Posts Tagged ‘round 1’

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.

Mikhail Tal Memorial 2012: Round 1 Preview

June 8, 2012

Round 1 of the 2012 Mikhail Tal Memorial Chess Tournament is about to begin. After a hard fought 9 round blitz tournament, we now have a clearer picture of what to expect in the main event. First off, Alexander Morozevich surprised his Russian fans by winning the blitz tournament on his home turf in Moscow. Alexander’s victory should put him in a good mood for tomorrow’s round 1. Hikaru Nakamura’s confidence might be raddled after failing to finish in the top half of the final standings.  However, Nakamura still performed remarkably well especially when compared to Vladimir Kramnik. Kramnik, a former chess world champion, finished second to last with only 2.5 points out of 9 rounds. Either Vladimir really didn’t care or he is a good actor at portraying a lousy blitz player.  All and all, the 2012 Mikhail Tal Memorial Blitz Tournament offered spectacular action and should have wet the appetitites of chess fans for the main event.

Mikhail Tal Memorial Blitz Tournament Final Standings

1) Alexander Morozevich     6.5/9

2) Magnus Carlsen              6.5/9

3) Teimor Radjabov              5.5/9

4) Alexander Grischuk         5.5/9

5) Levon Aronian                  5/9

6) Hikaru Nakamura           5/9

7) Evgeny Tomashevsky     3.5/9

8) Luke McShane                 3/9

9) Vladimir Kramnik           2.5/9

10) Fabiano Caruana           2/9

2012 Mikhail Tal Memorial  Round 1 Pairings

1) Alexander Morozevich

Fabiano Caruana

2) Magnus Carlsen

Vladimir Kramnik

3) Alexander Grischuk

Luke McShane

4) Teimor Radjabov

Evgeny Tomashevsky

5) Levon Aronian

Hikaru Nakamura

2012 Mikhail Tal Memorial Blitz Miniatures

[Event "Tal Memorial (Blitz)"]
[Site "Moscow RUS"]
[Date "2012.06.07"]
[Round "9"]
[Result "1-0"]
[White "A Morozevich"]
[Black "V Kramnik"]
[ECO "A05"]
[PlyCount "18"]

1. Nf3 Nf6 2. g3 b6 3. Bg2 Bb7 4. O-O c5 5. d3 g6 6. e4 Bg7 7. Nh4 Qc8 8.
f4 O-O 9. Nc3 Nc6 1-0

[Event "Tal Memorial (Blitz)"]
[Site "Moscow RUS"]
[Date "2012.06.07"]
[Round "7"]
[Result "1-0"]
[White "F Caruana"]
[Black "L Aronian"]
[ECO "C67"]
[PlyCount "26"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. O-O Nxe4 5. d4 Nd6 6. Bg5 Be7 7. Bxe7
Qxe7 8. Bxc6 dxc6 9. dxe5 Nf5 10. Nc3 Bd7 11. Qe2 O-O-O 12. Rad1 Kb8 13. b4

[Event "Tal Memorial (Blitz)"]
[Site "Moscow RUS"]
[Date "2012.06.07"]
[Round "5"]
[Result "1-0"]
[White "T Radjabov"]
[Black "L Aronian"]
[ECO "D11"]
[PlyCount "34"]

1. d4 d5 2. Nf3 c6 3. c4 Nf6 4. e3 Bg4 5. Nbd2 e6 6. Bd3 Nbd7 7. b3 Bd6 8.
Bb2 Qb8 9. Qc2 a5 10. a3 Bh5 11. h3 Bg6 12. Bxg6 hxg6 13. O-O Rh5 14. e4
dxe4 15. Nxe4 Nxe4 16. Qxe4 Kf8 17. Rfe1 Kg8 1-0

[Event "Tal Memorial (Blitz)"]
[Site "Moscow RUS"]
[Date "2012.06.07"]
[Round "2"]
[Result "1-0"]
[White "E Tomashevsky"]
[Black "V Kramnik"]
[ECO "A29"]
[PlyCount "10"]

1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 e5 3. Nf3 Nc6 4. g3 d5 5. cxd5 Nxd5 1-0

[Event "Tal Memorial (Blitz)"]
[Site "Moscow RUS"]
[Date "2012.06.07"]
[Round "4"]
[Result "1-0"]
[White "L Aronian"]
[Black "V Kramnik"]
[ECO "C53"]
[PlyCount "24"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. c3 Nf6 5. b4 Bb6 6. d3 d6 7. a4 a5 8. b5
Ne7 9. Nbd2 O-O 10. O-O Ng6 11. Ba2 h6 12. Nc4 Ba7 1-0

Tal Memorial 2011: Round 1

November 18, 2011

The first round of the 2011 Tal Memorial featured two decisive games and plenty of hard fought draws. Ian Nepomniachtchi, the lowest rated player in the tournament, used the black pieces to secure a win against the former World Champion Vladimir Kramnik. Vassily Ivanchuk started another tournament with a win by punishing Peter Svidler’s inaccuracies on moves 29 and 30 in their 61 move affair. World Champion Viswanathan Anand worried his fans by making several mistakes but was still able to obtain a draw against Sergei Karjakin. World number one Magnus Carlsen drew in a difficult battle against Levon Aronian. Finally, the American, Hikaru Nakamura looked uninspired in his draw against Boris Gelfland.

Below is Ian Nepomniachtchi’s impressive win over Vladimir Kramnik:

[Event “Tal Memorial”]
[Site “Moscow RUS”]
[Date “2011.11.16”]
[EventDate “2011.11.16”]
[Round “1”]
[Result “0-1”]
[White “Vladimir Kramnik”]
[Black “Ian Nepomniachtchi”]
[ECO “A37”]
[WhiteElo “2800”]
[BlackElo “2730”]
[PlyCount “106”]

1. Nf3 c5 2. c4 Nc6 3. Nc3 e5 4. g3 g6 5. Bg2 Bg7 6. a3 d6 7. O-O Nge7 8. b4 e4 9. Ne1 f5 10. Bb2 O-O 11. d3 Be6 12. dxe4 fxe4 13. Bxe4 Bxc4 14. Nc2 d5 15. Bg2 d4 16. Ne4 Bxe2 17. Qxe2 d3 18. Qg4 Bxb2 19. Rad1 Qc8 20. Qxc8 Raxc8 21. Rxd3 cxb4 22. axb4 Rcd8 23. Rxd8 Rxd8 24. Rb1 Bg7 25. h4 b5 26. Bf1 a6 27. Nc5 Rd2 28. Ne3 Bd4 29. Ne4 Rb2 30. Rxb2 Bxb2 31. Nc2 Nd5 32. Nc5 Ndxb4 33. Nxb4 Nxb4 34. Nd3 Nxd3 35. Bxd3 Kf7 36. f4 Ke6 37. Kf2 Kd5 38. Ke2 Kc5 39. Kd2 a5 40. f5 a4 41. Bc2 a3 42. Bb1 gxf5 43. Kc2 Kb4 44. Ba2 Be5 45. Be6 a2 46. Bxa2 Bxg3 47. h5 h6 48. Kd3 Ka3 49. Bd5 b4 50. Kc2 Be5 51. Bb3 f4 52. Bd5 Bf6 53. Kb1 b3 0-1

Women’s World Chess Championship 2011: Round 1

November 17, 2011

Game one of the 2011 Women’s World Chess Championship concluded in a draw. Koneru Humpy played the Catalan with the white pieces and demonstrated a great understanding of a Catalan middle game. Hou Yifan blunted Humpy’s attack by sacrificing a pawn at the perfect moment to reach an endgame she could play into a draw. I was very impressed with the gutsy play from both Hou Yifan and Koneru Humpy. If the first game sets the tone for the match, the chess world could be treated to the most exciting Women’s World Chess Championship ever.

[Event “Women’s World Championship”]
[Site “Albania”]
[Date “2011.11.14”]
[Round “1”]
[Result “1/2-1/2”]
[White “Humpy Koneru”]
[Black “Yifan Hou”]
[ECO “E05”]

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.g3 d5 4.Bg2 Be7 5.Nf3 O-O 6.O-O dxc4 7.Qc2 a6 8.Qxc4 b5 9.Qc2 Bb7 10.Bd2 Be4 11.Qc1 Bb7 12.a4 b4 13.Bf4 Nd5 14.Bg5 Nd7 15.Bxe7 Qxe7 16.Ne5 Nxe5 17.dxe5 a5 18.Nd2 Ba6 19.Nc4 Qc5 20.Ne3 Qe7 21.Rd1 Rad8 22.Nxd5 exd5 23.Qc6 Bxe2 24.Rxd5 Rxd5 25.Qxd5 c5 26.Re1 Bg4 27.Rc1 Rc8 28.Qc4 h5 29.Bd5 Qd7 30.Re1 Rd8 31.e6 fxe6 32.Bxe6+ Bxe6 33.Rxe6 Qf7 34.h4 Rf8 35.Qe2 Qf3 36.Qxf3 Rxf3 37.Re5 c4 38.Rxa5 Rb3 39.Rc5 Rxb2 40.Rxc4 Kf7 41.Kg2 b3 42.Rb4 g6 43.Kf3 Ra2 44.Rxb3 Rxa4 45.Re3 Kf6 46.Re4 Ra3+ 47.Kf4 Ra2 48.f3 Ra5 49.Rc4 Rf5+ 50.Ke3 Re5+ 51.Re4 Ra5 52.Rf4+ Kg7 53.Rc4 Ra6 54.Rc5 Kf6 55.Rd5 Ra3+ 56.Ke4 Ra6 57.Rd4 Re6+ 58.Kf4 Ra6 59.Rb4 Rc6 60.g4 hxg4 61.Kxg4 Rc5 62.Rb6+ Kg7 63.Re6 Kf7 64.Re4 Ra5 65.f4 Ra1 66.Re3 Kf6 67.Rb3 Rg1+ 68.Rg3 Ra1 69.Rg2 Rb1 70.Rh2 Rg1+ 71.Kf3 Kf5 72.h5 gxh5 73.Rxh5+ Kf6 74.Ra5 Rf1+ 75.Ke3 Re1+ 76.Kf2 Rb1 77.Kg3 Rg1+ 78.Kf3 Rf1+ 79.Kg4 Rg1+ 80.Kf3 1/2-1/2

National Elementary Chess Championship: Round 1 Brilliancy

May 7, 2011

Mission San Jose Elementary student Amit Sant destroyed his competition in round 1 of the 2011 USCF National Elementary Chess Championships. I see Amit play every Monday night at the Mission San Jose Elementary Chess Team and his games regularly contain the tactical bravado displayed in the game below.
   Christopher Rovinski made his first mistake on move 8 when he castled allowing Amit to play e5. Black should have played Qc7 instead. When Christopher played his tenth move he dropped his pawn on h6 and lost his king safety. Christpher’s blunder on move 13 gave Amit Sant a mate in two.

[Event “National Elementary Chess Championship”]
[Site “Dallas, Texas”]
[Date “2011.05.06”]
[Round “1”]
[White “Sant, Amit”]
[Black “Rovinski, Christopher”]
[Result “1-0”]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 a6 5. Bc4 Nf6 6. Nc3 Bb4 7. Qf3 h6 8. O-O
O-O 9. e5 Nh7 10. Qg3 g6 11. Bxh6 Re8 12. Bd3 f5 13. Qxg6+ Kh8 14. Qg7# 1-0

Calchess State Grade Level Championship: Round 1

December 4, 2010

Early results from round 1 of the Calchess Grade Level Championship are arriving. Most of my students were paired with lower rated opponents and had an easy time of it. Below are two nice wins from my students:

[Event “Calchess State Grade Level Championship”]
[Site “Stockton”]
[Date “2010.12.04“]
[Round “1”]
[White “Matthew, Kate”]
[Black “Liu, Edward”]
[Result “0-1”]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bd3 Bc5 4. O-O Nf6 5. Nc3 d5 6. exd5 Nxd5 7. Nxd5 Qxd5
8. Bb5 Bd7 9. Bxc6 Bxc6 10. Ng5 Qxg2# 0-1

[Event “Calchess State Grade Level Championship”]
[Site “Stockton”]
[Date “2010.12.04“]
[Round “1”]
[White “Fargher, Arthur”]
[Black “Arun, Ojas”]
[Result “0-1”]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 d5 3. g3 dxe4 4. Nxe5 Bc5 5. Nc3 Qd4 6. Qe2 Qxe5 7. Bg2 Nf6 8.
Nxe4 Nxe4 9. Bxe4 Nd7 10. d3 O-O 11. Bf4 Qxb2 12. Qd1 Qd4 13. Be3 Bb4+ 14. Ke2 Qf6 15. Rb1 Nb6 16. Rxb4 Bg4+ 17. Bf3 Bxf3+ 18. Kd2 Bxd1 19.
Rxd1 Nd5 20. Rb3 Nxe3 21. fxe3 Qf2+ 22. Kc1 Qxe3+ 23. Rd2 Qd4 24.
c3 Qc5 25. d4 Qc4 26. Rxb7 Rfe8 27. Rd1 Rab8 28. Rxb8 Qxc3+ 29. Kb1 Rxb8# 0-1

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