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FIDE World Chess Championship Anand-Carlsen 2013 (10)

Carlsen vs Anand final game one of the longest and most difficult of the World Championship

It's a long time since chess enjoyed this kind of press attention. Photo © JM Mahesh.

It's a long time since chess enjoyed this kind of press attention. Photo © JM Mahesh. |

Magnus Carlsen became world chess champion by a score of 6.5-3.5 following his game 10 draw against Viswanathan Anand. It was expected that Carlsen would try and shut out the match with a quick draw but he pressed for a long time even after missing a chance for a big advantage. Not surprisingly the actual game was pretty much lost in all the excitement of the end of the match but I've gone back over the game and produced some notes and added comments from various sources. I don't have a definitive judgement but hopefully I'll be able to point up the large number of key decisions that were needed in this complicated and difficult game which ended up being the second longest of the entire match.

Carlsen played the Moscow Variation against Anand's Sicilian and whilst playing solidly he had a nice space advantage. After 28.a5 Carlsen had a nice position and Anand had no easy choices but Anand's 28...Qg5 was definitely bad and if Carlsen had played 30.Nc3 then he would almost certainly have won, instead Carlsen thought that he was winning easily and miscalculated something after 30.exd6. This lead to a difficult knight and pawn endgame where Carlsen had a definite but probably not winning edge. Anand quickly played 40...Nf5 but it's not clear if 40...g5 might not have been better, 41...Ne3 was only played after a long think, 42...f5 might well be forced. Carlsen's 43.Nd6 may not be the best winning try but it was played after considering it for a while, 43.Nd2 might have been better. Carlsen finally decided that enough was enough and his 46.Ng8+ moved towards a draw with 49.Nxf5+, if Carlsen had really needed a win then he'd have tried 46.Nh5 but that really wasn't the case this time. The game was quickly drawn after this.

Final Game 10 Notes

Carlsen,Magnus (2870) - Anand,Viswanathan (2775) [B51]
WCh 2013 Chennai IND (10), 22.11.2013
[Mark Crowther]

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Bb5+ Nd7

[3...Bd7 4.Bxd7+ Qxd7 5.c4 Nf6 6.Nc3 g6 7.d4 cxd4 8.Nxd4 Bg7 9.f3 Qc7 10.b3 Qa5 11.Bb2 Nc6 12.0-0 0-0 13.Nce2 Rfd8 14.Bc3 Qb6 15.Kh1 d5 16.Nxc6 bxc6 17.Qe1 Rdc8 18.e5 Ne8 19.e6 fxe6 20.Nf4 Bxc3 21.Qxc3 d4 22.Qd2 c5 23.Rae1 Ng7 24.g4 Rc6 25.Nh3 Ne8 26.Qh6 Nf6 27.Ng5 d3 28.Re5 Kh8 29.Rd1 Qa6 30.a4 1-0 Carlsen,M (2843)-Anand,V (2780)/Sao Paulo/Bilbao BRA/ESP 2012/The Week in Chess 936]

4.d4 cxd4 5.Qxd4 a6 6.Bxd7+ Bxd7 7.c4 Nf6

Viswanathan Anand


Magnus Carlsen

Position after 7...Nf6

Anand finally deviates from the game he played against Carlsen in Norway earlier in the year.

[7...e5 8.Qd3 b5 9.Nc3 bxc4 10.Qxc4 Be6 11.Qd3 h6 12.0-0 Nf6 13.Rd1 Be7 14.Ne1 0-0 15.Nc2 Qb6 16.Ne3 Rfc8 17.b3 a5 18.Bd2 Qa6 19.Be1 Nd7 20.f3 Rc6 21.Qxa6 Rcxa6 22.Ned5 Bd8 23.Nb5 Rc8 24.Bf2 Kh7 25.Kf1 Rcc6 26.Rac1 Bg5 27.Rc3 Bxd5 28.Rxd5 Rxc3 29.Nxc3 Rc6 30.Be1 Nc5 31.Nb5 Nb7 32.h4 Be3 33.Ke2 Bc5 34.h5 Bb4 35.Bd2 g6 36.a3 Bxd2 37.hxg6+ Kxg6 38.Kxd2 h5 39.g3 f6 40.Na7 Rc7 41.Nb5 Rc6 42.Ke2 Kf7 43.b4 axb4 44.axb4 Ke6 45.Rd3 Rc4 46.Rb3 d5 47.Kd3 Rc6 48.exd5+ Kxd5 49.Rc3 f5 50.Nc7+ Kd6 51.Ne8+ Kd5 52.Rxc6 Kxc6 53.Ng7 Nd6 54.Nxh5 e4+ 55.fxe4 Nxe4 56.Kd4 Kb5 57.g4 fxg4 58.Kxe4 g3 59.Nxg3 Kxb4 1/2-1/2 Carlsen,M (2868)-Anand,V (2783)/Sandnes NOR 2013/The Week in Chess 966]

8.Bg5 e6 9.Nc3 Be7 10.0-0 Bc6

[10...h6 11.Be3 0-0 12.e5 dxe5 13.Nxe5 Be8 and eventually drawn in Moskalenko,A (2459)-Antipov,M (2473)/Moscow RUS 2013]


Viswanathan Anand


Magnus Carlsen

Position after 11.Qd3

"I was trying to play solidly in the opening. And I am pretty happy with what I got. Very solid position. No weaknesses. As the game went on he started to drift a bit I thought as long as there is no risk I should try and win it. " - Carlsen.

[11.Rfe1 0-0 12.Rad1 Qa5 13.Qd2 Qb6 14.Nd5 Bxd5 15.cxd5 e5 16.Rc1 Rfc8 17.Bxf6 Bxf6 18.Rc3 h6 and eventually drawn in 49 moves Girinath,P (2448)-Sitanggang,S (2410)/Singapore SIN 2007.]

11...0-0 12.Nd4 Rc8

[12...Qc7 13.Nxc6 bxc6 14.Kh1 Rfd8 0-1 in 60 moves Kidzinski,L (2001)-Szczesniak,P/Bartkowa 2002.; 12...Be8 keeping the light squared bishop surely comes into consideration.]

13.b3 Qc7


14.Nxc6 Qxc6 15.Rac1 h6 16.Be3

Viswanathan Anand


Magnus Carlsen

Position after 16.Be3

White of course keeps his bishop rather than exchanging.

[16.Bf4 Nh5 17.Be3 Nf6]

16...Nd7 17.Bd4 Rfd8 18.h3

Just playing things safe by breaking the back rank. White is fairly comfortable here.



[18...b6 is Anand's alternative setup. Both sides have some latitude in their setups.]

19.Rfd1 Qa5 20.Qd2 Kf8

[20...Bg5 was the clear alternative. 21.Be3 (21.f4 Bf6 22.Bxf6 Nxf6) 21...Bxe3 22.Qxe3 Ne5 is about equal.]

21.Qb2 Kg8 22.a4

[22.Qd2 offering a repetition was expected by many at the time. 22...Kf8 23.Qb2 Kg8 24.Qd2 etc]


[22...Bg5 Houdini looks a bit odd to me. 23.Rc2 Kh7]

23.Ne2 Bf6 24.Rc3 Bxd4 25.Rxd4 Qe5

[25...Nf6 26.Qd2 Qa5]

26.Qd2 Nf6



Viswanathan Anand


Magnus Carlsen

Position after 27.Re3

Keeping black bottled in.



Looks like the best response.

[27...b5?! 28.f4 Qc5 29.e5 Ne8 30.b4 Qb6 31.cxb5 axb5 32.a5]


Viswanathan Anand


Magnus Carlsen

Position after 28.a5

White's position looks pleasant.


Already this position is quite uncomfortable for Anand. This however is just a mistake. "I simply blundered Qg5. I saw the same tactic for Qc5 but I simply put the queen on g5. And the same e5 happened. I simply don't know the evaluation after that." - Anand. It isn't that easy to offer a move to Anand. I think he already stands worse.

[28...Qc5 allowing the same e5 break was seen by Anand. 29.e5 Ne8 is great for white eg 30.b4 Qc7 31.c5 d5 32.Nc3 Re7 33.Na4 g6 34.Nb6 with black having a miserable position.; 28...Rcd8 is perhaps best for black but he's still passive. 29.b4 Qg5 30.f4 Qg6 31.Nc3 is nice for white.; 28...g5 Yermolinsky in his ICC game of the day broadcast suggests this is a thematic move but he also recognises how reluctant you might be to play it. 29.Nc3 is Houdini's suggestion(29.Kh1 Rcd8 30.Ng1 (30.b4 Kg7 31.Ng1) 30...Qc5) ; 28...g6 29.b4 looks better for white too.]

29.e5! Ne8

Viswanathan Anand


Magnus Carlsen

Position after 28...Ne8


"Played very quickly by Magnus Carlsen. "When I took on d6 I missed something simple. I thought I was just winning with that. If I knew this move wasn't so good I would have taken some more time and perhaps found a better move and put even more pressure on him. That wasn't terribly impressive. Anyway, it doesn't feel very important now." - Carlsen.

[30.Nc3 should lead to a winning position and there are other better moves than capturing too. This one seems the best. 30...Rc6 (30...Qf5 31.Na4 Rc6 32.b4) 31.f4 Qf5 32.Ne4 Qg6 33.Nxd6 Nxd6 34.Rxd6 Rcxd6 35.exd6 Qf6 36.Re1 g6; 30.Rg4 Nakamura]

30...Rc6 31.f4 Qd8

Black gets to recover his pawn just in time.

32.Red3 Rcxd6 33.Rxd6 Rxd6 34.Rxd6 Qxd6 35.Qxd6 Nxd6 36.Kf2

Viswanathan Anand


Magnus Carlsen

Position after 36.Kf2

White is better in this ending, but by how much? Carlsen also only needs a draw.

36...Kf8 37.Ke3 Ke7 38.Kd4 Kd7

[38...g5 seeking counter-play is the other option that has to be considered but it looks very dangerous for black. 39.Kc5 Kd7 40.fxg5 hxg5 41.Kb6 Kc8 42.c5 Nb5 43.c6 bxc6 44.Kxc6 and I wouldn't be surprised if white isn't just winning.]

39.Kc5 Kc7 40.Nc3 Nf5!?

Viswanathan Anand


Magnus Carlsen

Position after 40...Nf5

Anand played this rather quickly with plenty of time on the clock. This ending is terribly difficult and I don't know the assessment.

[40...g5 may be the time to try the g5 counter-play. 41.g3 (41.fxg5 hxg5) ]


Played pretty quickly.


Only played after a big think.

42.g3 f5

Viswanathan Anand


Magnus Carlsen

Position after 42.f5

Probably the best try.

[42...Nc2 43.Nd6 Na1 44.Ne8+ Kd7 45.Nxg7 Nxb3+ 46.Kb6 and white may very well be winning.]


This may not be the best here. It depends on the evaluation of 43.Nd2. Carlsen thought for some time. This is a very tough position.

[43.Nd2 "As far as I can tell after playing around with the engine, 43.Nd2 was pretty safe and actually - as an added bonus - winning." - Jon Ludvig Hammer. This position is worth analysing at least. 43...Nd1!? The assessment of this line looks to hinge on the evaluation of this move. (43...g5? 44.fxg5 hxg5 45.Kd4 Nc2+ 46.Ke5 Kd7 47.Kf6 g4 48.h4 and although there is still some way to go this must surely be winning for Carlsen.) 44.b4 (44.Kd4 is the alternative.) 44...Nf2 45.Kd4 Nxh3 46.Nb3 g5 47.Nc5 gxf4 48.Nxe6+ Kd6 49.Nxf4 Ng5 needs looking at.; 43.Kd4 Nxc4 44.Nc5 Nxa5 45.Nxe6+ Kd7 46.Nxg7 Nxb3+ 47.Kc3 Nc5 48.Nxf5 is equal]

43...g5 44.Ne8+ Kd7 45.Nf6+ Ke7 46.Ng8+

Viswanathan Anand


Magnus Carlsen

Position after 46.Ng8+

"At some point after the time control, the variations were simply getting too complicated. So I decided to shut it down and force a draw." - Carlsen

[46.Nh5 was the alternative that keeps winning chances but Carlsen only needs a draw and isn't totally crazy but he did think for a long time. 46...Kd7 47.b4 Nc2 48.b5 Na3 49.Kb6 axb5 (49...Nxc4+!?) 50.cxb5 Nc4+ 51.Kxb7 Nxa5+ 52.Ka6 Nb3 53.Nf6+ Kd6 54.b6 gxf4 55.gxf4 Nc5+ These lines are better for white but can easily get out of control and there is no clear win.]

46...Kf8 47.Nxh6 gxf4 48.gxf4 Kg7 49.Nxf5+

Viswanathan Anand


Magnus Carlsen

Position after 49.Nf5+

Very precisely calculated by Carlsen. This leads to a forced draw where he eliminates all black's pawns and both sides get queens.


[49...Nxf5? 50.b4 Kf7 51.Kb6 Nd6 52.c5 Nb5 53.Kxb7]


[50.b4 Ng2 51.Kb6 Nxf4 52.Kxb7 Ne6 53.Kxa6 f4 54.Kb6 f3 55.a6 f2 56.a7 f1Q 57.a8Q Qxc4 58.Qb7+ Kf8 still a draw.]

50...Ng2 51.Kxb7 Nxf4 52.Kxa6 Ne6 53.Kb6 f4 54.a6 f3 55.a7 f2 56.a8Q f1Q

It's only been about counting for both sides.

57.Qd5 Qe1 58.Qd6 Qe3+ 59.Ka6 Nc5+ 60.Kb5

Now the game ends very quickly as all the pieces are eliminated.

60...Nxb3 61.Qc7+ Kh6

Viswanathan Anand


Magnus Carlsen

Position after 61...Kh6

Black has to come forwards at some point otherwise the white queen will continue checking. Now Carlsen swaps queens to get his draw.

62.Qb6+ Qxb6+ 63.Kxb6 Kh5 64.h4 Kxh4 65.c5 Nxc5

Automatic draw as there is no mating material! "I think it was a nice fight and a worthy end to the match." - Carlsen


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