Chennai G3: A thrilling battle as Anand close to win

by Albert Silver
11/12/2013 – The match finally fulfilled the promise of a thrilling fight, and the chess world held its breath as world champion Vishy Anand built a serious advantage against Magnus Carlsen's Reti, and seemed poised to win. Had he played 29…Bxb2 it might have been, but the moment passed and great defense by the Norwegian challenger saved the draw. A dramatic and exciting battle. In the illustrated report Garry Kasparov comments on the opening preparation.

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FIDE World Chess Championship Anand-Carlsen 2013

The FIDE World Chess Championship match between defending champion Viswanathan Anand and his challenger world number one Magnus Carlsen is taking place from November 9 to 28 2013 in the the Hyatt Regency, Chennai, India. The match is over twelve games, with time controls of 120 minutes for the first 40 moves, 60 minutes for the next 20 moves and then 15 minutes for the rest of the game, with an increment of 30 seconds per move starting from move 61. The games start at 3:00 p.m. Indian Time, which is 4:30 a.m. Eastern Standard Time (New York), 10:30h Central European Time (Paris), 1:30 p.m. Moscow Standard Time. Find your local time here.

Round three report

Anyone looking at the crosstable at a later date, without any knowledge of the games, will see three draws in the first results, and might even be inclined to skip today’s draw to see the ‘win’. Still, there are draws and then there are draws. After two uneventful games, described as ‘testing the waters’ and a number of other similar metaphors, today’s game would show how serious Magnus Carlsen was about the Reti in game one, and how he planned to use it to his advantage in the match.

It was clear he would have to find a different approach than the one neutralized so easily by Vishy Anand, and everyone expected him to be booked to the ears this time. You can imagine the significant consternation by the grandmaster commentators when the Norwegian stopped after 3…dxc4 and sat there studying the position as if deciding how to continue. Was this an act to camouflage how deep his preparation went? Or could it be that he was just remembering how all his analysis went?

The one indicator that neither of these optimistic theories was correct was the plodding way he continued to play, and the trouble he soon got himself into. In fact, if the Playchess commentators GMs Yasser Seirawan and Maurice Ashley were confused by 14.Qc1, they were outright critical of 15.a4 as the type of move they would show students on what not to play. The reason was not so much the individual value of the move itself, but how disconnected Carlsen’s moves were, suggesting there was no plan behind them, a singular situation for a player pointed out as the heir to Karpov’s style.

Vishy Anand as the game starts

Let the hostilities begin

The situation was not crystal clear for Anand either though, and whilst clearly in the driver’s seat, the best way to proceed seemed a matter of debate. The world champion placed his rooks on the b- and c- files, presumably aiming to support his queenside pawns and a possible advance, while others suggested the e-file and a massive battery on the e2 pawn was the way to go. Whatever the truth of the matter, Carlsen was obviously not happy and nerves were beginning to show. His clock was disappearing and his position was not improving in the least bit. After trying to exchange queens with 20.Qf4, he instead saw his queen elbowed and shoved onto h1. It might have had a useful function there, but it could hardly be described as ideally placed, and to suggest this was some sort of magnificent maneuver would also mean this was part of his master plan, which seems rather doubtful.

Carlsen as the game progressed

The zenith of the crisis was after a dubious 28.e3 which allowed Black to either take on b2, or at the worst find a great home on d4. It is here the grandmasters and engines thought Black might have gained a winning or near won position with 29…Bxb2, though deeper analysis will be needed to unravel the truth of it. After this, it was much less clear since any material advantage Black had was strongly counterbalanced by the presence of opposite-colored bishops.

In the hotel lobby, fans watched the game on the displays placed throughout

There was ample conjecture on how Anand might best press his advantage, but nerves and an approaching time control meant that all decisions would be made under duress, albeit more on White’s side than Black’s. In the end, seeing no way to press for a win, the world champion chose to begin mass simplifications with 37…Rd8, after which he proposed a draw. As if to say that he would draw in his own good time, Carlsen continued despite not believing he had anything, finally shaking hands on move 51.

[Event "FWCM 2013"] [Site "Chennai"] [Date "2013.11.12"] [Round "3"] [White "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Black "Anand, Viswanathan"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "A07"] [WhiteElo "2870"] [BlackElo "2775"] [PlyCount "102"] [EventDate "2013.??.??"] [EventCountry "IND"] [TimeControl "40/7200:20/3600:900+30"] 1. Nf3 d5 2. g3 g6 3. c4 dxc4 4. Qa4+ Nc6 5. Bg2 Bg7 6. Nc3 e5 7. Qxc4 Nge7 8. O-O O-O 9. d3 h6 10. Bd2 Nd4 11. Nxd4 exd4 12. Ne4 c6 13. Bb4 Be6 14. Qc1 Bd5 15. a4 b6 16. Bxe7 Qxe7 17. a5 Rab8 18. Re1 Rfc8 19. axb6 axb6 20. Qf4 Rd8 21. h4 Kh7 22. Nd2 Be5 23. Qg4 h5 24. Qh3 Be6 25. Qh1 c5 26. Ne4 Kg7 27. Ng5 b5 28. e3 dxe3 29. Rxe3 Bd4 30. Re2 c4 31. Nxe6+ fxe6 32. Be4 cxd3 33. Rd2 Qb4 34. Rad1 Bxb2 35. Qf3 Bf6 36. Rxd3 Rxd3 37. Rxd3 Rd8 38. Rxd8 Bxd8 39. Bd3 Qd4 40. Bxb5 Qf6 41. Qb7+ 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+ 1/2-1/2

IM Andrew Martin comments game three:

 

For the audience and chess fans around the world, the game was a wake-up call indicating the match had now truly begun, and the tentative prodding at the start, was no more than that. The real question now is what game four will bring, and how this bodes for Team Carlsen’s opening preparation, since his first white was neutralized at the starting line, and the second nearly cost him the game. In spite of his unquestionable playing strength, will opening preparation be his Achilles Heel in the match?

Garry Kasparov arrived in Chennai today, and became the media magnet for a while, stealing the thunder from the world championship match. Both players were asked what they thought, and the answers were what one might expect, however some chose to ask unexpected questions which got some great answers.

Journalist: Kasparov is here. In the building. Are you intimidated?
Anand: Is he now like Elvis? (laughter) No, it is good that he is here to watch.
Journalist: What do you think of Carlsen's preparation so far?
Anand: I'm flattered you think I'll answer that.

He also took the time to answer questions from his fans on Twitter and we asked him what he thought of the opening preparation until now. Here is what he said:

 

Score

Game:
Rtg
01
02
03
04
05
06
07
08
09
10
11
12
Score
Perf.
V. Anand 2775
½
½
½
                 
1.5
2870
M. Carlsen 2870
½
½
½
                 
1.5
2775

Tournament details

Schedule: the match will be played over a maximum of twelve games, and the winner of the match will be the first player to score 6.5 points or more. If the winner scores 6.5 points in less than 12 games then the closing ceremony will take place on the day after the World Championship has been decided or one day thereafter.

07 November 2013 – Opening Ceremony
09 November 2013 – Game 1
10 November 2013 – Game 2
11 November 2013 – Rest Day
12 November 2013 – Game 3
13 November 2013 – Game 4
14 November 2013 – Rest Day
15 November 2013 – Game 5
16 November 2013 – Game 6
17 November 2013 – Rest Day
18 November 2013 – Game 7
19 November 2013 – Game 8
20 November 2013 – Rest Day
21 November 2013 – Game 9
22 November 2013 – Game 10
23 November 2013 – Rest Day
24 November 2013 – Game 11
25 November 2013 – Rest Day
26 November 2013 – Game 12
27 November 2013 – Rest Day
28 November 2013 – Tiebreak games
29 November 2013 – Closing Ceremony

Live commentary on Playchess in English

Day
Round
Live Playchess commentary in English
Nov. 13
4
GM Yasser Seirawan + GM Alejandro Ramirez
Nov. 15
5
GM Daniel King + GM Maurice Ashley
Nov. 16
6
GM Daniel King + GM GM Alejandro Ramirez
Nov. 18
7
GM Yasser Seirawan + GM Alejandro Ramirez
Nov. 19
8
GM Daniel King + GM Chris Ward
Nov. 21
9
GM Daniel King + GM Simon Williams
Nov. 22
10
GM Daniel King + GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave
Nov. 24
11
GM Daniel King + GM Maurice Ashley
Nov. 26
12
GM Chris Ward + GM Simon Williams
Nov. 28
Tiebreak
GM Daniel King + GM Chris Ward

Live commentary in other languages

Day
Round
French German Spanish
Nov. 13
4
GM Christian Bauer GM Klaus Bischoff Leontxo García
Nov. 15
5
GM Fabien Libiszewski GM Thomas Luther Leontxo García
Nov. 16
6
GM Fabien Libiszewski GM Klaus Bischoff Leontxo García
Nov. 18
7
GM Christian Bauer GM Klaus Bischoff Leontxo García
Nov. 19
8
GM Yannick Pelletier GM Klaus Bischoff Leontxo García
Nov. 21
9
GM M. Vachier-Lagrave GM Klaus Bischoff Leontxo García
Nov. 22
10
GM Sebastien Mazé GM Klaus Bischoff Leontxo García
Nov. 24
11
GM Sebastien Mazé GM Klaus Bischoff Leontxo García
Nov. 26
12
GM Yannick Pelletier GM Klaus Bischoff Leontxo García
Nov. 28
TB
GM Sebastien Mazé GM Klaus Bischoff Leontxo García

The commentary will commence around 30 minutes after the start of the games. The schedule and commentators may be changed before the start of the Championship on November 9th, with long and short castlings possible.

The games are being broadcast live on the official web site, with special coverage on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download a free Playchess client there and get immediate access. You can also use ChessBase 12 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.



Born in the US, he grew up in Paris, France, where he completed his Baccalaureat, and after college moved to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He had a peak rating of 2240 FIDE, and was a key designer of Chess Assistant 6. In 2010 he joined the ChessBase family as an editor and writer at ChessBase News. He is also a passionate photographer with work appearing in numerous publications.
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