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FIDE World Chess Championship Anand-Carlsen 2013 (2)

Anand's turn to steer for a draw in World Chess Championship game 2

Anand vs Carlsen game 2. Photo © Anastasiya Karlovich.

Anand vs Carlsen game 2. Photo © Anastasiya Karlovich. |

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.

Anand's 1.e4 best by test?

It was defending champion Viswanathan Anand's first game with white and as was widely predicted prior to the game he returned to his first love of 1.e4. Anand was pretty much forced to switch to 1.d4 with white in world championship play in 2008 as his then opponent Vladimir Kramnik was so difficult to break down in the Petroff Defence. The subsequent match against Topalov saw Anand stick to this choice and he mixed both 1.d4 and 1.e4 against Gelfand. I don't think there's much doubt that Anand prefers to play 1.e4 and he must have less fear that Carlsen will play directly for a draw against it. Of course it's possible Anand will use 1.d4 and 1.c4 later in the match but I think 1.e4 will remain his main weapon.

Two short draws

Most of the discussion of the match has centred on the brevity of the games. Anand-Gelfand saw a lot of draws many of which were almost entirely made up of high class preparation. There have been high hopes placed on this match to be different. 12 games isn't many to sort out who is best amongst a couple of elite players meaning that risk really isn't rewarded at all. That said I really do think it unlikely we'll see too much more of this as the contours of the match are established. Matches should be viewed as one contest with a rhythm and slow starts whilst the players get comfortable are part of that. Carlsen pointed out he started with two pretty tame games in the Candidates in London before getting to work and he in particular is known as a slow starter. These games will soon be forgotten if the match catches alight. In the end however the players are here to win the match and entertainment comes as a byproduct. I'm not worried yet.

Hikaru Nakamura on twitter

Hikaru Nakamura @GMHikaru

I am not feeling inspired by the start of the WC match in India. One thing @Kasparov63 always understood is that chess needs to be a show.


WCh Chennai
Carlsen, Magnus - Anand, Viswanathan ½-½ 16 A07 Barcza System
Anand, Viswanathan - Carlsen, Magnus ½-½ 25 B18 Caro Kann

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 . . . . . . . . . . 1 2775
Anand, Viswanathan g IND 2775 ½ ½ . . . . . . . . . . 1 2870

Game 2 notes

Anand,Viswanathan (2775) - Carlsen,Magnus (2870) [B18]
WCh 2013 Chennai IND (2), 10.11.2013

1.e4 c6

A small surprise from Carlsen as he hasn't played this move more than half a dozen times before. However the Caro-Kann is an extremely respectable opening which has featured many times in world championship matches.

2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Bf5 5.Ng3 Bg6 6.h4 h6 7.Nf3 e6

Magnus Carlsen


Viswanathan Anand

Position after 7...e6

With this move Carlsen seems to be inviting Anand to repeat his game against Liren Ding from the Alekhine Memorial.

[7...Nd7 is by far and away the most popular choice here.; 7...Nf6 is the second most popular and 7...e6 only the third but all have been played by black at the highest level. It's a genuine choice.]


[8.h5 is the other common move here.]

8...Bh7 9.Bd3 Bxd3 10.Qxd3 Nd7 11.f4 Bb4+

[11...Ngf6 is an equally popular continuation for black.; 11...c5 has also been played a few times.]


[12.Bd2 Bxd2+ 13.Qxd2 Ngf6 14.0-0-0 0-0 15.Qe2 Qc7 16.Ne4 Nxe4 17.Qxe4 Rad8 18.Qe3 Nxe5 19.dxe5 1/2-1/2 Jakovenko,D (2724)-Eljanov,P (2702)/Tromso NOR 2013/The Week in Chess 980]


Magnus Carlsen


Viswanathan Anand

Position after 12...Be7

"It was a mild surprise. The position after move 12 is a very sharp one and I hadn't really expected it, that was clear. I had to decide if I wanted to fly blind or... I chose a slightly solid line." - Anand.


Not the sharpest.

[13.Nh5 might well be the critical continuation. 13...Bxh4+ 14.Kd1 Bf6 15.Kc2 Qe7; 13.Qf3 also may be a try. 13...Bxh4 14.0-0]

13...Ngf6 14.0-0-0

Anand has had this position before this year, here he decides to deviate from his game against Ding Liren from the Alekhine Memorial.

[14.Qe2 So far no-one has used this move again. 14...c5 15.dxc5 Qc7 16.b4 0-0 17.0-0 a5 18.a3 Nxe5 19.fxe5 Nd7 20.Ne4 axb4 21.cxb4 Qxe5 22.Bc3 Qc7 23.Rad1 Rad8 24.Qg4 g6 25.Nd6 e5 26.Qc4 Nb6 27.Qe4 Nd7 28.h5 gxh5 29.Qf5 Bf6 30.Qxh5 Qc6 31.Rxf6 Nxf6 32.Qxe5 1-0 Anand,V (2783)-Ding Liren (2707)/Paris/St Petersburg FRA/RUS 2013/The Week in Chess 964; 14.Qf3!? Qa5 15.c4 Qa6 16.0-0 Qb6]


[14...c5 15.Be3 0-0 16.Kb1 Qc7 17.Ne4 Nxe4 18.Qxe4 Nxe5 19.dxe5 Rfd8 20.h5 Rxd1+ 21.Rxd1 Rd8 22.Rxd8+ Qxd8 23.Kc2 Qd7 24.b3 Bf8 25.g4 Qb5 26.Bd2 Qa6 27.Kb2 Qf1 28.Qxb7 Qe2 29.Kc2 Qxg4 30.Qxa7 Qxh5 31.Qb7 Qg6+ 32.Kc1 Qg1+ 33.Kc2 h5 34.a4 h4 35.Qf3 c4 36.b4 Qa1 37.f5 Qxa4+ 38.Kc1 exf5 39.Qxf5 Qc6 40.Qg4 Be7 41.Kb2 Qd5 42.Be3 Qxe5 43.Bd4 Qh2+ 44.Ka3 Bf8 45.Qc8 h3 46.Ka4 Qc2+ 47.Kb5 h2 48.Qa8 Qc1 0-1 Inarkiev,E (2693)-Eljanov,P (2702)/Poikovsky RUS 2013/The Week in Chess 982]


Allowing some piece exchanges.

[15.c4 has been played in a couple of GM games and was a clear alternative.]


[15...Nxe5 is an alternative. 16.fxe5 (16.Nxf6+ Bxf6 17.fxe5 Bxh4 18.Kb1 Rc8 19.Rh3 Bg5 20.Rdh1 f5) 16...Nxe4 17.Qxe4 Qd5 18.Qg4 Kh7 19.Kb1 Rad8 20.Rde1 c5]


Magnus Carlsen


Viswanathan Anand

Position after 16.Qe4


[16...f5?! doesn't look like a move Carlsen would ever play. 17.Qe2 Nxe5 18.dxe5 Qd5?! (18...Qa5 19.Kb1 Rad8) 19.c4 Qd7 20.Bb4 Qe8 21.Bd6 c5 1-0 Smeets,J (2613)-Lauber,A (2465)/Forchheim GER 2012 and white was well on top and went on to win.; 16...Nf6 is a Khalifman suggestion whose line continues: 17.Qb1 already this looks very odd. (17.Qe2!?) 17...c5 (17...Qd5 18.g4 Ne4 19.Rh2 Rad8) 18.g4 cxd4 19.g5 Nd5 (19...dxc3!? 20.Bxc3) 20.gxh6 Qc7? (20...dxc3 21.Bxc3) 21.Rdg1 g5 22.c4 Bf6 23.Qe4 Bxe5 24.fxe5 with a crushing position for white in 1.e4 According to Anand by Khalifman but this is a strange line.; 16...a5!?]

17.fxe5 Qd5

Magnus Carlsen


Viswanathan Anand

Position after 17.Qd5

[17...Qa5?! 18.Qg4]


It's Anand's turn to "pull the emergency brake" to use Carlsen's game one phrase but it doesn't seem terribly necessary here and now black is at least equal.

[18.Qg4 was the obvious alternative for white and it has been seen in a correspondence game. 18...f5 Carlsen thought this less accurate but was sufficient for a draw in this the only test and might very well be the best here. Perhaps he feared Carlsen was still in preparation but this seems unlikely given that Carlsen's suggestion here doesn't seem the best. Of course hardly anyone tells the full truth at press conferences and Carlsen outright refused to say where his preparation ended.


18...Kh7 was Carlsen's suggestion after the game but it might not be that strong. 19.Kb1 (

19.Bg5!?) 19...f5 (

19...Rad8 although white seems better here too.) 20.exf6 Rxf6 21.Bg5 Rg6 22.c4!! Houdini and white is well on top.;


18...Qxa2 19.Bxh6 Qa1+ 20.Kc2 Qa4+ 21.Kb1 is winning for white.; 19.Qg6 Qxa2 20.Bxh6 Rf7 21.g4 fxg4 22.Qxg4 a5 23.Rhg1 Bf8 24.Kc2 a4 25.Rdf1 Qb3+ 26.Kd3 Rxf1 27.Rxf1 Qb5+ 28.c4 Qb3+ 29.Ke4 1/2-1/2 Epure,C (2411)-Tikhobaev,A (2227)/ICCF 2010]

18...cxd5 19.h5 b5 20.Rh3

Black's queenside play is clear and quite fast but white is just in time with his pressure on the kingside.

20...a5 21.Rf1 Rac8

Inviting the draw seen in the game not that there is much to do to avoid it.


Magnus Carlsen


Viswanathan Anand

Position after 22.Rg3

White best get on with forcing the draw before black arrives with b4.

[22.Kb1 Kh7 23.Rhf3 Kg8 24.Rg3 Kh7 25.Rgf3 Kg8 is another draw.]

22...Kh7 23.Rgf3

An attack on the vulnerable f7 pawn is white's main counter-play here.

23...Kg8 24.Rg3 Kh7 25.Rgf3 Kg8 1/2-1/2

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