Anand vs. Carlsen: After the first match

by Sagar Shah
11/4/2014 – In the first match between Vishy Anand and Magnus Carlsen for the World title Carlsen clearly won 6.5:3.5. But does that also make him the favorite in their second match that will begin 7. November? To find out more about the mindset of Anand and Carlsen before their second match Sagar Shah took a look at the year between the two matches.

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Anand vs. Carlsen: The year between the matches- Part one

What did the World Champion and his challenger do after the World Championship match which ended on 22. November 2013 and the one that is to begin on 7. November 2014? Before Anand won the Candidates he played three games against Carlsen. What happened in these games and how did they fare in other tournaments leading up to the World Championship match?

On 22. November 2013, the chess world had a new World Champion. At the age of 22 Magnus Carlsen became the second youngest World Champion in the history of chess after Garry Kasparov.

A  week before his 23. birthday Magnus became the 16. World Champion in the history of chess

It would be normal for to take a rest after such a gruelling and tiring campaign for the World Championship. Instead, Magnus tried to popularize the game of chess.

On 30. November 2013, his 23. birthday, Carlsen kicked off the match between Real Madrid and Real Valladolid

After that followed a chess class with Mr. Facebook: Mark Zuckerberg

Followed by a game against Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft!

Carlsen also appeared in the G-Star Spring Summer 2014 campaign with English model and actress Lily Cole

Magnus was all over the world, meeting people, showing his skills and, most importantly, making chess popular. But what did the man do he just had beaten?

It is not easy to recover after losing a World Championship match

After successfully dodging questions about what went wrong in the match, why he did not win a single game, why he persisted with 1.e4, what were his future plans etc., Anand was back at the chess board in December, playing the London Chess Classic. However, he still had not decided yet, whether he would play in the Candidates 2014.


Vishy lost against Vladimir Kramnik in the quarter-finals of the London Chess Classic

It's true, in the London Chess Classic Kramnik knocked Vishy out in the quarter-finals. But he contributed to the Indian maestro's return match against Magnus in a special way.

After beating Anand, Kramnik lost to Nakamura in the semi-finals, spoiling a much superior game against the American. Anand, acting as a good friend, invited Kramnik to dinner to cheer him up. But when Anand tried to comfort Kramnik, the latter started to ask why Anand still was hesitant to play in the Candidates. Later Anand said, this talk with Vladimir gave him the confidence to play the Candidates.

Meanwhile Carlsen had more ideas to promote chess:

  1. A Youtube Channel:

Have a look at Magnus' Youtube channel.

After almost every tournament Magnus played in, he updated his youtube page with a video summary of the event. Team Magnus also created an iOS mobile application for apple users (pity there is nothing for android users yet). Hear Magnus speak about the app:

A new and interesting idea! You can download the application from here.

Magnus came back to the board in January 2014 to play in the Zurich Chess Challenge. The tournament offered all the three time formats: blitz, rapid and classical chess.  The first official game Magnus played as a World Champion didn't go well for him. He lost to Caruana in blitz. But Magnus was back in business pretty soon as he played excellently in the classical format and won the tournament. For Vishy it was not a great event as he finished fifth out of six players.

In Zurich Carlsen and Anand played three games against each other: in rapid, blitz and classical chess (picture by Maria Emelianova)

The first game Carlsen and Anand played against each other after the World Championship match was a blitz game. But it seemed as if a lot was at stake. Vishy looked tense but Magnus was his free-flowing self and won in only 21 moves. The classic and the rapid game ended in a draw. Post-match score 2:1 in favour of Magnus!

The games from Zurich



The encounters between the World Champion and the Challenger are
annotated by GM Vidit Gujrathi. With an Elo-rating of 2625 he is one
of the top juniors in the world. We thank him for his insightful analysis.

After Zurich Carlsen went to Brazil to take part in the International Chess Festival "Festa Da Uva" from 6th to 9th March. He won the four player round robin and the rapid tournament - with a convincing score of 8.5/9.

On 22nd March 2014, Carlsen spontaneously decided to play one game for his team Stavanger in the Norway team championship qualifier. He faced GM Vladimir Georgiev (2553) and won the game. A brave decision from the World Champion as a loss would not only have made it to the front page of every chess magazine and chess website imaginable but would also have jeopardized his career high Elo of 2881.

Anand's big challenge came in the form of the Candidates tournament in March 2014 in Khanty Mansisyk. It was an eight player double round robin event with the winner getting the right to challenge Magnus Carlsen for the World Championship match in November 2014.

The pundits claimed that he had no chance to win... (Picture: Kirill Merkuriev)

...but he proved them all wrong with a phenomenal performance (Picture: Kirill Merkuriev)

Aronian and Kramnik were favourites to win the tournament. But Anand showed that it was much too early to write him off. He did not lose a single game, and with three wins and eight draws he finished with an impressive score of 8.5/14. With wins against Levon Aronian, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Veselin Topalov Anand he won the tournament and earned the right to challenge Magnus Carlsen in a revenge match for the World title.

Gunning for the world title! (Picture: Kirill Merkuriev)

Part II will follow shortly!

Answering the "Trivia-Quiz":

In the previous article about "Reliving the World Championship 2013" we asked our readers the following question:

In a number of matches for the World Championship some players could not win a single game. In which matches and who were the players?


1) Frank Marshall. In 1907 he lost 3.5-8.5 against Emanuel Lasker and could not win a single game.

2) David Janowski. In 1910 he lost 1.5-9.5 against Emanuel Lasker without winning a single game.

3) Emanuel Lasker crushed these opponents without losing a single game, but in 1921 it was his turn to lose in similar fashion against the great Cuban Capablanca: After holding the title for 27 years - a record - Lasker lost his final World Championship match 5-9 without winning a single game.

4) Finally, and surprisingly, it was Garry Kasparov who in 2000 lost his match against Kramnik without a win and a score of 6.5-8.5.

Sagar is an International Master from India with two GM norms. He loves to cover chess tournaments, as that helps him understand and improve at the game he loves so much. He is the co-founder and CEO of ChessBase India, the biggest chess news portal in the country. His YouTube channel has over a million subscribers, and to date close to a billion views. ChessBase India is the sole distributor of ChessBase products in India and seven adjoining countries, where the software is available at a 60% discount. compared to International prices.


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