Posts Tagged ‘world championship chess games’

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: http://susanpolgar.blogspot.com/)

Viswanathan Anand in Sochi, Russia(photo from: http://susanpolgar.blogspot.com/)

 

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 )

15.O-O-O

 

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.}
1-0

 

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.

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World Chess Championship 2013: Anand vs. Carlsen Game 2

November 11, 2013

So, as in game 1, the second round of the 2013 World Chess Championship ended in a rather short draw. Many chess enthusiasts feel that this is the sort of play that gives chess a bad name among sports writers and casual fans. However, this is far to simplistic of a view point given the enormity of what is at stake for both men. Anand and Carlsen are in Chennai to fight for the World Chess Championship. Entertaining their fans must come second to winning the match. When everything is on the line, all that matters in chess is winning.

This is where Viswanathan Anand could have played for a win rather than trading down to a draw. (see move 18)

This is where Viswanathan Anand could have played for a win rather than trading
down to a draw. (see move 18)

[Event “World Chess Championship”]
[Site “Chennai”]
[Date “2013.11.7”]
[Round “2”]
[White “Viswanathan Anand”]
[Black “Magnus Carlsen”]
[Result “1/2-1/2”]
[Eco “B19”]
[Annotator “Chris Torres”]
[Source “”]

1.e4 c6 {Magnus Carlsen chooses the Caro-Kann Defence. Botvinnik and Karpov both played
this defence in World Championships with good effect.}

2.d4 {When black’s first move is a pawn up one square, it is usually best for white to move his “royal” pawn up two squares as well.}
d5 {Black shouldn’t waste time challenging white’s center domination. This is the proper second move of the Caro-Kann.}
3.Nc3 {This is the classical Carro-Kann. If Anand had played 3. e5 it would be the
“Advance Variation” and if Anand had played 3. exd5 it would be the “Exchange
Variation.” The “Classical” and the “Advance” create more problems for black than the “Exchange.”}

dxe4

4.Nxe4 Bf5 5.Ng3 Bg6 6.h4 {This moves grabs space and forces black to scoot his “h” pawn forward a square
so his bishop does not become trapped after white plays “h5.” All this is book knowledge for the Carro-Kann.}

h6

7.Nf3 {Anand could have also played “h5” here and forced the black bishop into the
hole. Both moves are equally as good and the variations can transpose back and forth easily.}

e6 {Other common moves for black include “Nd7” and “Nf6.”}

8.Ne5 {Anand could have also forced Carlsen’s bishop into the hole by playing “h5.”}
Bh7

9.Bd3 {This forces and exchange of bishops which helps Anand develop quickly by recapturing with his queen.}
Bxd3

10.Qxd3 Nd7 11.f4 {This has been played in about 120 high-level games.}
Bb4+ {At first glance, this move looks odd because Anand can easily deflect Carlsen’s
bishop with pawn “c3.” However, black scores relatively well by coaxing white
to place all his pawns on dark squares to interfere with the bishop on “c1.”
The other major choices for black are given below:}
( 11…c5 12.Be3 Qa5+ 13.Bd2 Qa4 14.Qf3 Ngf6 15.Qxb7 Rb8 16.Qc7
cxd4 17.b3 Qa6 18.Qc6 Rb6 19.Qa8+ Rb8 20.Qc6 Rb6 21.Qa8+ Rb8
22.Qc6 {1/2-1/2, Topalov Veselin (BUL) 2733 – Dreev Alexey (RUS) 2676 , Sarajevo 2001 It (cat.16)}
) ( 11…Ngf6 12.Bd2 Bd6 13.O-O-O Qc7 14.Kb1 O-O 15.Ne2 Rad8
16.Qf3 h5 17.Rhg1 c5 18.g4 Bxe5 19.dxe5 Nxg4 20.Ng3 f5 21.exf6
Ndxf6 22.Nxh5 Nxh5 23.Qxg4 Rf5 24.Qe2 Qf7 25.Rde1 Nxf4 26.Bxf4
Rxf4 27.h5 Rf6 28.a3 Rd5 29.Qh2 b6 30.Qb8+ Kh7 31.Rh1 {…1/2-1/2, Anand Viswanathan (IND) 2771 – Ivanchuk Vassily (UKR) 2702 , Linares 1999 It (cat.20)}
)

12.c3 Be7 13.Bd2 Ngf6 14.O-O-O O-O 15.Ne4 Nxe4 ( 15…Nxe5
16.fxe5 Nxe4 17.Qxe4 Qd5 18.Qg4 Kh7 19.b3 c5 20.Bg5 f5 21.exf6
Bxf6 22.c4 Qc6 23.dxc5 Qxc5 24.Qe4+ Kh8 25.Bxf6 Rxf6 26.Rhf1
Rxf1 27.Rxf1 Rd8 28.Kb1 a5 29.g4 a4 30.g5 axb3 31.axb3 Qa3 32.Qf3
Ra8 33.gxh6 Qa1+ 34.Kc2 Qa2+ 35.Kc3 {…1-0, Mrdja Milan (CRO) 2401 – Zelcic Robert (CRO) 2589 , Zagreb 5/13/2008 It (open)}
)

16.Qxe4 Nxe5 ( 16…Nf6 17.Qe2 Qd5 18.g4 h5 19.gxh5 Qe4 20.Qf2
Qf5 21.Rdg1 Nxh5 22.Qf3 Rfd8 23.Rg5 Bxg5 24.hxg5 g6 25.Ng4 Qd5
26.Qh3 Kg7 27.b3 b5 28.Re1 Rh8 29.Nh6 Rad8 30.Re5 Qd6 31.Qe3
Rxh6 32.gxh6+ Kh7 33.Rc5 Qc7 34.Qd3 Rd5 35.Qxb5 Nxf4 36.Rxc6
{…1/2-1/2, Fercec Nenad (CRO) 2477 – Zelcic Robert (CRO) 2531 , Zadar 12/16/2004 It (open)}
) ( 16…f5 17.Qe2 Nxe5 18.dxe5 Qd5 19.c4 Qd7 20.Bb4 Qe8 21.Bd6
c5 22.Qf3 b6 23.Bxe7 Qxe7 24.Rd6 Rad8 25.Qc6 Rc8 26.Qd7 Qxd7
27.Rxd7 Rf7 28.Rd6 Re7 29.h5 Kf7 30.Kd2 Ree8 31.Rd7+ Re7 32.Rd6
Ree8 33.Rd7+ Re7 34.Rd3 Ree8 35.Ke3 Red8 36.Rhd1 {…1-0, Smeets Jan (NED) 2613 – Lauber Arnd (GER) 2465 , Germany 10/21/2012 Bundesliga 2012/13}
)

17.fxe5 Qd5 {I am only aware of two high-level games where this position has occured.}
18.Qxd5 {This is where Viswanathan Anand could have played for a win rather than trading
down to a draw. “Well, I think I have a taken a prudent decision today. Yes,
after the queen exchange there was nothing much happening. It was sharp. I
thought he had more details than me in the line.”-Anand In other words, Anand
felt that if he played “Qg4” Carlsen might have a trick up his sleave. Some
would interpret Anand’s “prudent” play as nothing more than cowardly. Below is my only example after white plays “Qg4.”}
( 18.Qg4 Kh7 19.b3 c5 20.Bg5 f5 21.exf6 Bxf6 22.c4 Qc6 23.dxc5
Qxc5 24.Qe4+ Kh8 25.Bxf6 Rxf6 26.Rhf1 Rxf1 27.Rxf1 Rd8 28.Kb1
a5 29.g4 a4 30.g5 axb3 31.axb3 Qa3 32.Qf3 Ra8 33.gxh6 Qa1+ 34.Kc2
Qa2+ 35.Kc3 Qa5+ 36.Kd3 Rd8+ 37.Ke4 Qc5 {…1-0, Mrdja Milan (CRO) 2401 – Zelcic Robert (CRO) 2589 , Zagreb 5/13/2008 It (open)}
)

cxd5

19.h5 {Anand could have also tried “g4” but I suppose he is still being “prudent.”}
b5

20.Rh3 {Viswanathan Anand smells a drawing line after “Rg3.”}
a5

21.Rf1 Rac8 22.Rg3 {At least in the press conference after game 2, Anand apologized to his fans for playing for the draw with the white pieces.}
Kh7 23.Rgf3 Kg8 24.Rg3 Kh7 25.Rgf3 Kg8 1/2-1/2

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


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