Carlsen analyzes the World Championship (2/2)

by Albert Silver
12/6/2014 – In the second part of Magnus Carlsen's overview of the second match against Anand, the world champion analyzes the key moments and his evaluations of the openings as well as the turning points in the games. He brings up the famous mutual oversight in game six, but as will be seen, Anand would have other opportunities later in the match. See Carlsen's analysis.

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The full video of his summary 

Game six

I was lucky to have a free day before the sixth game, and I got some help from some Russian friends. We prepare something much better against the Sicilian variation he had surprised me with in the fourth game. Right from the opening I gained an initiative in the endgame. Soon the position was kind of a static nature where I had a clear advantage. It was not so easy to win, but he had no counterplay at all.

After 18...Nf8, Black was all tied up

Then, as many of you know, I threw it all away... in one move. But, sometimes in chess you get lucky, and he didn't see it.

Sometimes in chess you get lucky

After the careless 26.Kd2?? (26.Kd1 would have been fine), some speculate
whether this might not have been a turning point in the match had Anand
seen 26...Nxe5! and if 27.Rxg8 Nxc4+ 28.Kd3 Nb2+ and Black would be
winning. Nevertheless, he would get another chance in game eleven.

It was soon clear both players had seen what they had missed

After that, the situation didn't change much. I did have to allow his pawn to advance from a5 to a3, not to fall for the same trick again, but still, it felt to me that his counterplay should not be sufficient and I should still be better, and that's what happened. I managed to break through on the kingside and his counterplay was not enough.

Game seven

The seventh game was an important one for me because I really wanted to put the match away at that point. I gained an advantage in the Berlin endgame.

"He saw nothing better than to liquidate to an endgame where I had
a knight and rook and two pawns against rook and four pawns."

At the start I was absolutely convinced that my position should be winning, and so I missed a moment very early when I could have forced his pawn to advance to the a5 square, creating a weakness on the b5 square where my knight could later hop in. That would have given me excellent winning chances. As it happened in the game, it was much much more difficult to win than I thought. Maybe it was not possible at all. I tried for a really long time, even with just knight and rook against rook; I thought there was absolutely no harm in playing, but I didn't manage to win.

Game eight

The eighth game was a difficult one. When I woke up that day, I felt kind of sick, nauseated. It was not a good situation to be in, so at the start of the game I felt pretty horrible. That's why it appeared to some that I was sleeping at the board. Then at some point my medicine began to kick in a bit and I felt much better. The game itself, there is not so much to talk about. My opening choice was kind of risky, but the way he played, which was the most natural and quite dangerous looking, was perhaps not the most critical way, and I managed to equalize and make a draw.

Game nine

The ninth game there is not much to talk about there. My only real opening failure with white. About sixteen moves I didn't see anything to play for and I decided to force a draw by repetition.

Seeing nothing, White repeated with 17.Ng5+ Kf6 18.Ne4+ Kf7 etc.

Game ten

The tenth game was another difficult one. I decided to change the opening again with Black to play the Gruenfeld defense. He also played something different, and we got to a very complicated position where he has a passed d-pawn but I also have some good piece play, and potentially his d-pawn could become weak as well.

After some more or less forcing moves, we got to an endgame which I had previously thought to be pretty harmless for me. I thought there had to be a way to deal with the d-pawn and my pawn majority on the queenside should be a longterm trump as well.

Did the queenside majority really counterbalance the strong passed d-pawn?

But I underestimated his somewhat peculiar looking construction on the kingside with the knight on g5 and the bishop on h6 that it could actually cause my king quite a bit of trouble. Sometimes it's hard to realize that when the queens are off the board that there could be a mating attack against the king, and so I was forced to defend a position where he had the bishop pair and a passed pawn.

It was not a fun situation for Magnus and it showed

He could certainly have done much better there, and I was very surprised when he allowed me to take the e-file; that was a crucial moment. If he had taken the e-file himself with the rook, I would not have had the chance to activate my pieces in the same way and I would have been condemned to a long and passive defense.

White needed to play 24.Rfe1! and keep the pressure on. If 24...Nxa2?
25.Re7! and if Rad8 26.Bd5! is nasty, attacking f7 and the knight on a2

As it happened, I managed to equalize and he decided to liquidate to a draw before things got any further.

Game eleven

Then in the eleventh game, he chose a different variation of the Berlin defense; one that I'd studied a bit but we didn't think was very likely to happen.

I thought from the opening that I had the more promising position, and that my position was easier to play, but after a while it became more difficult to cover all my advanced pawns than I thought, and he managed to play this amazing b5 breakthrough which is always in the air but I missed in that particular moment.

Anand played the fantastic 23...b5!! and took over the position. The
point is that if 24.axb5? a4! 25.bxa4 Rxa4 Black has a clear edge, and
if 24.cxb5? c6! 25.bxc6+ Kxc6 26.Ne3 Bxb3 and White is in big trouble.

As soon as he had played 23...b5!! Anand gave Carlsen a meaningful look

Then he had a lot of counterplay, lots of different possibilities, but fortunately for me he chose probably the worst one, sacrificing the exchange at the wrong moment. That was a relief for me. I thought after he sacrifices the exchange I can in no way be worse. There should be a way for me to to gradually extinguish his activity.

As it happened, things went very quickly, I sacrificed a pawn. I got very excited, but I still managed to make a bunch of very good moves, and that decided the game immediately.

Javascript replayer of the games six to eleven:

[Event "WCh 2014"] [Site "Sochi RUS"] [Date "2014.11.15"] [Round "6"] [White "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Black "Anand, Viswanathan"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B41"] [WhiteElo "2863"] [BlackElo "2792"] [PlyCount "75"] [EventDate "2014.11.08"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 a6 5. c4 Nf6 6. Nc3 Bb4 7. Qd3 Nc6 8. Nxc6 dxc6 9. Qxd8+ Kxd8 10. e5 Nd7 11. Bf4 Bxc3+ 12. bxc3 Kc7 13. h4 b6 14. h5 h6 15. O-O-O Bb7 16. Rd3 c5 17. Rg3 Rag8 18. Bd3 Nf8 19. Be3 g6 20. hxg6 Nxg6 21. Rh5 Bc6 22. Bc2 Kb7 23. Rg4 a5 24. Bd1 Rd8 25. Bc2 Rdg8 26. Kd2 $4 a4 $4 ( 26... Nxe5 $1 27. Rxg8 (27. Rxe5 Rxg4) 27... Nxc4+ 28. Kd3 Nb2+ 29. Ke2 Rxg8 $19) 27. Ke2 a3 28. f3 Rd8 29. Ke1 Rd7 30. Bc1 Ra8 31. Ke2 Ba4 32. Be4+ Bc6 33. Bxg6 fxg6 34. Rxg6 Ba4 35. Rxe6 Rd1 36. Bxa3 Ra1 37. Ke3 Bc2 38. Re7+ 1-0 [Event "WCh 2014"] [Site "Sochi RUS"] [Date "2014.11.17"] [Round "7"] [White "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Black "Anand, Viswanathan"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C67"] [WhiteElo "2863"] [BlackElo "2792"] [PlyCount "243"] [EventDate "2014.11.08"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. O-O Nxe4 5. d4 Nd6 6. Bxc6 dxc6 7. dxe5 Nf5 8. Qxd8+ Kxd8 9. h3 Ke8 10. Nc3 h5 11. Bf4 Be7 12. Rad1 Be6 13. Ng5 Rh6 14. g3 Bxg5 15. Bxg5 Rg6 16. h4 f6 17. exf6 gxf6 18. Bf4 Nxh4 19. f3 Rd8 20. Kf2 Rxd1 21. Nxd1 Nf5 22. Rh1 Bxa2 23. Rxh5 Be6 24. g4 Nd6 25. Rh7 Nf7 26. Ne3 Kd8 27. Nf5 c5 28. Ng3 Ne5 29. Rh8+ Rg8 30. Bxe5 fxe5 31. Rh5 Bxg4 32. fxg4 Rxg4 33. Rxe5 b6 34. Ne4 Rh4 35. Ke2 Rh6 36. b3 Kd7 37. Kd2 Kc6 38. Nc3 a6 39. Re4 Rh2+ 40. Kc1 Rh1+ 41. Kb2 Rh6 42. Nd1 Rg6 43. Ne3 Rh6 44. Re7 Rh2 45. Re6+ Kb7 46. Kc3 Rh4 47. Kb2 Rh2 48. Nd5 Rd2 49. Nf6 Rf2 50. Kc3 Rf4 51. Ne4 Rh4 52. Nf2 Rh2 53. Rf6 Rh7 54. Nd3 Rh3 55. Kd2 Rh2+ 56. Rf2 Rh4 57. c4 Rh3 58. Kc2 Rh7 59. Nb2 Rh5 60. Re2 Rg5 61. Nd1 b5 62. Nc3 c6 63. Ne4 Rh5 64. Nf6 Rg5 65. Re7+ Kb6 66. Nd7+ Ka5 67. Re4 Rg2+ 68. Kc1 Rg1+ 69. Kd2 Rg2+ 70. Ke1 bxc4 71. Rxc4 Rg3 72. Nxc5 Kb5 73. Rc2 a5 74. Kf2 Rh3 75. Rc1 Kb4 76. Ke2 Rc3 77. Nd3+ Kxb3 78. Ra1 Kc4 79. Nf2 Kb5 80. Rb1+ Kc4 81. Ne4 Ra3 82. Nd2+ Kd5 83. Rh1 a4 84. Rh5+ Kd4 85. Rh4+ Kc5 86. Kd1 Kb5 87. Kc2 Rg3 88. Ne4 Rg2+ 89. Kd3 a3 90. Nc3+ Kb6 91. Ra4 a2 92. Nxa2 Rg3+ 93. Kc2 Rg2+ 94. Kb3 Rg3+ 95. Nc3 Rh3 96. Rb4+ Kc7 97. Rg4 Rh7 98. Kc4 Rf7 99. Rg5 Kb6 100. Na4+ Kc7 101. Kc5 Kd7 102. Kb6 Rf1 103. Nc5+ Ke7 104. Kxc6 Rd1 105. Rg6 Kf7 106. Rh6 Rg1 107. Kd5 Rg5+ 108. Kd4 Rg6 109. Rh1 Rg2 110. Ne4 Ra2 111. Rf1+ Ke7 112. Nc3 Rh2 113. Nd5+ Kd6 114. Rf6+ Kd7 115. Nf4 Rh1 116. Rg6 Rd1+ 117. Nd3 Ke7 118. Ra6 Kd7 119. Ke4 Ke7 120. Rc6 Kd7 121. Rc1 Rxc1 122. Nxc1 1/2-1/2 [Event "WCh 2014"] [Site "Sochi RUS"] [Date "2014.11.18"] [Round "8"] [White "Anand, Viswanathan"] [Black "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "D37"] [WhiteElo "2792"] [BlackElo "2863"] [PlyCount "81"] [EventDate "2014.11.08"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 Be7 5. Bf4 O-O 6. e3 c5 7. dxc5 Bxc5 8. a3 Nc6 9. Qc2 Re8 10. Bg5 Be7 11. Rd1 Qa5 12. Bd3 h6 13. Bh4 dxc4 14. Bxc4 a6 15. O-O b5 16. Ba2 Bb7 17. Bb1 Rad8 18. Bxf6 Bxf6 19. Ne4 Be7 20. Nc5 Bxc5 21. Qxc5 b4 22. Rc1 bxa3 23. bxa3 Qxc5 24. Rxc5 Ne7 25. Rfc1 Rc8 26. Bd3 Red8 27. Rxc8 Rxc8 28. Rxc8+ Nxc8 29. Nd2 Nb6 30. Nb3 Nd7 31. Na5 Bc8 32. Kf1 Kf8 33. Ke1 Ke7 34. Kd2 Kd6 35. Kc3 Ne5 36. Be2 Kc5 37. f4 Nc6 38. Nxc6 Kxc6 39. Kd4 f6 40. e4 Kd6 41. e5+ 1/2-1/2 [Event "WCh 2014"] [Site "Sochi RUS"] [Date "2014.11.20"] [Round "9"] [White "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Black "Anand, Viswanathan"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C67"] [WhiteElo "2863"] [BlackElo "2792"] [PlyCount "39"] [EventDate "2014.11.08"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. O-O Nxe4 5. d4 Nd6 6. Bxc6 dxc6 7. dxe5 Nf5 8. Qxd8+ Kxd8 9. h3 Ke8 10. Nc3 h5 11. Ne2 b6 12. Rd1 Ba6 13. Nf4 Bb7 14. e6 Bd6 15. exf7+ Kxf7 16. Ng5+ Kf6 17. Ne4+ Kf7 18. Ng5+ Kf6 19. Ne4+ Kf7 20. Ng5+ 1/2-1/2 [Event "WCh 2014"] [Site "Sochi RUS"] [Date "2014.11.21"] [Round "10"] [White "Anand, Viswanathan"] [Black "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "D97"] [WhiteElo "2792"] [BlackElo "2863"] [PlyCount "63"] [EventDate "2014.11.08"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. Nf3 Bg7 5. Qb3 dxc4 6. Qxc4 O-O 7. e4 Na6 8. Be2 c5 9. d5 e6 10. O-O exd5 11. exd5 Re8 12. Bg5 h6 13. Be3 Bf5 14. Rad1 Ne4 15. Nxe4 Bxe4 16. Qc1 Qf6 17. Bxh6 Qxb2 18. Qxb2 Bxb2 19. Ng5 Bd4 20. Nxe4 Rxe4 21. Bf3 Re7 22. d6 Rd7 23. Bf4 Nb4 24. Rd2 (24. Rfe1 $1 Nxa2 $6 25. Re7 Rxe7 26. dxe7 Re8 27. Re1 Nb4 (27... b6 $2 28. Bc6) 28. Bxb7 $16) 24... Re8 25. Rc1 Re6 26. h4 Be5 27. Bxe5 Rxe5 28. Bxb7 Rxb7 29. d7 Nc6 30. d8=Q+ Nxd8 31. Rxd8+ Kg7 32. Rd2 1/2-1/2 [Event "WCh 2014"] [Site "Sochi RUS"] [Date "2014.11.23"] [Round "11"] [White "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Black "Anand, Viswanathan"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C67"] [WhiteElo "2863"] [BlackElo "2792"] [PlyCount "89"] [EventDate "2014.11.08"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. O-O Nxe4 5. d4 Nd6 6. Bxc6 dxc6 7. dxe5 Nf5 8. Qxd8+ Kxd8 9. h3 Bd7 10. Nc3 h6 11. b3 Kc8 12. Bb2 c5 13. Rad1 b6 14. Rfe1 Be6 15. Nd5 g5 16. c4 Kb7 17. Kh2 a5 18. a4 Ne7 19. g4 Ng6 20. Kg3 Be7 21. Nd2 Rhd8 22. Ne4 Bf8 23. Nef6 b5 $3 24. Bc3 (24. cxb5 c6 $1 25. bxc6+ Kxc6 26. Ne3 Bxb3 $17) (24. axb5 a4 25. bxa4 Rxa4 $15) 24... bxa4 25. bxa4 Kc6 26. Kf3 Rdb8 (26... Be7 $1 27. Ne3 Bxf6 28. exf6 Rdb8 29. Rb1 Rh8 $1 30. Rb5 h5 $1) 27. Ke4 Rb4 28. Bxb4 cxb4 29. Nh5 Kb7 30. f4 gxf4 31. Nhxf4 Nxf4 32. Nxf4 Bxc4 33. Rd7 Ra6 34. Nd5 Rc6 35. Rxf7 Bc5 36. Rxc7+ Rxc7 37. Nxc7 Kc6 38. Nb5 Bxb5 39. axb5+ Kxb5 40. e6 b3 41. Kd3 Be7 42. h4 a4 43. g5 hxg5 44. hxg5 a3 45. Kc3 1-0


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, and the content creator of the YouTube channel, Chess & Tech.


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