Congratulations GM Magnus Carlsen, World Champion!
After Magnus Carlsen won a tense Berlin Ruy Lopez, he could proclaim, “Ich bin ein Champion!” In a game in which he was under serious pressure from Viswanathan Anand, he kept his Nordic cool and waded through the complications… particularly after Anand’s stunning 23…b5!! Later Carlsen capitalized off over the overzealous 27…Rb4?, gobbled the exchange, collected the point and the match.
Anand: "I can’t say why I suddenly decided to go for this exchange sac… it was a bad gamble and it was punished" #CarlsenAnand
— chess24.com (@chess24com) November 23, 2014
— Daaim Shabazz (@thechessdrum) November 23, 2014
In the post-game press conference, Anand felt that his exchange sacrifice was motivated by nervous energy that built up over many moves. The also stated that Carlsen’s nerves were a bit more stable during the match. In fact, this was not apparent and there was the infamous 6th game where the champion walked into a blunder with 26.Kd2?? There was the tenth game when Carlsen was out of sorts at the board and Anand agreed to a quick draw.
26.Kd2?? will now become an infamous footnote in history.
It appeared that Anand created many changes to win in the match, but he was not able to go forth at the right moments. Nevertheless, he gave a good account of himself and put up a valiant fight. When asked if he planned to retire from chess, Anand gave a curt reply, “No.” That received applause. Anand gained many supporter and was lauded for his comeback at the Candidates. However, there would be some melancholy moods.
— Harika Dronavalli (@HarikaDronavali) November 23, 2014
As for Carlsen, he successful defends his title for the first knowing that many upstarts were watching for chink in his Thor armor. There are a number of candidates who may be competing for the crown in 2016 and two of them are playing a match in St. Louis right now. Of course Fabiano Caruana is solidly #2 on the Elo rating list and others such as Wesley So and Chinese Yu Yangyi and Ding Liren are still improving. Exciting times for chess!