Posts Tagged ‘world chess championship 2013’

World Chess Championship 2013: Round 10, The Game of Thrones

December 1, 2013

In the final game of the 2013 FIDE World Championship Match, Viswanathan Anand employed the Sicilian Defense with poor effect against Carlsen’s Moscow Variation. Magnus cruised through the opening with a nice advantage in space and remained in control of his destiny for the entire game. The most remarkable aspect of Magnus Carlsen’s play in game 10 was his poise and bravery. Viswanathan Anand even offered Magnus the World Championship title through three-fold repetition draw but Carlsen refused and continued to play for the win. If not for one miscalculation, Carlsen would have won yet another game in which he only needed to draw. His play can be best summed up in the words of his opponent:

“It’s clear he dominated the match. I thought my chances depended on lasting long games without making mistakes and tried to concentrate on that… but in the end it was in vain.The way I lost the fifth game was exactly the way I thought I couldn’t afford to lose. It was a heavy blow… I thought I’d not be afraid of him in long games and match him but this was not to be and then it got worse and worse. Yesterday (Thursday) it was a nice game…today again….I guess when it rains, it pours…It would be just fair enough to congratulate him. My mistakes didn’t happen by themselves, he managed to provoke them. So full credit to him.” -Viswanathan Anand

Game 10: The Game of Thrones. (photo courtesy of

Game 10: The Game of Thrones. (photo courtesy of

[Event “World Chess Championship”]
[Site “Chennai”]
[Date “2013.11.22”]
[Round “10”]
[White “Magnus Carlsen”]
[Black “Viswanathan Anand”]
[Result “1/2-1/2”]
[Eco “B51”]
[Annotator “Chris Torres”]

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Bb5+ {The Moscow Variation has been gaining in popularity and was seen frequently in the Anand-Gelfand World Championship Match.}

4.d4 {Castleing here can end up looking similar to the actual game.}
( 4.O-O Ngf6 5.d4 cxd4 6.Qxd4 a6 7.Bxd7+ Bxd7 8.c4 ) cxd4 5.Qxd4
a6 6.Bxd7+ {Carlsen is happy to exchange his bishop for control of the center.}

7.c4 {This pawn structure is known as the Maroczy Bind. Carlsen’s choice assures that
Anand remains cramped and that white’s pawns are on the opposite color of his bishop.}

White's pawn structure is known as the Maroczy Bind.

White’s pawn structure is known as the Maroczy Bind.

Nf6 {Playing pawn to e6 is a rare choice but produced a fine win in 2010.}
( 7…e6 8.Nc3 Rc8 9.Bg5 f6 10.Be3 Ne7 11.Nd2 Nc6 12.Qb6 Qxb6
13.Bxb6 Ne5 14.b3 Nd3+ 15.Ke2 Nf4+ 16.Kf3 g5 17.g3 Ng6 18.Ke2
h5 19.Bd4 Be7 20.a4 h4 21.Rad1 Kf7 22.f3 Rh7 23.Kf2 Rch8 24.g4
Rc8 25.Ra1 Rhh8 26.Rhd1 Rhf8 27.Nf1 {…0-1, Hasangatin Ramil (RUS) 2508 – Stocek Jiri (CZE) 2567 , Pardubice 7/21/2010 Ch Czech Republic (active) (open)}

8.Bg5 {Knight to c3 is equally as popular as Bishop to g5.}
( 8.Nc3 g6 9.O-O Bg7 10.Be3 O-O 11.Qd3 Rc8 12.Bd4 Qc7 13.Nd2
e5 14.Be3 Be6 15.Bg5 Bxc4 16.Nxc4 Qxc4 17.Qf3 Qe6 18.Bxf6 Qxf6
19.Qd3 Qe6 20.Nd5 Bh6 21.Qb3 Rb8 22.Rad1 Rfc8 23.Rd3 Rc6 24.Rc3
Rc5 25.Rd1 Kg7 26.Qb6 Bg5 27.Rxc5 dxc5 {…1-0, Sanduleac Vasile (MDA) 2446 – Kraemer Martin (GER) 2516 , Khanty Mansyisk 9/22/2010 Olympiad}

e6 {Pawn to h6 is another obvious choice.} ( 8…h6 9.Bh4 g5
10.Bg3 Bg7 11.Nc3 Nh5 12.Qd2 Rc8 13.Qd3 Nxg3 14.hxg3 Qc7 15.Nd2
Be6 16.Nd5 Bxd5 17.exd5 Bxb2 18.Rb1 Bg7 19.O-O O-O 20.Rb3 Qd7
21.Re1 Rc7 22.Nf1 e5 23.a3 f5 24.f3 h5 25.Reb1 Rf7 26.Rb6 Qe7
27.Nd2 Qf6 28.Kh1 {…0-1, Grancharov Georgi (RUS) 2265 – Padevsky Nikola (BUL) 2430 , Sofia 2/14/1972 Ch Bulgaria}

9.Nc3 Be7 10.O-O Bc6 {Anand chooses a rare move. Queen to c7 is regarded as the main line.}
( 10…Qc7 11.Rac1 Rc8 12.b3 O-O 13.Rfd1 Rfd8 14.Bxf6 gxf6 15.Qe3
Kh8 16.Nd4 Rg8 17.Kh1 Rg7 18.f4 Rcg8 19.g3 b6 20.f5 Rg4 21.Nde2
Qb7 22.Nf4 R4g5 23.fxe6 fxe6 24.Nfe2 Re5 25.Nd4 Rg4 26.Re1 Qa8
27.Nf3 Rh5 28.Kg2 b5 29.Nd1 b4 30.Nf2 {…0-1, Sofranov Velizar (BUL) 2210 – Nikologorskiy Konstantin (RUS) 2364 , Prague 8/18/2012 Ch Europe (juniors) (under 18)}

11.Qd3 {I believe this is an invention by Carlsen. The idea is to allow the knight on f3 to move to d4.}
( 11.Rfe1 h6 12.Bh4 e5 13.Qd3 g5 14.Bg3 Nd7 15.h3 Rc8 16.b4 O-O
17.Rad1 Qe8 18.a4 a5 19.b5 Nc5 20.Qe2 Bd7 21.Nh2 f5 22.exf5 Bxf5
23.Ng4 Qg6 24.Ne3 Bd3 25.Qd2 Rf7 26.f3 Rcf8 27.Ned5 Bd8 28.Bf2
Bxc4 {1/2-1/2, Denny Kevin (BAR) 2303 – Zapata Alonso (COL) 2485 , Bridgetown 4/28/2012 Cup Heroes Day}


12.Nd4 Rc8 13.b3 Qc7 {The problem for Anand is that he can not free himself with pawn to b5 or d5.
This is quite a common difficulty for black in the Maroczy Bind.}

The problem for Anand is that he cannot free himself with either pawn o b5 or pawn to d5.

The problem for Anand is that he cannot free himself with either pawn to b5 or pawn to d5.

14.Nxc6 Qxc6 {Anand is still cramped and no longer has the bishop pair as compensation.}
15.Rac1 {Carlsen wisely places his rook in the same file as his opponent’s queen.}

16.Be3 {Carlsen has a very comfortable position with a nice advantage in space.}
Nd7 ( 16…Ng4 17.Bd4 Bg5 18.f4 Bf6 19.h3 Bxd4+ 20.Qxd4 Nf6 21.Rfd1
{and Carlsen is still winning.} )

17.Bd4 Rfd8 18.h3 {Carlsen can afford to play slow moves because Anand is not threatening anything.}

Carlsen can afford to play slow moves because Anand is not threatening anything.

Carlsen can afford to play slow moves because Anand is not threatening anything.

Qc7 {Anand moves his Queen to a dark square in order to move it to the open fifth rank.}
19.Rfd1 Qa5 20.Qd2 {This stops any ideas of Anand playing Qg5 and also threatens Nd5!}
Kf8 21.Qb2 Kg8 {Viswanathan Anand is basically offering the draw by repition here and the World Championship to Carlsen.}
22.a4 {Carlsen plays for the win even though accepting the draw would make him the new World Chess Champion.}

Carlsen plays for the win!

Carlsen plays for the win!

Qh5 23.Ne2 {Carlsen is making room for his rook to move to c3 and then possibly to g3.}
Bf6 {Anand wants to trade bishops before white can add more pressure to g7.}
24.Rc3 Bxd4 25.Rxd4 {Carlsen’s pieces are unusually placed but have the space to maneuver. Anand’s pieces are conventionally placed but lack scope.}
Qe5 {Anand is trying to make something happen but it is really Carlsen’s game to win.}
26.Qd2 Nf6 27.Re3 {This clears the way for pawn to a5.}

Rd7 28.a5{Carlsen uses only one pawn to stop both of Anand’s.}

Qg5 {?}{Anand makes a terrible blunder in a treacherous position. Better was:}
( 28…Kh8 29.b4 Rdc7 30.f4 Qh5 31.e5 dxe5 32.Rxe5 Qg6 33.c5
{but even this is not pleasing for black.} )

29.e5 {!} Ne8 30.exd6{?} {Carlsen returns the favor. He would have been playing for a win had he chosen something like this:}
( 30.Nc3 Rc6 31.Na4 Qf5 32.Nb6 )

Rc6 31.f4 {Carlsen has been shoving Anand around for what seems to be the entire match.}
Qd8 32.Red3 Rcxd6 {Carlsen’s earlier mistake allows Anand to regain the pawn.}
33.Rxd6 Rxd6 34.Rxd6 Qxd6 35.Qxd6 Nxd6 {Carlsen is much closer to a draw and being crowned the new World Chess Champion.}
36.Kf2 {White’s king can get to the center faster.}

White's king can get to the center faster.

White’s king can get to the center faster.


Kf8 37.Ke3 Ke7 38.Kd4 Kd7 {The difference in the placement of the kings is huge in an endgame like this.}
39.Kc5 Kc7 40.Nc3 {If Carlsen does not put his knight on c3 then Anand will play Ne4+ and be back in business.}
Nf5 41.Ne4 Ne3 {Anand attacks g2 with the idea of playing pawn to f5 and kicking Carlsen knight from its perch.}
42.g3 f5 43.Nd6 g5 {Anand is attacking with his pawn majority in order to try and create a passed pawn.}
44.Ne8+ {Carlsen is looking at least 12 ply ahead. His talent is incredible and unmatched in the world today.}
Kd7 45.Nf6+ Ke7 46.Ng8+ Kf8 47.Nxh6 gxf4 48.gxf4 Kg7 49.Nxf5+ {Carlsen had to have planned this sacrifice at least as far back as his 44’th move!}
exf5 50.Kb6 Ng2 51.Kxb7 Nxf4 52.Kxa6 Ne6 53.Kb6 f4 54.a6 f3 55.a7
f2 56.a8=Q {Through machine like perfection, Carlsen gets a queen one move before Anand.}

f1=Q 57.Qd5 {Carlsen’s technique is perfect. Even without his pawns, Carlsen can draw this

position. Magnus must have known that, one way or another, he will be the World Chess Champion.}

Even without his pawns, Carlsen can draw this position.

Even without his pawns, Carlsen can draw this position.

Qe1 {Anand makes sure that he can check Carlsen’s king and keep his pawns from advancing.}
58.Qd6 {Carlsen takes the more dangerous check away.}

Qe3+ 59.Ka6 Nc5+ 60.Kb5 Nxb3 {Anand is playing a really accurate ending. He will no longer be World Champion
but at least he can hold his head high after this draw.}

61.Qc7+ Kh6 62.Qb6+ Qxb6+ 63.Kxb6 Kh5 64.h4 Kxh4 65.c5 Nxc5 {There is no mating material left so the final game ends in a draw. The era of Magnus Carlsen as the King of Chess has officially begun.} 1/2-1/2


Fide World Chess Championship Match 2013:

Game 1

Game 2

Game 3

Game 4

Game 5

Game 6

Game 7

Game 8

Game 9



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


World Chess Championship 2013: Anand vs. Carlsen Game 4

November 14, 2013
The Chess Match of the Century! (photo courtesy of

The Chess Match of the Century! (photo courtesy of

The Anand-Carlsen World Championship Match of 2013 is evolving into a sporting event similar to that of Ali-Frasier 1971. In both cases, the battles were marketed as being the “Fight of the Century/Match of the Century ” and in both cases the athletes exceeded the promotional hype with super human abilities during the event. Joe Frazier ended up issuing Muhammad Ali his first professional defeat after 15 hard fought rounds. Sadly, I was not alive to witness the greatest bout in boxing history. However I am witnessing what I believe will be the greatest match in chess history and I have the pleasure of covering it for you, my readers.

There is definitely a crescendo occurring with each round of the 2013 World Chess Championship. Thus far, each round has been more hard fought and full of tension than the previous. So it is, that round four took the normally tame Ruy Lopez Berlin Defense line and turned it into an event worthy of being considered one of the greatest chess games ever played. Below are my extensive thoughts on the game:

[Event “World Chess Championship”]
[Site “Chennai”]
[Date “2013.11.13”]
[Round “4”]
[White “Viswanathan Anand”]
[Black “Magnus Carlsen”]
[Result “1/2-1/2”]
[Eco “C67”]
[Annotator “Chris Torres”]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 {The Ruy Lopez Berlin Defense. A lot of uninformed chess enthusiasts immediately
proclaimed that this game would be a boring draw and they were all wrong!}

4.O-O Nxe4 5.d4 Nd6 {This maneuver is almost as old as time.}

6.Bxc6 dxc6 7.dxe5 Nf5 8.Qxd8+ Kxd8 9.h3 {Nc3 is the usual continuation here.}
Bd7 {And Ke8 is the usual continuation here. 😉 All of a sudden our game is going to be of theoretical importance.}
10.Rd1 Be7 {Here are two other important alternatives:}
( 10…Kc8 11.a4 a5 12.g4 Ne7 13.Ra3 Nd5 14.Rad3 Be7 15.c4 Nb6
16.b3 h5 17.Bg5 f6 18.e6 Bxe6 19.Re1 fxg5 20.Rxe6 Bf6 21.Nbd2
hxg4 22.hxg4 Nd7 23.Ne4 b6 24.Kg2 Rb8 25.Nd4 Kb7 26.Nxc6 Rbe8
27.Rxe8 Rxe8 28.Nxf6 Nxf6 29.Nd8+ Kc8 30.Nf7 {…1/2-1/2, Sutovsky Emil (ISR) 2687 – Harikrishna P (IND) 2684 , Istanbul 9/ 3/2012 Olympiad}
) ( 10…Ke8 11.Nc3 h6 12.Bf4 Be6 13.g4 Ne7 14.Nd4 Nd5 15.Nxe6
fxe6 16.Ne2 Bc5 17.c4 Ne7 18.Bg3 Ng6 19.Kg2 h5 20.Rd3 Rd8 21.Rxd8+
Kxd8 22.Rd1+ Kc8 23.Nc3 h4 24.Bh2 Rf8 25.Ne4 Be7 26.f3 Nf4+ 27.Bxf4
Rxf4 28.b3 a5 29.a4 b6 30.Kf2 {…1-0, Ganguly Surya Shekhar (IND) 2627 – Meier Volker (GER) 2232 , Dresden 8/24/2012 It (open)}

11.Nc3 {Anand chooses a unique move order which ends up a transposition of the game below.}
( 11.Bg5 Kc8 12.g4 h6 13.Bxe7 Nxe7 14.Kh2 Re8 15.Nbd2 b6 16.Re1
c5 17.Ne4 Bc6 18.h4 Kb7 19.Rad1 Ng6 20.h5 Nf8 21.Kg3 Re7 22.Rd3
Rae8 23.Ned2 g6 24.Rde3 gxh5 25.g5 hxg5 26.Nxg5 Ne6 27.Nxe6 fxe6
28.Ne4 Rg7+ 29.Kh3 Bxe4 30.Rxe4 Rf8 {…0-1, Sutovsky Emil (ISR) 2690 – Hammer Jon Ludvig (NOR) 2601 , Aix les Bains 3/27/2011 Ch Europe}


12.Bg5 h6 13.Bxe7 Nxe7 {All of this has been played by Jon Ludvig Hammer, Carlsen’s second for this match.}
14.Rd2 ( 14.a4 a5 15.Rd2 c5 16.Rad1 Bc6 17.e6 fxe6 18.Ne5 Re8
19.Nb5 Bxb5 20.axb5 Nd5 21.c4 Nb6 22.h4 a4 23.h5 a3 24.b3 a2
25.Ra1 Rd8 26.Rdxa2 Rxa2 27.Rxa2 Rd1+ 28.Kh2 Rb1 29.Ra3 Nd7 30.Ra8+
Nb8 31.Ra3 Nd7 32.Ra8+ Nb8 33.Ra3 Nd7 {…1/2-1/2, Berg Emanuel (SWE) 2573 – Hammer Jon Ludvig (NOR) 2638 , Achaea 6/30/2012 Ch Greece (team)}

c5 15.Rad1 Be6 16.Ne1 {?} {Honestly kids… This is a weird move. I am not sure what Anand was thinking at
this point but would love to have the chance to ask him sometime.}

Anand played 16. Ne1 ?!

Anand played 16. Ne1 ?!


17.Nd3 b6 18.Ne2 Bxa2 {!} {Brings back memories of a Spassky-Fischer game from the World Championship in
1972. Fischer’s capture of a pawn on “h2” was not correct. Carlsen’s capture here is beautiful.}
19.b3 {Viswanathan Anand is trying to see if he can catch Carlsen’s bishop sleeping.}

20.Ndc1 cxb3 21.cxb3 Bb1 {Carlsen’s bishop is going to flee the coup.}
22.f4 {Anand gives up on hunting bishops and turns his attention to winning a chess
game. At this point, Anand’s chances look good as his rooks are coordinated in
an open file and his advantage in space is impressive.}


23.Nc3 Bf5 24.g4 Bc8 {Viswanathan Anand must have been amused to chase Carlsen’s bishop back to where
it started. Really, however, there is no time to celebrate. If Carlsen can
activate his pieces rapidly, he will be a solid pawn up in a good endgame for black.}
25.Nd3 h5 26.f5 Ne7 ( 26…Nh4 27.Kf2 g6 28.Rc1 hxg4 29.hxg4
gxf5 30.Nb5 c5 31.b4 a6 32.Nd6+ Kc7 33.bxc5 b5 34.Nxf7 Rh7 35.Nd6
fxg4 36.Nf4 Nf3 {Is an extremely complicated alternative where both colors have a protected knight on the “sixth” and passed pawns.}

27.Nb5 hxg4 {My chess instincts were expecting something like this:}
( 27…a6 28.Nd4 hxg4 29.hxg4 a5 30.Rc1 a4 )

28.hxg4 Rh4 {I am again surprised by Carlsen’s choice. The variation below seems very obvious and strong for black:}
( 28…a6 29.Nd4 a5 30.Rh2 Rxh2 31.Kxh2 a4 32.bxa4 Rxa4 33.Nf4
c5 34.e6 f6 35.Nde2 Kc6 )

29.Nf2 Nc6 30.Rc2 {Anand signals his intentions to attack “c7” with a lot of force. Perhaps this
is why my instincts favored pawn to a6 on move 27.}


31.Rc4{I love this move. It keeps the fourth rank secure while still allowing for a rook battery on the C-file.}
g6 {!} {All of a sudden, Carlsen opens up a can of Spinach and becomes Popeye. This does not look good for Anand at all.}

Carlsen opens up a can of spinach(Popeye reference.)

Carlsen opens up a can of spinach(Popeye reference.)

32.Rdc1 {Anand chooses to stick to his guns. Ladies and gentlemen, let’s get ready to rumble!}
Bd7 {As best as I can tell, any other move would have likely resulted in a loss for Carlsen.}
33.e6 fxe6 34.fxe6 Be8 {Taking back with the bishop would have cost Carlsen his knight on c6.}
35.Ne4 {Anand has placed all of his pieces on strong squares.}

36.Kf2 {Of course the king needs to move towards the action. But, did you also notice
Anand’s threat of Ne4-d6+ which would win Carlsen’s rook on g4?}

Anand's sneaky threat throws Carlsen off.

Anand’s sneaky threat throws Carlsen off.

Rf4+ {?} {Such a pity that Carlsen was distracted by Anand’s threat and missed a chance to win the game with something like:}
( 36…Rd8 37.Ke3 Rd5 38.Nbc3 Re5 39.Kf3 Rgxe4 40.Rxe4 Rxe6 41.Rxe6
Nd4+ 42.Ke3 Nxe6 43.Ne4 g5 44.Rg1 Bg6 45.Nxg5 Nxg5 46.Rxg5 Bc2
47.Kd2 Bxb3 48.Kc3 Be6 49.Re5 Bd7 50.Kd4 Kc6 51.Rg5 Be6 52.Ke5
Bf7 53.Rg4 b5 {And with good technique, Carlsen will win!} )
37.Ke3 Rf8 {?} {Perhaps Carlsen realized that his chance at winning had somehow evaporated.
Playing pawn to g5 seems more logical than retreating the rook.}
38.Nd4 Nxd4 39.Rxc7+ Ka6 40.Kxd4 Rd8+ 41.Kc3 {Anand has his own ideas for what the draw should look like.}

42.Kb2 Re3 {Rooks belong behind passed pawns.}

43.Rc8 Rdd3{With this move, Carlsen exclaims, “Not so fast Mr. Anand.”}
44.Ra8+ Kb7 45.Rxe8 Rxe4 46.e7 Rg3 47.Rc3 Re2+ 48.Rc2 Ree3 49.Ka2
g5 {Passed pawns must be pushed.}

50.Rd2 Re5 51.Rd7+ Kc6 52.Red8{Anand and Carlsen make drawing these kinds of endings look easy. Believe me, its
not. There are plenty of ways to make a single mistake which could undo the
effort put into the last 52 moves. This is why chess is so exciting.}

53.Rd6+ Kb7 54.R8d7+ Ka6 55.Rd5 Re2+ 56.Ka3 Re6 57.Rd8 g4
58.Rg5 {Again, we see that rooks belong behind passed pawns.}

59.Ra8+ Kb7 60.Rag8 a4 61.Rxg4 axb3 62.R8g7 Ka6 63.Rxe7
Rxe7 64.Kxb3 {Every Russian school boy knows this is a draw.} 1/2-1/2

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.”}


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.}


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.”}

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

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)}


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

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

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

World Chess Championship 2013: Anand vs. Carlsen Game 1

November 9, 2013
Viswanathan Anand across from Magnus Carlsen in round 1. (source:

Viswanathan Anand across from Magnus Carlsen in round 1. (source:

The FIDE World Chess Championship Match between Viswanathan Anand and Magnus Carlsen got off to a quiet start in Chennai, India. Viswanathan Anand had no issues with securing a draw with the black pieces and got the job done in a mere sixteen moves. This has to be seen as a small victory for the “Anand camp” and a missed opportunity for Magnus Carlsen to pressure opponent with the white pieces. Below are my thoughts on the brief encounter:

[Event “World Chess Championship”]
[Site “Chennai”]
[Date “”]
[Round “1”]
[White “Magnus Carlsen”]
[Black “Viswanathan Anand”]
[Result “1/2-1/2”]
[Eco “D02”]
[Annotator “Chris Torres”]
[Source “”]

1.Nf3 d5

2.g3 {Magnus Carlsen has selected a very “quiet approach.” His team must feel that
his best chances lie with outmaneuvering Viswanathan Anand in strategically complicated “closed” middlegames.}

3.Bg2 Bg7

4.d4 c6 {Anand chooses the safe path. If it were the final game in the match and he
needed to win, Anand might have played something like this:}
( 4…Nh6 5.c3 Nf5 6.Nbd2 Nd6 7.h4 c6 8.h5 Bf5 9.Nb3 Nd7 10.Nh4
Be6 11.f3 Bf6 12.g4 g5 13.Nf5 Bxf5 14.gxf5 Nxf5 15.e4 Nh4 16.Bh3
e6 17.Qe2 a5 18.Be3 Qc7 19.O-O-O a4 20.Na1 Nb6 21.Kb1 Nc4 22.Bc1
Be7 23.Nc2 h6 24.e5 {…0-1, Nikolic Predrag (BIH) 2670 – Agdestein Simen (NOR) 2600 , Reykjavik 1996 It (open)}

5.O-O Nf6

6.b3 {Magnus Carlsen is playing a double fianchetto. Generally, this is not a popular approach at
high level events but perhaps its reputation is about to change.}

O-O 7.Bb2 Bf5 8.c4 {So far, the position is very even with Magus Carlsen having an advantage in “space.”}

Nbd7 {Leko chose “Ne4” in a battle against against Nakamura which also ended in a draw .}
( 8…Ne4 9.Nbd2 Nd7 10.Nh4 Nxd2 11.Qxd2 Be6 12.e4 dxe4 13.Bxe4
Bh3 14.Rfe1 Qc7 15.Nf3 Nf6 16.Bc2 Rad8 17.Qe3 Rfe8 18.Bc3 Qc8
19.Rad1 Bf5 20.Bxf5 Qxf5 21.Kg2 Qc8 22.h3 Qc7 23.Qe5 Nd5 24.Qxc7
Nxc7 25.Ba5 Rd7 26.Ne5 Bxe5 27.dxe5 Red8 28.Rxd7 {…1/2-1/2, Nakamura Hikaru (USA) 2778 – Leko Peter (HUN) 2730 , London 9/23/2012 It “FIDE Grand Prix” (cat.20)}

9.Nc3 {“Nbd2” is also playable here.} ( 9.Nbd2 Ne4 10.Nh4 Nxd2
11.Qxd2 Be6 12.cxd5 cxd5 13.Rac1 Qb6 14.Nf3 Rfc8 15.Ba3 Bf6 16.e3
Qa6 17.Bb4 Qb6 18.Ba5 Qd6 19.Rfe1 Bf5 20.Bb4 Qe6 21.Rxc8+ Rxc8
22.Rc1 Nb8 23.Rxc8+ Qxc8 24.Ne5 e6 25.Bd6 Nd7 26.h3 g5 27.Qa5
a6 28.Qa4 Nxe5 {
…1-0, Fressinet Laurent (FRA) 2693 – Vachier-Lagrave Maxime (FRA) 2682 ,
Nancy 4/29/2012 It “Grand Prix FFE” (active) (KO-system)} )

dxc4 {Again, Anand has a more aggressive move which we may see later in this match.}
( 9…Ne4 10.Nxe4 Bxe4 11.e3 a5 12.Qe2 a4 13.Bh3 Bxf3 14.Qxf3
e6 15.e4 dxe4 16.Qxe4 Qb6 17.Qc2 Rfd8 18.Rfd1 Nf8 19.c5 Qc7 20.b4
Nd7 21.Rd3 b5 22.cxb6 Nxb6 23.Bg2 a3 24.Rxa3 Rxa3 25.Bxa3 Bxd4
26.Rd1 Qa7 27.Bc1 Nd5 28.a3 Nc3 29.Rxd4 {…0-1, Latorre Matias (PAR) 2286 – Lemos Damian (ARG) 2543 , Asuncion 5/16/2011 Zt}

10.bxc4 {Magnus Carlsen controls the center at the expense of an isolated “a” pawn.}
Nb6 {“10. Nb6 is a rather sharp idea, I mean forcing the play right way, he goes
11.c5, I played 11. Nc4, to be honest I expected 11. Qb3, though anyway after 11. Be6 black is doing fine.”-Viswanathan Anand}
11.c5 Nc4 12.Bc1 {“12.Bc1 was a bit of a surprise because after 12. Nd5 I mean 13.Qe1 even 13.
Nb4 getting very unpleasant for white and after 13.Qb3 I can force this draw.”-Viswanathan Anand}
( 12.Qb3 Nxb2 13.Qxb2 b5 14.cxb6 Qxb6 15.Qxb6 axb6 16.Ne5 Ra3
17.Rac1 c5 18.Nc4 Ra6 19.d5 b5 20.Nxb5 Rxa2 21.Nc3 Rc2 22.e4
Rxc3 23.Rxc3 Nxe4 24.Re3 Nd6 25.Ne5 e6 26.Rd1 exd5 27.Bxd5 c4
28.Nxc4 Nxc4 29.Bxc4 Rc8 30.Bb3 Bh6 31.Re7 Rb8 {…1-0, Cosma Elena Luminita (ROM) 2331 – Tolgyi Viorica (ROM) 2060 , Brasov 10/12/2011 Ch Romania (team) (w)}

Nd5 13.Qb3 {“…move 13 Qe1 and 13. Nb4 is very strong. From then on I had to pull
emergency brakes, and had to go for draw.”-Magnus Carlsen}

Na5 14.Qa3 Nc4 15.Qb3 Na5 16.Qa3 Nc4 1/2-1/2

The final position from round 1 of the 2013 World Chess Championship Match between Viswanathan Anand and Magnus Carlsen.

The final position from round 1 of the 2013 World Chess Championship Match between Viswanathan Anand and Magnus Carlsen.


Why You Should Care About the Upcoming World Chess Championship Match

November 6, 2013
FIDE World Chess Championship Match 2013

FIDE World Chess Championship Match 2013

On November 9, 2013 the world is going to stop. Billions of people around the globe will be watching live as two titans clash in what may be the greatest chess match ever played. Viswanathan Anand, the Pride of India, will be taking on the charismatic “Mozart of Chess,” Magnus Carlsen.  By the end of November, the player who utterly destroys his opponent will be crowned “The King of Chess.”

Viswanathan Anand at the chess board.

Viswanathan Anand at the chess board.

Viswanathan Anand is more than a World Chess Champion. He is the greatest sportsmen ever produced from the second most populous country in the world. “Vishy,” as his friends call him, became India’s first grandmaster in 1988. Anand was also first to receive the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award in 1992. In 2007, he was awarded the Padma Vibhushan, India’s second highest civilian honor. Viswanathan Anand has also won the coveted Chess Oscar a total of six times! Indeed, historians tell us that chess has its roots in ancient India, but it was not until Viswanathan Anand became World Champion that chess took a hold of the sub-continent’s imagination.

The charismatic "Mozart of Chess."

The charismatic “Mozart of Chess.”

Many consider Magnus Carlsen to be for chess, what Mozart was for music. In the long and distinguished history of chess prodigies, Magnus may be the greatest of them all. Magnus Carlsen, who started chess at the age of five, became a chess Grand Master at thirteen and the number one rated player in the world before the age of twenty. A short while later, Carlsen established the highest rating ever in the game of chess and in doing so surpassed his former teacher, Garry Kasparov. Often mentioned in the same class as Paul Morphy, Jose Raul Capablanca and Bobby Fischer, Magnus is missing only the title of World Champion to establish his residency on Mount Olympus.

Throughout human history, there have been certain events which demonstrate the greatness of human achievement. The Hammurabi Code of 1750 B.C., the dawn of Democracy in 594 B.C., The Wright Brothers taking flight in 1903 are important events on the timeline comparable to what, I believe, will result from the FIDE World Chess Championship of 2013. Chess is about to become “cool” again and our world may never be the same.

Don’t miss the event:

The Official Site for the Anand-Carlsen World Chess Championship Match of 2013

Watch live on you Android device.

Watch live on your iphone or ipad.

Get Norway’s perspective on the Anand-Carlsen World Chess Championship Match of 2013

See what India feels about Anand’s play against Carlsen.

Blogs covering the 2013 World Chess Championship:

World Chess Championship Blog

Susan Polgar’s Blog

Alexandra Kosteniuk’s Blog

Chris Torres’ Blog



World Chess Championship 2013: Preview 3 of the Anand-Carlsen Match

November 4, 2013

In our third preview game of the 2013 World Chess Championship Match between Viswanathan Anand and Magnus Carlsen, we are going to examine a stunning defeat of Anand at the hands of the cunning Russian chess player, Alexander Morozevich. In my humble opinion, this game clearly illustrates what is perhaps the best strategy for Magnus Carlsen in his upcoming match with Anand. Put simply, Magnus Carlsen needs to control his nerves and play dynamic attacking chess as much as possible. Below, Alexander Morozevich shows us how this is done:

Move 24: How did Morozevich(white) destroy Anand's king safety.

Move 24: How did Morozevich(white) destroy Anand’s king safety?


[Event “It ‘Kremlin Stars'”]

[Site “Moscow (Russia)”]

[Date “1995”]

[Round “2”]

[White “Morozevich, Alexander (RUS)”]

[Black “Anand, Viswanathan (IND)”]

[Result “1-0”]

[Eco “C33”]

[Annotator “Chris Torres”]


1.e4 e5

2.f4 exf4

3.Bc4 Nf6 ( 3…Qh4+ 4.Kf1 d6 5.Nf3 Qh5 6.d4

g5 7.h4 Bg4 8.Nc3 Nc6 {Is how a more aggressive player might handle the black pieces.}


4.Nc3 c6 {This move takes a lot of the key squares away from white’s developed pieces and prepares a pawn thrust to “d5.”}

5.Bb3 d5

6.exd5 cxd5

7.d4 Bb4 {

At this point, objectively, black looks a little better. Both sides have one

center pawn and two developed pieces. Black does have an extra pawn and is

ready to castle. However, things can change very quickly in the King’s Gambit.}

8.Nf3 O-O

9.O-O Bxc3 {

A smart maneuver for Anand. His bishop was pinning white’s knight to just “air”

while exchanging creates a pawn weakness which can easily be attacked.}

10.bxc3 Qc7 {

Anand is still a little better than Morozevich. Both sides have two pieces

developed and a pawn in the center. Black momentarily has an extra pawn.}

11.Qe1 {I believe this is game represents the first time this idea has been tried.}

( 11.Qd3 b6 12.Ne5 Ba6 13.c4 dxc4 14.Bxc4 Bxc4 15.Nxc4 Nd5 16.Ne5

Nc6 17.Nxc6 Qxc6 18.Bxf4 Rac8 19.Qa3 Rfe8 20.Qf3 Nb4 21.Qxc6

Rxc6 22.Rae1 Rxe1 23.Rxe1 f6 24.Re8+ Kf7 25.Ra8 a5 26.Ra7+ Kg6

27.Rc7 Rxc2 28.Rxc2 Nxc2 29.Bc7 b5 30.d5 Kf7 {…0-1, Eberth Zoltan (HUN) 2198  – Vujosevic Vladimir (MNE) 2430 , Gyor 1997 It (open) “Nyar”}

) Nc6

12.Qh4 {Morozevich just wants to get Anand’s king. But isn’t that the real objective in chess?}

( 12.Ne5 Nxe5 13.Bxf4 Qc6 14.Bxe5 Ne4 15.Rf4 Be6 16.c4 dxc4 17.Qxe4

Qxe4 18.Rxe4 cxb3 19.axb3 Bf5 20.Re2 Rfe8 21.Rf2 Bg6 22.c4 a6

23.Bc7 Re3 24.d5 Rae8 25.Raf1 f6 26.Rf3 Kf7 27.Bb6 Rxf3 28.Rxf3

Ke7 29.Kf2 Kd7 30.Rg3 Rg8 31.Ke3 Re8+ {…1-0, Charbonneau Pascal (CAN) 2490  – Roussel-Roozmon Thomas (CAN) 2425 , Montreal  8/??/2004 It (cat.12)}

) Ne7

13.Bxf4 {Morozevich takes “f4” but will give Anand “c3.” Now who do you think is better? I would rather play with the white pieces.}


14.Bd2 {!?} {

Is this move brilliant or a mistake? Morozevich could have also played the more

natural looking “Bg5” or the “Qe1” retreat. However, Morozevich is not in the

mood to retreat and has a reputation for playing slightly outlandish moves.}

Qc7 {Anand retreats his queen to the most useful square he can find.}

15.Ne5 {Morozevich’s knight wastes no time finding its outpost.}


16.Qf4 {The best choice for Morozevich but now his knight is pinned to an unattractive exchange of the queens.}

Be6 {Anand places his bishop on a bad square in order to unify his rooks.}

17.Bb4 {Forcing the rook from “f8” becomes important much later in the game.}


18.g4 {!} {It is now or never for Morozevich.}



{Morozevich has, more or less, all his pieces involved in the attack.}


20.c4 {!} {This move will eliminate the outpost for the black knight on “e4” as well as create more action for Morozevich’s light bishop.}


21.Bc2 Nf6

22.g5 {!} {

When all your pieces are involved in the attack, sometimes it is up to the

pawns to create the final weaknesses in your enemy’s camp.}

Nh5{?} {Morozevich again proves that the best way to deal with Anand is to attack.

Viswanathan Anand should have played something like this:}

( 22…Nd5 23.Bxh7+ Kxh7 24.Qh4+ Kg8 25.Bxd6 Qxd6 26.g6 fxg6

27.Nxg6 Bf5 28.Qh8+ Kf7 29.Rxf5+ Nf6 30.Qh5 Qxd4+ )

23.Qf3 {!}

{Severe punishment is in store for Anand’s crime.}


24.Nxg6{!} hxg6

25.Bxg6 {!} fxg6

26.Rxe6 Qf7

27.Qd5 {!} Nf5

28.Rxf5{!} {There is no defense for Anand now and he appropriately resigns.} 1-0

World Chess Championship 2013: Preview 2 of the Anand-Carlsen Match

November 1, 2013

In our first preview game to the 2013 World Chess Championship, we studied a game where a young Magnus Carlsen demolishes his opponent. In preview two to the World Chess Championship Match between Anand and Carlsen, we will examine a game where our current World Chess Champion destroys Vassily Ivanchuk with style.

What is the best way for white to stop Anand's attack?

What is the best way for white to stop Anand’s attack?


[Event “It”]

[Site “Reggio Emilia (Italy)”]

[Date “1989”]

[Round “35”]

[White “Ivanchuk, Vassily (UKR)”]

[Black “Anand, Viswanathan (IND)”]

[Result “0-1”]

[Eco “C42”]

[Annotator “Chris Torres”]

1.e4 e5

2.Nf3 Nf6 {This is called Petroff’s Defence or, simply, The Russian Game.}

3.Nxe5 d6 ( 3…Nxe4 4.Qe2 Nf6 5.Nc6+ {Is a famous Queen winning trap every chess player should know.}


4.Nf3 Nxe4

5.d4 {This is the classical Petroff Defence.}

( 5.Nc3 Nxc3 6.dxc3 Be7 {Is another fun line which gives white easy development and a strong attack.}

) ( 5.Qe2 Qe7 6.d3 Nf6 7.Nc3 Qxe2+ 8.Bxe2 Be7 9.Nd4 O-O 10.Bf4

c6 11.O-O d5 12.Rfe1 Na6 13.Bf3 Bd8 14.a3 Bb6 15.Nb3 Re8 16.Na4

Bc7 17.Bg5 Bf5 18.Bxf6 gxf6 19.g3 Bd6 20.Na5 Rxe1+ 21.Rxe1 Rb8

22.Nc3 Bd7 23.Nb3 Nc5 24.Nxc5 Bxc5 {…1/2-1/2, Ivanchuk Vassily (UKR) 2775  – Wang Yue (CHN) 2697 , Beijing 12/16/2011 It “Sportaccord WMG” (blindfold)}



6.Bd3 Be7 ( 6…Bd6 7.O-O O-O 8.c4 c6 9.Nc3 Nxc3 10.bxc3

dxc4 {Black can keep the symetry a little longer with this old line. The modern preference is as played by Anand.}


7.O-O Nc6

8.Re1 Bg4

9.c3 f5

10.Qb3 {This is a nice way to get rid of the pin.}

Qd6 {Viswanathan Anand plays a rare move which I have also employed with success.}

( 10…O-O 11.Nbd2 Na5 12.Qc2 Bd6 13.Ne5 Bh5 14.b4 Nc6 15.Ndf3

Re8 16.Bb2 Qf6 17.Qb3 Kh8 18.Be2 Rxe5 19.dxe5 Nxe5 20.Nxe5 Bxe5

21.Bxh5 Bxh2+ 22.Kxh2 Qh4+ 23.Kg1 Qxf2+ 24.Kh2 {1/2-1/2, Leko Peter (HUN) 2751  – Anand Viswanathan (IND) 2788 , Linares  2/25/2005 It (cat.20)}


11.Nfd2 O-O-O

12.f3 Bh4 {I like this move but Ne5 is also interesting.}

( 12…Ne5 13.Bxe4 dxe4 14.fxg4 Bh4 15.Re2 Qa6 16.Qd1 Nxg4 17.h3

Qd3 18.hxg4 e3 19.Na3 Rde8 20.Nc2 Bf2+ 21.Rxf2 exf2+ 22.Kxf2

fxg4 23.Qxg4+ Kb8 24.Nf3 Qxc2+ 25.Kg1 {+0.04 CAP} )


( 13.Re2 Bh5 14.Nf1 Rhf8 15.Qc2 Kb8 16.Na3 f4 17.fxe4 f3 18.gxf3

Rxf3 19.e5 Rxf1+ 20.Kxf1 Qe6 21.Kg1 Rf8 22.Be3 Qh3 23.Qd2 Bf3

24.Nc2 g5 25.Rg2 g4 26.Bf1 g3 27.Rxg3 Qf5 28.Rxf3 Qxf3 29.Bg2

Rg8 30.Kh1 Qh5 31.Bxd5 Rd8 32.Bxc6 {1-0, Anka Emil (HUN) 2400  – Mosna Stefano (ITA) 2149 , Budapest 1996 It (cat.2)}


Bh3 {Viswanathan Anand is not known for this kind of aggression but is certainly capable of it.}

( 13…Bf2+ 14.Rxf2 Nxf2 15.Kxf2 Qxh2 16.Nf1 Qh4+ 17.Kg1 Bh5

18.Bxf5+ Kb8 19.Be3 Rdf8 20.Bd7 Rxf3 21.Nbd2 Rf6 22.Qxd5 Rd8

23.g3 Rg6 24.Qg2 Qe7 25.Bf5 Rgd6 26.Nc4 Rd5 27.Be4 Bf7 28.Bf4

Rh5 29.Bxc6 Bxc4 30.Bxb7 Rb5 31.Bc6 Ra5 32.Ne3 Bxa2 33.Nc4 {…1-0, Kovacevic Aleksandar (SRB) 2541  – Saric Ante (CRO) 2489 , Zadar 12/13/2006 It (open)}

) ( 13…Rhf8 14.Qc2 h5 15.Nb3 Rde8 16.Na3 f4 17.fxg4 hxg4 18.Bxe4

dxe4 19.Nb5 Qh6 20.Bxf4 Rxf4 21.Rxf4 Qxf4 22.g3 Bxg3 23.hxg3

Qxg3+ 24.Qg2 Qe3+ 25.Qf2 Qd3 26.Nc5 Qxb5 27.Qf4 {1-0, Bruzon Lazaro (CUB) 2534  – Andres Gonzalez Alberto (ESP) 2362 , Oviedo 2000 Tournament (team)}

) ( 13…Nxd2 14.Nxd2 Bh5 15.Bxf5+ Kb8 16.Qc2 Ne7 {+0.56 CAP} )


14.Qc2 ( 14.Nxe4 fxe4 15.fxe4 dxe4 16.Bxe4 Rhf8 17.Nd2 Rde8 18.Qb5

Rxf1+ 19.Qxf1 Bd7 20.Nc4 Qf6 21.Qxf6 gxf6 22.g3 Rxe4 23.gxh4

Ne7 24.Bd2 Nf5 25.Be1 Rg4+ 26.Bg3 Be6 27.Nd2 Nxg3 28.hxg3 Rxg3+

29.Kf2 Rh3 30.Ne4 Bd5 31.Nc5 b6 32.Na6 Rxh4 33.b3 Rh3 {…1/2-1/2, Woda Jacek (POL) 2383  – Ostrowski Leszek (POL) 2340 , Poznan 1987 It}



15.Nb3 Rhf8

16.Na3 ( 16.Kh1 {+1.38 CAP} )

Rde8 {Ivanchuk must play Bf4 followed by Kh1 to survive Anand’s attack.}

17.Kh1 {??} ( 17.Bf4 {!} Nd8

( 17…Bg5 {+1.46 CAP} ) 18.Kh1 Ne6 19.Be5 $18 {Borriss – Camejo, Chile 1990}

Bf6 20.gxh3 Bxe5 21.dxe5 Nf4 22.fxe4 fxe4 23.Bb5 Rxe5 24.Nd4

c6 25.Rg1 Qh6 26.Be2 Nxh3 27.Bg4+ Kb8 28.Bxh3 Qxh3 29.Qg2 Qh5

30.Raf1 Rxf1 31.Rxf1 g6 32.Qg3 a6 33.Nf5 {1-0, Borriss Martin (GER) 2427  – Camejo Rui (POR) 2296 , Santiago 1990 Ch World (juniors) (under 20)}


Nf2+ {!} {Anand punishes Ivanchuk’s careless play.}

18.Rxf2 Bxg2+ {!} {There is nothing for Ivanchuk to do except resign.} 0-1

World Chess Championship 2013: Preview 1 of the Anand-Carlsen Match

October 29, 2013

With the Anand-Carlsen World Championship Match just days away, I have decided to start posting some of my favorite games played by either Viswanathan Anand or Magnus Carlsen. Our first game is taken from the 2003 World Youth Chess Championships. In the gem below, a fourteen-year-old Magnus Carlsen drops the “hammer” on his fellow Norwegian.

Black to move and win. (What did Magnus Carlsen play on move 17?)

Black to move and win. (What did Magnus Carlsen play on move 17?)

[Event “FIDE World Youth Chess Championship”]

[Site “Halkidiki (Greece)”]

[Date “2003”]

[Round “1”]

[White “Hammer, Jon Ludvig (NOR)”]

[Black “Carlsen, Magnus (NOR)”]

[Result “0-1”]

[Eco “B07”]

[Annotator “Chris Torres”]

1.Nf3 {Thus begins an exciting encounter between Norway’s two young superstars. I am sure Norway’s coaches were wondering why this had to happen in round 1}


2.d4 Nf6

3.Nbd2 g6

4.e4 {Jon Ludvig Hammer has complete control of the center.}


5.Bd3 O-O

6.O-O Nc6

7.c3 e5 {Magnus Carlsen strikes at white’s central advantage.}

8.h3 {Hammer plays a clever but slow move here. In doing so, he keeps control of the

Center and makes Carlsen’s bishop on “c8” a very difficult piece to develop usefully.}

Nh5 {Magnus Carlsen chooses to complicate matters after his opponent’s “slow” move.}

9.dxe5 {Hammer plays what Carlsen was hoping for. Better was}

( 9.Nb3 Nf4 10.Bxf4 exf4 11.Qd2 {

Jon Ludvig Hammer would still be controlling the center, his king is castled

and his rooks are unified(the rooks can “see” each other.} )


{Hammer’s center is fracturing and Magnus Carlsen’s knight has invaded his territory with initiative.}

10.Bb5 {?} {Hammer bishop would be way better on “c4” sharing a diaganol with Carlsen’s

king. On “b5” it pins Carlsen’s knight to an empty square.}

Nxe5{!} {Carlsen’s knights are becoming Hammer’s problems.}

11.Nxe5{?} {Big mistake. Better was:} ( 11.Nc4 Ned3 12.Bxf4 Nxf4 13.Ne3

c6 14.Bd3 Be6 )

Qg5 {!} {The obvious punishment for Hammer’s last crime.}

12.Ng4 Qxb5

13.Nb3 Ne2+ {!} {Carlsen is still punishing Hammer’s eleventh move. I can almost hear Montell Jordan singing “This is How We Do it.”}

14.Kh1 Bxg4

15.hxg4 Rae8 {!} {If you can spot why Carlsen played his last move, you are doing better than Hammer did in this game.}

16.Be3 {????} {Correct was:} ( 16.a4 Qc4 17.Be3 )

Rxe4 17.Re1

{Jon Ludvig Hammer must have been praying that Magnus Carlsen does not see the neat finish.}

Qh5+ {!} {Of course Hammer resigns. After gxh4, Rh4 is mate.} 0-1

World Chess Championship 2013: Why I think Anand will win.

October 26, 2013

The majority of chess commentators seem to be figuring that Magnus Carlsen will defeat Viswanathan Anand and win the World Championship in his first attempt. This is likely do to the fact that, lately, Carlsen has been playing better chess than the current World Champion.  Certainly, the challenger has proven that he is capable of playing chess at the level of a world chess champion and Magnus is the current “number one.” However, the smart money will be placed on Viswanathan Anand to retain his title. Here’s why:

Viswanathan Anand will likely celebrate another World Championship with his beautiful wife Aruna.

Viswanathan Anand will likely celebrate another World Championship with his beautiful wife Aruna.

Home Field Advantage

The match will take place in Chennai, India. When FIDE announced that the match would be in Anand’s home country, I felt this gave the current World Champion a decisive advantage. In fact, FIDE could not have selected a more advantageous location for Anand than his home town.  The young Norwegian will be more distracted in India and his team will need to work hard to keep him comfortable in such an exotic location. Magnus Carlsen is used to performing under pressure but being completely surrounded by Anand’s fans will certainly make even the toughest competitor feel uneasy.


Too much is being made of Magnus Carlsen being rated number one in the world. Magnus’ rating proves that he is the future of chess but he has acquired his number one ranking through tournament play. Anand has played very poorly in tounaments since becoming World Champion for reasons that are easy to explain. Tournaments to Anand are a necessary distraction from competing in world championship matches. Anand’s priority number one is retaining his world title.  Viswanathan rarely plays any of his critical innovations when it does not help him win a World Championship. Because he employs a weaker version of himself during the vast majority of his rated games, Anand’s rating does not accurately reflect his true strength


Many see this match as the chance for chess to move completely into the twenty-first century. Indeed, if the “Mozart of Chess” manages to dethrone the old champion he will be the king of chess.  While no one will dispute that being young is incredibly advantageous in chess, it is also common knowledge that young chess players also perform more inconsistently. If Magnus plays his best chess, he has a reasonable chance of winning the match. However, we can be sure that Viswanathan Anand will be in top form and will bring the consistency of a seasoned pro to every game. I believe Anand’s experience and wisdom will more than make up for Magnus Carlsen’s youthful energy.

Match Play

As stated above, Anand is unbelievably good at match play. Magnus Carlsen has limited experience in matches and has never felt the pressure of playing for a world championship. Coupled with the aforementioned home field advantage, this should be enough for Anand to take an early lead in the match and then close it out before Magnus ever gets comfortable.

Anand’s Legacy

This represents the first time that Anand has had a chance to play a World Championship for “his people.” Anand is a national hero in India and I believe nothing is more important to the future of Indian chess than Anand retaining the World Championship title in Chennai.  A failure on his part will be a seen as a failure for Indian chess. FIDE’s gift to India is the chance for their greatest player to establish his name as one of the greatest chess champions ever while playing in his hometown. I believe Anand is acutely aware of what is at stake and will rise to the occasion.

As for Magnus, perhaps failing in his first attempt at winning the World Championship will be the best thing for his chess future. A defeat on chess highest stage will make the “Mozart of Chess” work even harder to ensure it doesn’t happen the second time around. The next time Magnus plays for the World Championship, one can only hope that FIDE chooses a site that is fair for both competitors.

Magnus Carlsen will likely benefit from defeat in his first attempt at the world chess championship.

Magnus Carlsen will likely benefit from defeat in his first attempt at the world chess championship.

The official site for the 2013 FIDE World Chess Championship.

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