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FIDE World Chess Championship Anand-Carlsen 2013 (7)

Carlsen moves closer to title after straightforward World Championship Game 7 draw

Carlsen vs Anand game 7. Photo ©

Carlsen vs Anand game 7. Photo © |

Magnus Carlsen requires just two points from the last five games of his World Chess Championship match against defending champion Viswanathan Anand to claim the title after an uneventful 32 move game 7 draw. Carlsen leads 4.5-2.5 in the 12 game match and only needs to score 2 out of 5 to take the title.

After two consecutive losses there was obvious speculation as to what Anand would do as this was one of his three remaining games with white. Whilst players such as Hikaru Nakamura and Teimour Radjabov advocated going "all-in" with aggressive play Anand instead chose a "very slow, maneuvering kind of game" where he "might be able to press a little bit". Anand admitted that "somehow I was not able to make it happen". Key moments such as they were: Anand's 5.Bxc6 goes for a small advantage by doubling pawns, Carlsen's 7...Bh5 was new at the elite level and probably avoided any preparation Anand actually had, 17...fxe3 was probably the only move white could play to try for an advantage, 19...a5 was a quality waiting move after 25...Qxe5 a draw was going to be the only result.

No doubt Anand hoped for more from the opening today but the match has probably passed the point where he can get back into it without Carlsen starting to playing considerably worse than he is now. Carlsen hasn't shown much signs of weakening but if it does happen then most likely it will be as he approaches the finish line. A loss for Anand today would have all but ended the match. Has Anand more or less given up as some believe? I don't know, it is possible. It may be Anand had in mind the old Soviet dictum that if you lose two in a row your only job is to draw to stop the rot. Then you can move on. Anand at least looked in a reasonably good mood at the press conference today.

Anand needs to win at least one in the next three games and to hope that Carlsen's nerves will get him a second in the final two. This already feels like a long shot. The inability of Anand to put Carlsen under any real pressure with white in the match so far has been the biggest surprise to me.

The closest Carlsen came to a loss today was before it started when he left the board with less than a minute to go before the start and only returned with less than 16 seconds to go. In watching the footage I was able for the first time to see that there is a count-down on a video screen so Carlsen probably wasn't in much danger of being defaulted for not being at the board at the time the clocks were started. Nevertheless I was getting slightly alarmed.

Carlsen-Anand Game 8 Tuesday 18th Nov 3pm Chennai time 9:30am GMT.

Game 7 Press Conference

I give the entire press conference today as there wasn't much of the chess. The players were as cagey as ever. There's not a huge sign of meeting of minds between the questioners and the players.

Carlsen disappears with 40 seconds to go but you can see the count-down video

Carlsen disappears with 40 seconds to go but you can see the count-down video. Photo ©

Q: (FIDE Press Officer) Can you share with us your thoughts on game seven, what happened today?

A: (Viswanathan Anand) I chose a line that both of us had played quite a bit in the past. 6.Nbd2 He went for Bg4 instead. Then you get a slow kind of manoeuvring game after the next three moves. White has two plans, which is, one is to play f4 and the other like in the game which is to play on the h-file. The problem with f4 which is not really effective is that because black is preparing to go with the knight to f8-e6. So I tried castles. Here I thought I might be able to press little bit. I know it is not huge. But somehow I was not really able to make it happen. May be there is something to be said for Bg5 f6, and then coming back and then trying h5. I thought here I might get something with g3, f4 and perhaps the rook on the h-file. It did not materialise so much. Swapping all the rooks gives him adequate counterplay.

Q: (FIDE Press Officer) Magnus, so please your comments?

A: (Magnus Carlsen) Not so much more than what he said. We played this line many different times. Whatever you play it really goes slow. I thought I was doing moreorless fine. Just little bit worse. But nothing real. I thought the key here after g3, a5 is that f4 can be met by f5 and everything goes out. For instance if I had gone Rh8 immediately, then f4 and I cannot exchange all the pieces. Also Ne6, f4, takes, takes, f5, e5, d5, Re1 and I was not sure if I managed to chop everything off. But anyway, what happened in the game was just drawish.

Q: (FIDE Press Officer) Was there any moment black could have been in danger?

A: (Magnus Carlsen) It was always going to be tiny bit pleasant for white but my pieces are well developed and I had no particular weaknesses. I think I should not be in any major trouble.

Q: (FIDE Press Officer) How did you cope with the pressure yesterday? What did you do?

A: (Viswanathan Anand) Nothing really special. The weather (pouring monsoon rains) doesnt allow you to do very much. It is pleasant time to be here. But you really cant go out. So I stayed in the hotel and did some work.

Q: (FIDE Press Officer) Magnus, You were playing basketball or volleyball (yesterday)?

A: (Magnus Carlsen) Yes we played a bit of football and basketball. Not too successful but it was fun.

Q: (Amit Karmarkar, The Times of India) You look at it as an opportunity lost or was it a release?

A: (Viswanathan Anand) Obviously after the last two games it is nice to break this result. I was hoping to press him a little bit. I did not manage very much to be honest.

Q: (P.K. Ajith Kumar, The Hindu) Are you disappointed that the game was short today?

A: (Magnus Carlsen) I am fine with that. I have the lead. I won my last game with black. So, this suited me fine.

Q: (FIDE Press Officer) Anand, did you try yesterday thinking about changing strategy and so on?

A: (Viswanathan Anand) We had to assess what was going on. But it is not something I can explain now.

Q: (FIDE Press Officer) What about something like lucky pen?

A: (Viswanathan Anand) There are other things to do.

Q: (Nirav Y Rajasuba, Gujarat Samachar) Vishy, you are an exceptional player in the world. You recover so easily. You have the ability to recover so easily. Shall we expect some sharp battle from you to come back?

A: (Viswanathan Anand) I will definitely keep trying.

Q: (Sam Daniel, NDTV) Are you a relieved lot now?

A: (Viswanathan Anand) Obviously the last two games were unpleasant. Well, we played a game today. So, we will try again.

Q: (Ebenezer Joseph, Shubsandesh TV) How much of psychology is important in a match and how do you feel about it? The last two games were not being outplayed. It is just the press and made a small mistake? What about the psychology in the match and to the kids watching throughtout the world?

A: (Magnus Carlsen) That was a really long question! (press room explodes into laughter). Of course there are some psychological aspects. For instance, there was no doubt that the outcome of game five influenced the next game. I think that is unavoidable in a match. But that is little bit different. You try to move on at best as you can. But it is not so easy.

A: (Viswanathan Anand) Yes, there is lot of psychology involved.

Q: (Paul Truong) This questions is for both of you. A lot of fans are sending best wishes in the social media. Do you read any of it. Do your teams relay it to you at all?

A: (Viswanathan Anand) In general if they think I should know something they let me know. But I dont know what they are not telling me. (room explodes into laughter) (Magnus Carlsen) I follow little bit. I am happy very thankful to all who wish me well. For those who dont I dont read it anyway. (room explodes into laugher)

Q: (FIDE Press Officer) In Norway the sale of chess boards and sets increased three times. What do you think about it? Do we expect a big chess boom in a way?

A: (Magnus Carlsen) Really happy to see that people are following the match. That they are interested. So keep it going and I will do my best. And keep up the good work.

Q: (Lennart Ootes, New In Chess/News About Chess) After the first game you said there were some Butterflies. About they third game you were nervous. What about the butterflies and nerves?

A: (Magnus Carlsen) I guess they are still there. I think it is unavoidable. As the match goes long you settle in. Then it becomes easier. I dont know.

Q: (Lennart Ootes, New In Chess/News About Chess) Can you recall a nervous moment during your games?

A: (Magnus Carlsen) That is very optimistic of you.

Q: (V Kameswaran, United New of India) Anand, today did not go well. Tensions released. Tomorrow, what Anand is going to do? You got a plan? Not to allow your opponent to cross six points.

A: (Viswanathan Anand) Well in general that is the plan.

Game 7 annotated

Anand,Viswanathan (2775) - Carlsen,Magnus (2870) [C65]
WCh 2013 Chennai IND (7), 18.11.2013

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.d3 Bc5 5.Bxc6

Definitely third choice in terms of frequency in this position. The trouble with this is that it starts a simplification process that seems likely to play to Carlsen's strengths.

[5.c3; 5.0-0]

5...dxc6 6.Nbd2 Bg4 7.h3 Bh5!?

Magnus Carlsen


Viswanathan Anand

Position after 7...Bh5

Practically a novelty as it has only been played by a couple of lower rated players before. One of Carlsen's real abilities is to be able to play such positions without knowing theory as he's confident of finding better continuations for himself.

[7...Bxf3 Is presumably what Anand was hoping for. 8.Qxf3 Nd7 9.Qg3 Qf6 10.Nc4 0-0 11.0-0 Rfe8 12.a4 Nf8 13.Bg5 Qe6 14.Bd2 Ng6 15.b4 Bf8 16.Qg4 b6 17.g3 f6 18.Bc3 Bd6 19.Ne3 Kh8 20.Kg2 a6 21.Qf3 Ne7 22.h4 b5 23.Rfb1 Qd7 24.h5 h6 25.Qg4 Qxg4 26.Nxg4 Nc8 27.Bd2 Nb6 28.a5 Nd7 29.c4 c5 30.cxb5 axb5 31.bxc5 Nxc5 32.Rxb5 Nxd3 33.Ra4 Ra6 34.Rc4 c5 35.Ne3 Rea8 36.Rc3 Nb4 37.Nc4 Be7 38.Rb3 Nc6 39.Rb6 Nb4 40.Kf3 R6a7 41.Be3 Kg8 42.Rb2 Rc7 43.Kg4 Kf7 44.Rb1 Nc6 45.R1b5 Nd4 46.Rb1 Nc6 47.R6b5 Nd4 48.Rb7 Rxb7 49.Rxb7 Ke6 50.Bd2 Ra6 51.Bc3 Bf8 52.f4 exf4 53.gxf4 f5+ 54.exf5+ Kd5 55.Ne5 Ne2 56.Be1 Bd6 57.Rxg7 Nxf4 58.Nf7 Nd3 59.Nxd6 Nxe1 60.Ne8 Rxa5 61.Rd7+ Kc6 62.Rd6+ Kb5 63.f6 Ra7 64.Re6 Nd3 65.f7 Ra4+ 66.Kg3 1-0 Adams,M (2733)-Fressinet,L (2696)/Germany 2012/CBM 148]

8.Nf1 Nd7 9.Ng3


9...Bxf3 10.Qxf3 g6

Magnus Carlsen


Viswanathan Anand

Position after 10...g6

Limiting the squares white's knight can go to.

11.Be3 Qe7 12.0-0-0 0-0-0 13.Ne2 Rhe8 14.Kb1 b6 15.h4 Kb7 16.h5 Bxe3 17.Qxe3

[17.fxe3 Is Houdini's suggestion here but it's not going to amount to much anyway.]

17...Nc5 18.hxg6 hxg6 19.g3 a5

Magnus Carlsen


Viswanathan Anand

Position after 10...a5

A waiting move. Carlsen doesn't want to allow f4.

[19...Rh8 20.f4]

20.Rh7 Rh8 21.Rdh1 Rxh7 22.Rxh7 Qf6 23.f4 Rh8 24.Rxh8 Qxh8 25.fxe5 Qxe5

Magnus Carlsen


Viswanathan Anand

Position after 25...Qe5

Black has at least equality.

26.Qf3 f5 27.exf5 gxf5 28.c3 Ne6 29.Kc2 Ng5 30.Qf2 Ne6 31.Qf3 Ng5 32.Qf2 Ne6

Drawn by repetition.


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