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FIDE World Chess Championship Anand-Carlsen 2013 (8)

Carlsen forces quick draw in World Championship Game 8

Carlsen vs Anand game 8. Photo ©

Carlsen vs Anand game 8. Photo © |

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

Opening battles

Post game twitter talk was around the question as to whether Anand had just given up following two games where Carlsen got easy draws. There was a lot of discussion around whether Anand should have played a sharper variation. Carlsen has been world number one for the best part of four years now and the number of valid options to play for a win with black must look depressingly small to Anand.

Anand's experience in preparing deeply for world championship matches was supposed to his key advantage. So far this hasn't proven to be the case. Carlsen played 1.Nf3 and 1.c4 in the early games when looking for an advantage, now he's content to play 1.d4 and 1.e4 when a draw is good enough. With black there was the surprise Caro-Kann not repeated (maybe a key moment as Anand could have done so much more in that game to play for a win) and then the Ruy Lopez Berlin where he's had no problems. I'm sure Anand must have prepared a lot of great opening surprises but one can only conclude Carlsen has side-stepped them.

Carlsen untroubled

Whist Anand wasn't surprised Carlsen had played 1.e4 in the match he "had not prioritised 1.e4" in his preparation for the game. Many people were disappointed with Anand's choice of the Berlin rather than playing something a bit more combative.

"I did not really know his intentions were. Even the Sicilian, if you want to play the dry system they are available. It is not like there were clear options there. I thought little bit (two minutes) and decided to go for this. Well the match situation speaks for itself. It is my job to liven it up. I guess I will try in the next game."

Carlsen has proved particularly lethal using the Moscow Variation of the Sicilian with 3.Bb5. It doesn't seem that Anand has come up with anything he likes against this.

Opening Preparation

The players won't discuss their preparation in detail but did at least open up a start to a discussion that will happen after the match.

"I am quite happy with my opening perparation. This is not the time to start analysing things. I get a bonus evening before the rest day and so I will try and prepare something for the next one." - Anand.

FIDE Press Officer Anastasiya Karlovich asked "Magnus, many people say you do not pay too much attention to the opening. I read an interview of Caruana who are good in choosing openings which are not pleasant for your opponent. What do you think about this?"

"I mean Caruana is a very good player and a clever guy. There must be something to what he says." - Carlsen.

Carlsen's style of play

If Carlsen wins the match he will be the second youngest world champion by a few months from Garry Kasparov both being 22. Whilst Carlsen has played all sorts of styles I think there are signs he will be a pretty conservative player in maturity. Paul Truong asked him.

"A lot of fans are asking you are having a very unique style for somebody so young. How did you develop that style?"

"I did not have a particular bible in chess when I was young. As a young player I was trying to play attacking chess sacrificing material all the time. A bit different from what I do today. Although I am playing the game for a long time I have been playing top level for seven years. I have had some time to adjust to the situation and adjust to the other players and develop my play." - Carlsen

Game 8 Press Conference


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
Carlsen, Magnus - Anand, Viswanathan 1-0 58 D31 Semi-Slav Defence
Anand, Viswanathan - Carlsen, Magnus 0-1 67 C65 Ruy Lopez Berlin
Anand, Viswanathan - Carlsen, Magnus ½-½ 32 C65 Ruy Lopez Berlin
Carlsen, Magnus - Anand, Viswanathan ½-½ 33 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 1 1 ½ ½ . . . . 5 2870
Anand, Viswanathan g IND 2775 ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 0 ½ ½ . . . . 3 2783

Game 8 Annotated

Carlsen,Magnus (2870) - Anand,Viswanathan (2775) [C67]
WCh 2013 Chennai IND (8), 19.11.2013
[Mark Crowther]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.0-0 Nxe4 5.Re1

With a two point lead it isn't up to Carlsen to win a game.

[5.d4 is the move with real interest.]

5...Nd6 6.Nxe5 Be7 7.Bf1 Nxe5 8.Rxe5

Viswanathan Anand


Magnus Carlsen

Position after 8.Rxe5

One of the most drawish variations in elite level chess. White very occasionally wins one, black pretty much never.

8...0-0 9.d4 Bf6 10.Re1 Re8 11.c3 Rxe1 12.Qxe1 Ne8

[12...Nf5 13.Bf4 d6 14.Nd2 Be6 15.Bd3 Nh4 16.Ne4 Ng6 17.Bd2 d5 18.Nc5 Bc8 19.Qe3 b6 20.Nb3 Qd6 21.Qe8+ Nf8 22.Re1 Bb7 23.Qe3 Ne6 24.Qf3 Rd8 25.Qf5 Nf8 26.Bf4 Qc6 27.Nd2 Bc8 28.Qh5 g6 29.Qe2 Ne6 30.Bg3 Qb7 31.Nf3 c5 32.dxc5 bxc5 33.Ne5 c4 34.Bb1 Bg7 35.Rd1 Bd7 36.Qf3 Be8 37.Nxc4 dxc4 38.Rxd8 Nxd8 39.Qe2 Ne6 0-1 Steinitz,W-Zukertort,J/USA 1886/]

13.Bf4 d5 14.Bd3 g6 15.Nd2 Ng7 16.Qe2

[16.Nf3 c6 17.Qd2 Bf5 18.Re1 Bxd3 19.Qxd3 Qd7 20.Be5 Bxe5 21.Nxe5 Qf5 22.Qxf5 Nxf5 23.Nd3 Kf8 24.Nc5 Nd6 25.Nd7+ Kg7 26.Nc5 Kf8 27.Nd7+ Kg7 28.Nc5 Kf8 29.Nd7+ Kg7 30.Nc5 Kf8 1/2-1/2 Salgado Lopez,I (2621)-Bruzon Batista,L (2694)/Quito ECU 2012/The Week in Chess 911]

16...c6 17.Re1N

Viswanathan Anand


Magnus Carlsen

Position after 17.Re1

The first new move not that it matters all that much.

[17.Nb3 b6 18.Re1 Bf5 19.Bxf5 Nxf5 20.Nc1 Qd7 21.Nd3 Ng7 22.Be5 Re8 23.Qf1 Bxe5 24.Nxe5 Qd6 1/2-1/2 Nepomniachtchi,I (2711)-Riazantsev,A (2688)/Khanty-Mansiysk RUS 2011/The Week in Chess 878 (88); 17.Be5 Bxe5 18.Qxe5 Bf5 19.Bxf5 Nxf5 20.Re1 Qd6 21.Nb3 Qxe5 22.Rxe5 f6 23.Re2 Kf7 24.Nc5 Nd6 25.f3 Re8 26.Rxe8 Kxe8 27.Kf2 b6 28.Nd3 Kd7 29.g4 g5 30.Ke3 h6 31.f4 1/2-1/2 Rozentalis,E (2619)-Bruzon Batista,L (2691)/Montreal CAN 2013/The Week in Chess 981]

17...Bf5 18.Bxf5 Nxf5 19.Nf3 Ng7 20.Be5 Ne6 21.Bxf6 Qxf6 22.Ne5 Re8 23.Ng4 Qd8

Viswanathan Anand


Magnus Carlsen

Position after 23...Qd8

The position is dead equal, the players force the pieces off to show this.

[23...Qg5? 24.f4! wins (24.h4 is not quite as good 24...Qxh4 25.g3 Qd8 26.Qe5 Ng7 27.Nf6+ Qxf6 28.Qxf6 Rxe1+) 24...Qxf4 25.Rf1 Qb8 26.Qf2 f5 27.Nf6+ Kf7 28.Nxe8]

24.Qe5 Ng7 25.Qxe8+ Nxe8 26.Rxe8+ Qxe8 27.Nf6+ Kf8 28.Nxe8 Kxe8 29.f4 f5 30.Kf2 b5 31.b4 Kf7 32.h3 h6 33.h4 h5 1/2-1/2

Viswanathan Anand


Magnus Carlsen

Position after 33.h4

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