


Rc8 {Shankland is performing perfectly under heavy fire.}

17.Qd3 Nf5

18.Ndf3 O-O {Sam Shankland has survived unscathed! Unfortunately for Guillermo Vazquez, his brute-force attacking style has left plenty of holes in his position.}

The position after 18... 0-0

The position after 18… 0-0


19.Nh2 Qg3 {At this point, trading queens is no longer an option for white.}



The position after 20. Qd1

The position after 20. Qd1


20… Nxe5 {!} {Now it is Shankland’s turn to attack.}

21.Rxc8 {if} ( 21.fxe5 {then} Qe3+ 22.Rf2 Rxc1 {!} )

Rxc8 22.fxe5 {There are alternatives for white but they would just elongate the misery.}

Qe3+ {!} {Now Vazquez can either drop a queen, get checkmated or resign. He chooses the latter.}








World Chess Championship 2013: Anand Stops the Bleeding in Round 7

November 20, 2013
Anand managed to stop the bleeding in round 7. (phot courtesy of

Anand managed to stop the bleeding in round 7. (phot courtesy of


After two difficult losses in game 5 and game 6, Viswanathan Anand was able to regain his form and create a draw in round 7. To his fans, this was seen as a disappointing result. Anand’s many critics seem unable to comprehend that, “Sometimes, in order to win the war, you must first stop the bleeding.”

Below are my notes on round 7:


[Event “World Chess Championship”]
[Site “Chennai”]
[Date “2013.11.18”]
[Round “7”]
[White “Viswanathan Anand”]
[Black “Magnus Carlsen”]
[Result “1/2-1/2”]
[Eco “C65”]
[Annotator “Chris Torres”]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 {Another Ruy Lopez, Berlin. If you are a regular reader of my blog you may just have a new line in your repertoir.}

The Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defence.

The Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defence.

4.d3 Bc5 5.Bxc6 {Anand has castled here in the past.}

( 5.O-O Nd4 6.Nxd4 Bxd4 7.c3 Bb6 8.Nd2 c6 9.Ba4 O-O 10.Nc4 Bc7
11.Ne3 d5 12.Qf3 d4 13.cxd4 Qxd4 14.Bc2 Be6 15.Rd1 Bb6 16.h3
Rad8 17.Bb3 Bxb3 18.axb3 Qb4 19.Nc4 Nd7 20.Bd2 Qxb3 21.Bc3 Bc5
22.Nxe5 Nxe5 23.Bxe5 Bd4 24.Bxd4 Rxd4 {…1/2-1/2, Anand Viswanathan (IND) 2817 – Kramnik Vladimir (RUS) 2781 , Moscow 9/ 2/2011 Memorial M.Botvinnik (active)}


6.Nbd2 {“I chose a line that both of us had played quite a bit in the past. 6.Nbd2.”-Viswanathan Anand}
Bg4 {“He went for Bg4 instead. Then you get a slow kind of manoeuvring game after
the next three moves. White has two plans, which is, one is to play f4 and the
other like in the game which is to play on the h-file.”-Viswanathan Anand Perhaps Anand was hoping for one of these lines:}
( 6…Be6 7.O-O Bd6 8.b3 Nd7 9.Nc4 Bxc4 10.bxc4 O-O 11.Rb1 b6
12.g3 f5 13.exf5 Rxf5 14.Qe2 Nc5 15.Be3 Ne6 16.Nd2 Qf6 17.Qg4
Rf8 18.Ne4 Qf7 19.a4 h5 20.Qe2 Be7 21.a5 Qg6 22.axb6 axb6 23.Kh1
Rf3 24.Rbe1 Bb4 25.Ra1 Qg4 26.Qd1 {…1/2-1/2, Carlsen Magnus (NOR) 2843 – Aronian Levon (ARM) 2821 , Sao Paulo 9/28/2012 It “Final Masters” (cat.22)}
) ( 6…Nd7 7.O-O O-O 8.Nc4 Re8 9.Be3 Bxe3 10.fxe3 a5 11.a4 b6
12.Qe1 Ba6 13.Ncd2 Re6 14.Nh4 g6 15.Qg3 Qf8 16.Rf2 Qg7 17.Qh3
Rd8 18.g4 Rf6 19.Ndf3 Bc8 20.Kh1 Nc5 21.Qg3 Re8 22.b3 Re7 23.h3
Rd6 24.Kh2 h6 25.g5 h5 26.Nd2 {…1/2-1/2, Zvjaginsev Vadim (RUS) 2664 – Petrosian Tigran L (ARM) 2613 , Plovdiv 10/19/2010 Cup European Club}

7.h3 {Nc4 was tried with success here.} ( 7.Nc4 Nd7 8.Be3 Bxe3
9.Nxe3 Bxf3 10.Qxf3 Qf6 11.Qxf6 Nxf6 12.Nc4 Nd7 13.O-O-O c5 14.Rdf1
Ke7 15.f4 f6 16.fxe5 fxe5 17.Ne3 Ke6 18.Nd5 Rac8 19.Rf5 c6 20.Ne3
Rcf8 21.Rhf1 g6 22.Rxf8 Rxf8 23.Rxf8 Nxf8 24.Kd2 Nd7 25.Ke2 Nf6
26.Kf3 b6 {…1-0, Libiszewski Fabien (FRA) 2509 – Michalczak Thomas (GER) 2320 , Reykjavik 3/11/2012 It (open)}

Bh5 {Magnus Carlsen’s move seems the most logical. If black captures he gets rid of
a good pin and helps white develop. Below is a game where white won after the bishop captures on f3:}
( 7…Bxf3 8.Qxf3 Nd7 9.Qg3 Qf6 10.Nc4 O-O 11.O-O Rfe8 12.a4
Nf8 13.Bg5 Qe6 14.Bd2 Ng6 15.b4 Bf8 16.Qg4 b6 17.g3 f6 18.Bc3
Bd6 19.Ne3 Kh8 20.Kg2 a6 21.Qf3 Ne7 22.h4 b5 23.Rfb1 Qd7 24.h5
h6 25.Qg4 Qxg4 26.Nxg4 Nc8 27.Bd2 {…1-0, Adams Michael (ENG) 2724 – Fressinet Laurent (FRA) 2693 , Germany 3/17/2012 Bundesliga 2011/12}

8.Nf1 {This is an innovation that has never been played at a high level before.
Amazing that on move 8, Anand introduces a new move to the world.}

By placing his knight on f1, Anand played an early innovation in the Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defence.

By placing his knight on f1, Anand played an early innovation in the Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defence.


9.Ng3 {Viswanathan Anand faced a lot of criticism for his play in this game and the
match. I, for one, enjoy the fact that he has given white a new knight placement in the oldest of chess openings.}
Bxf3 10.Qxf3 {Anand has better development and a better pawn structure.}
g6 {Magnus Carlsen plays a slow move but one that takes key squares away from Anand’s knight.}
11.Be3 Qe7 12.O-O-O O-O-O 13.Ne2 {So far the only result from Anand’s new knight placement was causing black to
play g6. Since the knight has no future on g3, Anand will attempt to find a better location to justify his earlier innovation.}

Carlsen's pawn to g6 seems to have shut down Anand's earlier innovation.

Carlsen’s pawn to g6 seems to have shut down Anand’s earlier innovation.

Rhe8 {Other than his knight on d7, Magnus Carlsen has pretty good piece placement.}
14.Kb1 {Anand takes a moment to improve king safety a little. However, Carlsen wasn’t
threatening anything in particular. This is where his fans would like to see
him be a little more aggressive. Perhaps something like this:}
( 14.g4 Qe6 15.Kb1 Kb8 16.Bxc5 Nxc5 17.Qe3 b6 18.Rhf1 f5 19.exf5
gxf5 20.d4 {and white has a small advantage in a complex situation.} )
b6 {This move doesn’t look right. However, if the “Mozart of Chess” thinks his king should be on b7, who am I to argue?}
15.h4 {Anand honestly thought this would put pressure on his opponent.}

Anand's h-pawn embarks on a senseless expedition.

Anand’s h-pawn embarks on a senseless expedition.


16.h5 {I really see no reason to believe that this plan should cause black any problems.}

17.Qxe3 {Anand is playing simply to stop the bleeding from his last two losses. If he
had been playing for a win, Anand would have taken with the f-pawn.}

18.hxg6 hxg6 19.g3 {Viswanathan Anand just wants a draw to break his losing streak.}
a5 {!?} {Magnus Carlsen signals that he is willing to try and make it three wins in a
row. Safer and should I say more proper would be to challenge Anand for the h-file by playing rook to h8.}
20.Rh7 Rh8 21.Rdh1 Rxh7 22.Rxh7 Qf6 23.f4 Rh8 24.Rxh8 Qxh8 {With the rooks off the board, the drawing chances are much higher. Anand must not blunder and then he will have achieved his unstated goal of a draw.}

If Anand can avoid blundering, he can achieve his draw.

If Anand can avoid blundering, he can achieve his draw.

25.fxe5 Qxe5 26.Qf3 f5 {Now Anand can trade away his pawn center as Carlsen allows Anand’s queen to become an equal to his own. ;-)}
27.exf5 gxf5 28.c3 {There is a 0% chance that Carlsen would allow Anand to fork his knight and queen with pawn to d4.}
Ne6 29.Kc2 Ng5 30.Qf2 Ne6 31.Qf3 Ng5 32.Qf2 Ne6 {The game is drawn by the threat of repitition. Magnus Carlsen showed a lot of maturity in this game while Anand showed very little fight.} 1/2-1/2


Fide World Chess Championship 2013:

Game 1 Analysis

Game 2 Analysis

Game 3 Analysis

Game 4 Analysis

Game 5 Analysis

Game 6 Analysis



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