Posts Tagged ‘FIDE world championship 2014’

Carlsen vs Anand 2014 World Chess Championship: Game 5 Analysis

November 15, 2014

With both players even after four games and Magnus Carlsen due to get the white pieces in rounds 6 and 7, it was important for Viswanathan Anand to make good use of being white in round 5. Vishy once again began with “1. d4” but this time, a more prepared Carlsen, demonstrated his incredible knowledge of the Queen’s Indian Defense at a lightning fast pace. Anand responded to Magnus’ rapid moves with novel ideas which kept the pressure on Carlsen throughout the game. The young Norwegian never cracked and when the dust settles he was able to hold Vishy to just a draw. Still, this was my personal favorite round from the 2014 FIDE World Chess Championship as both contestants seemed to be performing at their best.


Viswanathan Anand vs Magnus Carlsen 2014(photo from:

Viswanathan Anand vs Magnus Carlsen 2014(photo from:


I thoroughly enjoyed the entire game but, in particular, I loved how Viswanathan Anand dared Magnus Carlsen to gobble a pawn on b2 with his queen on move twenty. Had Carlsen accepted the pawn, the “Tiger from Madras” would have chased Magnus’  queen for several moves and caused him all kinds of difficulties. Carlsen finally accepted the pawn on move twenty-two and wisely set up a queen trade to alleviate Anand’s pressure.


[Event “FIDE World Chess Championship 2014”]
[Site “Sochi, Russia”]
[Date “2014.11.14”]
[Round “5”]
[White “Anand, Viswanathan (IND)”]
[Black “Carlsen, Magnus (NOR)”]
[Result “1/2-1/2”]
[Eco “E16”]
[Annotator “Chris Torres”]
[Source “”]

{[ QUEEN’S INDIAN def.,E16]}

1.d4 Nf6

2.c4 e6

3.Nf3 b6 {Magnus Carlsen moves to a Queen’s Indian Defense in round 5. In the Indian Defenses, black attempts to control the center with pieces rather than occupying it with pawns. So, in the Queen’s Indian Defense, the idea is to control d5 and e4 with the fianchetto of the queen’s bishop.}


The move after Magnus Carlsen plays 3... b6.

The position after Magnus Carlsen plays 3… b6.


4.g3 Bb4+ {This move and the subsequent retreat has been gaining popularity in recent years.}

5.Bd2 Be7

6.Nc3 Bb7

7.Bg2 c6 {Generally it is not a good idea to place pawns in front of a strong bishop as Carlsen does here. However, in this line of the Queen’s Indian Defense, Magnus is adding more strength to his coming d5 push.}

8.e4 {Anand constructs a nice wall in the center.}


The move after Viswanathan Anand plays 8. e4.

The position after Viswanathan Anand plays 8. e4.



8… d5 {Carlsen swings a wrecking ball toward Anand’s wall.}

9.exd5 {Anand could have also played 9. cxd5 or 9. e5 as in the games below:}
( 9.cxd5 cxd5 10.e5 Ne4 11.O-O O-O 12.Re1 Nxd2 13.Qxd2 Ba6 14.a3
Nc6 15.b4 Bc4 16.Qe3 b5 17.Nd2 Qb6 18.Nxc4 bxc4 19.Rad1 Rae8
20.f4 g6 21.h4 f6 22.Nxd5 exd5 23.Bxd5+ Kg7 24.Bxc4 fxe5 25.dxe5
Rd8 26.Bd5 Qxe3+ 27.Rxe3 Rd7 28.Red3 Rfd8 {…1/2-1/2, Karpov Anatoly (RUS) 2775 – Tiviakov Sergei (NED) 2655 , Linares 1995 It (cat.17)})

( 9.e5 Ne4 10.cxd5 cxd5 11.O-O O-O 12.Re1 Nxc3 13.bxc3 Ba6
14.h4 Nc6 15.Ng5 Na5 16.Qb1 g6 17.Nf3 Rc8 18.h5 Rc6 19.Bf1 Bxf1
20.Rxf1 Kh8 21.Bh6 Rg8 22.hxg6 Rxg6 23.Bd2 Nc4 24.Qd3 b5 25.Kg2
Qa5 26.Rh1 Nxd2 27.Qxd2 Rxc3 28.Rh5 Rg7 {…1-0, Ruban Vadim (RUS) 2590 – Tiviakov Sergei (NED) 2635 , St. Petersburg 1993 Zt})

9… cxd5

10.Ne5 {With nothing to prevent it, it makes good sense for Anand to move the knight to the outpost at this point.}

10… O-O

11.O-O Nc6 {Magnus Carlsen has played his opening moves noticeably faster in game 5.}


The position after Magnus Carlsen plays 11... Nc6.

The position after Magnus Carlsen plays 11… Nc6.


12.cxd5 {Anand had five serious options to consider here. I give examples of the other four below:}
( 12.Bg5 Rc8 13.Qa4 Na5 14.cxd5 Nxd5 15.Bxd5 Bxd5 16.Bxe7 Qxe7
17.Nxd5 exd5 18.Rfe1 Rfe8 19.Nd3 Qd8 20.Rxe8+ Qxe8 21.Qxe8+ Rxe8
22.Rc1 Nc4 23.b3 Nd6 24.Nf4 Nb5 25.Nxd5 f6 26.Ne3 Nxd4 27.Rc7
Nb5 28.Rb7 Kf8 29.a4 Nd4 30.Rxa7 Nxb3 31.Nd5 Re6 {…1/2-1/2, Abramovic Bosko (SRB) 2500 – Scavo Fernando (ITA) 2185 , Montecatini Terme 1997 It (open)})

( 12.Qa4 Rc8 13.cxd5 exd5 14.Rfe1 a6 15.Bg5 b5 16.Qd1 h6 17.Bxf6
Bxf6 18.Nxd5 Re8 19.Qh5 Nxe5 20.Nxf6+ Qxf6 21.dxe5 Qb6 22.Bxb7
Qxb7 23.Rad1 Re6 24.Rd6 Qe7 25.Rd5 Qb4 26.Re2 Qc4 27.Qf3 Qxa2
28.Rd7 Rf8 29.Kg2 Qc4 30.b3 Qc5 31.Rd5 Qc7 {…1/2-1/2, Almasi Zoltan (HUN) 2650 – Breder Dennis (GER) 2454 , Germany 2003 Bundesliga 2002/03})

( 12.Bf4 Na5 13.Rc1 dxc4 14.Bxb7 Nxb7 15.Nc6 Qd7 16.d5 Bd6
17.Be5 Bxe5 18.Nxe5 Qc7 19.Re1 Rfd8 20.Nc6 Re8 21.Qf3 Nd6 22.dxe6
fxe6 23.Nd4 e5 24.Rxe5 Rxe5 25.Qxa8+ Re8 {1/2-1/2, Wehmeier Stefan (GER) 2400 – Rodriguez Amador (ESP) 2510 , Olot 1996 It (open)})

( 12.Nxc6 Bxc6 13.Bg5 Rc8 14.Bxf6 gxf6 15.cxd5 exd5 16.Rc1
Qd6 17.Qd2 Rfd8 18.Rc2 Qd7 {1/2-1/2, Czerwonski Aleksander (POL) 2360 – Grabarczyk Miroslaw (POL) 2445 , Warsaw 1995 Ch Poland})

12… Nxe5

13.d6 {According to my extensive database, this is a novelty.}
( 13.dxe5 Nxd5 14.Nxd5 Bxd5 15.Bc3 Bxg2 16.Qxd8 Rfxd8 17.Kxg2
Rd5 18.Rfd1 Rad8 19.Rxd5 Rxd5 20.f4 f5 21.Rc1 Kf7 22.Be1 {1/2-1/2, Komljenovic Davor (CRO) 2465 – Palac Mladen (CRO) 2561 , Sibenik 9/10/2010 Ch Croatia (team) (1A)})

13… Nc6 {Magnus Carlsen responded quickly as if he expected Anand’s move.}

14.dxe7 Qxe7

15.Bg5 h6 {Magnus challenges Anand’s pin.}

16.d5{!} {Anand is really adding spice into this game.}


The position after Viswanathan Anand plays 16. d5.

The position after Viswanathan Anand plays 16. d5.



16… Na5 {!?} {Wow! The world was expecting a rook to move to d8 and Carlsen, instead, places a knight on the rim.}

17.Bxf6 {It may have eliminated Anand’s advantage in having the bishop pair, but I still believe 16. d5 to be an exceptional move by Vishy.}

17… Qxf6

18.dxe6 {Magnus Carlsen has some interesting captures to consider.}


The position after Viswanathan Anand plays 18. exd6.

The position after Viswanathan Anand plays 18. dxe6.


18… Qxe6 {Although, it appears that Magnus’ alternative choices are identical to each-other.}
( 18…Bxg2 19.Kxg2 fxe6 20.Qe2 Nc6 ) ( 18…fxe6 19.Qe2 Bxg2
20.Kxg2 Nc6 )

19.Re1 {This move prepares for Vishy’s 20th.}
( 19.Bxb7 Nxb7 20.Qf3 Nc5 21.Rfe1 )

19… Qf6

20.Nd5 {!} {Viswanathan Anand is daring Magnus Carlsen to capture on b2!}


The position after Viswanathan Anand plays 20. d5.

The position after Viswanathan Anand plays 20. d5.


20… Bxd5 {It is worth taking a moment to look at 20… Qxb2:}
( 20…Qxb2 21.Re2 {!} Qa3 22.Re3 Qb2 23.Rb1 Qxa2 24.Ra1 Qc4
25.Rxa5 {!} bxa5 26.Ne7+ Kh8 27.Bxb7 Rad8 28.Qa1 {!} Qc5 {and white has some nice targets while black is left defending.})

21.Bxd5 Rad8

22.Qf3 Qxb2 {Carlsen finally accepts Anand’s challenge.}


The position after Magnus Carlsen plays 22... Qxb2.

The position after Magnus Carlsen plays 22… Qxb2.


23.Rad1 Qf6 {!?} {Carlsen is ready and willing to shatter his king-side pawn structure as long as it relieves the pressure Anand is exerting on him.}

24.Qxf6 gxf6

25.Re7 {Rooks on the seventh rank are very powerful weapons.}

25… Kg7 {There is no point in trying to save the pawn on a7.}


The position after Magnus Carlsen plays 25... Kg7.

The position after Magnus Carlsen plays 25… Kg7.



26.Rxa7 {?} {This obvious move is slightly inaccurate. A better plan would have been leaving the “dead pawn” on the board but also leaving Magnus’ knight stranded.:}
( 26.Rc7 f5 27.Kg2 Rd6 28.Bf3 Rxd1 29.Bxd1 )

26… Nc6

27.Rb7 Nb4

28.Bb3 Rxd1+

29.Bxd1 Nxa2

30.Rxb6 {At this level, there is not much Viswanathan Anand can do to avoid the draw with Magnus Carlsen.}


The position after Viswanathan Anand plays 30. Rxb6.

The position after Viswanathan Anand plays 30. Rxb6.


30… Nc3

31.Bf3 f5 {This obviously prepares for the knight to move to e4.}

32.Kg2 Rd8

33.Rc6 Ne4

34.Bxe4 ( 34.Rc4 Nd2 35.Rb4 Nxf3 36.Kxf3
{and the knight and bishop would have left the board anyways.} )

34… fxe4


The position after Magnus Carlsen plays 34... fxe4.

The position after Magnus Carlsen plays 34… fxe4.


35.Rc4 f5 {I enjoy World Championship Matches because the players continue to play beyond where they would normally agree to a draw. The extra moves demonstrate good technique and are of good educational value.}

36.g4 Rd2

37.gxf5 e3

38.Re4 Rxf2+

39.Kg3 Rxf5 1/2-1/2


The final position of Game 5 from the 2014 Carlsen-Anand World Chess Championship Match.

The final position of Game 5 from the 2014 Carlsen-Anand World Chess Championship Match.


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

Game 1

Game 2

Game 3

Game 4


and the official site for the 2014 FIDE World Chess Championship Match 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

Carlsen vs. Anand: World Chess Championship 2014

November 6, 2014
Official Photograph for Carlsen-Anand 2014

Official Photograph for Carlsen-Anand 2014

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

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

Kasparov vs. Karpov 1986

Kasparov vs. Karpov 1986

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

Vishy Anand needs to go on the offensive.

Vishy Anand needs to go on the offensive.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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