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World Chess Championship 2014 (11)

Carlsen retains World Chess Championship title after beating Anand in Game 11

Carlsen listens to Anand after winning game 11. Photo ©

Carlsen listens to Anand after winning game 11. Photo © | http://sochi2014.fide.com

The World Chess Championship in Sochi finished in a win for Magnus Carlsen 6.5 to 4.5 against his challenger Viswanathan Anand. Carlsen avoided having to play the final game with black with a game 11 win in 45 moves against Anand's Berlin Defence.

Carlsen said of the game "it was a little bit more complicated than our previous games in which I had been white."

Carlsen was critical of his play in the early middle-game where it seemed that Anand got a slight edge. "Perhaps I didn't play the best way from lets say move 18-19 to move 23 because then all of a sudden this b5 created a lot of counter play"

Carlsen's move 23.Nef6 may have turned out to be inaccurate as it allowed 23...b5 after which the position looked very dangerous for Anand. However it was around this point Anand seemed to get nervous. Carlsen's 26.Kf3 supporting his centre was an excellent move and Anand said that

"I wasn't thinking very clearly at this point anyway." Anand

27.Rb4 was criticised by both players

Anand said "OK it was a bad gamble and I was punished." Carlsen said he didn't think Anand got enough for the exchange. 28...cxb4 was clearly another error (28..axb4 was certainly a better capture).

Carlsen described his play from here on as forceful and "was happy to find this plan with Nh5, f4 and kicking his bishop from e6 because that's really what's causing me a lot of problems. Once this bishop goes from e6 I can invade with the rook and then it's very difficult for him."

36.Rxc7+ was an accurate liquidation and even after the players passed move 40 they didn't really slow all that much and the game was soon over.

"I was a little bit nervous, and towards the end I got really excited so I had to try and control myself then." Carlsen

On the match Carlsen: "I thought after the first couple of games that I was playing much better than he was but then game three got me back to earth again."

"It's been inconsistant but it was evidently good enough. I can still improve but I certainly did some good things as well. For sure he played better than he did last time and he really pushed me to the end."

"it was tougher this time."

Anand on the match: "I was happy with some things. I did much better with white than last year but with the black pieces it didn't work out so well. I think it was a tougher match but in the end I have to admit he was superior. His nerves held up better."

This was indeed a closer match than last time. Carlsen, is the better player, especially in certain types of position which he seems to be able to enforce against Anand. However Anand was extremely well prepared and self-disciplined and kept his chances alive well into this eleventh game. Both played down the exchange of blunders in game six but if Anand had taken this opportunity this match would have been closer still or even lost by Carlsen. Such are the margins in world championship matches.

This was a quick defence after having been champion less than a year, Carlsen will next have to defend his title in November 2016 giving him 18 months to really enjoy the title. Perhaps this is the real start of the Carlsen era. 2014 was a rather disrupted year for Carlsen. He had celebrations and rest after winning the title, more commercial and media appearances than before, the Olympiad, which went very badly for him and then finally this defence less than 12 months after winning the title. He had very little opportunity for work on his game. With time on his side in 2015 I expect Carlsen's play to move forward again, and rather quickly.

As to Anand. He will be in action almost straight away in the London Chess Classic. He gave an emphatic "No" to ideas of retirement and I see no reason for him to do so. I can see many years of elite tournament play ahead of him if he really wants to. Whilst it would be a surprise if he is Carlsen's opponent in 2016 Anand is now qualified for the Candidates tournament of that year.

Final score Carlsen 6.5 - Anand 4.5.

Below are notes to the final game by IM Malcolm Pein with additional player comments.

Magnus Carlsen's final official press conference

Magnus Carlsen's final official press conference. Photo © http://www.sochi2014.fide.com/.

Carlsen,Magnus (2863) - Anand,Viswanathan (2792) [C67]
WCh 2014 Sochi RUS (11), 23.11.2014
[IM Malcolm Pein]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.0-0 Nxe4 5.d4 Nd6 6.Bxc6 dxc6 7.dxe5 Nf5 8.Qxd8+ Kxd8 9.h3 Bd7 10.Nc3 h6 11.b3 Kc8 12.Bb2 c5

[12...b6 13.Rad1 Ne7 14.Ne2 Ng6 Was fine for Black in Kasparov-Kramnik WCC Game 1 London 2000 the day the Berlin made it's high level debut]

13.Rad1 b6 14.Rfe1

[Relevant: 14.Nd5 a5 15.Nd2 Ne7 16.Ne3 Nf5 17.Nd5 Ne7 18.Ne3 Nf5 ½-½ Kokarev,D (2621)-Leko,P (2730) Loo 2014]

14...Be6 15.Nd5 g5

An excellent move preventing Nf4 Black can always take his time in the Berlin endgame he is so solid

16.c4N

Viswanathan Anand

r_k__b_r
p_p__p__
_p__b__p
__pNPnp_
__P_____
_P___N_P
PB___PP_
___RR_K_

Magnus Carlsen

16.c4

FEN:
r1k2b1r/p1p2p2/1p2b2p/2pNPnp1/2P5/1P3N1P/PB3PP1/3RR1K1 b - - 0 16

[Predecessor: 16.Nh2 Kb7 17.f4 Nd4 18.Bxd4 cxd4 19.Nf6 gxf4 20.Nf3 Bb4 21.Rf1 c5 22.Nd2 a5 23.Rxf4 a4 24.Nde4 axb3 25.axb3 Ra2 26.Rf2 Rha8 27.g4 Ra1 28.Rxa1 Rxa1+ 29.Kh2 b5 30.h4 c4 31.bxc4 bxc4 32.g5 hxg5 33.h5 Bf8 34.Nxg5 Bh6 35.Nxe6 fxe6 36.Ng8 Re1 37.Nxh6 Rxe5 38.Ng4 Rxh5+ 39.Kg3 Rd5 40.Kf4 d3 ½-½ (40) Zhidkov,P (2278)-Vitoshinskiy,Y Dubna 2001]

16...Kb7 17.Kh2 a5 18.a4 Ne7 19.g4 Ng6 20.Kg3 Be7

White would like to get his kingside pawns moving while Black dreams of activating his unchallenged light bishop

21.Nd2 Rhd8 22.Ne4 Bf8 23.Nef6

Viswanathan Anand

r__r_b__
_kp__p__
_p__bNnp
p_pNP_p_
P_P___P_
_P____KP
_B___P__
___RR___

Magnus Carlsen

23.Nef6

FEN:
r2r1b2/1kp2p2/1p2bNnp/p1pNP1p1/P1P3P1/1P4KP/1B3P2/3RR3 b - - 0 23

[White cannot advance on the kingside yet 23.f4 Bxd5 24.cxd5 Nxf4]

Perhaps I didn't play the best way from lets say move 18-19 to move 23 because then all of a sudden this b5 created a lot of counter play

23...b5!!

A brilliant move which aims to activate 'The Precious' Black's unchallenged light squared bishop. When that emerges in the Berlin it can be immensely powerful

24.Bc3

[24.axb5 a4 25.bxa4 Rxa4 26.Re4 Bg7=/+; 24.cxb5 c6 25.bxc6+ Kxc6-/+]

24...bxa4

[24...b4 25.Bb2 c6 26.Ne3 Nf4]

25.bxa4 Kc6 26.Kf3!

Viswanathan Anand

r__r_b__
__p__p__
__k_bNnp
p_pNP_p_
P_P___P_
__B__K_P
_____P__
___RR___

Magnus Carlsen

26.Kf3

FEN:
r2r1b2/2p2p2/2k1bNnp/p1pNP1p1/P1P3P1/2B2K1P/5P2/3RR3 b - - 0 26

As Magnus said afterwards e5 and d5 needed support

26...Rdb8

This seems to be the moment Vishy's nerves crack. "I wasn't thinking very clearly at this point anyway." Anand said afterwards.

[Black could get a much better version of the game with 26...Be7 27.Ke4 Bxf6 28.exf6 Bxd5+ 29.cxd5+ Kd6 30.Re3 Re8+ 31.Kf3 Reb8 32.Ke4 Rb4+!? (32...Rd8) 33.Bxb4 axb4 34.Ra1 Nf4 35.a5 Ng2 36.Rg3? Ne1]]

27.Ke4 Rb4!?

Viswanathan Anand

r____b__
__p__p__
__k_bNnp
p_pNP_p_
PrP_K_P_
__B____P
_____P__
___RR___

Magnus Carlsen

27.Rb4. Maybe not the decisive error but both players were critical afterwards

FEN:
r4b2/2p2p2/2k1bNnp/p1pNP1p1/PrP1K1P1/2B4P/5P2/3RR3 w - - 0 28

"In general I'm a believer in material so I like to grab it instead of giving it up so I was fairly happy when he played that move. Since I thought he shouldn't have enough compensation and I thought after other moves he should be doing fine. I was pretty relieved about that." Carlsen. Anand said "Earlier I was still playing objectively." "I took a nervous decision."

[27...Rb3 28.Rb1 Ra3 (28...Rab8 29.Rxb3 Rxb3 30.Bxa5 Ra3 31.Bxc7 Rxa4 was given by Anand afterwards as being equal.) 29.Ra1 Rxa1 30.Rxa1 Bg7= but with all to play for]

28.Bxb4 cxb4?

[Now Carlsen stabilises easily. Taking the other way creates more problems and there are some interesting lines 28...axb4 29.Nh5 Kb7 (29...Rxa4 30.Ra1 Rxa1 31.Rxa1 Bxd5+ 32.cxd5+ Kb5 33.Nf6 c4~~) 30.Ra1 c6 31.Ne3 Re8! 32.Nf6 Re7 33.Ng8=]

29.Nh5

Viswanathan Anand

r____b__
__p__p__
__k_b_np
p__NP_pN
PpP_K_P_
_______P
_____P__
___RR___

Magnus Carlsen

29.Nh5

FEN:
r4b2/2p2p2/2k1b1np/p2NP1pN/PpP1K1P1/7P/5P2/3RR3 b - - 0 29

"I was happy to find this plan with Nh5, f4 and kicking his bishop from e6 because that's really what's causing me a lot of problems. Once this bishop goes from e6 I can invade with the rook and then it's very difficult for him." Carlsen

29...Kb7 30.f4 gxf4?!

[There was still an opportuity to complicate 30...Bd7!? 31.f5 Bxa4 32.fxg6 fxg6 33.Nhf6 Bc2+ 34.Kd4! (34.Ke3 Bxd1 35.Rxd1 c6 36.Ne7 a4) 34...Bxd1 35.Rxd1 c6 36.Nd7! cxd5 37.cxd5 Be7 38.d6 Bxd6 39.exd6 Kc6 40.Nc5 Kxd6 41.Re1+/-]

31.Nhxf4 Nxf4 32.Nxf4 Bxc4 33.Rd7 Ra6

[It's over 33...Bb3 34.Rc1 Rc8 35.Nd5; 33...Kc6 34.Rd4]

34.Nd5 Rc6

Viswanathan Anand

_____b__
_kpR_p__
__r____p
p__NP___
Ppb_K_P_
_______P
________
____R___

Magnus Carlsen

34.Rc6

FEN:
5b2/1kpR1p2/2r4p/p2NP3/Ppb1K1P1/7P/8/4R3 w - - 0 35

[34...Bxd5+ 35.Kxd5]

35.Rxf7 Bc5 36.Rxc7+ Rxc7 37.Nxc7 Kc6

[37...Kxc7 38.Rc1]

38.Nb5 Bxb5

Viswanathan Anand

________
________
__k____p
pbb_P___
Pp__K_P_
_______P
________
____R___

Magnus Carlsen

Position after 38.Bxb5

FEN:
8/8/2k4p/pbb1P3/Pp2K1P1/7P/8/4R3 w - - 0 39

[Black is also lost after 38...Bd5+ 39.Kd3 b3; 38...b3]

39.axb5+ Kxb5 40.e6 b3 41.Kd3 Be7 42.h4 a4 43.g5 hxg5 44.hxg5 a3 45.Kc3 1-0

Viswanathan Anand

________
____b___
____P___
_k____P_
________
ppK_____
________
____R___

Magnus Carlsen

Final position after 45.Kc3

FEN:
8/4b3/4P3/1k4P1/8/ppK5/8/4R3 b - - 0 45

Magnus Carlsen during game 11

Magnus Carlsen during game 11. Photo © http://www.sochi2014.fide.com/.

Henrik Carlsen giving an interview after his son won the match

Henrik Carlsen giving an interview after his son won the match. Photo © http://vg.no/sport/sjakk/.

Anand after resigning the games.

Anand after resigning the game and the match. Photo © http://www.sochi2014.fide.com/.

WCh Sochi
Anand, Viswanathan - Carlsen, Magnus ½-½ 48 D85 Gruenfeld Defence
Carlsen, Magnus - Anand, Viswanathan 1-0 35 C65 Ruy Lopez Berlin
Anand, Viswanathan - Carlsen, Magnus 1-0 34 D37 QGD 5.Bf4
Carlsen, Magnus - Anand, Viswanathan ½-½ 47 B40 Sicilian Classical
Anand, Viswanathan - Carlsen, Magnus ½-½ 39 E15 Queens Indian
Carlsen, Magnus - Anand, Viswanathan 1-0 38 B41 Sicilian Paulsen
Carlsen, Magnus - Anand, Viswanathan ½-½ 122 C67 Ruy Lopez Berlin
Anand, Viswanathan - Carlsen, Magnus ½-½ 41 D37 QGD 5.Bf4
Carlsen, Magnus - Anand, Viswanathan ½-½ 20 C67 Ruy Lopez Berlin
Anand, Viswanathan - Carlsen, Magnus ½-½ 32 D97 Gruenfeld Russian
Carlsen, Magnus - Anand, Viswanathan 1-0 45 C67 Ruy Lopez Berlin

WCh Sochi (RUS), 8-28 xi 2014
Name Ti NAT Rtng 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Total Perf
Carlsen, Magnus g NOR 2863 ½ 1 0 ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 . 2857
Anand, Viswanathan g IND 2792 ½ 0 1 ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 . 2798

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