Posts Tagged ‘world chess championship games’

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.

World Chess Championship 2013: Carlsen Wins Game 5!

November 15, 2013
Magnus is all smiles after winning round 5. (Photo courtesy of

Magnus is all smiles after winning round 5. (Photo courtesy of

In Round 5 of the 2013 Fide World Chess Championship Match, Magnus Carlsen delivered a figurative punch to the gut of the Champion, Viswanathan Anand. It has become clear that Magnus Carlsen respects Viswanathan Anand’s  opening knowledge much more than he respects his actual chess skills. Carlsen’s plan with the white pieces has been to get Anand “out of book” and then outplay the champion in unconventional positions. That is precisely what Magnus did in round 5.

[Event “World Chess Championship”]
[Site “Chennai”]
[Date “2013.11.15”]
[Round “5”]
[White “Magnus Carlsen”]
[Black “Viswanathan Anand”]
[Result “1-0”]
[Eco “D31”]
[Annotator “Chris Torres”]
[Source “”]

1.c4 e6 2.d4 d5 {This is the Queen’s Gambit Declined(1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6.)}
3.Nc3 c6 {Semi-Slav variation.}

4.e4 {Most common here is Nf3. Carlsen is quickly trying to steer this game into lesser known variations.}

5.Nxe4 Bb4+ 6.Nc3 {Another uncommon move. Bishop to d2 is the standard reply.}

7.a3 Ba5 8.Nf3 {This move has only been played 12 times before. I give the more common move and variation below.}
( 8.Be3 Nf6 9.dxc5 Qxd1+ 10.Rxd1 Ne4 11.Nge2 Nxc3 12.Nxc3 Bxc3+
13.bxc3 Bd7 14.Be2 Bc6 15.O-O Nd7 16.Rd2 O-O-O 17.Rb2 e5 18.f4
Rhe8 19.fxe5 Nxe5 20.Bd4 f6 21.Rfb1 Be4 22.Rd1 Nc6 23.Kf2 Re7
24.Rbd2 Red7 25.Bg4 f5 26.Re2 Bxg2 27.Bxf5 Rf8 {…1-0, Piskov Yury (RUS) 2442 – Dreev Alexey (RUS) 2711 , Yurmala 1982 Ch URS (juniors)}


9.Be3 {Be2 is also playable.} ( 9.Be2 O-O 10.O-O cxd4 11.Nb5
e5 12.Nxe5 Bb6 13.b4 a6 14.c5 axb5 15.cxb6 Qxb6 16.Bb2 Rd8 17.Qd3
Be6 18.Rfd1 Nc6 19.Nxc6 bxc6 20.Bxd4 Qc7 21.Qe3 Ne8 22.Bb6 Rxd1+
23.Rxd1 Qe7 24.Bf3 Rc8 25.h3 Nf6 26.Bc5 Qe8 27.Rd6 Nd5 28.Qg5
h6 {…1-0, Dziuba Marcin (POL) 2556 – Guichard Pauline (FRA) 2277 , Warsaw 12/21/2008 Ch Europe (active)}

Nc6 ( 9…O-O 10.Qc2 cxd4 11.Bxd4 Nc6 12.Bc5 Bxc3+ 13.Qxc3
Ne4 14.Qe3 Nxc5 15.Qxc5 Qf6 16.O-O-O Qf4+ 17.Qe3 Qxe3+ 18.fxe3
e5 19.Be2 f6 20.Rd6 Kf7 21.Rhd1 Ke7 22.c5 Be6 23.Bb5 Rac8 24.Bxc6
bxc6 25.e4 Rc7 26.R1d3 Rb8 27.Ne1 Rb5 28.b4 a5 29.Nc2 {…0-1, Mester Gyula (HUN) 2400 – Hajnal Zoltan (HUN) 2225 , Miskolc 1998 It (open) “Avas”}

10.Qd3 {This is the first time this position has occurred in recorded chess history.}
( 10.Be2 Ne4 11.Rc1 cxd4 12.Nxd4 Nxc3 13.bxc3 Nxd4 14.Bxd4 O-O
15.O-O Bd7 16.Bf3 {1/2-1/2, Mellado Trivino Juan (AND) 2460 – Korneev Oleg (RUS) 2605 , Manresa 1995 It (open)}
) ( 10.dxc5 Bxc3+ 11.bxc3 Qa5 12.Qc2 Ng4 13.Qc1 O-O 14.Be2 Nxe3
15.Qxe3 Ne7 16.O-O Nf5 17.Qe4 Qxc5 18.Rfd1 f6 19.Bd3 g6 20.h4
Ng7 21.Qd4 Qxd4 22.cxd4 Bd7 23.Be4 Rab8 24.Rab1 Rfc8 25.Bxb7
Rxc4 26.d5 Rc7 27.dxe6 Bxe6 28.Be4 Rxb1 29.Rxb1 Nf5 {…1/2-1/2, Polgar Zsuzsa (USA) 2545 – Portisch Lajos (HUN) 2585 , Budapest 1993 Zt}
) ( 10.d5 exd5 11.Bxc5 Ne4 12.Qe2 Be6 13.O-O-O Nxc5 14.cxd5 Qf6
15.dxe6 Nxe6 16.Nd5 Qh6+ 17.Kb1 O-O 18.Qb5 Rab8 19.Ne7+ Nxe7
20.Qxa5 Nc6 21.Qf5 g6 22.Qf6 Qg7 23.Qxg7+ Kxg7 24.Bc4 Kf6 25.Bxe6
fxe6 26.Rd7 h6 27.Rhd1 Rbd8 28.Kc2 Rxd7 29.Rxd7 Rf7 {…1/2-1/2, Kubala Martin (CZE) 2295 – Splosnov Sergei (BLR) 2350 , Frydek-Mistek 1998 It (cat.4)}


11.Nxd4 Ng4 {This position looks dead even. Now it will be up to the better chess player to win.}
12.O-O-O {Castling queen-side is a signal that Magnus Carlsen is confident playing for the win.}
Nxe3 {Viswanathan Anand isolates one of Carlsen’s pawns and gets rid of his bishop pair.}
13.fxe3 Bc7 {?} {If Anand had played Qe7 instead he would have stopped the trade of queens and
made playing pawn to b4 rather tricky for Carlsen. Play might have continued as follows:}
( 13…Qe7 14.Kb1 O-O 15.Qc2 Rd8 16.Bd3 g6 17.Nf3 Bd7 {And Viswanathan Anand would have a solid position in a flavor he feels comfortable with.}

14.Nxc6 bxc6 15.Qxd8+ Bxd8 16.Be2 Ke7 {?} {Anand’s play is not aggressive enough. It is better to develop with threats and play Bb6.}
17.Bf3 {Magnus Carlsen is more than happy to attack weak and pinned targets.}

18.Ne4 Bb6 {?} {It is too late for this move to work now. Magnus can just play pawn to c5.}
19.c5 f5 {Nice, but now Anand loses his bishop pair.}

20.cxb6 fxe4 21.b7 {!} {I am fairly confident that Anand missed this move when he played 18… Bb6.}

22.Bxe4 Rxb7 {White has, “a better bishop and a better pawn structure.”-Magnus Carlsen}

White has, "a better bishop and a better pawn structure."-Magnus Carlsen

White has, “a better bishop and a better pawn structure.”-Magnus Carlsen

23.Rhf1 {and “two open files.”-Chris Torres}

Rb5 {It is not stated as often as it should be that, “rooks on open ranks are pretty good too.”}
24.Rf4 {!?} {Magnus goes about forming a rook battery in not the safest of ways but I
believe the intent is to trick Anand into replying with pawn to g5.}
g5 {Most everybody who is anybody would have played as Anand. Is the “Mozart of Chess” tricking the world?}
25.Rf3 h5 26.Rdf1 Be8 {Obviously this stops Rf7+.}

27.Bc2 {Clearly Carlsen wants Anand to play Rc5.}
Rc5 {Anand does not let Carlsen’s desires stop him from playing strong moves.}
28.Rf6 h4 {Now Magnus Carlsen’s king side pawns can’t move without creating unnecessary
weaknesses or allow the rook on h8 to become a powerful contributor.}
29.e4 {Blocks the bishop but gains the center.}


30.Kd2 {The king must be active in the endgame.}

31.b3 {Magnus Carlsen’s bishop is now blocked on both diagonals by its own pawns yet his position it still clearly better.}
Bh5 {Anand now has a clearly superior bishop.}

32.Kc3 Rc5+ {This puts a stop to the white king’s incursions.}
33.Kb2 Rd8 {?} {This move looks so good Anand failed to see that it was a key mistake. Better was:}
( 33…g4 34.R6f2 Rd8 35.g3 hxg3 36.hxg3 Bg6 {And Anand is fine.} )

Moving the rook to "d8" looks so good that Anand failed to see that it was a key mistake.

Moving the rook to “d8” looks so good that Anand failed to see that it was a key mistake.

34.R1f2 {Carlsen takes away Anand’s chances of gaining “the seventh.”}
Rd4 {Anand considers this his “decisive mistake” and believes he should have played
Rg8 instead. It is worth noting that the computers disagree with his opinion of
this move being a mistake, so it is likely that Anand did not quite know where he lost the game.}
35.Rh6 {Carlsen is playing with purpose.}


36.Bb1 {!} {Trading bishops here would have resulted in another draw. Play would have followed something like:}
( 36.Bxd1 Rxd1 37.Rg6 Kd6 38.Rg7 Rd3 39.Ka2 Rd4 40.Re2 Re5 41.Kb2
Rdxe4 42.Rxe4 Rxe4 43.Rxg5 )


37.Kc3 {Here comes the king again.}

38.Rb2 e5 39.Rg6 a4 {?} {Anand should have discovered this:}
( 39…g4 40.Bd3 Rxb3+ 41.Rxb3 Bxb3 42.Rxg4 c4 43.Be2 Kd6 {Is an easy draw.}

Anand misses an easier way to draw.

Anand misses an easier way to draw.

40.Rxg5 Rxb3+ 41.Rxb3 Bxb3 42.Rxe5+ Kd6 43.Rh5 Rd1 44.e5+ Kd5
45.Bh7 {Carlsen is obviously planning Bishop to g8+.}

Rc1+ {??}{Anand is not looking his best today.} ( 45…Ra1 46.Bg8+ Kc6
47.Bxb3 Rxa3 {and Anand is fine.} )

Anand is not looking his best today.

Anand is not looking his best today.

46.Kb2 Rg1 47.Bg8+ Kc6 48.Rh6+
Kd7 49.Bxb3 axb3 50.Kxb3 Rxg2 51.Rxh4 {Three passed pawns against one is not good odds for Anand.}

52.a4 Kxe5 53.a5 Kd6 54.Rh7 {Carlsen is using good technique but we would not expect otherwise.}
Kd5 55.a6 c4+ 56.Kc3 Ra2 57.a7 Kc5 58.h4 {Viswanathan Anand resigns.} 1-0

Round 1 analysis

Round 2 analysis

Round 3 analysis

Round 4 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

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