Viswanathan Anand vs. Magnus Carlsen at World Chess Championship 2013


Round 3 – November 12 – Draw

This felt like the real start of the tournament, with the previous 2 games being just “get to know you” warm-up sessions.

Sadly for chess fans, this game too ended in a Draw. It was an exciting game however, though neighter player felt confident enough: “I think it was good to get the match going a little bit. I guess both of us were a bit nervous today. There was some tension, both on the board and some nerves as well. But really that’s what it’s all about.

1. Nf3 d5 2. g3 g6 3. c4

{[pgndiagram]Carlsen is the first to deviate.}

(3. Bg2 {was
chosen by Carlsen in game one.})

3… dxc4

{White’s opening is hardly critical so grabbing a pawn to slow white’s development seems a good test.}

(3… c6)

(3… d4 {are both respectable and more commonly played alternatives.})

4. Qa4+

(4. Na3 {is the main alternative.})

4… Nc6 5. Bg2 (5. Qxc4) 5… Bg7 6. Nc3

(6. O-O e5 7. Qxc4)

6… e5

{Grabbing a share of the centre.}

(6… Nh6 7. Qxc4 Nf5 8. O-O O-O 9. d3 h6 10. Bd2 Nfd4

{1-0 Polugaevsky,L (2575)-Dlugy,M (2545)/London 1986 Was perfectly fine for black and led to an interesting game settled on the run up to first time control.})

7. Qxc4

(7. Nxe5 Bxe5 8. Bxc6+ bxc6 9. Qxc6+ Bd7 10. Qe4 f6 11. f4 Ne7 12. fxe5 Bc6 $1 {was a nice line given by Kasparov.})

7… Nge7 8. O-O

(8. d3 O-O 9. Bg5 Be6 10. Bxe7 Qxe7 11. Qa4 Nd4 {1/2-1/2 Vukic,M (2482)-Palac,M (2565)/Neum BIH 2004})

8… O-O 9. d3 h6 $5

(9… Be6 {has been played more frequently.} 10. Qh4 Nf5 11. Qxd8 Rfxd8 12. Ng5 Bd7 13. Nge4 Nfe7 14. Bg5 h6 15. Nf6+ Kh8 16. Nxd7 Rxd7 17. Be3 Rb8 18. Rfc1 Nd4 19. Kf1 c5 20. Rab1 b6 21. b4 cxb4 22. Rxb4 Rc8 23. Rbb1 Rdc7 24. Bd2 Nef5 25. e3 Ne6 26. Nb5 Rxc1+ 27. Rxc1 Rxc1+ 28. Bxc1 a6 29. Nc3 Nc5 30. Ke2 Kg8 31. g4 Nd6 32. Bc6 Bf8 33. Nd5 f5 34. gxf5 gxf5 35. Nxb6 e4 36. d4 Nd3 37. Bd2 Nb5 38. Bb7 Nb4 39. a4 Nd6 40. Ba8 a5 {time 1-0 Stein,L-Averbakh,Y/Riga 1970/URS-ch.}

(40… a5 41. Bxb4 axb4 42. a5 $18))

10. Bd2 Nd4 $5 $146

{[pgndiagram]starting to exchange pieces and grabbing space.}

(10… Be6 11. Qa4 Nd4
(11… f5 $5 {has been very successful for black but has been only tested at a low level.}) 12. Rfc1 f5 13. Ne1 c5 14. Bxb7 Rb8 15. Bg2 Rxb2
{was a draw in Kuzubov,Y (2624) -Negi,P (2607) New Delhi 2011 (40 moves).})

11. Nxd4

{“I missed some simple things when I went for this whole 11.Nxd4, 12.Ne4, 13.Bb4 operation so I think already then I misplayed something.” – Carlsen.}

(11. Rac1 Be6 12. Qa4 b6 {seems fine for black.})

11… exd4 12. Ne4 (12. Na4 Be6) 12… c6 13. Bb4

{[pgndiagram]This seems to allow black complete equalisation but there doesn’t seem to be very much if anything for white here already. Carlsen commented that this
position wasn’t a disaster because if he had had this as black it would be a fairly common position from the Maroczy structure.}

(13. h4 Be6 14. Qc1 Nf5 $11)

(13. Qc1 {may offer the best chances for something.} Kh7 14. Bb4 Be6 15. Nc5 Bc8 16. Re1)

13… Be6 14. Qc1

(14. Qc5 Nd5 15. Ba3 Qc7 16. Rfc1)

14… Bd5 15. a4 b6 16. Bxe7 Qxe7 17. a5 Rab8 18. Re1 Rfc8 19. axb6 axb6 20. Qf4 (20. Ra6) 20… Rd8 21. h4 Kh7 22. Nd2

{[pgndiagram]White’s queen is terribly short of squares.}

Be5 23. Qg4 h5

(23… f5 {was my thought when watching the game it seems black is so in control he can play on either side of the board.} 24. Qh3 f4 $5 (24… h5) 25. Bxd5 Rxd5 26. g4 Rb5)

(23… Be6 {at first looks like it will lead to a
repetition but:} 24. Qf3 Bd5 25. e4 $5 Be6 (25… dxe3 $6 26. Qxe3 Re8 27. Nc4
Bxc4 28. Bxc6 Rec8 29. Bg2) 26. Qe2 Qb4 27. f4 Bg7 28. e5 {which also looks
better for white.})

24. Qh3 Be6 25. Qh1 c5 26. Ne4 Kg7 27. Ng5

{[pgndiagram]“Here it felt like white had more or less gotten enough counterplay, I’ll have to check that
was indeed the case. I felt if we swapped light squared bishops white was not risking anything to that rules out for me Bf5, Bg4 such moves and I didn’t really see where else I could go. Bb3 is a bit ridiculous so I decided just to go for the opposite bishops.”
– Anand.}

b5 $1

{Carlsen admitted he “underestimated this plan with b5 giving up the bishop”.}

(27… Bf5 28. Bh3 Bxh3 29. Qxh3)

(27… Bg4 28. Bf3 (28. Bh3 Bxh3 29. Qxh3 {transposes.}) 28… f6 29. Ne4 Bd7)

28. e3 $6

{“I really didn’t have any idea what was happening next so I was happy to survive.” – Carlsen. I think around here Carlsen lost the thread of the position after being surprised by b5.}

(28. Nxe6+ Qxe6 29. Bh3 {was Carlsen’s initial intention but it “didn’t seem to work out” nevertheless most probably he should have played it.} Qe7 (29… f5 30. Qf3 Qf7) 30. Qc6 c4 31. dxc4 bxc4 32. Qxc4 Rxb2 {with a draw to follow.})

28… dxe3 29. Rxe3 Bd4 $5

(29… Bxb2 $1 {is the best according to Houdini but only if you see a finesse quite deep into the line.} 30. Rae1 Rb6 31. Bd5 (31. Bh3 {“I thought white had full compensation, I didn’t see the point in going for that.” Anand.} Bd4 {is the move Houdini gives against this line of Anand’s with advantage to him.}) 31… Bd4 32. Rxe6 fxe6 33. Rxe6 Qf8 $3 {Houdini} (33… Rxe6 34. Nxe6+ Kh6 35. Nxd8 Qxd8 36. Qf3 {is completely equal.}) 34. Qg2 {when black is better.})

30. Re2 c4

{[pgndiagram]“I think I have enough counterplay here.” Anand didn’t comment at all on 28.e3 suggesting that he didn’t considered it an important moment.}

31. Nxe6+ fxe6 32. Be4 cxd3 33. Rd2 Qb4 $6

{Kasparov was surprised Anand played this move so quickly.}

(33… Rf8 $5 34. Bxd3 Qd6 35. Qg2 Rxf2 36. Rxf2 Rf8 37. Raf1 Bxf2+ 38. Rxf2 Rxf2 39. Qxf2 Qxd3)

34. Rad1 Bxb2

(34… Rf8 {“The thing is we were getting very short of time. Even if I win
the pawn on f2 if he plays Bd3 and Qe4 I don’t see how I’m better. It seems to
me my upside was quite limited anyway.” Anand.} 35. Bxd3 (35. Kh2 {doesn’t
seem any better.}) 35… Rxf2 (35… Qd6 $5 {may be the critical try that
Anand missed as it stops Qe4.} 36. Qg2 Rxf2 37. Rxf2 Rf8 38. Rdd2 Rxf2 39. Rxf2
Bxf2+ 40. Qxf2 Qxd3 {with a pawn up in a Queen and Pawn ending but this I
think may be a long way from being won.}) 36. Rxf2 Rf8 37. Qe4 Bxf2+ 38. Kg2
Qxe4+ 39. Bxe4)

35. Qf3 Bf6 (35… Bd4) 36. Rxd3 Rxd3 37. Rxd3 Rd8

{[pgndiagram]A tacit draw offer. “The thing is that although black has an extra pawn I’m not really in danger of queening it. The problem is with these opposite coloured bishop white’s always going to have a backstop and the other thing is that g6. I saw I could play Bd4 and normally this is what I would have done but I simply didn’t see anything anyway with something like Qe2, I didn’t see any progress. And then I was just swapping down with Rd8.” Anand.}

(37… Bd4)

38. Rxd8 Bxd8 39. Bd3 Qd4 40. Bxb5 Qf6

{Accompanied by a draw offer from Anand.}

41. Qb7+

{Carlsen turns down the draw offer but there are no chances here. The first two games were settled by three-fold repetition and perhaps this indicates Carlsen won’t agree any draws but will play out the games until the end. The players quickly trade down to an absolute draw.}

Be7 42. Kg2 g5 43. hxg5 Qxg5 44. Bc4 h4 45. Qc7 hxg3 46. Qxg3 e5 47. Kf3 Qxg3+ 48. fxg3 Bc5 49. Ke4 Bd4 50. Kf5 Bf2 51. Kxe5 Bxg3+

{[pgndiagram]Finally insufficient mating material for both sides, so draw.}