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 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…

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)


  1. Congrats to Carlsens!! He was more hungry than Anand. Will Anand try for comeback? I think so, after he takes a deserved break, enjoy family life, and recharge his appreciation of the game. I think he still got a good game. He now has something to play for instead of something to lose.


  2. Pingback: Daily Chess News Links November 23, 2013 | blog.chesscafe.com
  3. As always, this is another lucid and complete review. We saw two great warriors, two gentleman, but one champion. Congratulations !!

    1. Thanks Guy! You’ve been a staunch supporter and I consider you a friend.

      I’m closing in on 200 stories this year (181). Hard to believe. I don’t think I’ll ever break the record of 233 stories, but maybe next year. Covering this tournament was difficult because of the 4:30am time, but it was interesting to see the reactions from the decidedly pro-Carlsen fan base and media.

      We will see how Carlsen does. He will certainly get better with his PR because he is challenged right now. Him being thrown in the pool was a good marketing ploy for him as well as chess.

  4. Thank you Daaim, I am! I think chess is slowly becoming trendy. Now, with a 22-year-old rarity carrying the crown, its recognition will continue to spread worldwide. Carlsen demonstrated that on the issue of emotional strength he’s up there and as for calculation, he’s definitely up there with his friends HOUDINI and FRITZ. Yet, given the nature of how Anand lost his three games, I think he should seriously think of a come back.

  5. I think this is the first time the championship has gone from a non-Russian to a non-Russian since 1921 when it went from a German to a Cuban.

    1. It’s great and celebrates the universality of chess. Those days of Russian dominance are gone. I cannot see another era like that again unless it is China dominating this way. However, everyone has access to the same tools.

  6. Nakamaura is known for playing head games at the board and to defeat King Magnus, it’s an element that has to be utilized to the maximum. That is why I think a match between them would be intriguing from start to finish. If you don’t find a way to irritate Magnus or at least get him to make use of some of his energy at preventing being irritated, it will be nearly impossible to break him. It seems like he’s playing like Houdini 80% of the time and a mere 20% like a human. It’s a pretty tough task to surmount against anyone who is playing at such a high and consistent level.

    1. Anand did not do anything to sufficiently rattle Carlsen. Of course there were no controversies during the match, but game three was pivotal because a loss would have made put pressure on Carlsen. We have not seen him under pressure. Nakamura would certainly have the drive and determination to beat him.

      I am going to do an article on the match. I am late on it, but I find some of Anand’s comments interesting.

  7. Anand responded to the question of whether he could have played more aggressively by simply saying tell me how. If that was a thoughtful response, then the thought of a comeback for him is pointless. It Sounds like he had exhausted all his resources and was just outplayed by a much younger and stronger player. Fast-forward a year or two, things will only get better for Carlsen and probably not as good as for Anand.

  8. Congratulations to Carlsen for his victory, but credit must also be afforded to Anand. I agree, that Anand’s victories in the previous World Championship matches were unprecedented and we will see if and/or when the feat is repeated. Mr. Shabazz, I appreciate your consistent coverage of the Chess arena and the progressive reporting of some who may otherwise have not received proper recognition.

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