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FIDE World Chess Championship Anand-Carlsen 2013 (5)

Carlsen leads World Championship 3-2 after Anand subsides in messy game 5

Carlsen shakes hands with Anand at the end of game 5. Photo ©

Carlsen shakes hands with Anand at the end of game 5. Photo © |

Magnus Carlsen won the fifth game of the FIDE World Chess Championships in Chennai. This was the first decisive game of the match meaning Carlsen leads defending champion Viswanthan Anand 3-2. This was not a game for the purist, with Carlsen's opening seemingly trying to skirt around anything at all like deep opening theory and get Anand to find moves on his own. Anand chose the Triangle System a variation of the Semi-Slav that can lead to sharp play, especially after Carlsen's 4.e4 but after playing that Carlsen's 6.Nc3 transposed to extremely quiet lines and I don't think there is very much doubt that Anand was objectively at least equal on move 13. Around here Anand's play started to get tentative and that set the pattern for the rest of the game. 13.Bc7 whilst certainly not losing allowed Carlsen to swap queens off and reach a technical ending where he could push for a long time.

Anand defended quite well and again must have been quite close to equality but the point is to end the suffering at some point and not get tired having to be endlessly accurate. After the game Anand picked 34.Rd4 as being too active and the losing move but I think he was merely attending the press conference as he had to, he didn't offer up much that made much sense and this assertion is just wrong. Indeed it seemed Carlsen thought it a good move and not thinking he was better at this stage.

It's hard to say what went wrong for Anand his resistance just seemed to subside. 39...a4 could have been replaced by 39.g4 but it fixes the white a3 pawn and Anand could have followed this idea up by playing 45...Ra1 winning that pawn with equality. After that 46.Re1 may be the very last chance, certainly after 48...Kd7 Carlsen was winning.

A very hard game to annotate because the win came about more from sustained pressure than any specific operation. Carlsen said about the win "It feels good. It was good fighting game. It got messy at times. I got there in the end. I am very very happy about that." Detailed notes and comments below.

"Someone said it's about age, I don't think so. The game was a draw, but Magnus kept on as usual, playing his cold blooded little moves." - Miguel Illescas

Game 6 Saturday 15th Nov Anand-Carlsen 3pm Chennai time 9:30am GMT

Anand has white in the next two games

Both Anand and Carlsen go through security for electronic devices

Both Anand and Carlsen go through security for electronic devices. Photo ©

This kind of loss can hurt a great deal more than one in a mutual slug-fest. Anand admitted he didn't sleep after his only loss to Gelfand in his last defence but then went on to win the following game. I think it likely he won't sleep much tonight either, can he also come back to win? The match is coming up to the half way point and this means Anand will have white in the next two games, a loss in either of those would probably be almost curtains for his chances but Anand has a couple of chances to get right back into contention. Whatever happens first decisive game always changes the dynamics of a match and sometimes in unpredictable ways. Anand could loosen up and Carlsen become more nervous. Anand could fall apart. Who can tell? but expect a change.

A few Kasparov comments

Start of Carlsen-Anand game 5

Start of Carlsen-Anand game 5. Photo ©

Oh, was there a chess game today? Will have a look... ;-)

A strange match but oddly balanced. Carlsen plays without openings and Anand without endgames! Statistically, that's in Magnus's favor. Congratulations to Carlsen for his first world championship win. It took me 32 games! Surely not his last, but this match is far from over.

But I had similar problem in 2000 when I lost my title to Kramnik. I played into his Berlin, his style, because I thought it was "best". Situation not nearly as concrete for Anand, but yes, good to avoid long equal endgames vs much younger player who loves them! But how?" Anand crushed Kramnik by getting him into very sharp positions. Was very well prepared & played great, but also much more at home there.

As I said after game 3, Carlsen content to wait patiently for 'his' positions, not trying to fight sharp opening preparation war. Despite his gifts, no way for Carlsen to catch up to Anand's opening prep advantage. So, avoid it & play to own strengths. Today it worked. Similarly, it is unlikely Anand will fail to reach a few sharp positions of "his" preference. Then we'll see first big test for Magnus.


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

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 . . . . . . . 3 2847
Anand, Viswanathan g IND 2775 ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 . . . . . . . 2 2798

Game notes

Carlsen,Magnus (2870) - Anand,Viswanathan (2775) [D31]
WCh 2013 Chennai IND (5), 15.11.2013
[Mark Crowther]

1.c4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 c6 4.e4

This seems a strange choice from Carlsen if he wasn't comfortable in playing the main line. This means that he saw some prospects in the coming play.

[4.e3; 4.Nf3 are in fact the most played moves. I go with e3 personally.]

4...dxe4 5.Nxe4 Bb4+ 6.Nc3!?

Viswanathan Anand


Magnus Carlsen

Position after 6.Nc3

A surprise. I don't expect to see this again later in the match.

[6.Bd2 has been seen as the true critical test in this variation, I doubt this game will change this assessment, Anand would however have prepared it extremely deeply.]

6...c5 7.a3 Ba5 8.Nf3

[8.dxc5 when white's trebled pawns don't leave a good impression even if one is extra and he has the two bishops. 8...Bxc3+ 9.bxc3 Qxd1+ 10.Kxd1 Nf6 11.f3 Na6 12.Be3 Bd7 13.Nh3 Ba4+ 14.Kc1 Nd7 15.Rb1 Naxc5 drawn in 79 moves Georgiev,K (2636)-Potkin,V (2647)/Khanty-Mansiysk RUS 2013.]

8...Nf6 9.Be3

[9.Be2 Nc6 (9...cxd4 10.Nxd4 Ne4 11.Ndb5 Qxd1+ 12.Bxd1 Nxc3 13.Nxc3 Bxc3+ 14.bxc3 Bd7 15.a4 Bc6 16.0-0 Nd7 17.a5 a6 18.Ba3 1/2-1/2 Babula,V (2581)-Khenkin,I (2624)/Tegernsee GER 2003/The Week in Chess 427) 10.dxc5 Qxd1+ 11.Bxd1 Ne4 12.Bd2 Bxc3 13.Bxc3 Nxc3 14.bxc3 and against draw this time in 43 moves Gurevich,M (2643)-Khenkin,I (2633)/Polanica Zdroj POL 1999.]


[9...Ne4 10.Qc2 Nxc3 11.bxc3 cxd4 12.Bxd4 0-0 13.Bd3 h6?! and white went on to win in 36 moves Yermolinsky,A (2530) -Shulman,Y (2623)/Philadelphia USA 2008.]


Viswanathan Anand


Magnus Carlsen

Position after 10.Qd3

"There were lot of options for all the sides. A lot of unconventional positions. It is natural that you need to take your time." Carlsen commenting on the slow pace of the opening play.

[10.d5!? exd5 11.Bxc5 Ne4 12.Qe2 Be6 13.0-0-0 Nxc5 14.cxd5 Qf6 15.dxe6 Nxe6 16.Nd5 Qh6+ 17.Kb1 0-0 18.Qb5 Rab8 19.Ne7+ Nxe7 20.Qxa5 Nc6 21.Qf5 g6 22.Qf6 Qg7 23.Qxg7+ Kxg7 24.Bc4 Kf6 25.Bxe6 fxe6 26.Rd7 h6 27.Rhd1 Rbd8 28.Kc2 Rxd7 29.Rxd7 Rf7 30.Rxf7+ Kxf7 31.Kd3 1/2-1/2 Kubala, M (2310)-Splosnov,S (2335)/Frydek Mistek 1998/CBM 062 ext]

10...cxd4 11.Nxd4 Ng4 12.0-0-0 Nxe3 13.fxe3 Bc7?!

Viswanathan Anand


Magnus Carlsen

Position after 13...Bc7

"Probably Anand had chance to draw in endgame...But what was the point of 13...Bc7?! and to play endgame?" Pentala Harikrishna. "Not to say Anand's 13..Bc7 was objectively bad, probably it is fine & had many chances to hold draw. But fits Carlsen's style perfectly." - "After 13..Nxd4 14.exd4 the queens are still on the board & black has the bishop pair to compensate for white's central pawns. A middlegame!" - Garry Kasparov.

[13...0-0; 13...Nxd4 "Again Carlsen got next to nothing in the opening. Amazed Anand went into endgame. Could take on d4, keep queens on, very different game." Garry Kasparov 14.exd4 0-0]

14.Nxc6 bxc6 15.Qxd8+ Bxd8 16.Be2 Ke7

Viswanathan Anand


Magnus Carlsen

Position after 16...Ke7

"Anand plays again passively for a draw, dismissing any chances to get double edged game. May still hold though, why not?" Later "I meant that 13...Bc7 and 16...Ke7 were not necessary. For example 16...Bb6!? is way sharper if you ask me! Still shocked though that Anand didn't manage to save this one." were Anish Giri's comments on twitter.

[16...Bb6 a quick sample Houdini variation: 17.Bf3 Bxe3+ 18.Kb1 Bd7 19.Rhe1 Bb6 20.Ne4 Ke7 21.c5 Bc7 22.Nd6 Rhd8 23.Nb7 Rdb8 24.Nd6 Rd8 is a drawing line.]

17.Bf3 Bd7 18.Ne4 Bb6

It's not quite clear to me why Anand plays this way.

[18...f5 19.Nc5 Be8 20.Na6; 18...Bc7 19.c5 Rhb8 20.Nd6 Rb3 21.Rd2 Rab8 22.e4 Ba5 23.Rc2]

19.c5 f5 20.cxb6 fxe4 21.b7 Rab8 22.Bxe4 Rxb7

Viswanathan Anand


Magnus Carlsen

Position after 22...Rxb7

Now an end game where Carlsen has static weaknesses to play at. Q: At which moment did you have the advantage? A: (Magnus Carlsen) "I mean it is not huge. I have (pointing mouse after move 22) I have better bishop and better pawn structure. If I can consolidate than I can win. I did not manage to play with the right plan."

23.Rhf1 Rb5!? 24.Rf4 g5 25.Rf3 h5!?

Actually rather a commital idea. Anand had choices.

[25...Re5; 25...Be8]

26.Rdf1 Be8 27.Bc2 Rc5 28.Rf6 h4 29.e4 a5 30.Kd2 Rb5 31.b3 Bh5


32.Kc3 Rc5+ 33.Kb2 Rd8 34.R1f2 Rd4

Viswanathan Anand


Magnus Carlsen

Position after 34...Rd4

Anand labeled this as the decisive error but to be honest I don't think he was mentally there in the press conference. "Somehow my plan did not materialise. I had to go 34...Rg8. There are many small inaccuracies. But Rd4 was the decisive mistake." - Anand. "After ...Rd4 I thought... I was worried that I might be even worse. (after browsing the game on Chess Base says...) Probably I am not" - Carlsen

[34...Rg8 35.Rh6 Bg6]

35.Rh6 Bd1 36.Bb1 Rb5 37.Kc3 c5 38.Rb2 e5 39.Rg6 a4!?

Viswanathan Anand


Magnus Carlsen

Position after 39...a4

This isn't losing and indeed sets up a clear drawing idea so it really can't be that bad.

[39...g4 "As I see others suggesting, playing 39..g4 instead of sacrificing the pawn also looks superior. Though was likely still drawn as I said." Kasparov.]

40.Rxg5 Rxb3+ 41.Rxb3 Bxb3

After the time control there was an important moment. I really wanted to go Bd3.


[42.Bd3 c4 43.Rxe5+ Kd6 44.Kxd4 cxd3!! 45.Rf5 d2 46.Rf6+ Ke7 47.Rf1 d1Q+ 48.Rxd1 Bxd1 winning a piece.]

42...Kd6 43.Rh5 Rd1 44.e5+ Kd5 45.Bh7

Viswanathan Anand


Magnus Carlsen

Position after 45.Bh7


"Truly baffled by each of Anand's moves from 39 onwards. But especially 45...Rc1??" - Nakamura.

[45...Ra1! "Sure its easier for us who are sitting at home without the pressure, but 45... Ra1 seemed very natural and intuitive." - Nakamura. Q: (FIDE Press Officer) When you played 45...Rc1 did you also consider also 45...Ra1? A: (Viswanathan Anand) "It is possible. Somehow I missed in the rook ending. It is so difficult. I thought I should be able to generate counterplay in the end." 46.Bg8+ Kc6 47.Bxb3 Rxa3 48.Kc4 axb3 49.Rh6+ Kd7 50.Kc3 Ra2 51.Kxb3 Rxg2 52.h3 Rg3+ 53.Kc4 Rxh3 54.Kxc5]

46.Kb2 Rg1

Without deeper analysis hard to say what "last mistake" was. Even 46..Re1 looks like it gives better drawing chances. Keep king active.


47.Bg8+ Kc6 48.Rh6+ Kd7

Viswanathan Anand


Magnus Carlsen

Position after 48...Kd7

Black is just lost here.


49.Bxb3 axb3 50.Kxb3 Rxg2 51.Rxh4 Ke6 52.a4

Viswanathan Anand


Magnus Carlsen

Position after 52.a4

"I was amazed at how quickly Magnus played 52.a4. He just *knows* these positions. It's very complex, a lesson in how to cut off king." - Kasparov.

52...Kxe5 53.a5 Kd6 54.Rh7 Kd5 55.a6 c4+ 56.Kc3 Ra2 57.a7 Kc5 58.h4

Viswanathan Anand


Magnus Carlsen

Position after 58.h4

Q: How does it feel to break the deadlock? A: (Magnus Carlsen) "It feels good. It was good fighting game. It got messy at times. I got there in the end. I am very, very happy about that."


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