Posts Tagged ‘draw’

World Chess Championship 2013: A Flawless Draw in Round 8

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

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


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

Please enjoy my notes on round 8:


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

d5 {Anand gets a piece of the center.}

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

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

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

All the pieces are going to magically disappear.

All the pieces are going to magically disappear.

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

It doesn't get more drawn than this!

It doesn’t get more drawn than this!


My posts on the Fide World Chess Championship

Round 1 analysis

Round 2 analysis

Round 3 analysis

Round 4 analysis

Round 5 analysis

Round 6 analysis

Round 7 analysis



Anand-Gelfand 2012: Round 6

May 19, 2012

Game six of the 2012 World Chess Championship between Viswanathan Anand and Boris Gelfand began in exactly the same manner as games two and four. By move six, Boris Gelfand decided to try a different line against Anand’s Semi-Slav.  The real fun began when Anand decided to gambit a pawn on move 14. Unfazed by his opponent’s ingenuity, Gelfand guided the position into a “soft landing” and another draw. Below are my light comments on the game:

[Event “Anand-Gelfand World Chess Championship”]

[Site “Moscow, Russia”]

[Date “2012.05.18”]

[Round “6”]

[White “Boris Gelfand”]

[Black “Viswanathan Anand”]

[Result “1/2-1/2”]

[Opening “Semi-Slav”]

1. d4 {Boris Gelfand continues to start with 1 d4.} d5 2. c4 c6 {Again, Anand plays 2 c6.} 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. e3 e6 {A Semi-Slav as in games two and four.} 5. Nf3 a6 {Anand has been liking this Chebanenko style move.} 6. Qc2 {Boris Gelfand chooses to play Qc2. In games two and four he played b3.} c5 {Anand starts the action. Nbd7 is more conservative but very popular.} 7. cxd5 exd5 8. Be2 {8 dxc5 scores poorly for white.} Be6 9. O-O Nc6 10. Rd1 cxd4 {Nb4 here has been producing good results for black. If white responds with 11. Qd2 then black can play Ne4. If white plays 11. Qb1 then Qc8 is best. We may see Anand use this line later in the match.} 11. Nxd4 Nxd4 12. Rxd4 {exd4 looks more natural but leaves white with an isolated pawn.} Bc5 {Develop with threats.} 13. Rd1 Qe7 {This is from Elkin-Jakovljevic 2010. Black won in that encounter. Since then there has been 1 win for white and 1 draw from this position.} 14. Bf3 O-O {Here is something new. In the three other games, black has played Rd8 in order to add a defender to d5. Anand is willing to lose the pawn and play a gambit. In other words, Viswanathan Anand is definately trying for a win.} 15. Nxd5 {Taking with the knight or bishop leads to the same result.} Bxd5 16. Bxd5 Nxd5 17. Rxd5 Rac8 {The point of the gambit. Now black has a dangerous discovered attack.} 18. Bd2 {Boris Gelfand plays the best move. Qd3 would allow Anand even more dangerous development with Rfd8.} Bxe3 {Anand gets his pawn back.} 19. Bc3 Bb6 20. Qf5 Qe6 21. Qf3 {If Qxe6 then Bxf2+.} f6 22. h4 {Kind of odd. Most strong players would play Rab1 and thus stack their rooks.} Qc6 23. h5 {Now we see the Boris intends to keep Anand’s pawns where they are on the dark squares.} Rfd8 24. Rxd8+ Rxd8 25. Qxc6 bxc6 26. Re1 Kf7 27. g4 Bd4 28. Rc1 Bxc3 29. Rxc3 Rd4 {In Anand-Gelfand 2012 this is a draw. If I was playing Anand or Gelfand, I am sure they could teach me how to lose from here.} 1/2-1/2

Anand-Gelfand 2012: Round 2

May 13, 2012

Another Day and another draw. This time round it was Anand who showed no difficulty moving the black pieces in a precisely played Semi-Slav. This, of course was not do to Gelfand playing for a draw. The line he chose to use against Anand’s defense he has used twice and won twice with. It is just in this case, Anand was not as accomodating as the other grand masters Gelfand had tried it on.


[Event “Anand-Gelfand World Chess Championship”]

[Site “Moscow, Russia”]

[Date “2012.05.12”]

[Round “2”]

[White “Boris Gelfand”]

[Black “Viswanathan Anand”]

[Result “1/2-1/2”]

1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 {This is the start of the Slav Defense.} 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. e3 e6 {Now its a Semi-Slav.} 5. Nf3 a6 {Now its what I call the Alekhine Variation. Others call it the Meran. (Often times, the naming of chess openings varies depending on which country you are in or even who you ask. This is why ECO codes are used to classify the openings. The ECO code for this line is D45.)} 6. b3 {One of several choices for white. Others include: Qc2, a4, Bd3, c5 and a3.} Bb4 {Electing to go for the early pin. If Anand wanted more chaos he could have played c5.} 7. Bd2 Nbd7 8. Bd3 O-O 9. O-O Bd6 10. Rc1 {Gelfand has used this move successfully before. So it should be no surprise to Anand.} e5 11. cxd5 cxd5 12. e4 {Rising U.S. star Sam Shankland would approve of Gelfand’s choice. In fact, Sam used it this year as well.} dxe4 13. Nxe4 Nxe4 14. Bxe4 Nf6 {This is the first novelty of the game. Surprising, as Anand’s choice of moves makes perfect sense. Before today, the only other move played here has been exd4.} 15. dxe5 Nxe4 16. exd6 Qxd6 17. Be3 Bf5 18. Qxd6 Nxd6 19. Nd4 Rfe8 20. Nxf5 {Boris Gelfand’s bishop will be faster than Viswanathan Anand’s knight. A small advantage for sure but not enough to have a chance at winning.} Nxf5 21. Bc5 h5 {Anand is unpredictable. I figured for sure he would activate his rook on a8.} 22. Rfd1 Rac8 23. Kf1 {The king is guarding the second rank and moving closer to the center of the board.} f6 24. Bb4 Kh7 {The only way out for Anand’s king.} 25. Rc5 1/2-1/2

Anand-Gelfand 2012: Round 1

May 11, 2012

Round 1 of the 2012 World Chess Championship between Viswanathan Anand and Boris Gelfand was a spectacular contest. My only disappointment with the game is that it did not last longer.

Anand, as I had predicted, played 1. d4 to kick things off. It was Boris Gelfand’s choice of the Grunfeld Defense which surprised chess enthusiasts the world over. Gelfand, as far as I can tell, has never employed this opening in a serious game. The game quickly becomes complicated and the contestants rise to the occasion with very precise moves. I consider the draw to be a psychological win for Anand as he played very well against his opponent’s preparation. On the other side of the coin, Boris Gelfand must be pleased to get a half point with the black pieces as drawing with black and winning with white is a grand master recipe for success.


[Event “Anand-Gelfand World Chess Championship”]

[Site “Moscow RUS”]

[Date “2012.05.11”]

[Round “1”]

[White “Viswanathan Anand”]

[Black “Boris Gelfand”]

[Result “1/2-1/2”]

[ECO “D85”]

[Opening “Grünfeld”]


1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. e4 Nxc3 6. bxc3 Bg7 7. Nf3 c5 8. Bb5+ {Rb1 is a favorite among players of the white pieces.} Nc6 9. d5 Qa5 {Black has scored better than white in this line. Its a good choice by Gelfand.} 10. Rb1 {White has only won 27% of the time from here. But as we see later, Anand is at home in this position.} a6 11. Bxc6+ bxc6 12. O-O Qxa2 13. Rb2 {This move is an invention by Anand. Both should be in unchartered territory here. However, I get the feeling that Gelfand had even prepared for this.} Qa5 14. d6 Ra7 15. Bg5 exd6 16. Qxd6 Rd7 17. Qxc6 Qc7 18. Qxc7 Rxc7 19. Bf4 Rb7 20. Rc2 {Ra2 would have been a more aggressive choice.} O-O 21. Bd6 Re8 22. Nd2 f5 {I was surprised by this move. But why not? Anand has no pieces that use light diagonals left.} 23. f3 fxe4 24. Nxe4 Bf5 {I like black’s position better here. Too bad the game did not continue. It could have been a very interesting endgame study.} 1/2-1/2

Anand-Gelfand 2012: Preview 1

May 10, 2012

As I stated in my last post, most chess players figure that Anand will easily defend his title in the upcoming World Chess Championship. I guarantee you that Viswanathan Anand knows that it will be no easy task to stop his challenger from taking the title from him. In fact, the last time Anand played Gelfand with a world title on the line, Gelfand nearly beat Anand and ended up settling for a draw. Below is the game with some light analysis:

[Event “FIDE World Championship Tournament”]

[Site “Mexico City MEX”] [Date “2007.09.13”]

[Round “1”]

[White “Viswanathan Anand”]

[Black “Boris Gelfand”]

[Result “1/2-1/2”]

[ECO “C42”]

[Opening “Russian Game”]

[Variation “Nimzowitsch Attack”]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 {The Petrov Defense. Many today refer to it as the “Russian Game.” This opening has symetrical tendencies and has a reputation of being dull. However, there are many exciting possibilities and I believe the “dull” reputation is largely do to the players who have made it popular.} 3. Nxe5 d6 4. Nf3 Nxe4 5. Nc3 {This is the Nimzowitsch Attack.} Nxc3 6. dxc3 Be7 7. Be3 Nd7 8. Qd2 Ne5 9. O-O-O O-O 10. h4 Re8 11. h5 Bf6 {This move for black is the invention of Vladimir Kramnik and used in his game against Peter Svidler on 12/18/2005. Kramnik lost his game but Gelfand thinks he can do better here.} 12. Nh2 {Viswanathan Anand may very well be the first player ever to use this move. The iudea is to free up the fpawn to thrust to f4.} h6 13. Be2 Be6 14. f4 Nc4 15. Bxc4 Bxc4 16. b3 {Playing g4 here would take a lot of “guts” but is how one would play for a win with the white pieces.} Bb5 17. Rhg1 Re4 18. Ng4 Qe7 {Black looks slightly better here. He will be able to stack two rooks and a queen in the open file.} 19. Rde1 Re8 20. Bf2 Qd8 21. Rxe4 Rxe4 22. Re1 {This is a mistake! Now Gelfand can play for the win with Rxf4! Play might continue: 23. Nxf6 Qxf6 24. Bd4 Qf5 25. Re7 Re4 26. Rxe4 Qxe4 27. Bxa7 b6 and black has the definate advantage.} Rxe1+ {Gelfand misses the winning move and his chance to be World Champion!} 1/2-1/2

%d bloggers like this: