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The Week in Chess

  • SportAccord World Mind Games 2014 – Games and Results
    The SportAccord World Mind Games took place in Beijing 11th to 17th December 2014. Rapid, blitz and Basque (two games played simultaneously with black and white) chess events. Grischuk, Aronian, Ivanchuk, Nepomniachtchi, Radjabov, Leko etc in the men’s section. Alexander Grischuk won the Rapid and Blitz sections but Ian Nepomniachtchi won the final Basque System rapid where players play two games against each other at the same time. Hou Yifan won the Blitz and Basque women’s sections and Valentina Gunina the rapid.
  • Anand wins the sixth London Chess Classic on tie-break – 5
    Viswanathan Anand was looking forward to playing a lot of chess in 2015 after he finished the year with a win in the London Chess Classic. He felt his chess form, even in losing to Carlsen, was the best it has been for some time.

    Viswanathan Anand defeated Michael Adams in a Berlin Defence with black to win the 6th London Chess Classic on tie-break. Anand had seemed under pressure with computers giving Adams a nice edge out of the opening. 16.c4 and 17.Rd3 are suggested improvements. After 24…b5 Anand’s problems were over and Adams had the harder position to play. 28.e6 seems to have been an error and Anand quickly developed an initiative in the knight and pawn ending and won. Adams had good positions in all the game he played but his heavy cold seems to have really affected his play.

    Vladimir Kramnik seemed to know more than Anish Giri on the black side of a Catalan and put white under severe pressure but Giri after a rather wild lash out with 26.e4 (in ”disgust” at his position) then defended very well and just held the draw. The draw meant allowed Anand to catch them and by virtue of winning the only game with black Anand took the title on tie-break. This ends a period since the start of November where Kramnik has played 60 games at many different time controls including 7 against his opponent today. Kramnik said he was looking forward to a rest and playing in Zuerich in February.

    The last game to finish was another complicated Berlin Defence between Fabiano Caruana and Hikaru Nakamura. At one point Nakamura thought he was checkmating Caruana but missed a simple way out for his opponent. In the end the game was drawn.

    Final Standings: 1st Anand 7pts (1 win with black), 2nd Kramnik and Giri (tiebreaks equal) 7pts 4th Nakamura 6pts, 5th Adams 4pts (1 win), 6th Caruana 4pts (no wins).

    Gawain Jones takes a one point lead against Romain Edouard into the final game of their match at the start of the Hampstead Chess Congress after another draw in game 5.

  • Nakamura moves into contention after a Round 4 win against Adams in the London Chess Classic – 4
    Hikaru Nakamura beat Michael Adams in round 4 of the London Chess Classic to move within striking distance of the leaders Anish Giri and Vladimir Kramnik who meet in the final round.

    Nakamura played a slightly unusual move order in the Queen’s Gambit delaying the development of his Queen’s Knight and playing Qc2 instead. Adams could have taken play back into normal lines if he had played 7…0-0 but instead his 7…c5 got him into trouble that he never really escaped from. Adams retained drawing chances although after 24…Ne6 allowed 25.Nxe6 fe breaking his kingside pawn structure there was some argument as to whether the rook ending was now theoretically lost among some of the players. After 28.Rb1 Adams’ task in the double rook ending looked hard and Nakamura trapped his rook on move 40.

    Viswanathan Anand looked to have some kind of edge against Anish Giri but a miscalculation meant that the position turned round to being slightly better for black. Anand however quickly simplified to a draw.

    Vladimir Kramnik looked to have nagging pressure against Fabiano Caruana’s Gruenfeld but a finely calculated combination liquidating the centre and most of the pieces led to a draw for Caruana.

    Gawain Jones again drew against Romain Edouard to maintain his slender lead in their six game match. The fifth game will be alongside the final round of the Classic and their final game will take place at the start of the Hampstead Chess Congress.

    Round 4 (of 5) Standings: Kramnik, Giri 6pts, Nakamura 5pts, Anand, Adams 4pts, Caruana 3pts.

    Final Round 5 pairings: Adams-Anand, Caruana-Nakamura, Giri-Kramnik

  • All three games drawn in London Chess Classic Round 3 – 3
    The third round of the London Chess Classic saw all the games drawn. Hikaru Nakamura caused some excitement with his choice of the Evans Gambit but Anand had looked at it recently (Kramnik faced it in Qatar) and knew the generally accepted antidotes. Anand was somewhat surprised by 9.a4 but was still doing fine. Probably Anand wasn’t completely accurate in the next few moves as Nakamura got some pressure with 21.Nd6 (Nc5 was also interesting) but the game soon fizzled to a draw.

    Anish Giri came armed with the waiting move 12…Rc8 in the Berlin Defence against Fabiano Caruana. Play was complicated and the players indicated that there were issues raised by the game but the game ended in a draw after 44 moves.

    Michael Adams missed the opportunity to take the lead against Vladimir Kramnik’s Berlin Defence when the latter became a bit too overoptimistic. 14…Bc4 was a new idea and Kramnik equalised but probably not more. Kramnik then spent 46 minutes on his 34th move but couldn’t find anything winning for him and played b6 missing b5. Adams then took over had a direct win with 40.f6+. Sadly for him Adams’ 40.c5 (missing Re3 and he did see the winning idea and if he’d have had only a few seconds he thought he might have played f6) wasn’t even second best and his chance was gone.

    Round 3 Scores: Giri, Kramnik 5pts, Adams 4pts, Anand 3pts, Nakamura, Caruana 2pts

    Gawain Jones managed to hold a worse position to keep his lead against Romain Edouard after three games of their six game match.

    Round 4 Pairings: Saturday 13 Dec, 2pm (weekend rounds two hours earlier than previously) Anand-Giri, Kramnik-Caruana, Nakamura-Adams.

  • Kramnik and Giri win in London Chess Classic Round 2 – 2
    Leader Michael Adams got a passive position out of the opening against Anish Giri and got a really unpleasant position and lost material. Giri said this sideline of the Catalan couldn’t have been known by Adams as it isn’t supposed to be that good for white. Adams found a nice idea in time trouble which led to simplifications to a position a pawn down which Giri thought could be drawn with best play but Adams eventually blundered his g7 pawn just before time control and lost.

    Vladimir Kramnik prepared the line in the Petrosian Variation he tried against Hikaru Nakamura over a year ago. Kramnik felt 18…Na6 was black’s only good try and following 19…e5 he was close to winning and after 25. Rg3 he felt he had a decisive advantage which he drove home.

    Fabiano Caruana recovered from his loss to Michael Adams with a calm draw with black against Viswanathan Anand. 9…b6 seems to be an important new idea for black and Anand felt black might even have chances if he hadn’t chosen to repeat. Anand has never lost on his birthday and this record continued on his 45th today.

    Romain Edouard got a large advantage against Gawain Jones’ Dragon Sicilian but repeated in a sharp but winning position. Jones leads 1.5-0.5.

    Round 2 Scores: Giri, Kramnik 4pts, Adams 3pts, Anand, Nakamura, Caruana 1pt

    Round 3 pairings: Nakamura-Anand, Adams-Kramnik, Caruana-Giri

  • Adams leads London Chess Classic after Round 1 – 1
    Michael Adams was the only winner in the first rounds of the London Chess Classic when he beat World Number 2 Fabiano Caruana.

    Adams won a wild game in a Ruy Lopez against Fabiano Caruana where the assessment changed several times. Caruana’s 19…d5 seemed to secure the advantage but he was already in time pressure and he didn’t find the excellent 27…Kh8 which would have reduced Adams’ attacking prospects. Adams then sacrificed a knight to open up black’s king and 34.Re4 would have won for him. Now both players were in time trouble and Caruana had the better of the next few moves and he had the advantage at first time control according to the computer. The position remained very hard for both to play and after a long thought Caruana played the bad 42…Rb4 instead of covering d7 which was a fantastic square for Adams’ Queen. Adams was happy with his counter play as Caruana fell into deep thought but didn’t spot that the real problem was Caruana’s intended 44… Qf8 fails to 45. Rxg7 Qxg7 46. Qxg7+ Kxg7 47. g4. After this Adams was winning but had to be careful and eventually found his way to the win only after 6 hours 10 minutes play.

    Vladimir Kramnik and Viswanathan Anand played a theoretical Botvinnik System Semi-Slav which ended in a draw in the same way as a game between two 1800 rated players in correspondence chess. Kramnik’s 30.Qd3 looked as if it might force Anand to show something new but his 33.Qxc3 instead of the more critical 33.h4 (leading to a complex rook and pawn ending) led by force to a drawn endgame. Anand most likely knew almost everything in advance.

    Hikaru Nakamura tried a sideline of the Berlin Defence against Anish Giri which was slightly tricky but there was too little in it for either side and the game ended in repetition.

    Gawain Jones won an intricate English Opening in his challenge match against Romain Edouard. Edouard was playing on his increment for a long time before first time control and his 22…Bxa3 looked suicidal as was 26…Nxd4 but Jones couldn’t land a winning blow and after missing a win with 29.Kf2! a complex ending resulted where Jones was a pawn up. He however kept up the pressure and won in 59 moves.

    Round 1 Standings Adams 3pts, Anand, Giri, Kramnik, Nakamura 1pt, Caruana 0pts

    Round 2 4pm Thursday 11th December: Anand-Caruana, Giri-Adams, Kramnik-Nakamura.

  • 6th London Chess Classic 2014 – Games and Results
    The 6th London Chess Classic takes place at Olympia 6th to 14th December 2014. There will be a rapid tournament followed by a five round classical event. The ”Super Six” will be Fabiano Caruana, Viswanathan Anand, Anish Giri, Hikaru Nakamura, Vladimir Kramnik and Michael Adams. This will be a container for stories, games and results.

    Saturday 12pm and Sunday sees the event get under way with the super rapid play open where amateurs have the chance to play against the stars.

  • Qatar Masters Open 2014 – Games and Results
    The Qatar Masters Open took place 26th November (round 1) to 4th December 2014. Yu Yangyi beat top seeds Anish Giri and Vladimir Kramnik in the final two rounds to take clear first place half a point clear of both of them. Vladimir Kramnik played his first open since 1993 (both of those world championship qualifiers). Other leading players were Anish Giri, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Pentala Harikrishna,Baadur Jobava, Pavel Eljanov, Arkadij Naiditsch, Evgeny Tomashevsky, Bu Xiangzhi, Yuriy Kryvoruchko etc 154 players. The organisers are already planning for next year and hope to secure 10 of the top 20 players in the world. Games and results.
  • Russian Championship Superfinal 2014 – Games and Results
    The Russian Championship Superfinal for men and women takes place 28th November to 7th December 2014, rest day 3rd December rest day.

    Men: Peter Svidler, Ian Nepomniachtchi, Nikita Vitiugov, Igor Lysyj, Vadim Zvjaginsev, Dmitry Jakovenko, Denis Khismatullin, Boris Grachev , Sergey Karjakin and Alexander Morozevich

    Women: Valentine Gunina, Alexandra Kosteniuk ,Natalia Pogonina , Olga Girya, Alina Kashlinskaya, Ekaterina Kovalevskaya Oksana Gritsaeva, Aleksandra Goryachkina, Alisa Galliamova and Anastasia Bodnaruk.

    Games and results.

  • NRK Carlsen vs Norway TV 2014 – Games and Results
    Magnus Carlsen played an exhibition event on the NRK TV channel in Norway. There main game was Norway vs Carlsen. There were some technical problems early on which meant later moves were played in turbo mode (about 30 seconds a move) and the Norway position collapsed rapidly. Carlsen started 7 other simultaneous games against teams including the family Carlsen, chess juniors, politicians, journalists, members of the public etc. I believe some of these may have been better games and become available later. November 30th was also Magnus Carlsen’s birthday and he was presented with a cake and a present of a framed cartoon of him with Donald Duck.
  • Kasparov beats Habu in Tokyo Chess Exhibition 2014 – Games and Results
    Garry Kasparov played an exhibition event in Tokyo sponsored by Dwango and shown on Nicovideo on November 28th 2014. Kasparov played against the shogi champion and chess FM Yoshiharu Habu in advance of the latter’s computer shogi exhibitions. Kasparov won both 25 minute plus 10 seconds a move games but admitted he had ”everything to lose” in achieving the expected result. There is a video replay available on the official site in Japanese but Kasparov gives his answers in English (registration required). Kasparov demonstrated one of the games, talked about computers, shogi and Carlsen amongst other subjects. Games below.
  • John Watson Book Review #114 More on Electronic Publishing – 114
    IM John Watson looks again at more Electronic Publications by MChess, EPlus, Everyman Books, Gambit Studio, ForwardChess, ChessApps and SmartChess and some of the publications within them.
  • Nakamura vs Aronian Match 2014 – Games and Results
    Hikaru Nakamura and Levon Aronian played a match of 4 classical games (tied 2-2) and 16 blitz games Nakamura won 9.5-6.5 to take the match, in Saint Louis 21st to 25th November 2014.
  • World Chess Championship closing ceremony: Putin speaks and Carlsen receives his prizes – Closing Ceremony
    The closing ceremony of the World Chess Championship took place in Sochi on Tuesday 25th November. The President of Russia Vladimir Putin attended the match for the first time and gave a speech on the match.

    The prizes were awarded to the players by FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov rather than Vladimir Putin. Ilyumzhinov’s main announcement was that the next World Championship match in 2016 would be in the United States of America. Earlier in an interview with VG’s correspondent Nora Thorp Bjornstad Ilya Merenzon of AGON said ”We have our hearts set on North America” (she also got a comment from Putin later where he said ”Carlsen is a genius”).

    Both players received huge heavy solid silver medals (Carlsen’s gold plated). Carlsen in addition received the traditional wreath and a wonderful cup. Carlsen made a short thankyou speach and the sore throat and cold he’d been hinting at during the match was obvious.

    Carlsen talked about his teams in his successes of 2013 and 2014 in interview with Anastasiya Karlovich on the morning of the closing ceremony (see embeded link below).

    This time it was Michael Adams (for the human touch), Laurent Fressinet and Jon Ludvig Hammer, all working in Norway in Kragero. Peter Heine Nielsen was Carlsen’s man in Sochi and Carlsen also revealed he talked to Kasparov before the match (as one of the few people he could learn from) and that during the match Kasparov gave suggestions to Nielsen. Ian Nepomniachtchi and Vladimir Potkin (working in Sochi on Nepomniachtchi’s preparation for the Russian Superfinal) also helped Carlsen. Carlsen also mentioned Pavel Eljanov’s help for Chennai 2013.

    ”He has been a one of the very top players himself so he adds the human perspective.” Carlsen on Adams.

    Carlsen revealed he started the match very confidently but the loss in game three set him back and he only really recovered his balance when he had two whites in a row in the middle of the match. He also said that if in game 6 Anand had taken his chance the match would have been different.

    There was also a very interesting Caruana interview on the match where he was critical of some of Anand’s opening choices and also unhappy with the World Championship cycle and FIDE. He said he was not alone in these opinions.

  • World Chess Championship 2014 – Games and Results
    The World Chess Championship took place in Sochi 7th to 27th November 2014. Magnus Carlsen defended the title he won in Chennai last year against the former champion Viswanathan Anand. Magnus Carlsen won game 11 to finish the match a 6.5-4.5 winner. This is the TWIC container page for the event for the stories and games.

    Key Dates: Opening ceremony 7th Nov (15:30 GMT Press conference 17:30 GMT Opening). Round 1 (8 Nov), Round 2 (9 Nov), Round 3 (11 Nov), Round 4 (12 Nov), Round 5 (14 Nov), Round 6 (15 Nov), Round 7 (17 Nov), Round 8 (18 Nov), Round 9 (20 Nov), Round 10 (21 Nov), Round 11 (23 Nov), Round 12 (25 Nov), Tiebreaks (if required): (27 Nov).

  • Carlsen retains World Chess Championship title after beating Anand in Game 11 – 11
    The World Chess Championship in Sochi finished in a win for Magnus Carlsen 6.5 to 4.5 against his challenger Viswanathan Anand. Carlsen avoided having to play the final game with black with a game 11 win in 45 moves against Anand’s Berlin Defence.

    Carlsen said of the game ”it was a little bit more complicated than our previous games in which I had been white.”

    Carlsen was critical of his play in the early middle-game where it seemed that Anand got a slight edge. ”Perhaps I didn’t play the best way from lets say move 18-19 to move 23 because then all of a sudden this b5 created a lot of counter play”

    Carlsen’s move 23.Nef6 may have turned out to be inaccurate as it allowed 23…b5 after which the position looked very dangerous for Anand. However it was around this point Anand seemed to get nervous. Carlsen’s 26.Kf3 supporting his centre was an excellent move and Anand said that

    ”I wasn’t thinking very clearly at this point anyway.” Anand

    27.Rb4 was criticised by both players

    Anand said ”OK it was a bad gamble and I was punished.” Carlsen said he didn’t think Anand got enough for the exchange. 28…cxb4 was clearly another error (28..axb4 was certainly a better capture).

    Carlsen described his play from here on as forceful and ”was happy to find this plan with Nh5, f4 and kicking his bishop from e6 because that’s really what’s causing me a lot of problems. Once this bishop goes from e6 I can invade with the rook and then it’s very difficult for him.”

    36.Rxc7+ was an accurate liquidation and even after the players passed move 40 they didn’t really slow all that much and the game was soon over.

    ”I was a little bit nervous, and towards the end I got really excited so I had to try and control myself then.” Carlsen

    On the match Carlsen: ”I thought after the first couple of games that I was playing much better than he was but then game three got me back to earth again.”

    ”It’s been inconsistant but it was evidently good enough. I can still improve but I certainly did some good things as well. For sure he played better than he did last time and he really pushed me to the end.”

    ”it was tougher this time.”

    Anand on the match: ”I was happy with some things. I did much better with white than last year but with the black pieces it didn’t work out so well. I think it was a tougher match but in the end I have to admit he was superior. His nerves held up better.”

    This was indeed a closer match than last time. Carlsen, is the better player, especially in certain types of position which he seems to be able to enforce against Anand. However Anand was extremely well prepared and self-disciplined and kept his chances alive well into this eleventh game. Both played down the exchange of blunders in game six but if Anand had taken this opportunity this match would have been closer still or even lost by Carlsen. Such are the margins in world championship matches.

    This was a quick defence after having been champion less than a year, Carlsen will next have to defend his title in November 2016 giving him 18 months to really enjoy the title. Perhaps this is the real start of the Carlsen era. 2014 was a rather disrupted year for Carlsen. He had celebrations and rest after winning the title, more commercial and media appearances than before, the Olympiad, which went very badly for him and then finally this defence less than 12 months after winning the title. He had very little opportunity for work on his game. With time on his side in 2015 I expect Carlsen’s play to move forward again, and rather quickly.

    As to Anand. He will be in action almost straight away in the London Chess Classic. He gave an emphatic ”No” to ideas of retirement and I see no reason for him to do so. I can see many years of elite tournament play ahead of him if he really wants to. Whilst it would be a surprise if he is Carlsen’s opponent in 2016 Anand is now qualified for the Candidates tournament of that year.

    Final score Carlsen 6.5 – Anand 4.5.

    Below are notes to the final game by IM Malcolm Pein with additional player comments.

  • Carlsen holds a draw with black in game 10 to move closer to retaining his world title – 10
    The tenth game of the World Chess Championship in Sochi, Russia was drawn in 32 moves in an equal position. Viswanathan Anand again played 1.d4 and Magnus Carlsen returned the Gruenfeld Defence he tried in game one.

    Anand played the Russian Variation and tried a line one of his known seconds Radoslaw Wojtaszek tried against Ruslan Ponomariov in 2012. Carlsen seemed to be ready for this. Both players were rather cagey about talking of the early stages of the game as there is clearly room for future investigation of the line.

    Carlsen played 14…Ne4 quite quickly but after 15.Nxe4 he took quite some time to reply. 15…Rxe4 certainly looks tempting but instead Carlsen eventually replied with 15…Bxe4 after which Anand started to think. 16…Qf6 was the point Anand felt comfortable discussing the game and Carlsen admitted that at first he thought he was out of difficulties until he started to properly consider the position after 19.Ng5.

    Anand praised 19…Bd4 as precise, 24.Rd2 was criticised by both players (although Anand didn’t really offer alternatives) and Carlsen said he felt comfortable after 24…Re8 taking the e-file, 26…Be5 was where Anand stopped discussing the game, after this move the game headed quickly to a draw.

    The feeling during the game was that Anand did have the better chances and perhaps more testing continuations will be found in analysis.

    So Carlsen survives one of the two games with black he needs to draw to retain his title. It’s generally held that if an elite player wants to draw with white he can do so, we’ll have to wait and see whether Carlsen wants to press for more during Sunday’s game 11 where he has his final game with the white pieces.

    Rest day Saturday.

    ”You just have to keep trying.” Anand

    Score Carlsen 5.5 – Anand 4.5.

    Sunday 23rd November 2014. Game 11 Carlsen vs Anand. If Carlsen were to win this game he would win the whole match.

  • Carlsen gets no advantage against Anand’s Berlin in drawn World Championship Game 9 – 9
    Magnus Carlsen retains a one point lead going into the final three games of the defence of his world title in Sochi against Viswanathan Anand.

    Carlsen used 49 minutes and Anand only 14 in a session that lasted just over an hour. before the draw was agreed. The Berlin Defense to the Spanish is one of the hardest nuts to crack for players of 1.e4 and has also been Carlsen’s choice against stronger opposition. Some have speculated that Anand’s choice of 1.d4 with white is precisely due to the difficulty in generating chances against this variation if black knows the theory.

    Carlsen managed a surprise in the same opening in game 7 where he pressed win for a win for a long time before accepting a draw after. 122 moves. Today Carlsen didn’t see anything better than to repeat moves and agree a draw after just over an hour’s play.

    Carlsen deviated from game 7 with 11.Ne2 to which Anand chose the reply 11…b6. Whist this move isn’t quite as common as 11…Be7 there have been high level games using this. 13.Nf4 was played after some deliberation by Carlsen and he admitted that following 13…Bb7 he couldn’t see any advantage for white. Anand said about the position after 14…Bd6 ”I knew at least this was comfortable for black.”

    The match remains in the balance. Anand will have two games with the white pieces to try and get an advantage against Carlsen. Anand may have a single use weapon with black in game 11 if he thinks it is time to try and win with black too. Neither player seemed all that concerned by today’s result and both can be reasonably happy.

    Score after 9 of the scheduled 12 games Carlsen 5 Anand 4. First to 6.5 points or if tied 6-6 there will be rapid tie-breaks followed by blitz.

    Game 10 Friday 20th November 2014 3pm local time 12pm GMT: Anand – Carlsen.

  • Carlsen opening surprise secures an easy draw in World Championship Game 8 – 8
    The eightth game of the World Chess Championship between Magnus Carlsen and Viswanathan Anand finished in a draw after just about two and three quarter hours play and 41 moves. This result suits Carlsen as he both leads and was playing with the black pieces today.

    Carlsen came armed with a ”fresh idea” (Svidler) in a well known position with his 9…Re8 combined with 10..Be7. Anand seemed to be aware of the idea even if it was nowhere near his main preparation for this game.

    After 17…Rad8 (a very accurate move according to Anand) Carlsen was clearly still in preparation and after 21…b4 it was obvious the game was going to finish in a quick draw. Anand had a ”symbolic” advantage after that but he offered a draw on move 41.

    Carlsen looked tired and distracted during the game which was otherwise going very well for him and afterwards said he was tired at the start, although this improved as the game went on, and invited speculation that he either had a small illness or didn’t really sleep that well. The press conference was short with the players mostly giving terse answers.

    This probably can be put down as a win for Carlsen’s team. The next game is on Thursday when Carlsen has white.

    ”As the match goes on the rest days become more and more about that, rest.” Magnus Carlsen

    Score Carlsen 4.5 – Anand 3.5

    Thursday 20th November 2014 3pm local time 12pm GMT Carlsen-Anand.

  • Anand confidently holds the draw in 122 move marathon World Championship game 7 – 7
    Game 7 of the World Chess Championship between Magnus Carlsen and Viswanathan Anand was drawn in 122 moves and 6 hours and 25 minutes of play. This fell just short of the record longest game in World Championship history which was 124 moves long in the Korchnoi draw (stalemate) Karpov in the fifth game of their title match in 1978. It did just surpass the length of game 20 of Tal-Botvinnik, also draw (121 moves) 1961. The longest decisive game was Kasparov 1-0 Karpov in game 16 of their match in 1990 in 102 moves.

    Viswanathan Anand finally played the Berlin Defence, the current choice of Grandmasters who really want to secure at least a draw with black. This game saw Carlsen follow modern theory Giri vs Radjabov from the recent Tashkent Grand Prix where white gives up a pawn for a lot of pressure. Anand was the first to deviate from that game with 25…Nf7 and he quickly resolved to give up a piece to liquidate the pawns on the Kingside. Carlsen said he thought his prospects of winning were quite good and that Anand had ”signed up for suffering.” Carlsen did add that in the position giving up the piece was clearly the best move and that the alternate Rook ending was either lost or only drawing by a narrow margin.

    The rest of the game was difficult and complex and Anand played it really rather well. Anand said he had to keep finding defensive setups every 10 moves or so as Carlsen kept subtly changing his area of attack. Anand’s defense seemed pretty faultless and made the draw look far, far easier than it was.

    Anand didn’t criticise Carlsen for playing on so long but one sensed a small amount of censure with his choice of the word ”superfluous” for the last hour of play when he’d secured a clearly technically drawn position.

    A long game that Anand probably didn’t want but he can definitely derive satisfaction from the way he played. Carlsen was the one mixing up his words a bit and sounding a little tired although his physical fitness probably means it didn’t take so much out of him.

    Anand now has white in game 8.

    Carlsen 4 – Anand 3.

    Game 8 Tuesday 18th November 2014 3pm local time 12pm GMT: Anand-Carlsen