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FIDE World Chess Championship Anand-Carlsen 2013 (4)

Anand survives "basically lost" position against Carlsen in World Championship Game 4

Anand vs Carlsen game 4. Photo © Anastasiya Karlovich.

Anand vs Carlsen game 4. Photo © Anastasiya Karlovich. |

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.

Game four annotated

Anand,Viswanathan (2775) - Carlsen,Magnus (2870) [C67]
WCh 2013 Chennai IND (4), 13.11.2013

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.0-0 Nxe4 5.d4 Nd6 6.Bxc6 dxc6 7.dxe5 Nf5 8.Qxd8+ Kxd8

Kasparov talked on twitter about the Berlin Defence that caused him so many problems. "The Berlin is a sharp & rich middle-game, not an ending. This was Kramnik's discovery, or re-discovery, vs me in 2000 that I didn't grasp. Nor did most others then. Berlin is more than a wall. After I lost to Kramnik & failed vs his Berlin in 2000, many said it was still lousy, only good against me. Now every top player uses it! Berlin also has benefit of rendering most machine analysis useless. Human chess, deep strategic planning only way. Great from both players." Kasparov has written an essay for Informant 118 on this issue.


[9.Nc3; 9.Rd1+]

9...Bd7 10.Rd1 Be7

Magnus Carlsen


Viswanathan Anand

Position after 10...Be7


Quite a rare continuation.

[10...Kc8 has been played a lot here.]


[11.Bg5 Kc8 12.g4 h6 13.Bd2 (13.Bxe7 Nxe7 14.Kh2 Re8 15.Nbd2 b6 16.Re1 c5 17.Ne4 Bc6 18.h4 Kb7 0-1 Sutovsky,E (2692)-Hammer,J (2606)/Aix-les-Bains FRA 2011 (44 moves)) 13...Nh4 14.Nxh4 Bxh4 15.Bc3 h5 16.f3 hxg4 17.hxg4 Bg3 1-0 Ganguly,S (2651)-Hammer,J (2647)/Wijk aan Zee NED 2011 (67 moves)]

11...Kc8 12.Bg5 h6 13.Bxe7 Nxe7 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,E (2587)-Hammer,J (2630)/Achaea GRE 2012/The Week in Chess 921]

14...c5 15.Rad1N

Magnus Carlsen


Viswanathan Anand

Position after 15.Rad1

"Something went horribly wrong in the opening - I made one illogical move after the next" - Anand. This is the first new move in the game. One can assume Anand's comment refers some if not all of this and the next couple of moves.

[15.Ne4 b6 16.Ng3 Bc6 17.Nh2 Ng6 18.Re1 Nf4 19.f3 Kb7 20.Kf2 Rad8 21.Rxd8 Rxd8 22.Nhf1 g6 23.Ne2 Ne6 24.Ne3 Bb5 25.Nc3 Rd2+ 26.Kg3 Bc6 27.Rd1 Rd4 28.Kf2 Kc8 29.Ne2 Rxd1 30.Nxd1 Nd4 31.c3 Kd7 32.Ne3 Nxe2 33.Kxe2 Ke6 34.f4 g5 35.g3 Be4 36.Ng4 gxf4 37.gxf4 h5 38.Nf6 Bg6 39.Kf3 c6 40.Ne8 f5 41.Nd6 h4 42.a4 Bh5+ 43.Ke3 Bd1 44.a5 bxa5 45.c4 Bb3 46.Kd3 Bd1 47.Ke3 Bb3 48.Kd3 Bd1 49.Nb7 Bf3 50.Nxc5+ Ke7 51.Nb3 Bg2 52.Nd4 Bxh3 53.Nxc6+ Kd7 54.Nd4 Bf1+ 55.Ke3 h3 56.Nf3 Bxc4 57.Kf2 Bd5 58.Kg3 h2 59.Nxh2 Kc6 60.Nf1 Kc5 61.Kf2 Kd4 62.Ng3 Be6 63.Nh5 Kd3 64.Ng7 Bc8 65.e6 Kc2 66.e7 Bd7 67.Nxf5 Kxb2 68.Nd6 a4 69.f5 a3 70.f6 a2 71.f7 -- 1-0 Jakovenko,D (2710)-Almasi,Z (2691)/Khanty-Mansiysk 2007/CBM 122; 15.Ne1]

15...Be6 16.Ne1?! Ng6 17.Nd3 b6 18.Ne2

Magnus Carlsen


Viswanathan Anand

Position after 18.Ne2

"I just missed something after 18.Ne2 and suddenly I was basically lost." - Anand who expanded on the theme later saying that he played the move "just to be consistant" and that he thought there might be tactics with a timely e6 that turned out not to work.

[18.f4; 18.b3]


The bishop cannot be rounded up. White has some compensation for the pawn but almost certainly not enough.

19.b3 c4 20.Ndc1 cxb3 21.cxb3 Bb1 22.f4 Kb7 23.Nc3 Bf5 24.g4 Bc8 25.Nd3 h5

[25...Ne7 "I don't think there's anything wrong with 25...h5 but I thought 25...Ne7 was even stronger. 26.f5 Nc6 Anand said he "didn't see how I could get anything" in this position.]

26.f5 Ne7 27.Nb5 hxg4 28.hxg4

Magnus Carlsen


Viswanathan Anand

Position after 28.hxg4

[28.Rc1 was a suggestion of Boris Gelfand's in commentary. 28...Nd5 The only move that promises any advantage. (28...Nc6 29.Rdc2 is what white is hoping for.) 29.Nc5+ bxc5 30.Rxd5 Bxf5 31.Rdxc5 Rac8 is better for black but I'm not sure by how much. "It just seemed to me some kind of fantasyland" said Anand about his rejection of this line although he showed a rather different set of ideas than this line. But he obviously considered it for some time.]


[28...Nc6 29.Rc1 Rh4 30.Nf2 a5 (30...g6) ; 28...a6 If Carlsen wants to drive away the white knight then this proves to be the last chance to do it.]



29...Nc6 30.Rc2




31.Rc4 g6 32.Rdc1 Bd7 33.e6 fxe6 34.fxe6 Be8 35.Ne4

Magnus Carlsen


Viswanathan Anand

Position after 35.Ne4

"Curious that - 35.Ne4 was the only move Kasparov wanted to analyse ten minutes ago in Chennai" Ian Rogers on twitter.

[35.R1c3 is an alternative.]

35...Rxg4+ 36.Kf2 Rf4+

[36...Rd8!? may be the best but maybe Carlsen missed it due to the rather rare tactical idea involved. 37.Ned6+ (37.Ke3 is the best white has and black is better.) 37...cxd6 38.Rxg4 Ne5!! when black is threatening at least three things and is winning.]

37.Ke3 Rf8?!

Magnus Carlsen


Viswanathan Anand

Position after 37.Rf8

[37...g5! maintains black's advantage.]


Carlsen looked very unhappy when this appeared on the board.

38...Nxd4 39.Rxc7+

Anand commented that he was lucky that here and on move 59 he had checks to take him to time control when short of time.

39...Ka6 40.Kxd4 Rd8+ 41.Kc3 Rf3+ 42.Kb2 Re3 43.Rc8

There was the expectation that the players would soon agree to a draw but Carlsen kept the problems going for another 20 moves.


Magnus Carlsen


Viswanathan Anand

Position after 43...Rdd3

[43...Rxc8 44.Rxc8 Bc6 45.Rxc6 Rxe4 46.Rd6 Kb5 47.e7 Rxe7 48.Rxg6 and the ending is a simple technical draw for a player of Anand's class.]


This finesse may or may not be an improvement over directly capturing the bishop straight away.

44...Kb7 45.Rxe8 Rxe4 46.e7 Rg3

Magnus Carlsen


Viswanathan Anand

Position after 46...Rg3

Black needs to hang on to the g-pawn if he is to have any chance to win.

47.Rc3 Re2+ 48.Rc2 Ree3 49.Ka2 g5!?

Again the most taxing.

[49...Rxb3? 50.Rb8+ wins for white.]

50.Rd2 Re5 51.Rd7+ Kc6 52.Red8 Rge3 53.Rd6+ Kb7 54.R8d7+ Ka6 55.Rd5 Re2+ 56.Ka3 Re6!?

Magnus Carlsen


Viswanathan Anand

Position after 56...Re6

setting up a final rather evil plot.


[57.e8N Rxe8 58.Rxg5 R8e6 59.Rgg7; 57.Rxg5?? b5 and mate or ruiness loss of material follows. Anand said he thought he had checked everything before this final problem turned up.]

57...g4 58.Rg5 Rxe7 59.Ra8+

a welcome check to take Anand to the time control.

59...Kb7 60.Rag8 a4 61.Rxg4 axb3 62.R8g7

In spite of getting more time Anand played very fast at the end showing he had everything under control.

62...Ka6 63.Rxe7 Rxe7 64.Kxb3 1/2-1/2

WCh Chennai
Carlsen, Magnus - Anand, Viswanathan ½-½ 16 A07 Barcza System
Anand, Viswanathan - Carlsen, Magnus ½-½ 25 B18 Caro Kann
Carlsen, Magnus - Anand, Viswanathan ½-½ 51 A07 Barcza System
Anand, Viswanathan - Carlsen, Magnus ½-½ 64 C67 Ruy Lopez Berlin

WCh Chennai (IND), 9-28 xi - 31 v 2013
Name Ti NAT Rtng 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Total Perf
Carlsen, Magnus g NOR 2870 ½ ½ ½ ½ . . . . . . . . 2 2775
Anand, Viswanathan g IND 2775 ½ ½ ½ ½ . . . . . . . . 2 2870

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