Chennai G8: Anand plays Berlin against Carlsen

by Albert Silver
11/19/2013 – The openings were a surprise all-round as Magnus Carlsen opened with 1.e4 for the first time. Whether or not Vishy Anand was surprised by this decision is not clear, but it was hard to predict a Berlin as his comeback choice. Carlsen was unfazed and rattled off each of his moves with 30 seconds thought, leading to complete equality. They drew after 40 minutes. Report and video analysis.

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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 eight report

After the disappointing draw yesterday, Anand’s hoard of fans had come hoping to see a violent skirmish as he strove the revert a very difficult situation. Even his most ardent supporters could only describe it as an ‘uphill battle’ at best.

The media interest has been nothing short of massive

Yesterday, Carlsen had arrived seconds before a potential 'zero tolerance' forfeit.
Today he arrived with three minutes to go, and avoided heartburn for his team.

Carlsen quickly whipped out 1.e4. In response, for a moment that hung like an eternity, Anand pondered his options. The eventual reply, 1...e5, led us to another Berlin. This time, a Rio Gambit Accepted. Prior to this game, Carlsen had held the white side of this opening nine times and, up to 7.Bf1,the moves were identical to a previous Carlsen-Anand encounter (Nanjing, 2010). Meanwhile, Anand, although no stranger to the Berlin, had only held the black side of today's opening ten times previously.

If he was planning on fighting for the full point, the Indian’s decision was a strange one, since although complications can come of it, a Berlin can just as easily head to positions that are as dry as the Gobi desert. When a journalist asked in the press conference whether he had considered playing a Sicilian, he replied it was a consideration but that even it could lead to dry positions. The explanation did not really satisfy, though there was little point pushing the point.

Carlsen surprised Anand with 1.e4 and left him wondering what is intentions were

The truth is that he was probably unprepared for Carlsen’s 1.e4 and under the circumstances fell back on what he had in store and could rely on. Carlsen had to know he was going to have to strike out, and by opening with 1.e4 he had basically announced his willingness to grab the bull by the horns. In this sense, Anand’s choice of the Berlin avoided any nasty opening preparation the Norwegian might have in store, leaving himself with two Whites ahead in the next games. Kasparov noted that at this level, playing for the win with white meant strong preparation and play, while playing for the win with black required a willing opponent and mistakes.

 

Susan Polgar takes viewers on a tour of the behind-the-scenes of Anand and Carlsen
(courtesy of Vijay Kumar)

Whatever the truth of it, the challenger was clearly unfazed by the choice of the Berlin and took roughly 30 seconds for each of his moves. When asked why, he explained the moves suggested themselves and there was little to think about. By the time they shook hands on move 33, barely 40 minutes of match time had passed.

Anand will be preparing his comeback plan for the next game

As Carlsen suggested, given his position in the match, he was happy with the outcome and in no particular mood to fight it out. Anand now sits three draws away from losing his world title and will need to shake things up with his second-last white on Thursday.

[Event "FWCM 2013"] [Site "Chennai"] [Date "2013.11.19"] [Round "8"] [White "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Black "Anand, Viswanathan"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C67"] [WhiteElo "2870"] [BlackElo "2775"] [PlyCount "66"] [EventDate "2013.??.??"] [EventCountry "IND"] [TimeControl "40/7200:20/3600:900+30"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. O-O Nxe4 5. Re1 Nd6 6. Nxe5 Be7 7. Bf1 Nxe5 8. Rxe5 O-O 9. d4 Bf6 10. Re1 Re8 11. c3 Rxe1 12. Qxe1 Ne8 13. Bf4 d5 14. Bd3 g6 15. Nd2 Ng7 16. Qe2 c6 17. Re1 Bf5 18. Bxf5 Nxf5 19. Nf3 Ng7 20. Be5 Ne6 21. Bxf6 Qxf6 22. Ne5 Re8 23. Ng4 Qd8 24. Qe5 Ng7 25. Qxe8+ Nxe8 26. Rxe8+ Qxe8 27. Nf6+ Kf8 28. Nxe8 Kxe8 29. f4 f5 30. Kf2 b5 31. b4 Kf7 32. h3 h6 33. h4 h5 1/2-1/2

IM Andrew Martin analyzes game eight:

 

As Carlsen suggested, given his position in the match, he was happy with the outcome and in no particular mood to fight it out. Anand now sits three draws away from losing his world title and will need to shake things up with his second-last white on Thursday.

Wednesday is a rest and game nine will be played on Thursday. It will clearly be a make or break round, so do not miss it.

Report by Albert Silver and Michael von Keitz

Score

Game:
Rtg
01
02
03
04
05
06
07
08
09
10
11
12
Score
Perf.
V. Anand 2775
½
½
½
½
0
0
½
½
       
3.0
2781
M. Carlsen 2870
½
½
½
½
1
1
½
½
       
5.0
2864

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. 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. 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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