Down three points, World Champion Viswanathan Anand admitted that his situation did not appear to be encouraging, but when he sat down today he had his head held high and proceeded to forge on. While much of the attention has focused squarely on Magnus Carlsen during the match, Anand perhaps was not given enough credit for paving the way for a championship cycle that was totally intact and almost without incident since 2007.
Viswanathan Anand winning the title in 2007 starting his reign.
Photo by ChessBase.com
Prior to that, one controversy after another had plagued the cycle with Garry Kasparov actually breaking away from FIDE and a separate cycle being run until 2007 when Vladimir Kramnik agreed to join the FIDE cycle in an attempt to unify the title. While Anand has been apolitical, he never complained of any condition and he treated the cycle with respect and did not hold the title hostage.
As for India, they showed the world that they have arrived as a chess power and the host committee that catered to every whim of the players. In fact, some may have argued that the locals made it too comfortable for the challenger. However, Indians have mastered the hospitality industry and they set a wonderful stage for chess. On this stage was their native son and the wunderkind from Norway.
In game ten, Anand opted for the Sicilian, but Carlsen sidestepped the Najdorf and went for the Moscow variation with 3.Bb5+. This avoids deep prep and offers white little risk while being able to play for a slight advantage. The game resembled a classical battle with white adopting a Maroczy Bind and black adopting a Scheveningen setup.
Carlsen readying himself for the tenth game of the match.
Photo by Anastasia Karlovich.
Anand attempted to provoke matters by placing his queen aggressively on e5 with the idea of breaking in the center with …d5. However, moves later Anand erred with 28…Qg5 allowing white to strike with 29.e5! This guaranteed white a slight edge and maybe even winning (after 29…Ne8 30.Nc3!). Both players aesthetically had the “Alekhine’s Gun” pointing at each other after 32…Rcxd6 white meant that all heavy material would be exchanged. Winning chances for black were looking less and less likely. In fact, white could have forced a repetition, but chose to continue the game.
This is not the gaze of a tiger.
Photo by Anastasia Karlovich.
Interestingly enough, Carlsen’s knight ended up forlorn on the black kingside and was eventually trapped! Had Carlsen blown it!? Commentator Lawrence Trent remarked that if Carlsen lost this game, it could certainly give more confidence to Anand going into a white game. The “Tiger from Madras” can still bite. However, Carlsen had calculated accurately and sacrificed the knight to attack black’s queenside pawns. Both sides clear the path for their pawns and both sides got new queens. However, there was actually zero chances for either side in a Q+N vs. Q+3P ending. After white’s last pawn was captured, Anand was the first to congratulate Carlsen on winning the match and the new becoming World Champion.
Carlsen was thrown in the pool as part of a sports celebratory ritual.
Photo by Mads Nyborg Stostad/NRK.
At the press conference, Anand stated that Carlsen was dominant and that the game five loss was the “heavy blow”. Anand would not reveal any plans for the future, but he qualifies for the Candidate’s tournament next year to set Carlsen’s challenger. It may be awhile before we will see a player defend their title five times in a row. Carlsen was thankful for the hospitality which exceeded his expectations. After the press conference, his sponsoring team threw him in the swimming pool, an image that circulated quickly throughout the world media.
Congratulations are in order for the young champion who has shattered several records during his ascent. He has now unified both the top rating with the world title and is now the defacto ambassador of chess. What kind of World Champion will Magnus Carlsen be? Time will tell. Let’s not forget about Anand…
Kudos to @vishy64theking for being a class act during his reign and stabilizing the cycle during its chaotic evolution. Chess is indebted.
— Daaim Shabazz (@thechessdrum) November 22, 2013
Final Match Score: Carlsen 6½ Anand 3½
Official Site: http://chennai2013.fide.com/
Drum Coverage: http://www.thechessdrum.net/blog/2013/11/06/2013-world-championship-anand-vs-carlsen/
Game Analysis – Game #10 (GM Daniel King)