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FIDE Women's World Chess Championship 2013 (6)

Carlsen's second win in a row a "heavy blow" to Anand's World Championship chances

Anand vs Carlsen game 6, the moment of resignation. Photo ©

Anand vs Carlsen game 6, the moment of resignation. Photo © |

Magnus Carlsen took control of his match against defending champion Viswanathan Anand in Chennai, India when he won the sixth game in 67 moves to move to a 4-2 lead. This loss can only have been extremely painful to Anand because in spite of being clearly short of his best this loss was almost totally unnecessary and at least in part self inflicted.

Anand again played 1.e4 and Carlsen repeated his Berlin Defence from game four. Carlsen repeated the moves from Anand's game against Aronian from Paris earlier in the year. 10.Bg5 was a new, although hardly surprising, novelty that didn't cause Carlsen any problems. After the manoeuvre 13...Nb8 14...Nbd7 similar to that used in the Breyer Defence Carlsen was doing well and Anand didn't seem to know what to do. 21.Bxf6 led to a major piece ending where Carlsen was slightly better. Anand wasn't so much blundering as making slightly under-par decisions. Nevertheless there wasn't so very much for Carlsen to work with. Anand decided to part with a pawn in return for a clarification of the defensive task with 38.Qg3. Carlsen couldn't work out whether it was a blunder or a sacrifice.

Carlsen's 43...Kf7 was an error, missing 44.h5 giving up another pawn but more or less equalising. Carlsen had more or less given up trying to win and only had one idea left to make progress. It was at this point Anand became a bit careless taking only 30 seconds of his 38 minutes left in playing 57.Rg8+ (indeed he almost made this move immediately) when 57.Rc8 would have probably led to a quick draw. Anand clearly missed Carlsen's last winning try with 57...Kf4 and his post-game comments suggest he thought he was lost. It's been my observation that carelessness in technical endings has been seen quite a number of games in Anand's career. Anand thought he was now losing but in fact it was 60.Ra4? that was the decisive error 60.b4 draws. Anand had nearly half an hour left to consider his move but used only 90 seconds.

It was reported during commentary that Anand didn't sleep very much the previous night following his game 5 defeat and this may have had an impact in game 6. This loss was, if anything, worse. Anand will feel that in both games he should have been able to avoid the loss.

Sunday's rest day marks the half way point of the match. Anand starts the second half with the white pieces again. Carlsen leads by 4-2 and requires just 2.5/6 to become the new champion. There are scenarios where Anand could get back into the match but right now Carlsen looks the near certain winner.

There was a press conference right after the game. A clearly upset Anand managed to control himself for the most part and finally snapped at a rather fatuous line of questioning which brought the press conference to a close

Q: (Ole Rolfsrud, NRK TV) I am still wondering if Mr Anand will elaborate by what you mean by doing your best again?

A: (Viswanathan Anand) Doing your best means doing your best. I don't know why you don't understand English.

Game 7 Monday 18th November Anand-Carlsen 3pm Chennai times, 9:30am GMT.

"Today was a heavy blow. I will not pretend otherwise. Nothing to be done. You just go on." - Anand


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

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 . . . . . . 4 2900
Anand, Viswanathan g IND 2775 ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 0 . . . . . . 2 2745

Game 6 annotated

Anand,Viswanathan (2775) - Carlsen,Magnus (2870) [C65]
WCh 2013 Chennai IND (6), 16.11.2013

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.d3 Bc5 5.c3 0-0 6.0-0 Re8 7.Re1 a6 8.Ba4 b5 9.Bb3 d6 10.Bg5N

Magnus Carlsen


Viswanathan Anand

Position after 10.Bg5

Anand comes up with a new, if not especially surprising new move. Again Carlsen had been following a recent Anand game. This is why players often hide their intended repertoire in events before the world championship. Anand however had to play a lot of chess this year in order to get some form back. Perhaps however he gave away some of his intended repertoire.

[10.Nbd2 Bb6 11.Nf1 Ne7 12.Ng3 Ng6 13.h3 h6 14.d4 c5 15.dxe5 dxe5 16.Qxd8 Bxd8 17.a4 c4 18.Bc2 Ba5 19.axb5 axb5 20.Be3 Bb7 21.Ra2 Bc7 22.Rea1 Rxa2 23.Rxa2 Ra8 24.Rxa8+ Bxa8 25.Kf1 Ne7 26.Nd2 Kf8 27.Bc5 Nd7 28.Ba3 g6 29.f3 Ke8 30.b3 cxb3 31.Nxb3 Nc8 32.Bd3 Bc6 33.c4 bxc4 34.Bxc4 Ba4 35.Nc5 Nxc5 36.Bxc5 Nb6 37.Bxb6 Bxb6 38.Ne2 Ba5 39.Nc1 Ke7 40.Nd3 Bc3 41.g4 1/2-1/2 Anand,V (2783)-Aronian,L (2809)/Paris/St Petersburg FRA/RUS 2013/The Week in Chess 964]

10...Be6 11.Nbd2 h6 12.Bh4 Bxb3 13.axb3 Nb8 14.h3 Nbd7

"I thought I got a solid position out of the opening." - Carlsen

15.Nh2 Qe7 16.Ndf1 Bb6 17.Ne3 Qe6 18.b4 a5 19.bxa5 Bxa5 20.Nhg4 Bb6 21.Bxf6

Magnus Carlsen


Viswanathan Anand

Position after 21.Bxf6

Anand trades minor pieces hoping his remaining ones would stand well already an indication things have gone slightly wrong. "Magnus' manoeuvre with the knight was quite good. Then I started wondering what to do. Then I thought with Qg4 with the major pieces I could get a solid position. Then I dont know ... one mistake after the other." - Anand

21...Nxf6 22.Nxf6+ Qxf6 23.Qg4 Bxe3 24.fxe3 Qe7

Magnus Carlsen


Viswanathan Anand

Position after 24...Qe7

"Then at some point I was little bit better. But nothing much going on." Carlsen.

25.Rf1 c5 26.Kh2 c4 27.d4 Rxa1 28.Rxa1 Qb7 29.Rd1

[29.d5 attempting to close things up was a possible alternative although white's position is a very static target.]

29...Qc6 30.Qf5 exd4 31.Rxd4 Re5 32.Qf3 Qc7!

Just a nice manoever.

33.Kh1 Qe7 34.Qg4 Kh7 35.Qf4 g6 36.Kh2 Kg7 37.Qf3 Re6 38.Qg3?!

Magnus Carlsen


Viswanathan Anand

Position after 38.Qg3

"He sacrificed or blundered a pawn. After that I got a good rook ending. I am not at all sure if it is winning." - Carlsen. I presume Anand thought simplification at the expense of a pawn was the best idea. I wasn't sure what Anand meant by his explanation "Well, what can I say. Some days goes like that."

[38.Qf4 Kh7 39.Qf3]

38...Rxe4 39.Qxd6 Rxe3 40.Qxe7 Rxe7 41.Rd5 Rb7 42.Rd6 f6!

Magnus Carlsen


Viswanathan Anand

Position after 42...f6!

The best idea for making progress.

43.h4 Kf7?!

[43...h5 and "press for a win eventually with Re7-e5" according to Carlsen.]


Magnus Carlsen


Viswanathan Anand

Position after 44...h5

"At this point I missed the whole h5 idea. I didnt think you can really give up a pawn like that. Now, it was a draw." - Carlsen.

44...gxh5 45.Rd5 Kg6 46.Kg3 Rb6 47.Rc5 f5 48.Kh4 Re6 49.Rxb5 Re4+ 50.Kh3 Kg5 51.Rb8 h4 52.Rg8+ Kh5 53.Rf8 Rf4 54.Rc8 Rg4 55.Rf8 Rg3+ 56.Kh2 Kg5

Magnus Carlsen


Viswanathan Anand

Position after 56...Kg5


Not losing but now the game continues and black's task quickly turns out to be very hard. "I had one little trap. Which was my Kf4-Ke3 etc. Fortunately he went for it. It is very difficult. May be impossible to hold after that." - Carlsen.

[57.Rc8 Seems to be an easy draw as black has no way to progress. 57...Rg4 58.Rg8+ Kf6 59.Rh8 Kg7 60.Rc8]

57...Kf4 58.Rc8 Ke3 59.Rxc4 f4

Magnus Carlsen


Viswanathan Anand

Position after 59...f4

Carlsen only said "Maybe" when asked if he thought this position was winning. "Without these pawns (b2, c3) it would be a dead draw but these pawns seriously inhibit the rook and h3, f3 is coming very fast." - Carlsen. "Here it's lost" according to Anand but computers suggest this simply isn't the case.

[59...Rg4 "I thought he was going to go for Rg4 and a similar idea and then I'm OK." Anand.]


[60.b4 Both players thought this idea way too slow but it seems to draw. 60...h3 61.gxh3 Rg6 62.Rc7 f3 63.Re7+ Kd3 64.b5 f2 65.Rf7 Ke2 66.Re7+ Kf1 67.c4 Rg2+ 68.Kh1 Rg6 69.Kh2]

60...h3 61.gxh3 Rg6 62.c4 f3 63.Ra3+

Magnus Carlsen


Viswanathan Anand

Position after 63...Ra3+

Loses immediately but the position is gone anyhow.

63...Ke2 64.b4 f2 65.Ra2+ Kf3 66.Ra3+ Kf4 67.Ra8 Rg1 0-1

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