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The Week in Chess
- Kramnik, Gelfand and Caruana start London Classic with perfect scores – Day 1
The first day of the 5th London Chess Classic Super 16 rapid which started on Wednesday 11th December has already identified the early favourites for the whole event.
Group A looks wide open with Viswanathan Anand turning around a lost position against Luke McShane in round 1 and drawing with Adams in Round 2 and Luke McShane beating Andrei Istratescu who looks likely to suffer as he also lost to Adams. Anand, Adams and McShane look set for a close battle.
In Group B Vladimir Kramnik won a fluctuating struggle against Peter Svidler in the first round whilst Jonathan Rowson did the same against Matthew Sadler. Kramnik crushed Rowson in game two whilst Svidler took perpetual check against Sadler. I guess if Svidler hits form he and Kramnik will go through.
In Group C Boris Gelfand beat Judit Polgar and Gawain Jones whilst Hikaru Nakamura drew with black against Jones and then ground down Judit Polgar. I can’t see beyond Nakamura and Gelfand, Jones has an outside chance but Polgar’s other interests have seen her chess decline alarmingly.
Group D saw Fabiano Caruana take control with crushing wins against Emil Sutovsky and Nigel Short. David Howell survived terrible time trouble to beat Emil Sutovsky. Caruana to go through and the other place is wide open with the other players not really making their case just yet.
Games and tables below.
- 5th London Chess Classic 2013 – Games and Results
The 5th London Chess Classic takes place 7th to 15th December 2013. The event starts with a FIDE Open which will see two players qualify after four rounds, the event continues to round 9. The super-rapid takes place 11th to 15th December. Groups have been drawn: GpA McShane, Anand, Istratsecu 1,Adams. GpB Kramnik, Svidler, Rowson, Sadler. GpC Gelfand, Polgar, Jones, Nakamura, GpD Short, Howell, Caruana , Sutovsky. Three points for a win, one for a draw although I’ll have to construct the tables by hand as can only do normal scoring dynamically.
- John Watson Book Review #107 of EPlus and Chess Praxis – 107
John Watson returns with his first review of an electronic chess book, Robert Sherwood’s translation of Chess Praxis by Aron Nimzowitsch.
Watson starts with a discussion of various eformats whether they be PDF files, or based on ChessBase or PGN formats. He then looks at the features of the newer e+chess app, and at the new e+books version of Chess Praxis. More reviews should follow soon.
- Battle of the Generations 2013 – Games and Results
The Battle of the Generations match in Moscow took place 2nd to 8th December 2013 between Daniil Dubov and Alexei Shirov. 6 game match commentated in Russian by Sergei Shipov. The experienced Shirov had far too much for Dubov winning the match 5-1. There were additional blitz games following the draws in rounds 1 and 6, Dubov won one game and drew the other in each of these blitz sessions.
- World Team Chess Championship 2013 – Games and Results
The World Team Chess Championship took place in Antalya, Turkey 26th November to 5th December 2013. 10 nations competed, they were the defending champions, the top 3 from previous Olympiad, the 4 Continental Champions, organising FED team and FIDE Presidential nomination, Leading players competing included Aronian, Kramnik, Nakamura, Grischuk, Karjakin, Vitiugov, Giri, Ivanchuk etc. 10 teams: Russia, Armenia, Ukraine, China, USA, Netherlands, Azerbaijan, Germany, Turkey and Egypt. Russia regained the title won in 2010 by a point from China and Ukraine and were made to work hard by Egypt in the final round although a draw would also have done on tie-break.
Top Board performers Bd1 Aronian 6/8 75% 2896 Bd2 Korobov 5.5/8, Bd3 Fridman 4.5/7, Bd4 Nepomniachtchi 5.5/7, Bd5 Akobian 4/6.
Final Standings: 1 RUS 15, 2 CHN 14, 3 UKR 14, 4 USA 10, 5 ARM 10, 6 NED 9,7 GER 8, 8 AZE 7, 9 TUR 3, 10 EGY 0
- Carlsen promises to continue to go his own way as he receives Trophy – Closing ceremony
Magnus Carlsen was crowned World Chess Champion in a 15 minute ceremony on Monday 25th November 2013. 500 people attended the closing ceremony where Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Ms J Jayalalitha handed over the winner’s wreath (always a great touch I feel) and trophy to Magnus Carlsen. alongside FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov. Former champion Viswanathan Anand received a beautiful silver salver before Carlsen was presented with an extremely spectacular and heavy winner’s trophy.
Below some news of an interesting Carlsen interview, his revelation he didn’t have any seconds in Chennai and 2014 schedule.
- Carlsen vs Anand final game one of the longest and most difficult of the World Championship – 10
Magnus Carlsen became world chess champion by a score of 6.5-3.5 following his game 10 draw against Viswanathan Anand. It was expected that Carlsen would try and shut out the match with a quick draw but he pressed for a long time even after missing a chance for a big advantage. Not surprisingly the actual game was pretty much lost in all the excitement of the end of the match but I’ve gone back over the game and produced some notes and added comments from various sources. I don’t have a definitive judgement but hopefully I’ll be able to point up the large number of key decisions that were needed in this complicated and difficult game which ended up being the second longest of the entire match.
Carlsen played the Moscow Variation against Anand’s Sicilian and whilst playing solidly he had a nice space advantage. After 28.a5 Carlsen had a nice position and Anand had no easy choices but Anand’s 28…Qg5 was definitely bad and if Carlsen had played 30.Nc3 then he would almost certainly have won, instead Carlsen thought that he was winning easily and miscalculated something after 30.exd6. This lead to a difficult knight and pawn endgame where Carlsen had a definite but probably not winning edge. Anand quickly played 40…Nf5 but it’s not clear if 40…g5 might not have been better, 41…Ne3 was only played after a long think, 42…f5 might well be forced. Carlsen’s 43.Nd6 may not be the best winning try but it was played after considering it for a while, 43.Nd2 might have been better. Carlsen finally decided that enough was enough and his 46.Ng8+ moved towards a draw with 49.Nxf5+, if Carlsen had really needed a win then he’d have tried 46.Nh5 but that really wasn’t the case this time. The game was quickly drawn after this.
- Schachbundesliga 2013-14 – Games and Results
The Schachbundesliga 2013-14 season takes place 12th October 2013 to 6th April 2014. Probably the strongest national league see many of the best players in the world compete. Multiple winners Baden-Baden defend their title. 2nd weekend 23rd-24th November 2013.
- Viswanathan Anand and Magnus Carlsen the post-match press conference – Final Press
Viswanathan Anand followed by Magnus Carlsen attended the final game 10 press conference on 22nd November after Carlsen had won the match. It was a lively affair with some interesting comments as to the course of the match.
Anand spoke as to why he lost the match ”At the start of the match I thought my chances depended on my ability to last long games without making a lot of mistakes. This year I had lot of problems creeping into my play. I kind of try to pay some attention to that. In the end it was in vain.” and that ”As far as I am concerned, game five was when it all started to go wrong.”. ”I had a feeling that this match will be about execution. I had any strategy I wanted. Executing it, holding at the board, seeing it through was its all about.” ”I was simply unable to execute my strategy.” Anand said he would have to go away and think about things but for now he was planning to try and qualify to play Carlsen again next year via the Candidates.
Carlsen was please with game 10 ”I think it was a nice fight and a worthy end to the match.” and was unworried about a missed opportunity for a big advantage with 30.Nc3 ”When I took on d6 [30.exd6] I missed something simple. I thought I was just winning with that. If I knew this move wasn’t so good I would have taken some more time and perhaps found a better move and put even more pressure on him. That wasn’t terribly impressive. Anyway, it doesn’t feel very important now.”
Worries about Chennai already dismissed by Carlsen before the match were unfounded: ”I have been so happy with the way I had been treated here. Everything has been top notch. My every wish has been attended to. For my team as well. It has been beyond expectations that I have experienced in other places.”
Turning point for Carlsen? ”the first and third games I was little bit nervous and perhaps not quite ready for this big occasion. After game three and four I managed to settle in. I realised that I don’t have to do differently from what I usually do. And that was the turning point.” Later he extended the point ”Basically game four gave me good feeling. I thought real good fighting game. Although I did not manage to win it I felt that I seized the initiative in the match and that he was as nervous and vulnerable as I was.”
Carlsen didn’t name his seconds apart from the high profile Jon Ludvig Hammer but thanked them all for their hard work.
Carlsen felt his approach to the match worked well: ”I would like to take some responsibility for his mistakes. That’s for sure. Its been like that for me for a long time. I just play and people crack under pressure. Even in world championship. That is what the history shows. We have to keep on pushing.” … ”That is what I really wanted to do in this match. Make him sit at the board and play for long time.”
Complete text and video below
- Magnus Carlsen is the new World Chess Champion – 10
Magnus Carlsen has won the FIDE World Chess Championship in Chennai by a score of 6.5-3.5 against defending champion Viswanathan Anand. Carlsen required just 10 of the 12 scheduled games to win the title. It is too early to talk of the Carlsen era as defence of his title is scheduled in less than 12 months but this is the culmination of Carlsen’s domination of the game. First Carlsen has cemented himself firmly as world number one, then somewhat nervously he navigated the qualification via a Candidates tournament and in India he didn’t seem to have to exert himself to the maximum in becoming world chess champion. It seems entirely possible he will keep the title for some time.
Carlsen had an overwhelming lead going into what turned out to be the final game. A short perfunctory affair might have been expected but instead it turned into a real struggle. Anand finally played his old favourite the Sicilian Defence and Carlsen played his expected Moscow Variation against it. Anand described the game as ”I thought today was a kind of microcosm of the whole match” in that ”at some point I started to make mistakes” with 28…Qg5 allowing 29.e5 and after 29…Ne8 Carlsen almost immediately made the capture 30.exd6 which he thought was just winning but he ”missed something simple”. Instead if Carlsen had spent a bit more time he would have seen 30.Nc3 would have given him a huge advantage Carlsen said this mistake ”doesn’t feel very important now” afterwards. Carlsen pressed for some time into a knight ending which turned out to be very complicated and at least on the outside seemed to give him at least some losing chances. In the end Carlsen had to trade into a queen ending where he had pawns and Anand a knight. This was drawn after a few more moves on move 65 with only a knight remaining.
Anand thought his chances in the match were down to being able to avoid a lot of mistakes and that execution of any match strategy was entirely dependent on that. He was happy to escape with a draw in game four but his first loss in game five came as a big setback and for him this was the turning point in the match. For Carlsen he felt that after a nervy first two games the play in games three and especially four gave him the confidence that the match wouldn’t require him to do much more than he was already doing in winning tournaments. Carlsen won games five and six and also yesterday’s game nine all after major blunders by Anand although both players pointed out that Carlsen had some responsibility in getting Anand to make them.
At the final handshake the players signed the board they played game 10 on and Carlsen remained on the stage a little longer than Anand eventually leaving not with a punch to the air as Kasparov famously did in 1985 but with a broad smile.
22 year old Carlsen went from amateur to champion in only 10 years. Carlsen (22 years and 357 days) is the 16th undisputed World Chess Champion and the second youngest behind Kasparov (22 years and 210 days). The split between Kasparov and FIDE in 1993 makes all numbers in this area controversial, the Indian press release of champions names the maximum 20 champions in which case FIDE’s 2002 champion Ruslan Ponomariov would be youngest at 18 years old.
Full account of this game and the match will follow over the next days.
”Clearly, he (Carlsen) dominated the match. Full credit to him,” – Anand
”I would like to think I can take some responsibility for those blunders, I just play and people crack under the pressure, even in World Championships.” – Carlsen
Game and press conference video below.
- Carlsen on the brink of becoming World Chess Champion after game 9 win – 9
Magnus Carlsen is just one draw away from become World Chess Champion after surviving a very difficult position against defending champion Viswanathan Anand in game nine before even going on to win after a blunder by the champion. Carlsen now leads 6-3 with potentially three games to go although the most likely result will be that the match will finish after a quiet draw in Friday’s game 10 (no-one seemed to believe Anand will go all out to win with black in such a dire match situation when I floated the idea but it could happen).
The ninth game was pretty much Anand’s last chance to get back into the match and he switched to 1.d4 and played the sharp 4.f3 against Carlsen’s Nimzo-Indian. Carlsen’s 7…exd5 avoided the main line 7…Nxd5 and 8…c4 was really quite rare. 10…0-0 was a principled choice asking Anand if he could checkmate him. 16…Nxc1 may have been an error (16…Nc7) because by move 20 most experts believe Anand may be close to winning with best play. The suggestion is that 20.a4 and the direct 20.f5 both win although it will take considerably more time and detailed analysis to prove this for sure as the wins aren’t easy. Anand’s 20.axb4 did not seem to be right especially after Carlsen’s cold-blooded 22…b3. Anand fell into a 45 minute thought before playing 23.Qf4, this move should have led to a forced draw but Anand didn’t check his calculations too much and he played 28.Nf1 losing immediately (he realised immediately what he had done), 28.Bf1 would have led to a draw. Very long thinks such as Anand’s are rarely good news for the player concerned and must have been in part responsible for the error. Anand had calculated 28…Qd1 wins for him. This I believe was the most interesting and difficult game of the match but again finished drastically.
A consideration of the match as a whole and the future should wait until the match finishes.
Game 10 Friday 22nd Nov Carlsen-Anand 15:00 Chennai time 09:30 GMT.
Below is a transcript of a sometimes tetchy press conference plus some light notes which may serve as a starting point for deep analysis.
- Carlsen forces quick draw in World Championship Game 8 – 8
Magnus Carlsen edged half a point closer to the World Chess Championship title with a 33 move draw in game 8. Carlsen leads 5-3 against defending champion Viswanathan Anand and only needs 1.5 points from the final 4 games to win the match.
Carlsen chose 1.e4 for the first time in the match and after a short thought Anand chose to defend with 1…e5 and then the Berlin Defence to the Ruy Lopez a very solid choice. With a two point lead Carlsen chose the dullest variation available and the game traded quickly to a draw. (was this playing into Anand’s final gamble?) This result pretty much guarantees Anand will have to win or go down fighting in Thursday’s game 9. After the game the press conference was delayed whilst the players were informed they must undertake a doping control.
Below some light notes on the game and some comments on opening preparation from the press conference.
Game 9 Thursday 21st Nov Anand-Carlsen 15:00 Chennai time, 9:30am GMT. I will hosting ICC’s commentary with GM Jon Speelman.
”Well, the match situation is fairly clear now. This was a short two relatively easy games. Obviously I have to try in the next one.” – Viswanathan Anand
”He played the Berlin. I played the most solid line … yada yada yada (like chop chop chop) we go to the doping control.” – Magnus Carlsen
”Starting to realize that I am the only person who is going to be able to stop Sauron in the context of chess history.” – Hikaru Nakamura
- Carlsen moves closer to title after straightforward World Championship Game 7 draw – 7
Magnus Carlsen requires just two points from the last five games of his World Chess Championship match against defending champion Viswanathan Anand to claim the title after an uneventful 32 move game 7 draw. Carlsen leads 4.5-2.5 in the 12 game match and only needs to score 2 out of 5 to take the title.
After two consecutive losses there was obvious speculation as to what Anand would do as this was one of his three remaining games with white. Whilst players such as Hikaru Nakamura and Teimour Radjabov advocated going ”all-in” with aggressive play Anand instead chose a ”very slow, maneuvering kind of game” where he ”might be able to press a little bit”. Anand admitted that ”somehow I was not able to make it happen”. Key moments such as they were: Anand’s 5.Bxc6 goes for a small advantage by doubling pawns, Carlsen’s 7…Bh5 was new at the elite level and probably avoided any preparation Anand actually had, 17…fxe3 was probably the only move white could play to try for an advantage, 19…a5 was a quality waiting move after 25…Qxe5 a draw was going to be the only result.
No doubt Anand hoped for more from the opening today but the match has probably passed the point where he can get back into it without Carlsen starting to playing considerably worse than he is now. Carlsen hasn’t shown much signs of weakening but if it does happen then most likely it will be as he approaches the finish line. A loss for Anand today would have all but ended the match. Has Anand more or less given up as some believe? I don’t know, it is possible. It may be Anand had in mind the old Soviet dictum that if you lose two in a row your only job is to draw to stop the rot. Then you can move on. Anand at least looked in a reasonably good mood at the press conference today.
Anand needs to win at least one in the next three games and to hope that Carlsen’s nerves will get him a second in the final two. This already feels like a long shot. The inability of Anand to put Carlsen under any real pressure with white in the match so far has been the biggest surprise to me.
The closest Carlsen came to a loss today was before it started when he left the board with less than a minute to go before the start and only returned with less than 16 seconds to go. In watching the footage I was able for the first time to see that there is a count-down on a video screen so Carlsen probably wasn’t in much danger of being defaulted for not being at the board at the time the clocks were started. Nevertheless I was getting slightly alarmed.
Carlsen-Anand Game 8 Tuesday 18th Nov 3pm Chennai time 9:30am GMT.
- European Team Championships Warsaw 2013 – Games and Results
The European Team Championships both open and women’s events took place in Warsaw 8th to 17th November 2013. Leading players: Levon Aronian, Alexander Grischuk, Fabiano Caruana, Veselin Topalov, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Michael Adams, Peter Svidler, Etienne Bacrot, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Anish Giri, Alexander Morozevich etc The men’s event was won by Azerbaijan with 14/18 a point clear of France, Russia and Armenia, a total of 38 teams competed. In the women’s event Ukraine took clear first with 15/18 a point clear of Russia and hosts Poland in a field of 32 teams. All the games now available along with the detailed final standings.
- Carlsen’s second win in a row a ”heavy blow” to Anand’s World Championship chances – 6
Magnus Carlsen took control of his match against defending champion Viswanathan Anand in Chennai, India when he won the sixth game in 67 moves to move to a 4-2 lead. This loss can only have been extremely painful to Anand because in spite of being clearly short of his best this loss was almost totally unnecessary and at least in part self inflicted.
Anand again played 1.e4 and Carlsen repeated his Berlin Defence from game four. Carlsen repeated the moves from Anand’s game against Aronian from Paris earlier in the year. 10.Bg5 was a new, although hardly surprising, novelty that didn’t cause Carlsen any problems. After the manoeuvre 13…Nb8 14…Nbd7 similar to that used in the Breyer Defence Carlsen was doing well and Anand didn’t seem to know what to do. 21.Bxf6 led to a major piece ending where Carlsen was slightly better. Anand wasn’t so much blundering as making slightly under-par decisions. Nevertheless there wasn’t so very much for Carlsen to work with. Anand decided to part with a pawn in return for a clarification of the defensive task with 38.Qg3. Carlsen couldn’t work out whether it was a blunder or a sacrifice.
Carlsen’s 43…Kf7 was an error, missing 44.h5 giving up another pawn but more or less equalising. Carlsen had more or less given up trying to win and only had one idea left to make progress. It was at this point Anand became a bit careless taking only 30 seconds of his 38 minutes left in playing 57.Rg8+ (indeed he almost made this move immediately) when 57.Rc8 would have probably led to a quick draw. Anand clearly missed Carlsen’s last winning try with 57…Kf4 and his post-game comments suggest he thought he was lost. It’s been my observation that carelessness in technical endings has been seen quite a number of games in Anand’s career. Anand thought he was now losing but in fact it was 60.Ra4? that was the decisive error 60.b4 draws. Anand had nearly half an hour left to consider his move but used only 90 seconds.
It was reported during commentary that Anand didn’t sleep very much the previous night following his game 5 defeat and this may have had an impact in game 6. This loss was, if anything, worse. Anand will feel that in both games he should have been able to avoid the loss.
Sunday’s rest day marks the half way point of the match. Anand starts the second half with the white pieces again. Carlsen leads by 4-2 and requires just 2.5/6 to become the new champion. There are scenarios where Anand could get back into the match but right now Carlsen looks the near certain winner.
There was a press conference right after the game. A clearly upset Anand managed to control himself for the most part and finally snapped at a rather fatuous line of questioning which brought the press conference to a close
Q: (Ole Rolfsrud, NRK TV) I am still wondering if Mr Anand will elaborate by what you mean by doing your best again?
A: (Viswanathan Anand) Doing your best means doing your best. I don’t know why you don’t understand English.
Game 7 Monday 18th November Anand-Carlsen 3pm Chennai times, 9:30am GMT.
”Today was a heavy blow. I will not pretend otherwise. Nothing to be done. You just go on.” – Anand
- Carlsen leads World Championship 3-2 after Anand subsides in messy game 5 – 5
Magnus Carlsen won the fifth game of the FIDE World Chess Championships in Chennai. This was the first decisive game of the match meaning Carlsen leads defending champion Viswanthan Anand 3-2. This was not a game for the purist, with Carlsen’s opening seemingly trying to skirt around anything at all like deep opening theory and get Anand to find moves on his own. Anand chose the Triangle System a variation of the Semi-Slav that can lead to sharp play, especially after Carlsen’s 4.e4 but after playing that Carlsen’s 6.Nc3 transposed to extremely quiet lines and I don’t think there is very much doubt that Anand was objectively at least equal on move 13. Around here Anand’s play started to get tentative and that set the pattern for the rest of the game. 13.Bc7 whilst certainly not losing allowed Carlsen to swap queens off and reach a technical ending where he could push for a long time.
Anand defended quite well and again must have been quite close to equality but the point is to end the suffering at some point and not get tired having to be endlessly accurate. After the game Anand picked 34.Rd4 as being too active and the losing move but I think he was merely attending the press conference as he had to, he didn’t offer up much that made much sense and this assertion is just wrong. Indeed it seemed Carlsen thought it a good move and not thinking he was better at this stage.
It’s hard to say what went wrong for Anand his resistance just seemed to subside. 39…a4 could have been replaced by 39.g4 but it fixes the white a3 pawn and Anand could have followed this idea up by playing 45…Ra1 winning that pawn with equality. After that 46.Re1 may be the very last chance, certainly after 48…Kd7 Carlsen was winning.
A very hard game to annotate because the win came about more from sustained pressure than any specific operation. Carlsen said about the win ”It feels good. It was good fighting game. It got messy at times. I got there in the end. I am very very happy about that.” Detailed notes and comments below.
”Someone said it’s about age, I don’t think so. The game was a draw, but Magnus kept on as usual, playing his cold blooded little moves.” – Miguel Illescas
Game 6 Saturday 15th Nov Anand-Carlsen 3pm Chennai time 9:30am GMT
- FIDE World Chess Championship Anand-Carlsen 2013 – Games and Results
The FIDE World Chess Championship match between defending champion Viswanathan Anand and his challenger world number one Magnus Carlsen took place 9th to 22nd November 2013. Magnus Carlsen won the match 6.5-3.5. This page contains the stories, games and results from the match.
- Anand survives ”basically lost” position against Carlsen in World Championship Game 4 – 4
The FIDE World Championship showed just what it might become following a six hour, sixty-four move draw in game four of the twelve game match. Garry Kasparov was the centre of a post-game media controversy over his seating arrangements but he was only talking enthusiastically about the game via his twitter account. ”Great game 4 in Chennai today! A true pleasure to watch. A top-level battle that did credit to Anand & Carlsen & to fighting human chess! Despite the eternal talk of their demise, classical chess and match chess are alive and well. Many hours of deep ideas at highest level.”
Defending champion Viswanathan Anand had white and whilst he repeated 1.e4 Carlsen deviated from the Caro-Kann and played the Berlin Defence instead using a variation played a number of times by one of his seconds Jon Ludvig Hammer. Anand said that ”Something went horribly wrong in the opening – I made one illogical move after the next” and after 18.Ne2 he allowed Carlsen to win his a-pawn. Anand had some but probably insufficient compensation for the pawn but this lead to a very difficult position for both sides and Anand started to resist very well. Nevertheless Anand called the position ”basically lost” in his initial comments at the press conference. Although Carlsen pressed for a long time Anand defended extremely well and eventually held the draw. ”When I won the pawn I was very optimistic but he kept finding resources. I was missing some little things; he just fought on really well. All credit to him.”
Key moments were 25…h5 (25…Ne7 Anand), 28…Rh4 (28…Nc5, 29…a6), 35.Ne4 (35.R1c3), 36…Rf4+ (36…Rd8), 37…Rf8 (37…g5) all of which were tough decisions that would repay analysis. Anand’s dynamic defence with 35.Ne4 and 38.Nd4 was great but in spite of his disappointment Carlsen continued to find problems for Anand to solve after first time control with 43….Rdd3, 46….Rg3, 49….g5 and 56….Re6 were all tricky moves but in the end he had to settle for the draw.
The two players chatted about the key moments animatedly at the end of the game. Even after such a late finish to a great game the media focus seemed to be dominated by Kasparov’s visit and whether there had been a request by Anand’s camp to move him from the front row. Anand I believe said he knew nothing (the sound to the press conference video was very bad today) and FIDE Press Officer shut down the conversation quickly no doubt mindful of an earlier reportedly acrimonious press conference with Georgios Makropoulos that I haven’t seen. It all seemed to me to be a bit of a storm in a teacup. Kasparov didn’t mention it and has now left India. (Big NRK Sport story in Norwegian on Kasparov)
”Please be cautious when using word like ”blunder” to describe the game of two great players. Or you think Anand didn’t notice pawn on a2?” – Kasparov.
Game 5 Carlsen-Anand will be on Friday at 3pm Chennai time 9:30am BST. Rest day Thursday.
Notes on game four below.
- Carlsen again fails to cause Anand problems with white in World Championship Game 3 – 3
Magnus Carlsen and Viswanathan Anand drew the third game of their title match in Chennai after 51 moves and just over 4 hours of play. Carlsen again repeated his choice of the Reti but got little or nothing from the opening and even admitted that he missed some important details. The game did produce the first real struggle of the match, Anand at least was slightly better due to a space advantage and the two bishops. Some computer analysis suggests Anand could have had chances to be substantially better and Carlsen admitted he was a bit concerned but there was nothing really clear. Anand himself suggested he always thought Carlsen had enough counter-play.
Carlsen seemed to be disconcerted by 27…b5 rejecting his planned 28.Nxe6 Qxe6 29.Bh3 because he wasn’t better but his 28.e3 put him at a disadvantage. Anand talked up Carlsen’s counter-play after this and there was indeed some but 29.Bxb2 according to Houdini was strong but only due to a deep finesse. Later 34…Rf8 which Anand rejected because he thought Carlsen would get good counter-play with Bd3 and Qe4 could have led to a queen ending a pawn up if he had found a later Qd6!
Anand offered a draw on move 40 but this was turned down by Carlsen who then didn’t really try to win but merely simplified to a complete draw. With perpetual checks ending the first two games it may be Carlsen’s unstated intention never to offer or agree to a draw but to play all the games out like this. This is something he has talked about in the past as being generally desirable.
”I didn’t spend much time regretting my moves, that’s completely the wrong focus.” – Carlsen.
Q: ”Kasparov is here. In the building. Are you intimidated?” – Anand: ”Is he now like Elvis?”
Game 4 Anand-Carlsen Wednesday 3pm Chennai time and 9:30am UK time.
- Anand’s turn to steer for a draw in World Chess Championship game 2 – 2
Sunday’s second game of the FIDE World Chess Championship was drawn by three-fold repetition after 25 moves and just one hour ten minutes of play. Magnus Carlsen’s choice of the Caro-Kann with black came as a big surprise to defending champion Viswanathan Anand. Carlsen chose to follow the game Anand-Liren Ding from the Alekhine Memorial earlier this year. Anand apologised after the game for shutting the game down so quickly but he ”decided to be a bit prudent today.” It looks like Anand had options like 13.Nh5 instead of his 13.Bd2 but most post-game discussion surrounded his choice of 18.Qxd5 rather than 18.Qg4 especially as Carlsen’s suggestion of 18…Kh7 doesn’t seem to equalise according to the computer engine Houdini. Anand moved quickly after this to force a draw by repetition on the kingside. Notes to the game below.
Game 3 Tuesday Carlsen-Anand 15:00 Chennai time, 09:30 UK time. Rest day Monday.
Susan Polgar Chess Daily News and Information
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