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FIDE World Chess Championship Anand-Carlsen 2013 (3)

Carlsen again fails to cause Anand problems with white in World Championship Game 3

Start of game 3. Photo ©

Start of game 3. Photo © |

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?"

Ratings high for ‘slow chess TV’ in Views and News from Norway

Game 4 Anand-Carlsen Wednesday 3pm Chennai time and 9:30am UK time.

Arrival times and zero tolerance

Anand alone with his photographer friends

Anand alone with his photographer friends Photo ©

The players have to arrive 10 minutes before play to clear security checks for electronic devices and so forth. They have to be sat down at the board at the time of the official start of play otherwise they will lose the game. The players are separated from the press by glass but I imagine it's fairly disturbing and alarming to sit there for very long. Anand was there alone for a few minutes but Carlsen only sat down 46 seconds before he would have been defaulted. He was likely just off stage but I was starting to have a feeling of mild peril. Imagine he misjudged this run.

Kasparov attends

Kasparov Visit

Kasparov Visit. Photo © Susan Polgar

Garry Kasparov attended the day's play in the company of J.C.D. Prabhakar, President, AICF and D.V. Sundar, Vice President, FIDE. Kasparov said he is just here to watch and was a bit unhappy he was applauded as this could be heard by the players. He made lengthy comments on the game and match on his twitter feed which were insightful without being controversial. Kasparov will also watch game four.

Kasparov on twitter

Kasparov tweeting on game 3 of the match in answer to some questions

Hello from Chennai & the first real fight of the WCh match! Another comfortable opening result with black for Anand, who had some pressure.

(To answer all your politics questions in 1 tweet, I was received very nicely at match today. Ministry doesn't mind my visit, it seems!)

My feeling is Magnus is trying to reach "his" positions, where he can play forever with little risk. Anand has blocked this plan very well.

Not sure if Anand missed a win as some suggest, but at the time I was surprised he played 33..Qb4 so quickly. Pawn on b2 is dead meat.

The bishop went the wrong way! f2 is the juicy target. 33..Rf8 looked much stronger. Maybe Vishy played it a little too safe there.

It's hard to switch to "win" mode if you are playing with mentality that draw with black is good result. Psychological pull toward safety.

Carlsen got nothing in the opening. He wants calm positions but so far is getting calm & slightly worse against Anand's strong reactions.

That is, Anand is responding in way that offers either a sharp fight not to Carlsen's preferred style or calm with no advantage. Well done.

Yes, was surprised to see Carlsen think after Vishy took with 3..dxc4. I'm sure Vishy took some confidence from that.

There is a nice trap I saw if White tries a trick with 7.Nxe5? Bxe5 8.Bxc6+ bxc6 9.Qxc6+ Bd7 10.Qe4 f6 11.f4 Ne7! 12.fxe5 Bc6 Oops!

Will know more tomorrow about match evaluation. Anand gets second white, warm-up time over! But clear as I said, no walkover for Magnus.

So far like wrestling, with Magnus trying for a clinch & slow squeeze & Vishy handily fighting out of it but not pushing hard for more.

Will be interesting to see if Magnus is content to keep circling like this or if he "takes the bait" & plays a sharper line.

No, no chance for anything 'great' yet, so don't blame players. But also, 'great' not always needed to win match & that's what matters!

Anand didn't play great vs Topalov or Gelfand but he beat them both! Vs Kramnik he was fantastic & I'm sure Magnus is very aware of that.

An old tiger may not be able to chase down his prey like he used to, but put your head in his mouth & you learn his teeth are still sharp!

It's far from exact comparison, but are parallels to 1st Petrosian-Spassky match, 1966. Petrosian champ but underdog. But only 8 yr gap.

This is 3rd largest age gap in World Ch history, 22 years. Ironic it's young guy looking for quiet positions, veteran wants it sharp!

Yes, both have same problem with white. How to balance desire for their type of position (sharp or quiet) vs objective quality of moves.

So Vishy wants a sharp position but if Magnus defends well, how far out on a limb should Anand go? Carlsen can play sharply too!

But that is all just talk & what matters is preparation & good moves & high energy each game. Can't get too caught up in these clouds.

Yes, I heard both players' answers to question about my visit & was impressed by both. I do not want to be a distraction & they are pros.

No, as I have said over 100 times, I am not working with Magnus & am here as a spectator. Not second, not commentator, not politician!

Yes, "put your head into the tiger's mouth" is too strong. Anand doesn't need so much help! Perhaps "if you step into his lair" is better.

Yes, was very nice reception. Kind but a little troubling people applauded when I entered playing hall. Players can hear that, not good!

I'll be here in Chennai for game 4 tomorrow, hoping for another good fight. Thanks for all questions & comments & to my kind Indian hosts.

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

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

Game three notes

Handshake Carlsen-Anand game 3

Handshake Carlsen-Anand game 3. Photo ©

Carlsen,Magnus (2870) - Anand,Viswanathan (2775) [A07]
WCh 2013 Chennai IND (3), 12.11.2013
[Mark Crowther]

1.Nf3 d5 2.g3 g6 3.c4

Carlsen is the first to deviate.

[3.Bg2 was chosen by Carlsen in game one.]


White's opening is hardly critical so grabbing a pawn to slow white's development seems a good test.

[3...c6; 3...d4 are both respectable and more commonly played alternatives.]


[4.Na3 is the main alternative.]

4...Nc6 5.Bg2


5...Bg7 6.Nc3

[6.0-0 e5 7.Qxc4]


Viswanathan Anand


Magnus Carlsen

Position after 6...e5

Grabbing a share of the centre.

[6...Nh6 7.Qxc4 Nf5 8.0-0 0-0 9.d3 h6 10.Bd2 Nfd4 1-0 Polugaevsky,L (2575)-Dlugy,M (2545)/London 1986 Was perfectly fine for black and led to an interesting game settled on the run up to first time control.]


[7.Nxe5 Bxe5 8.Bxc6+ bxc6 9.Qxc6+ Bd7 10.Qe4 f6 11.f4 Ne7 12.fxe5 Bc6! was a nice line given by Kasparov.]

7...Nge7 8.0-0

[8.d3 0-0 9.Bg5 Be6 10.Bxe7 Qxe7 11.Qa4 Nd4 1/2-1/2 Vukic,M (2482)-Palac,M (2565)/Neum BIH 2004]

8...0-0 9.d3 h6!?

Viswanathan Anand


Magnus Carlsen

Position after 9...h6

[9...Be6 has been played more frequently. 10.Qh4 Nf5 11.Qxd8 Rfxd8 12.Ng5 Bd7 13.Nge4 Nfe7 14.Bg5 h6 15.Nf6+ Kh8 16.Nxd7 Rxd7 17.Be3 Rb8 18.Rfc1 Nd4 19.Kf1 c5 20.Rab1 b6 21.b4 cxb4 22.Rxb4 Rc8 23.Rbb1 Rdc7 24.Bd2 Nef5 25.e3 Ne6 26.Nb5 Rxc1+ 27.Rxc1 Rxc1+ 28.Bxc1 a6 29.Nc3 Nc5 30.Ke2 Kg8 31.g4 Nd6 32.Bc6 Bf8 33.Nd5 f5 34.gxf5 gxf5 35.Nxb6 e4 36.d4 Nd3 37.Bd2 Nb5 38.Bb7 Nb4 39.a4 Nd6 40.Ba8 a5 time 1-0 Stein,L-Averbakh,Y/Riga 1970/URS-ch. (40...a5 41.Bxb4 axb4 42.a5+-) ]

10.Bd2 Nd4!?N

Viswanathan Anand


Magnus Carlsen

Position after 10...Nd4

starting to exchange pieces and grabbing space.

[10...Be6 11.Qa4 Nd4 (11...f5!? has been very successful for black but has been only tested at a low level.) 12.Rfc1 f5 13.Ne1 c5 14.Bxb7 Rb8 15.Bg2 Rxb2 was a draw in Kuzubov,Y (2624)-Negi,P (2607) New Delhi 2011 (40 moves).]


"I missed some simple things when I went for this whole 11.Nxd4, 12.Ne4, 13.Bb4 operation so I think already then I misplayed something." - Carlsen.

[11.Rac1 Be6 12.Qa4 b6 seems fine for black.]

11...exd4 12.Ne4

[12.Na4 Be6]

12...c6 13.Bb4

Viswanathan Anand


Magnus Carlsen

Position after 13.Bb4

This seems to allow black complete equalisation but there doesn't seem to be very much if anything for white here already. Carlsen commented that this position wasn't a disaster because if he had had this as black it would be a fairly common position from the Maroczy structure.

[13.h4 Be6 14.Qc1 Nf5=; 13.Qc1 may offer the best chances for something. 13...Kh7 14.Bb4 Be6 15.Nc5 Bc8 16.Re1]

13...Be6 14.Qc1

[14.Qc5 Nd5 15.Ba3 Qc7 16.Rfc1]

14...Bd5 15.a4 b6 16.Bxe7 Qxe7 17.a5 Rab8 18.Re1 Rfc8 19.axb6 axb6 20.Qf4


20...Rd8 21.h4 Kh7 22.Nd2

White's queen is terribly short of squares.

22...Be5 23.Qg4

Viswanathan Anand


Magnus Carlsen

Position after 23.Qg4


[23...f5 was my thought when watching the game it seems black is so in control he can play on either side of the board. 24.Qh3 f4!? (24...h5) 25.Bxd5 Rxd5 26.g4 Rb5; 23...Be6 at first looks like it will lead to a repetition but: 24.Qf3 Bd5 25.e4!? Be6 (25...dxe3?! 26.Qxe3 Re8 27.Nc4 Bxc4 28.Bxc6 Rec8 29.Bg2) 26.Qe2 Qb4 27.f4 Bg7 28.e5 which also looks better for white.]

24.Qh3 Be6 25.Qh1 c5 26.Ne4 Kg7 27.Ng5

Viswanathan Anand


Magnus Carlsen

Position after 27.Ng5

"Here it felt like white had more or less gotten enough counterplay, I'll have to check that was indeed the case. I felt if we swapped light squared bishops white was not risking anything to that rules out for me Bf5, Bg4 such moves and I didn't really see where else I could go. Bb3 is a bit ridiculous so I decided just to go for the opposite bishops." - Anand.


Carlsen admitted he "underestimated this plan with b5 giving up the bishop".

[27...Bf5 28.Bh3 Bxh3 29.Qxh3; 27...Bg4 28.Bf3 (28.Bh3 Bxh3 29.Qxh3 transposes.) 28...f6 29.Ne4 Bd7]


"I really didn't have any idea what was happening next so I was happy to survive." - Carlsen. I think around here Carlsen lost the thread of the position after being surprised by b5.

[28.Nxe6+ Qxe6 29.Bh3 was Carlsen's initial intention but it "didn't seem to work out" nevertheless most probably he should have played it. 29...Qe7 (29...f5 30.Qf3 Qf7) 30.Qc6 c4 31.dxc4 bxc4 32.Qxc4 Rxb2 with a draw to follow.]

28...dxe3 29.Rxe3

Viswanathan Anand


Magnus Carlsen

Position after 29.Re3


[29...Bxb2! is the best according to Houdini but only if you see a finesse quite deep into the line. 30.Rae1 Rb6 31.Bd5 (31.Bh3 "I thought white had full compensation, I didn't see the point in going for that." Anand. 31...Bd4 is the move Houdini gives against this line of Anand's with advantage to him.) 31...Bd4 32.Rxe6 fxe6 33.Rxe6 Qf8!! Houdini (33...Rxe6 34.Nxe6+ Kh6 35.Nxd8 Qxd8 36.Qf3 is completely equal.) 34.Qg2 when black is better.]

30.Re2 c4

"I think I have enough counterplay here." Anand didn't comment at all on 28.e3 suggesting that he didn't considered it an important moment.

31.Nxe6+ fxe6 32.Be4 cxd3 33.Rd2

Viswanathan Anand


Magnus Carlsen

Position after 33.Rd2


Kasparov was surprised Anand played this move so quickly.

[33...Rf8!? 34.Bxd3 Qd6 35.Qg2 Rxf2 36.Rxf2 Rf8 37.Raf1 Bxf2+ 38.Rxf2 Rxf2 39.Qxf2 Qxd3]

34.Rad1 Bxb2

[34...Rf8 "The thing is we were getting very short of time. Even if I win the pawn on f2 if he plays Bd3 and Qe4 I don't see how I'm better. It seems to me my upside was quite limited anyway." Anand. 35.Bxd3 (35.Kh2 doesn't seem any better.) 35...Rxf2 (35...Qd6!? may be the critical try that Anand missed as it stops Qe4. 36.Qg2 Rxf2 37.Rxf2 Rf8 38.Rdd2 Rxf2 39.Rxf2 Bxf2+ 40.Qxf2 Qxd3 with a pawn up in a Queen and Pawn ending but this I think may be a long way from being won.) 36.Rxf2 Rf8 37.Qe4 Bxf2+ 38.Kg2 Qxe4+ 39.Bxe4]

35.Qf3 Bf6


36.Rxd3 Rxd3 37.Rxd3 Rd8

Viswanathan Anand


Magnus Carlsen

Position after 37...Rd8

A tacit draw offer. "The thing is that although black has an extra pawn I'm not really in danger of queening it. The problem is with these opposite coloured bishop white's always going to have a backstop and the other thing is that g6. I saw I could play Bd4 and normally this is what I would have done but I simply didn't see anything anyway with something like Qe2, I didn't see any progress. And then I was just swapping down with Rd8." Anand.


38.Rxd8 Bxd8 39.Bd3 Qd4 40.Bxb5 Qf6

Viswanathan Anand


Magnus Carlsen

Position after 40...Qf6

Accompanied by a draw offer from Anand.


Carlsen turns down the draw offer but there are no chances here. The first two games were settled by three-fold repetition and perhaps this indicates Carlsen won't agree any draws but will play out the games until the end. The players quickly trade down to an absolute draw.

41...Be7 42.Kg2 g5 43.hxg5 Qxg5 44.Bc4 h4 45.Qc7 hxg3 46.Qxg3 e5 47.Kf3 Qxg3+ 48.fxg3 Bc5 49.Ke4 Bd4 50.Kf5 Bf2 51.Kxe5 Bxg3+

Finally insufficient mating material for both sides, so draw.


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