Viswanathan Anand vs. Magnus Carlsen at World Chess Championship 2013


Round 2 – November 10 – Draw

Another mild disappointment. Just 25 moves in one hour. Anand was again forced into a situation he did not like: “Today it’s my turn to tender a slight apology. I am sorry about the decision but I decided to be a bit prudent today.” leading MG Hikaru Nakamura to comment “I am not feeling inspired by the start of the WC match in India. One thing Kasparov always understood is that chess needs to be a show.
1. e4 c6

{A small surprise from Carlsen as he hasn’t played this move more than half a dozen times before. However the Caro-Kann is an extremely respectable opening which has featured many times in world championship matches.}

2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Bf5 5. Ng3 Bg6 6. h4 h6 7. Nf3 e6

{[pgndiagram]With this move Carlsen seems to be inviting Anand to repeat his game
against Liren Ding from the Alekhine Memorial.}

(7… Nd7

{is by far and away the most popular choice here.})

(7… Nf6

{is the second most popular and 7…e6 only the third but all have been played by black at the highest level. It’s a genuine choice.})

8. Ne5 (8. h5 {is the other common move here.})

8… Bh7 9. Bd3 Bxd3 10. Qxd3 Nd7 11. f4 Bb4+

(11… Ngf6 {is an equally popular continuation for black.})

(11… c5 {has also been played a few times.})

12. c3

(12. Bd2 Bxd2+ 13. Qxd2 Ngf6 14. O-O-O O-O 15. Qe2 Qc7 16. Ne4 Nxe4 17. Qxe4 Rad8 18. Qe3 Nxe5 19. dxe5 {1/2-1/2 Jakovenko,D (2724)-Eljanov,P (2702)/Tromso NOR 2013/The Week in Chess 980})

12… Be7
{[pgndiagram]“It was a mild surprise. The position after move 12 is a very sharp one and I hadn’t really expected it, that was clear. I had to decide if I wanted to fly blind or… I chose a slightly solid line.” – Anand.}

13. Bd2

{Not the sharpest.}

(13. Nh5 {might well be the critical continuation.} Bxh4+ 14. Kd1 Bf6 15. Kc2 Qe7)

(13. Qf3 {also may be a try.} Bxh4 14. O-O)

13… Ngf6 14. O-O-O

{Anand has had this position before this year, here he decides to deviate from his game against Ding Liren from the Alekhine Memorial.}

(14. Qe2 {So far no-one has used this move again.} c5 15. dxc5 Qc7 16. b4 O-O 17. O-O a5 18. a3 Nxe5 19. fxe5 Nd7 20. Ne4 axb4 21. cxb4 Qxe5 22. Bc3 Qc7 23. Rad1 Rad8 24. Qg4 g6 25. Nd6 e5 26. Qc4 Nb6 27. Qe4 Nd7 28. h5 gxh5 29. Qf5 Bf6 30. Qxh5 Qc6 31. Rxf6 Nxf6 32. Qxe5 {1-0 Anand,V (2783)-Ding Liren (2707)/Paris/St Petersburg FRA/RUS 2013/The Week in Chess 964})

(14. Qf3 $5 Qa5 15. c4 Qa6 16. O-O Qb6)

14… O-O

(14… c5 15. Be3 O-O 16. Kb1 Qc7 17. Ne4 Nxe4 18. Qxe4 Nxe5 19. dxe5 Rfd8 20. h5 Rxd1+ 21. Rxd1 Rd8 22. Rxd8+ Qxd8 23. Kc2 Qd7 24. b3 Bf8 25. g4 Qb5 26. Bd2 Qa6 27. Kb2 Qf1 28. Qxb7 Qe2 29. Kc2 Qxg4 30. Qxa7 Qxh5 31. Qb7 Qg6+ 32. Kc1 Qg1+ 33. Kc2 h5 34. a4 h4 35. Qf3 c4 36. b4 Qa1 37. f5 Qxa4+ 38. Kc1
exf5 39. Qxf5 Qc6 40. Qg4 Be7 41. Kb2 Qd5 42. Be3 Qxe5 43. Bd4 Qh2+ 44. Ka3 Bf8 45. Qc8 h3 46. Ka4 Qc2+ 47. Kb5 h2 48. Qa8 Qc1 {0-1 Inarkiev,E (2693)-Eljanov,P (2702)/Poikovsky RUS 2013/The Week in Chess 982})

15. Ne4
{[pgndiagram]Allowing some piece exchanges.}

(15. c4 {has been played in a couple of GM games and was a clear alternative.})

15… Nxe4

(15… Nxe5 {is an alternative.} 16. fxe5 (16. Nxf6+ Bxf6 17. fxe5 Bxh4 18. Kb1 Rc8 19. Rh3 Bg5 20. Rdh1 f5) 16… Nxe4 17. Qxe4 Qd5 18. Qg4 Kh7 19. Kb1 Rad8 20. Rde1 c5)

16. Qxe4 Nxe5

(16… f5 $6 {doesn’t look like a move Carlsen would ever
play.} 17. Qe2 Nxe5 18. dxe5 Qd5 $6 (18… Qa5 19. Kb1 Rad8) 19. c4 Qd7 20.
Bb4 Qe8 21. Bd6 c5 {1-0 Smeets,J (2613)-Lauber,A (2465)/Forchheim GER 2012
(64) and white was well on top and went on to win.})

(16… Nf6 {is a Khalifman suggestion whose line continues:} 17. Qb1 {already this looks very odd.} (17. Qe2 $5) 17… c5 (17… Qd5 18. g4 Ne4 19. Rh2 Rad8) 18. g4 cxd4
19. g5 Nd5 (19… dxc3 $5 20. Bxc3) 20. gxh6 Qc7 $2 (20… dxc3 21. Bxc3) 21. Rdg1 g5 22. c4 Bf6 23. Qe4 Bxe5 24. fxe5 {with a crushing position for white in 1.e4 According to Anand by Khalifman but this is a strange line.})

(16… a5 $5)

17. fxe5 Qd5 (17… Qa5 $6 18. Qg4) 18. Qxd5 $6

{[pgndiagram]It’s Anand’s turn to “pull the emergency brake” to use Carlsen’s game one phrase but it doesn’t seem terribly necessary here and now black is at least equal.}

(18. Qg4

{was the obvious alternative for white and it has been seen in a correspondence game.}


{Carlsen thought this less accurate but was sufficient for a draw in this the only test and might very well be the best here. Perhaps he feared Carlsen was still in preparation but this seems unlikely given that Carlsen’s suggestion here doesn’t seem the best. Of course hardly anyone tells the full truth at press conferences and Carlsen outright refused to say where his preparation ended.}

(18… Kh7 {was Carlsen’s suggestion after the game but it might not be that strong.} 19. Kb1 (19. Bg5 $5) 19… f5 (19… Rad8 {although white seems better here too.}) 20. exf6 Rxf6 21. Bg5 Rg6 22. c4 $3 {Houdini and white is well on top.})

(18… Qxa2 19. Bxh6 Qa1+ 20. Kc2 Qa4+ 21. Kb1 {is winning for white.}) 19. Qg6 Qxa2 20. Bxh6 Rf7 21. g4 fxg4 22. Qxg4 a5 23. Rhg1 Bf8 24. Kc2 a4 25. Rdf1 Qb3+ 26. Kd3 Rxf1 27. Rxf1 Qb5+ 28. c4 Qb3+ 29. Ke4 {1/2-1/2 Epure,C (2411)-Tikhobaev,A (2227)/ICCF 2010})

18… cxd5 19. h5 b5 20. Rh3

{[pgndiagram]Black’s queenside play is clear and quite fast but white is just in time with his pressure on the kingside.}

a5 21. Rf1 Rac8

{Inviting the draw seen in the game not that there is much to do to avoid it.}

22. Rg3

{White best get on with forcing the draw before black arrives with b4.}

(22. Kb1 Kh7 23. Rhf3 Kg8 24. Rg3 Kh7 25. Rgf3 Kg8 {is another draw.})

22… Kh7 23. Rgf3

{An attack on the vulnerable f7 pawn is white’s main counter-play here.}

Kg8 24. Rg3 Kh7 25. Rgf3 Kg8 1/2-1/2