WCC2013-5: Carlsen squeezes win!

With the match building up to an exciting crescendo, this game actually started out with a rather speculative opening. It continues a trend of fighting chess.

The match is getting prominent coverage in the Norwegian press.

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)


  1. It is much more interesting now that anand has no choice but to play for a win if he is to keep his title. Looking forward to a great battle in remaining rounds.

  2. Anand loses again in round 6 in a similar manner as that of round 5. Failing to accurately play out a drawn endgame. He really needs work on that if he can, considering that the match is now already half way through. And now we can expect carlsen to continue pressing like that. What a painfull way to lose two games in a row and possibly the match. I hope he recovers from this in time for round 7.

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  4. Another loss, and it will be over for Anand. By the time they reached the endgame, Magnus seems to have more energy to out calculate Anand. Win or lose, Anand is a great player with admirable character!

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