GCL Day 7: Carlsen wins an exquisite endgame against Anand

by Shahid Ahmed
6/28/2023 – Vishy Anand vs Magnus Carlsen games are always the highly anticipated encounter of the day, no matter the event. The rematch between two of the greatest was arguably the game of the tournament so far. The endgame seemed to be heading towards a draw when the world no.1 went for a break. It actually allowed Anand to salvage a draw. However, time trouble induced a human error, turning things once again towards the Norwegian's favor. After an exchange of smiles, tha avoidance of a stalemate trap and an underpromotion, Carlsen defeated Anand in a stellar game. His and Praggnanandhaa's win ensured SG Alpine Warriors knocking off Ganges Grandmasters from the top of the leaderboard. Tomorrow will be the last day to feature two matches in the double round-robin stage, starting at 5:30 p.m. local time, 7 p.m. IST. Photo: Aditya Sur Roy

Master Class Vol.8 - Magnus Carlsen 2nd Edition Master Class Vol.8 - Magnus Carlsen 2nd Edition

Let our authors show you how Carlsen tailored his openings to be able to outplay his opponents strategically in the middlegame or to obtain an enduring advantage into the endgame.


“It's exactly what the team needed”

Magnus Carlsen on his fantastic game against Vishy Anand:

"It started pretty quietly. After he exchanged queens, the position was pretty equal. Then I was trying, he first setup a fortress, then creating counterplay, then there was an amazing stalemate idea that I thought... Yeah this is really nice... It was pretty insane. I felt like from the very beginning that I probably had to win today, for the team. So I was just trying, pushing. He was fighting back and it was just a lot of fun."

He also added:

"It feels great, especially since it's exactly what the team needed. That makes it all the more special for sure."

Carlsen on what sets his team apart from others:

"We have this one guy who wins every single game. That kind of helps. I think we have got good performances from a lot of people. The women have done extremely well in general I think but Pragg has been the absolute star. Not only the fact that he wins games but the way he wins them, it seems like just with class every single game. I am really impressed."

The world no.1 on his team's chances of winning the event:

"It's looking pretty good now. Obviously this was massive but we got to keep it going. So we have had five blacks in-a-row, we have won four of them. But now the mentality changes a little bit. Now we have to start winning as white. The draw will not be enough. Like we have won two matches that have been 3-3 by traditional scoring, but we have won becaues we played black. It's not going to be easy for sure. It's a helluva ride. Every match comes down to the wire. So far we have come out on top. Hopefully we can continue."

Carlsen on whether he is having fun at this event:

"Oh yeah it's a lot of fun. As I said, it seems like just every match, there are so many twists and turns, that it's a great ride. Personally I won two games in-a-row, so I cannot complain."

Carlsen, finally, on his win helping the team to register a match victory:

"...to be able to actually help the team win, feels pretty good."

Balan Alaskan Knights - upGrad Mumba Masters: 3-0 (8-5)

The first results of the match were two draws between Ian Nepomniachtchi (BAK) and Teimour Radjabov (BAK) against Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (uMM) and Vidit Gujrathi (uMM) respectively. Koneru Humpy (uMM) salvaged a draw from a lost position against Zhongyi Tan (BAK). Raunak Sadhwani (BAK) scored his first win of the event against Javokhir Sindarov (uMM). His win turned out to be crucial for BAK winning the match.

29.Rxb7 would have maintained a substantial advantage for White. The game continued 29.Bxf6 N7xf6 30.Ng5 — instead ...g5 was better. 30...Qd7 31.Bxd5+ cxd5 32.Qf5 h6 33.Qxd7 Nxd7 34.Rxb7 Nxc5 35.Re7? Rd8 36.d7 Kf8 and Black managed to escape with a draw.

Grischuk (uMM) should have won his game long back if he had spotted Abdusattorov's (BAK) blunder 32.Rxd7?? correctly. 32...g5 would have forced White to drop a piece, as the bishop cannot move due to the Qf5+ fork. Eventually White got a decisive advantage in a rook and few pawns endgame. He missed it and the game ended in a draw after 89 moves.

Sindarov (uMM) blundered 46...Kg7 in a complex endgame. Raunak (BAK) seized his opportunity with 47.exf5 Qxf5 48.Ne7 Qf6 49.Ra7 Kh6 50.h4 Rf8 51.Nd5 Rxd5 52.Rxd5 and White went on to convert his decisive advantage comfortably to win the game.

GM Raunak Sadhwani (BAK) scored the key victory for his team BAK's victory over uMM | Photo: Aditya Sur Roy

Balan Alaskan Knights beat upGrad Mumba Masters in their rematch | Photo: Aditya Sur Roy

Balan Alaskan Knights - upGrad Mumba Masters: 3-0 (8-5)

Replay BAK vs uMM games

Ganges Grandmasters - SG Alpine Warriors: 0-3 (8-10)

Arjun Erigaisi (SGAW) drew his game against Leinier Dominguez Perez (GG) as the first result of the match. Richard Rapport (GG) handed Gukesh (SGAW) his fifth loss of the event. Yifan Hou (GG) scored the second win for the team against Irina Krush (SGAW). R Praggnanandhaa (SGAW) scored the first win of the match for his team against Andrey Esipenko (GG).

Richard Rapport (GG) crashed through Black's kingside with ease: 17.e5 Nd5 18.Re4 Qd8 19.Rg4 Kh8 20.Nf5 Bd7 21.Nxg7 Rg8 22.Qd2 Rxg7 23.Rxg7 Kxg7 24.Bxd5 c6? 25.Bxf7! and White went on to win the game soon.

After 25...Nf3! 26.Bg3 Nh5 27.Bf2 Nxf4 Praggnanandhaa (SGAW) just overwhelmed Esipenko (GG) with a relentless attack. He is now the top individual performer of the event so far with a score of 5½/6.

R Praggnanandhaa scored his fifth consecutive win with the black pieces, sixth overall win at this event so far | Photo: Aditya Sur Roy

Carlsen played the only humane option left for Black to make a breakthrough: 54...b4. The computer recommends Black to go Bc6 first before going for the pawn break. 55.cxb4+ Kxb4 56.c3+ Kd3 57.b5 axb5 58.a6 Kd2 59.a7 Bd5 and here White blundered 60.Nxf5??

White needed to go 60.Nf1+ Ke2 61.Ng3+ and now Black cannot step on e3 or move to the f-file as then white can safely strike on f5 to win the game.

The game continued 60...exf5 61.e6 b4 62.e7 bxc3+ 63.Ka2 c2 64.a8Q Anand exchanged a smile with Carlsen as he thought the stalemate trick after c1Q will work as he will kamikaze his freshly promoted e8-queen. But Carlsen had something else in his mind: 64...Bxa8 65.e8Q Be4 66.Qd8+ Bd3 67.Qd4 c1N+.

The world no.1 did not know the team score, but he felt he needed to go for a win for the team before the match began, it was his only chance and he didn't feel any risk was there in underpromoting, so he went with it. 68.Ka3 c3 69.Qb6 Ne2 70.Qxh6 c2 and White resigned.

An exquisite endgame - Vishy Anand vs Magnus Carlsen | Video: ChessBase India

SG Alpine Warriors toppled Ganges Grandmasters from the top of the points table | Photo: Aditya Sur Roy

Ganges Grandmasters - SG Alpine Warriors: 0-3 (8-10)

Replay GG vs SGAW games

Standings after Day 7

SG Alpine Warriors have emerged sole leaders 15/21 | Photo: Official site

Day 8 matches

  • Chingari Gulf Titans vs Triveni Continental Kings from 5:30 p.m. local time, 7 p.m. IST
  • Ganges Grandmasters vs Balan Alaskan Knights from 7 p.m. local time, 8:30 p.m. IST

What is the Scoring System?

Each team will have six players and a manager, who will be competing on six boards which will be played simultaneously. While each board will be called a game, all six combined boards will be termed one match. Once the board order is decided, it cannot be altered after drawing lots while deciding the run order of play. And in each match, all the players of one team will play with the same colour.

A game won with Black pieces will result in 4 Game Points (GP) to the winning player. A victory for a player with White pieces will see them win 3 GP. A draw will be rewarded with 1 GP, and a defeat gets the player 0 GP. Each players’ GP will contribute to the Team’s total Match Points (MP).

With regards to the calculations on Match Points (MP), a Team which scores more GP than their opposition will be rewarded with a bonus of 3 MP. If both the Teams are level on GP, they will be awarded 1 MP each. However, if a team scores lesser GP than the opposing team, they won’t get any MP for that Match.

Scoring System for Game Points (GP)

4 GP (3+1) 

A player wins the Game with Black Pieces 

3 GP 

A player wins the Game with White Pieces 

1 GP 


0 GP 


Scoring System for Match Points (MP)

3  MP 

The team that scores more Game Points 

1  MP 

If both teams are level on Game Points 

0  MP 

The team that scores lesser Game Points than  the opponent 

The Final will be played over best-of-2 matches. There will be a drawing of lots to determine which Team is White in Match 1, this team will then be black in Match 2. The team who wins more matches will be the Champion. In the event of a tie:

• There will be a playoff blitz fixture, which will be a best-of-2 match. The team that was white in Match 1 and black in Match 2 will play white in Match 3 and black in Match 4. The time limit for each game will be all moves in 3 minutes plus 2 seconds. The Team that wins the most matches in the fixture will be the Champion.

• If the Teams remain tied, there shall be a drawing of lots to determine a board from 1 to 6. The player from each Team on this board will then participate in a sudden-death blitz game. The time limit for this game will be 3 minutes plus 2 seconds per move. The player from the Team who was white in Matches 1 and 3, will play white in this game.

• If the sudden death blitz game is drawn, then the procedure is repeated except that the colour of the player from each team alternates from the colour the team had in the preceding sudden death blitz game.

• If the tie remains unbroken, the above procedure is repeated until a sudden death blitz game has a winner.


Shahid Ahmed is the senior coordinator and editor of ChessBase India. He enjoys covering chess tournaments and also likes to play in chess events from time to time.