Magnus Carlsen is the new World Champion!

by Albert Silver
11/22/2013 – There seemed little doubt a real game would be played today, with Magnus the consummate player, and Anand unwilling to disappoint his fans for not trying. They played a hedgehog, and a long battle ensued, culminating in in a fascinating knight endgame Magnus might have won. After they finally drew, a new king was crowned. Long live the king. Illustrated report with celebratory video.

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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 ten report

After yesterday’s painful loss, several of the top players said they would be neither shocked, nor upset, if Game Ten were a quick draw, a mere formality in the succession. This might have seemed realistic for any circumstances or players other than the present ones. The reason was simply that on one side you had Magnus Carlsen, a consummate fighter and declared opponent of ‘grandmaster draws’, and on the other there was world champion Vishy Anand, playing in front of his home crowd and unwilling to disappoint them. He might go down, but not without a fight.

After the security check under his arms, in his shoes and behind the ears, he is freed

When the Challenger opened with 1.e4, Anand was ready and responded with 1…c5, promising a fight ahead. Magnus played his early Bb5+ leading to the fairly positional Moscow variation and it soon developed into a classic hedgehog, a structure that has fascinated generations of players of all levels. In spite of quick play, and ample preparation, Black was unable to get more than equality, and many expected the dreaded quick draw to take place any time then.

The moment of truth

Imprecisions and then a mistake took place, issues that have plagued Anand’s game of late, and the online community got excited as as the engines all whispered Carlsen had a win now. He too showed he was not above a bit of nerves, and a couple of moves later lost his advantage, and the fight was renewed.

A massive liquidation then took place and on move 35 they entered into a very complex knight endgame. The problem, if one can call it that, is that only Magnus could hope to win it. Reminding many of his refused draw against Aronian in the Sinquefield Cup shortly before the match, when a draw would suffice to take clear first, here too there was no sign he wanted to call it quits. And sure enough it was clear Black was going to have to fight hard and well to acquit himself of half the point.

Relishing the moment

On more than one occasion, there was significant debate on whether Carlsen had chosen the best continuation to press his advantage, and at least once it would appear he missed a concrete path to victory. Assuredly it would change nothing in the final outcome of the match, whether draw or win, and a non-chessplayer might even wonder why insist so much on a game that could not affect the outcome. The reason is simple, as any reader here knows: we are chess players, competitors, fighters. We relish the thrill of combat and the pursuit of truth.

Refusing to relinquish his advantage, Magnus pressed on, taking risks as he has been known to do, though none that might genuinely endanger him. This fighting spirit has long characterized his play, and is a demonstration one need not have an explosive style to reap the rewards of victory. As he explained in the press conference after, it has long been this way with him: players would wilt under the pressure of his doggedness, and mistakes would cost them the game.

When they finally shook hands, all that was left were the kings, and a new World Champion had emerged.

[Event "FWCM 2013"] [Site "Chennai"] [Date "2013.11.22"] [Round "10"] [White "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Black "Anand, Viswanathan"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "B51"] [WhiteElo "2870"] [BlackElo "2775"] [PlyCount "130"] [EventDate "2013.??.??"] [EventCountry "IND"] [TimeControl "40/7200:20/3600:900+30"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. Bb5+ Nd7 4. d4 cxd4 5. Qxd4 a6 6. Bxd7+ Bxd7 7. c4 Nf6 8. Bg5 e6 9. Nc3 Be7 10. O-O Bc6 11. Qd3 O-O 12. Nd4 Rc8 13. b3 Qc7 14. Nxc6 Qxc6 15. Rac1 h6 16. Be3 Nd7 17. Bd4 Rfd8 18. h3 Qc7 19. Rfd1 Qa5 20. Qd2 Kf8 21. Qb2 Kg8 22. a4 Qh5 23. Ne2 Bf6 24. Rc3 Bxd4 25. Rxd4 Qe5 26. Qd2 Nf6 27. Re3 Rd7 28. a5 Qg5 $2 {This move might have changed the course of the game.} 29. e5 $1 Ne8 30. exd6 $2 {The favor is returned.} ({Instead either} 30. b4 $1 {would lead to a winning position after} d5 31. cxd5 exd5 32. Rxd5 Rxd5 33. Qxd5) ({or } 30. Nc3 Rc6 31. b4 Qd8 32. Ne4 $18) 30... Rc6 31. f4 Qd8 32. Red3 Rcxd6 33. Rxd6 Rxd6 34. Rxd6 Qxd6 35. Qxd6 Nxd6 36. Kf2 Kf8 37. Ke3 Ke7 38. Kd4 Kd7 39. Kc5 Kc7 40. Nc3 Nf5 41. Ne4 Ne3 42. g3 f5 43. Nd6 ({It bears mentioning that White actually had a win here had he played} 43. Nd2 $1 Nd1 (43... g5 44. fxg5 hxg5 45. Kd4 Nc2+ 46. Ke5 Kd7 47. Kf6 g4 48. h4 {The threat of the racing h-pawn is decisive.} Ke8 49. Nf1 Nd4 (49... Kf8 50. h5 $1) 50. b4 Kf8 51. c5 f4 52. Ke5 Nc6+ 53. Kxf4 Nxb4 54. Nd2 Nd3+ 55. Kxg4 Nxc5 56. Kg5 $18) 44. Kd4 Nf2 45. h4 Nh1 46. Nf1 Nf2 47. b4 Ne4 (47... Ng4 {fares no better.} 48. Nd2 Kd6 49. b5 Nf6 50. c5+ Kd7 51. c6+ bxc6 52. bxa6 Kc7 53. Nb3 Nh5 54. Ke5 Kb8 55. Nd4 Ka7 56. Nxc6+ Kxa6 57. Nd8 Kxa5 58. Nxe6 g6 59. Nf8 Nxg3 60. Nxg6 $18) 48. g4 Kd6 49. gxf5 exf5 50. Ne3 Ke6 51. h5 Nf6 52. b5 Nd7 53. Nd5 Nf8 54. bxa6 bxa6 55. Nb4 g6 56. Nxa6 Kd7 57. Nc5+ Kc6 58. a6 Kb6 59. Ke5 $18) 43... g5 44. Ne8+ Kd7 45. Nf6+ Ke7 46. Ng8+ Kf8 47. Nxh6 gxf4 48. gxf4 Kg7 49. Nxf5+ exf5 50. Kb6 Ng2 51. Kxb7 Nxf4 52. Kxa6 Ne6 53. Kb6 f4 54. a6 f3 55. a7 f2 56. a8=Q f1=Q 57. Qd5 Qe1 58. Qd6 Qe3+ 59. Ka6 Nc5+ 60. Kb5 Nxb3 61. Qc7+ Kh6 62. Qb6+ Qxb6+ 63. Kxb6 Kh5 64. h4 Kxh4 65. c5 Nxc5 1/2-1/2

The media goes crazy

Magnus Carlsen is thrown in the swimming pool, yelling in celebration 


A second recording of the scene

His victory brought massive congratulations from around the world, from articles and news everywhere, to Twitter where he thanked everyone for all the support.

As to Vishy Anand, there is an expression in Brazil: “he who was once king, never loses his majesty”.

Compilation of Tweet congratulations

Report by Albert Silver / Pictures by Anastasiya Karlovich


V. Anand 2775
M. Carlsen 2870

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

The games are being broadcast live on the official web site, with special coverage on the chess server 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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