2013 World Chess Championship (Anand vs. Carlsen)


2013 World Chess Championship

Chennai, India (November 7th-28th)


This is the time that we have waited for. The World Chess Championship will kick off tomorrow in Chennai, India as millions will tune into what will one of the most pivotal match in the history of chess. World Champion Viswanathan Anand faces Challenger Magnus Carlsen in a 12-game match from November 7th-28th.

The match has attracted intrigue due to the subplots pertaining to a generational battle along with Carlsen’s widespread star appeal as the world’s top-rated player. It is a match that the chess world needed to see! Anand will be defending the title for the fifth time and has been venerable world champion. There is no reason to believe he will easily cede the championship.



2013 World Chess Championship

Chennai, India (November 7th-28th)


Official Site: https://chennai2013.fide.com/




  1. Opening Ceremony

    The opening press conference was held against a crush of more than 140 journalists from around the world. It took awhile to get the journalists settled as FIDE Press Secretary Anastasia Karlovich struggled to bring the press conference to order. A constancy of flashes were flickering and both competitors presented themselves for photographs before the session started.

    The inaugural press conference was conducted to a packed house of 140 journalists from around the world. Photo by All-Indian Chess Federation (video screenshot).

    World Championship Viswanathan Anand opted for the standard blue NIIT shirt while challenger Magnus Carlsen wore a natty vest and fashionable buttoned-up shirt with the Simonsen and Arctic logos. In the opening comments Anand gave his thanks and gratitude to Jayaram Jayalalithaa, Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu for bringing the match to his hometown. Carlsen simply stated, “I’m also happy to be here.” He added that he was ready for the match to begin.

    In a minor controversy, both Anand and Carlsen were asked about their seconds after which Anand stated Krishnan Sasikiran, Chanda Sandipan, Radek Wojtaszek and Peter Leko. Carlsen made an face expressing surprise after Leko’s name was mentioned. After probing Carlsen he stated, “I appreciate the Mr. Anand’s openness about his team… but alas, I will not return the favor.”

    Carlsen shared a smile in an otherwise uncomfortable performance. He decided not reveal his seconds. Photo by All-Indian Chess Federation (video screenshot).

    The quality of the press conference questions were not always the most precise or even relevant. One of the questions was asked in Norwegian. When asked for a translation, Carlsen interjected that it should not be translated and gave a short answer in Norwegian. The press conference certainly had a frenetic beginning. This match will have no shortage of media coverage.

    Excitement reverberated throughout Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.
    Photo by Anastasia Karlovich.

    The opening ceremony was a festive affair with break-taking customs and performances. There was the introduction of both players who met a raucous crowd of more than 5,000 in the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium. Both were escorted by junior chess champions throughout India. Carlsen opted for a dark designer suit, casual shoes with a buttoned, but untucked shirt. Perhaps a bit unpolished for such an event. Anand opted for the traditional dark business suit. Later Carlsen shirt was tucked in.

    Magnus Carlsen greets the Honorable Chief Minister Jayaram Jayalalithaa.
    Photo by Anastasia Karlovich.

    There were speeches the Chief Minister Jayaram Jayalalithaa and FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov and the flow of the program was very smooth. The drawing ceremony was conducted and Magnus Carlsen would start with the white pieces and colors alternate thereafter. In the second half, Anand will begin with the white pieces and the colors alternate thereafter.

    The beautiful costumes gave a wonderful aesthetic
    to the Indian cultural dancing. Photo by Anastasia Karlovich.

    The dance performances featured an explosion of colorful costumes with accessories. There were several traditional dances done and a Norwegian troupe (with two Indian-Norwegians) that included a breakdancer. The pageantry of Indian dance is world famous and routine were absolutely stunning. In the end, a wonderful evening of entertainment and everyone is excited about the match.

    Photos: https://cdn.fide.com/wp-content/uploads/gallery/Opening%20ceremony/

  2. Photos of Opening Ceremony

    The champion and wife Aruna relax before ceremonies.

    An expectantly raucous crowd… with lots of youth.

    Anand is the home favorite, but Carlsen was given due respect

    The stage with a beautiful banner!

    Carlsen enters!

    Carlsen greets Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu.

    Anand arrives!!

    The stadium was rocking as thousands were cheering their national hero.

    Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, FIDE President

    Chief Minister, Jayaram Jayalalithaa addresses crowd.

    Jayalalithaa draws colors with Carlsen getting white.

    Photos by Anastasia Karlovich.

    Gallery: https://cdn.fide.com/wp-content/uploads/gallery/Opening%20ceremony/

  3. WCC2013-1: “Damp Squib” in first game

    Magnus Carlsen meditates before his first classical match begins.
    Photo by Anastasia Karlovich.

    The highly-anticipated match has begun in what has been billed by some as the “Match of the Century”. There was a throng of photographers outside of the playing area, a press room packed with journalists and millions of fans around the world watching. The Indian press has inundated its 1.2 billion citizens with news coverage and both Indian commentators IM Tania Sachdev and GM R.B. Ramesh stated that this match will give an additional greater boost to the growth of Indian chess.

    There was a lot of talk about which opening Magnus Carlsen would play. The 22-year old Norwegian is comfortable in many sorts of positions and is known to vary his opening choice. Thus, he started the match with Reti Opening after 1.Nf3 against Champion Viswanathan Anand. Anand replied with 1…d5. The game resembled a Grunfeld and was a surprise amongst the commentators. Carlsen appeared to be a bit cautious in his first game. He certainly respects Anand’s preparation.

    IM Lawrence Trent and IM Tania Sachdev were taken by surprise after 1.Nf3 d5 2.g3!?

    GM Daniel King had commented the game and preferred black after 11…Nc5 12.Bc1 Nd5. After 13.Qb3, Anand decided to repeat moves, the two shook hands and draw was agreed. After the game both players looked at a few variations such as 10…Nb6!?, but agreed that there was nothing tangible to play for. Carlsen stated, “I had to pull the emergency break and go for the draw.” He did add that he wished that Anand had played on further.

    Friendly discussion after today’s 16-move draw.
    Photo by Anastasia Karlovich.

    Twitter exploded in disapproval with the 16-move draw with GM Nigel Short calling it a “damp squib,” GM Ian Rogers lambasting Carlsen’s opening choice and Silvio Danilov calling for rule changes.

    Others were not as critical saying that these are ebbs and flows of a match and that an initial draw is perhaps a way to work out the tension. Nevertheless, the media mill is buzzing with stories and countless of ways to keep up with the action via the main site chennai2013.fide.com as well as chessclub.com, playchess.com, chess.com, chessdom.com and of course the various Twitter accounts. Stay tuned!

    Score: Anand ½ Carlsen ½

    Official Site: https://chennai2013.fide.com/
    Drum Coverage: https://www.thechessdrum.net/blog/2013/11/06/2013-world-championship-anand-vs-carlsen/

    Game #1

    Game Analysis – Game #1 (GM Daniel King)


  4. Photos of Game #1

    Anand goes through the search process. Security is tight.

    Viswanathan “The Godfather” Anand chills seven minutes before match begins. This is how the ruling “don” does it!

    Anand looks very composed…

    …while Carlsen admitted having “butterflies”.

    Carlsen observes the fantastic crush of media.

    Chief Arbiter Ashot Vardepetyan has a few words for Carlsen.

    Commentary team: GM Susan Polgar, IM Lawrence Trent, IM Tania Sachdev, GM R. B. Ramesh

    FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov makes the first move… 1.Nf3.

    Anand plays 2…g6.

    Amazing spectacle for Carlsen.


    Commentary had an easy day today.

    After agreeing to a draw, a friendly post-mortem.

    Photos by Anastasia Karlovich.

    Gallery: https://chennai2013.fide.com/photo-gallery-round-1/

  5. WCC2013-2: “The Caro-Kann Can’t”

    Carlsen surprised Anand with 1…c6.
    Photo by Anastasia Karlovich.

    The media often uses chess as a metaphor for a looming strategic battle. It is considered a symbol for erudition and intellectual guile. Well… today’s game may use the same metaphor to describe the strategic jockeying after the second draw in the World Championship match. While fans and commentators were equally disappointed today, the players stated that they were “just getting into the match”. Anand also described it as “collecting information”.

    The Caro-Kann was on stage today, but it soon became the Caro-Can’t.
    No fireworks today.

    In today’s match, it appeared that Anand was spoiling with a fight after 1.e4 which got a rousing applause. Carlsen surprised Anand with the Caro-Kann and they entered the classical lines after 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Bf5 5. Ng3 Bg6 6. h4. This got a reaction, but this is normal main line. Carlsen equalized rather comfortably and the two agreed to a draw in a rather dull position.

    Score: Anand 1 Carlsen 1

    Official Site: https://chennai2013.fide.com/
    Drum Coverage: https://www.thechessdrum.net/blog/2013/11/06/2013-world-championship-anand-vs-carlsen/

    Game #2

    Game Analysis – Game #2 (GM Daniel King)


  6. Photos of Game #2

    Not sure if this red and black design was Carlsen’s branding idea,
    but there is no secret what is inside the bottles.

    Both Carlsen and Anand in chill mode.

    Anand takes a quiet moment.

    The game is on! Carlsen plays the Caro-Kann.

    Indian street traffic is legendary,
    but the chaotic photography area was not much better.

    Modeling? Is G-Star here?

    Well-Wishes from visitors.

    This is where all the action is! The camera catches the gaze of Chessvibes’ Peter Doggers, the new maven at chess.com. Leontxo Garcia, GM Ian Rogers and IM Lawrence Trent can also be spotted. Photos by Anastasia Karlovich.

    Gallery: https://chennai2013.fide.com/photo-gallery-round-2/

  7. Carlsen looks to be in trouble. Maybe this great escape or a future lost will elevate his game . Scarry to think he can only get better.

  8. WCC2013-3: Tiger lets prey escape

    The tiger prowled…

    …but Thor got away!
    Photos by Anastasia Karlovich and Paul Truong respectively.

    Things are certainly heating up in Chennai, India! Former World Champion Garry Kasparov was on hand to watch game three amidst a minor controversy that he was being purposely shunned by the Indian hosts. Kasparov is a FIDE Presidential candidate, but India is said to be backing his opponent. After being pressed, India stated that they had not received his itinerary. He was later seen with JCD Prabhakar, President of All-India Chess Federation and DV Sundar, Vice President, FIDE. However, he was not given access to the media room, nor the commentary booth. What’s a world championship without at least one or two controversies?

    The third game showed a sample of things to come. The World Champion Viswanathan Anand took advantage of another innocuous opening and pressed for the advantage against Challenger Magnus Carlsen. After Carlsen repeated 1.Nf3, he varied after 1…d5 2. g3 g6 3. c4!? The game veered into a type of Dragon with colors reversed, but black had established a grip in the center after 10…Nd4!? 11. Nxd4 exd4. Carlsen admitted to playing a faulty plan with 13.Bb4?! allowing black to maintain the bishop pair and queenside majority.

    Carlsen started to get in a bit of trouble and was forced to play an improbable 25.Qh1 creating quite a buzz (diagram left). Many referred to Carlsen-Karjakin at 2013 Tata Steel (diagram right). In that game, white’s position is much better version since the white has the two bishops and the white queen was not totally entombed. Carlsen went on to win that game.

    The commentators and fans roared after 28.e3?! Perhaps The “Tiger from Madras” smelled blood and forged ahead with 28…dxe3 29.Rxe3 Bd4!? Many felt Anand should go for 29…Bxb2. Anand felt that Carlsen’s control of the open file gave him adequate play, but upon review, it appeared that black had enough initiative to press for the point. Anand would finally play 34…Bxb2, but 34…Rf8 may have been for choice. After 34…Bxb2 35.Qf3 white had untangled and pieces liquidated quickly.


    So there you have it… an exciting battle worth the price of admission. There was a lot of buzz after the game about Carlsen’s lackluster opening preparation. The Norwegian appeared to be a bit flustered at the board, but relieved at the press conference. He realizes that his white game is struggling and he must get a grip on his openings preparation or he will continue to suffer. He gets black and knows that Anand will try to press once again.

    On the other hand, Anand has had better positions in two games and was unable to convert. In the second game he eschewed 34…Rf8 because he didn’t want the game to get too tactical. However, this was the right approach. GM Josh Friedel gave 34…Rf8 35.Bxd3 Qd6! 36.Qg2 Rxf2 37.Rxf2 Rf8 38.Rdd2 Rxf2 39.Rxf2 Bxf2+ 40.Qxf2 Qxd3 and Black is up a clear pawn with excellent winning chances.

    Score: AnandCarlsen

    Official Site: https://chennai2013.fide.com/
    Drum Coverage: https://www.thechessdrum.net/blog/2013/11/06/2013-world-championship-anand-vs-carlsen/

    Game #3

    Game Analysis – Game #3 (GM Daniel King)


  9. WCC2013-4: Gladiator Battle drawn!

    The World Champion was in the hot seat today.
    Photo by Anastasia Karlovich.

    Perhaps Magnus Carlsen gave his cook a night off and tried the spicy cuisine. Given the pyrotechnics on the board today, perhaps both players were in a fighting mood. A placid and positional Berlin quickly turned into an inferno. Game four showed that the players have settled into the match and are willing press for a win.

    Anand started with 1.e4 again and Carlsen responded in kind with 1…e5. The game entered a Berlin Defense which Vladimir Kramnik turned into a serious weapon in the unofficial championship match versus Garry Kasparov. Kasparov, who made several comments on the game reflected on this choice.

    So the Berlin it was.

    Carlsen had perhaps some in his preparation since Jon Ludwig Hammar is a Berlin aficionado. This almost paid off in a big way, but not without a little assistance from Anand. The champion actually admitted going astray a bit and even admitted to being “lost” after black snapped off the pawn at a2. Kasparov actually thought the idea had merit, but the optimism faded after 31…g6! White did establish an advantage in space but this move now put white position under pressure.

    Anand had to be resourceful and perhaps 35.Ne4! was his best move of the day. The threats of Nf6 and Nd6+ are deadly.

    Anand then realized he had to play actively to avoid the untangling of black’s pieces. The prognosis was grim and many felt that Carlsen was inching toward a winning position. The moment came with 35.Ne4! sacrificing yet another pawn. After 35. Rxg4+ 36. Kf2 Rf4+ 37. Ke3 Rf8 white played 38. Nd4! Carlsen started shaking his head and was visibly disappointed. He had complimented Anand after the game for finding a wealth of resources.

    There was another moment of panic after 40…Rd8+. It was assumed that Anand would opt for 41.Ke3… even Houdini evaluated the position a 0.00. However, Anand played 41.Kc3!? which got a howl from Nakamura.

    Had he blown it? Indeed 41.Ke3 looked more normal, but perhaps Anand had seen the rook ending and felt that he had no realistic chance of losing the game. Besides he was falling woefully low on time. As the game went on, there was still some work to do to save the draw. Anand had to trade his e-pawn for black’s g-pawn… but how?

    After Carlsen’s tricky 56…Re6, white cannot play 57.Rxg5?? because of 57…b5 winning. In order to stop the g-pawn from marching, Anand had to play actively with 57.Rd8. Now on 57…g5 58.Rg5 b5 doesn’t work due to Ra8+ and Rb8+.

    The fourth game of this world championship match is the most exciting game yet and praise was heaped upon the fighting spirit of the players. It is clear that both players are now comfortable in their match surroundings and have established a mindset suited for battle.

    Carlsen may have missed his best chance, but it is not certain where he had the decisive advantage. Photo by Anastasia Karlovich.

    In other news, Kasparov left Chennai after being in the middle of a controversy concerning his presence at the match. He insisted that he was not there to assist Carlsen or to campaign, but there as a spectator. There were apparently miscommunication as Indian organizers did not seem to know how to handle Kasparov. After it is said that Kasparov did not have access to the press room or commentary booth, Georgios Makropoulos clarified by saying Kasparov “can go anywhere he wants.”

    GM Ian Rogers with former World Champion Garry Kasparov.
    Photo Cathy Rogers.

    Kasparov is embarking on an Asian campaign tour starting in Indonesia and following with Singapore, Thailand, Philippines, Macau, Hong Kong. It will be interesting to note his trip to disaster-stricken Philippines. Philippines is a rising chess power, but certainly it will be difficult for Filipinos to think about anything other than how to rebuild a troubled nation.

    Score: Anand 2 Carlsen 2

    Official Site: https://chennai2013.fide.com/
    Drum Coverage: https://www.thechessdrum.net/blog/2013/11/06/2013-world-championship-anand-vs-carlsen/

    Game #4

    Game Analysis – Game #4 (GM Daniel King)


  10. Photos of Game #4

    Photographers waiting for their favorite subjects for three weeks. Paul Truong seems happy to get a front position.

    Anand settles in.

    Let the game begin!

    Shutters were clicking, but the security had to shut it down.

    Carlsen sets up the Berlin Wall…

    …which Anand tried hard to break…

    …but Carlsen got the advantage!
    Photos by Anastasia Karlovich.

    Gallery: https://chennai2013.fide.com/photo-gallery-round-4/

    GMs R.B. Ramesh and Susan Polgar

    IMs Lawrence Ramesh and Tania Ramesh

    Drawn! Both players were in a good mood after a hard-fought game.
    Photos by Paul Truong.

    Gallery: https://picasaweb.google.com/116302832360230031699/WorldChampionship2013Chennai

  11. WCC2013-5: Carlsen squeezes win!

    With the match building up to an exciting crescendo, this game actually started out with a rather speculative opening.

    The match is getting prominent coverage in the Norwegian press. Courtesy of VG Nett (vg.no).

    The game entered a variation that could lead to a sacrifice on move six after 1. c4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 c6 4. e4!? Magnus Carlsen declined the Marshall Gambit after 4… dxe4 5. Nxe4 Bb4+ 6. Nc3 when 6.Bd2!? Qxd4 7.Bxb4 Qxe4+ 8.Be2 Na6 leads to tremendous complications. No question Viswanathan Anand would have been prepared.

    Carlsen played some common ideas, but uncorked 10.Qd3!?TN Commentators wondered the purpose, but apparently white had an idea to deter black’s castling. Carlsen was able to castle queenside ensuring an imbalanced struggle.

    Many GMs did not like Carlsen’s opening choice, but after the queens came off he wanted to exploit a space advantage to keep Anand’s bishop pair stifled. Anand’s play got some quizzical comments. Nakamura hinted at the age gap being a factor.

    Is that so? Anand’s generation has dominated chess in the last decade with the likes of Boris Gelfand, Vassily Ivanchuk, Veselin Topalov and Vladimir Kramnik. Perhaps Anand’s daily 10-kilometer runs will help him go the distance, but the young bucks weren’t convinced about the spirit of play from the World Champion.

    Yesterday Anand held on by a thread and only precise play would save him in this game. In fact, it appeared that black would hold the game despite a pawn deficit. His pieces started gaining activity after 34…Rd4 which Anand called a mistake. It actually appeared that black had gained some activity. In fact, Carlsen thought he may be worse after this move. Black continued to press with 36…Rb5.

    Anand went from having an active position after 36…Rb5 (left) to a losing one after 51.Rxh4 (right). It turns out that 45..Rc1+? led to his undoing.

    In a rook and pawn ending, the strong side has to stop his opponent from getting theoretically drawn positions. There was one idea that black could be down two pawns (a- and h-pawn) and still draw. The appeared to be headed there, but Carlsen played some textbook moves to obtain a winning position. His 54.Kh7! sealed the deal in preventing the black king from reaching a8.

    Looks of the players tell it all…

    … it was a glum day for India and good day for Europe.
    Photos by JM Mahesh.

    Carlsen was in a very good mood in the press conference while Norwegians were wildly celebrating. While the world’s number one player was basking in his success, the World Champion and home favorite was nervously chewing gum and appeared a bit irritated by the questions. His answers were laconic and a bit snippy at times. This has been the trend with the substandard questions asked at the press conferences by journalists.

    Anand will have white two games in a row, but far too much is being made on the color issue. Commentators (including GMs) are making very simplistic judgments while black has proven that it can press for advantage. Tomorrow is a key game since Anand had fallen behind 1-0 against both Topalov and Gelfand only to win the next game.

    Score: Carlsen 3 Anand 2

    Official Site: https://chennai2013.fide.com/
    Drum Coverage: https://www.thechessdrum.net/blog/2013/11/06/2013-world-championship-anand-vs-carlsen/

    Game #5

    Game Analysis – Game #5 (GM Daniel King)


  12. WCC2013-6: Carlsen wins… two-point bulge

    Magnus Carlsen now has opened a healthy lead.
    Photo by Anastasia Karlovich.

    Magnus Carlsen has opened up a two-point bulge in the sixth game of the World Championships shellshocking fans all over the world… and Anand himself. The past two games lost by Anand in rook endings followed two contentious games where both sides got winning positions.

    Today’s loss in a Ruy Lopez Breyer certainly puts Anand on his heels. He was hoping to put in a strong performance today, but got little in the opening. Anand sacrificed a pawn and tried to create a barrier, but Carlsen deftly shifted the focus on the kingside by sacrificing a pawn to free his rook. He penetrated the kingside with his king. With the game hanging by a thread, Anand blundered with 60.Ra4 and Carlsen was able to push the pawn through.

    Carlsen continued to press and his persistence was rewarded.
    Photo by Anastasia Karlovich.

    The press conference was a forgettable one for Anand.
    Photo by JM Mahesh.

    After the loss, Anand was visibly irritated at the seemingly endless stream of awkward questions. He had just lost a tough battle, had fallen behind two points and had to go immediately to the press conference with emotions still swirling. After a series of lackluster questions, a Norwegian journalist asked how he planned to come back after such a deficit. Anand replied vaguely, “I plan to do my best.” It was obvious that he was not in the mood and his answers were rather abrupt. After a couple of questions, the same journalist then asked him to elaborate on how he would do his best. Anand replied, “Doing your best means doing your best. I don’t know why you don’t understand English!”

    Anand’s reaction was totally out of character, but it follows a trend of poor choice of questioning by journalists throughout the entire event. It was with such shock since Anand is normally unflappable, but the pressure is clearly mounting. In the second half of the tournament, Anand will have to find a different approach to his openings. He will undoubtedly get calls from several strong players on possible ideas. Of course, Anand still has to play the moves and losing two drawn ending may point to other issues.

    Score: Carlsen 4 Anand 2

    Official Site: https://chennai2013.fide.com/
    Drum Coverage: https://www.thechessdrum.net/blog/2013/11/06/2013-world-championship-anand-vs-carlsen/

    Game #6

    Game Analysis – Game #6 (GM Daniel King)


  13. WCC2013-7: Anand whiffs with white

    Anand pondering on a way to catch Carlsen in preparation.
    Photo by Anastasia Karlovich.

    All eyes were on Viswanathan Anand today as he was attempting to rebound after two consecutive losses. A minor stir was caused as Magnus Carlsen nearly forfeited due to the zero tolerance rule.

    Magnus Carlsen almost forfeited!
    Photo by Paul Truong.

    Susan Polgar reported this incident on her website which was not widely publicized. According to her account, Carlsen came to the board at 2:57:26 went to the bathroom and made it back to his chair at 2:59:46. According to “zero tolerance” players must be seated or will lose via forfeit. Carlsen made it by 14 seconds and the game commenced. That would have certainly created a sensation!

    Anand remained loyal to 1.e4 and entered another anti-Berlin. Both players has played this line times before. Some fans and commentators were expecting Anand to try something a bit more ambitious and even a King’s Gambit was cheekily suggested. There were a couple of Twitter comments by both Hikaru Nakamura and Teimour Radjabov (who just won the European Team Championship) that Anand should go “all in” with white.

    Perhaps there is a sense of urgency, but Anand wants simply to stabilize the situation instead of possibly going down -3 in a tactical melee and the match being all but over. There are another five games and while the window is closing a draw is not the worst result.

    Carlsen sticks with the classical game 1.e4 e5.

    The game continued with some maneuvering and black had a very solid position with no weaknesses. Both sides had castled on the queenside and there were few targets to hit at for white. The game plodded on and Anand could make no progress in terms of creating imbalances in the position. The game ended calmly with a shake of hands.

    GM Dronavali Harika visited Chennai from Hyderabad to cheer for Anand.
    Photo by Anastasia Karlovich.

    Photographers and Journalists from around the world.
    Photo by Paul Truong.

    There was a press conference afterwards and Anand stated that he was trying to break the streak of losses (both from drawn positions) and tried to press a little, but it never happened. The press conference are increasing becoming a tortuous exercise for the players and their answers come off as flippant and annoyed.

    One journalist asked Anand, “Are you a relieved lot now?” implying that Anand was glad not to lose a third game in a row. It was good of Anand not to snap at such an inappropriate question. However, the press conference format will have to be improved and perhaps the social media can be polled for a better quality of questions.

    The players were in a good mood, but the Q&A format will have to be improved… or eliminated for future matches. Photo by Paul Truong.

    The recurring theme is that Anand should immediately “go for broke” and try to create an open and complicated attacking game. The idea that white must win is perhaps one that is a bit naive given that black has been perfectly fine with creating chances in this match.

    In fact, Anand has had his best positions with black and Carlsen has won with black. Certainly it is more of a challenge to win for black, but both sides have the same objective and rules. In the final analysis, Anand “stopped the bleeding” to get his confidence back and we can expect to see brash play in the eighth game.

    Score: CarlsenAnand

    Official Site: https://chennai2013.fide.com/
    Drum Coverage: https://www.thechessdrum.net/blog/2013/11/06/2013-world-championship-anand-vs-carlsen/

    Game #7

    Game Analysis – Game #7 (GM Daniel King)


  14. WCC2013-8: Anand opts for Berlin… no dice

    Another pre-game rumination by Anand… trying to stir up motivation.
    Photo by Anastasia Karlovich.

    Fans and commentators were clamoring for a Najdorf Sicilian to challenge Magnus Carlsen’s two-point bulge in the eighth game of the match. What did they get? Anand took a page out of John F. Kennedy’s archives and seemed to have replied, “Ich bin ein Berliner.”

    The World Champion trotted out the Berlin Defense but Carlsen was fully prepared. There was one line that the players pointed out 23…Qg5 h4! (or f4!), but Anand played 23…Qd8 and the game petered out into a picturesque pawn ending that was completely symmetrical.

    Score: Carlsen 5 Anand 3

    Official Site: https://chennai2013.fide.com/
    Drum Coverage: https://www.thechessdrum.net/blog/2013/11/06/2013-world-championship-anand-vs-carlsen/

    Game #8

    Game Analysis – Game #8 (GM Daniel King)

    Game #8 Webcast


  15. Unless Anand uses his day off to come up with some brand new novelties, I am afraid we will get another drawn game and in all probability, see an implicit handshake suggesting that it is the end of an Era and the beginning of another. Three more draws, and there is really no need for a game 12

  16. One thing is almost for sure. If our friendly tweeter named Hikaru Nakamura were sitting in Anand’s chair, we would see no shortage of tactics and aggression. And the score would be even more lopsided in Carlsen’s favor. A good cocktail recipe might be 3/4 Anand + 1/4 Nakamura on the rocks in a highball glass. Not that’s a chess player! Or just the 2008 version of Anand…

  17. In a 12 game match between Nakamura and Carlsen, I wouldn’t be so sure of a more lopsided score. I wouldn’t underestimate Naka’s chances against him if he ever earn a spot to challenge Magnus. I do agree that it would be a brawl from start to finish.

  18. Well… Carlsen has not exactly dominated play in this match. The two games he won were completely drawn and Anand simply bungled it. The best games were three and four which were drawn.

    I believe Aronian would be the toughest out for Carlsen in a match. I can’t see anyone with the combination of strength, stability, nerves, backing of federation, player assistance and life balance that Aronian has. Nakamura needs to get over the hump against Carlsen.

    Anand has to win at least one of the next two games to put pressure on Carlsen. Carlsen has not been sufficiently rattled. A loss would do that in a hurry.

  19. Article 6.6a of the FIDE rules states “Any player who arrives at the chessboard after the start of the session shall lose the game.”
    Magnus Carlsen had clearly arrived at the chessboard BEFORE the start of the session and therefore should have not been defaulted, even if still in the bathroom.
    Those are what the rules say – although I very much doubt that was the intention of those who drafted them…

    1. Nigel,

      It’s a ridiculous rule. I saw a number of forfeitures at the Dresden Olympiad where it was enforced. The rule was applied inconsistently and created quite a number of controversies. Not sure if you saw any of these articles I did.

      * https://www.thechessdrum.net/65thSquare/65_janfeb09.html
      * https://www.thechessdrum.net/blog/2009/06/14/no-tolerance-rule-considered-harsh/
      * https://www.thechessdrum.net/blog/2010/03/10/players-protest-zero-tolerance-rule/

  20. Yes, Daaim, I saw at least one of your articles. If you recall, the zero-tolerance rule was not yet a FIDE rule at the time of Dresden: it was a special rule for the Olympiad and was was worded slightly differntly.
    What makes sense for, say, a 10-player invitational tournament with all the players in the same hotel at worst a few minutes walk from the venue, is discriminatory in a giant event, like the Olympiad, with some teams having to travel considerable distances.

    1. Does anyone KNOW if theses rules apply only to the 2hour chess or do they have these same rule for the faster stuff, I havent been over there yet, only competed with their gms online?

  21. Too bad Anand’s best fight of the match had to end with an unanticipated surrender! Who knows, maybe now that he has nothing to lose, we might get to see a twinkle of the younger Anand for three more rounds.

  22. WCC2013-9: Blunder puts champion at brink

    Do or die.
    Courtesy of Anastasia Karlovich.

    Today would be the day that the World Champion would make a strong stand to retain his title. Many expected that Viswanathan Anand would play something a bit more daring and thus change his opening choice against challenger Magnus Carlsen and his two-point lead. They also felt that it was time for a change after three innocuous attempts at 1.e4. Anand was up for the challenge and 1.d4 was played. Carlsen responded with a Nimzo-Indian after which Anand replied with an aggressive Samisch variation after 4.f3.

    The game continued on and Anand entered an uncommon “tabiya” after 10. g4. This move drew applause from fans and commentators alike. If the champion was going to reliquish his title, he would do in leaving his full energy on the board. Nigel Short was one who applauded this decision.

    Hikaru Nakamura also chimed in.

    This was a “do or die” situation and perhaps Anand has chosen correctly. An unusual opposite win attack occurred and white expanded with 22.f5. This menacing armada of pawns threatening to batter down the wall to the black king. Carlsen knew that Anand was going to try to checkmate him. If he had any doubts before, 22… b3! 23. Qf4 Nc7 24. f6 g6 25. Qh4 Ne8 26. Qh6 would have revealed the plan. However, former champion Garry Kasparov had a different view and it was shared by the chess engines…

    Anand forged ahead with all his might after 27.Rf4! allowing black to queen with check after 27…b1(Q)+. This was a crucial moment. However, Anand almost immediately played 28.Nf1?? giving access to the h4-square and after 28…Qe1 white resigned since black can now sacrifice his new queen. Anand has nothing more than to resign since white’s attack would be easily quelled after 29.Rh4 Qxh4!

    Absolutely shocking.

    Carlsen rose to the occassion.
    Photo by Anastasia Karlovich.

    The press conference was very grim as if there was a mourning taking place. However, both players answered the questions forthrightly. Anand was perhaps a bit more talkative today considering that he has to explain such a fiasco. He was very noble, but it was obvious that disappointment filled the air. Twitter exploded with labels such as “end of an era” but most of all, there was a sad feeling for Anand who personifies all that is to like about chess sportsmanship. In fact, Carlsen came to the defense of the champion when asked about the pending “end of an era” question by simply saying, “No… let’s be correct this time.”

    Of course, this match has turned out to be disastrous despite the initial fanfare of his home support. Tomorrow may begin the coronation of the new champion and would further unify the title in that the highest rated player would be the world champion. However, there are three games left and if there were ever a miracle in chess, winning three games in a row against Carlsen would be it.

    Score: Carlsen 6 Anand 3

    Official Site: https://chennai2013.fide.com/
    Drum Coverage: https://www.thechessdrum.net/blog/2013/11/06/2013-world-championship-anand-vs-carlsen/

    Game #9

    Game Analysis – Game #9 (GM Daniel King)


  23. Magnus is “Jack of all trades.” The former world champ tried everything, but everything he tried just wasn’t good enough to overcome the crafty Magnus. Congratulation to a great player!

  24. WCC2013-10: Magnus is King!

    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.

    Regardless of the outcome, Viswanathan Anand has made his mark for generations to come. Photo by Anastasia Karlovich.

    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 Magnus Carlsen (Facebook).

    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.

    Final Match Score: CarlsenAnand

    Official Site: https://chennai2013.fide.com/
    Drum Coverage: https://www.thechessdrum.net/blog/2013/11/06/2013-world-championship-anand-vs-carlsen/

    Game #10

    Game Analysis – Game #10 (GM Daniel King)


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