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FIDE World Chess Championship Anand-Carlsen 2013 (1)

Low key draw in first game of the World Chess Championship 2013

Carlsen vs Anand game 1. Photo © Anastasiya Karlovich.

Carlsen vs Anand game 1. Photo © Anastasiya Karlovich. |

The first game of the World Chess Championship 2013 match between defending champion Viswanathan Anand and his challenger Magus Carlsen ended in a draw in only 16 moves and 90 minutes play. Carlsen playing white chose the Reti System an extremely conservative choice. Anand played quickly and confidently, and after his 10...Nb6 introducing forcing play Carlsen already thought he had no advantage, he seemed to want play to develop more slowly, it's not clear to me what he'd overlooked in preparation although Carlsen admitted he did miss that 13.Qe1 is very bad due to 13...Nb4.

This was Carlsen's first world championship game and whilst his opening clearly didn't go well maybe he just wanted to get a feel for what it was like without losing the game. Once things had gone wrong Carlsen felt he had no choice but to "pull the emergency brake" and get to a draw as fast as possible. Anand could have played on with 13...b5 but he didn't see it as being worth the risk and Carlsen claimed he wouldn't have been too upset to play on either.

We got the start of an insight into how the players want to play the match, as Anand put it "I got to see what direction he's aiming at and he probably got a clue to mine." It's certainly a bit too early to start getting angry about short draws and saying the match will be boring. Carlsen rarely has them and there's no reason to suspect he'll be looking for them in this match. However it is to be hoped that Carlsen has some more critical opening lines prepared with white.

Game two Anand-Carlsen is on Sunday 3pm Chennai time, 9:30am UK time. Some brief game notes below based on the press conference. Also added Kasparov's comments on the first game from his twitter account.

Kasparov comments

Garry Kasparov comments on game 1 on Twitter

First, a few brief comments on today's Carlsen-Anand game. Brief comments are fitting for such a brief game.

I imagine Anand's 2..g6 was a surprise for Magnus, and 4..c6 as well. Then White has a big choice: to play c4 & sacrifice a pawn, or not.

Sacrificing the pawn with c4 would not be a typical position for Magnus but Anand (& his second Leko) know those positions well.

But without c4 by White Black gets a very solid position, even if he plays the Nbd2 I'd prefer to Carlsen's Nc3. Little danger for Black.

I remember Anand played this in his 1994 NYC candidates match against Romanishin, who played c4 & drew one & lost one. Can be quite sharp.

First games of big matches are often tentative. Both get a half point but it's great to start any event with an easy draw with black!

Anand & I drew first 8 games of our 1995 world championship match. But then, boom! Next 4/5 were decisive & the match was basically over.

So do not get too depressed with a slow start. Of my 7 world championship matches, 5 started with draw in first game.

Game notes with player comments

Carlsen,Magnus (2870) - Anand,Viswanathan (2775) [D78]
WCh 2013 Chennai IND (1), 09.11.2013

1.Nf3 d5 2.g3 g6 3.Bg2 Bg7 4.d4 c6 5.0-0 Nf6 6.b3 0-0 7.Bb2 Bf5 8.c4 Nbd7 9.Nc3 dxc4


10.bxc4 Nb6

Viswanathan Anand


Magnus Carlsen

Position after 10...Nb6

"It developed kind of fast. 10...Nb6 is a rather sharp idea basically forcing the play straight away. " Anand

11.c5 Nc4 12.Bc1

Carlsen spent around 12 minutes here. "12.Bc1 was a bit of a surprise." Anand.

[12.Qb3 "To be honest I expected 12..Qb3 although after 12...Be6 black is probably doing fine. " Anand. 12...Be6 13.Qc2 Bf5 14.Qb3 is a possible repetition here.]


Viswanathan Anand


Magnus Carlsen

Position after 12...Nd5!

[12...Ne4 Wagner,F (2249)-Aring,G (2205) Gerlingen 2011 is at least equal for black.]


"After 13.Qb3 I can force this draw." Anand.

[13.Qe1? Nb4! "is even getting very unpleasant for white." Anand. (13...Nc7 is also good.) ]


Anand decided to repeat because he didn't see any real advantage in the complications of 13...b5.

[13...b5!? would have led to some reasonably interesting tactics. 14.cxb6 "14.cxb6 is what I thought he would play." Anand. (14.a4!?) 14...Na5 15.Qb2 axb6 (15...Qxb6 is quite interesting. 16.e4 Nxc3 17.exf5) 16.Ne5 "Ne5 I thought is keeping the balance reaonably well." - Anand. (16.e4!? may be better. 16...Nxc3 17.exf5 Bxd4 18.Bh6) ]

14.Qa3 Nc4 15.Qb3 Na5 16.Qa3 Nc4

Viswanathan Anand


Magnus Carlsen

Final Position after 16...Nc4

1hr 8 mins vs 1hr 21 mins.


WCh Chennai
Carlsen, Magnus - Anand, Viswanathan ½-½ 16 A07 Barcza System

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 2775
Anand, Viswanathan g IND 2775 ½ . . . . . . . . . . . ½ 2870

Official live coverage with press conference at the end

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