Reliving the World Championship 2013 – Part one

by Sagar Shah
11/2/2014 – Just five more days and then it's here: the World Championship "return" match between Magnus Carlsen and Viswanathan Anand, in Sochi, Russia. To get you into the mood for what's coming Sagar Shah looks back at the 2013 encounter and analyses what went wrong in Chennai for Anand. His two-part review includes some incredibly deep analysis of the games.

ChessBase 15 - Mega package ChessBase 15 - Mega package

Find the right combination! ChessBase 15 program + new Mega Database 2019 with 7.6 million games and more than 70,000 master analyses. Plus ChessBase Magazine (DVD + magazine) and CB Premium membership for 1 year!

More...

Reliving the World Championship 2013

By Sagar Shah

On 9th November 2013, Anand and Carlsen sat opposite each other to begin the World Championship match. On one side was an experienced campaigner who had been nearly invincible in World Championship play. On the other was a 22-year-old kid who had stunned the world by reaching a stratospheric 2870 on the Elo charts. Everyone dubbed the match a battle of Youth versus Experience. We all know how the match went. But let’s go down the memory lane to see what exactly went wrong for Vishy Anand.

FIDE President Kirsan Illyumzhinov makes the first move of the 2013 match

Game 1: Lack of confidence

Carlsen,M (2870) - Anand,V (2775) [D78]
FWCM2013 (1), 09.11.2013

Position after move 16.Qa3

The first huge mistake by Anand came as early as 90 minutes into the match. In the above position he agreed to a draw after easily equalising as Black. Though objectively the position is equal, he could safely continue with the move 16…b6 and put Carlsen under pressure. After all Carlsen was playing the World Championship match for the first time in his life. He was definitely jittery at the start. Anand could have struck right then, but instead he took a safe draw. Someone rightly said, “If Carlsen was Black here, he would never have agreed for a draw. 0.5-0.5.

Game 2: Not taking the courageous path

Anand,V (2775) - Carlsen,M (2870) [B19]
FWCM2013 (2), 10.11.2013

Position after 17...Qd5

Anand as White could have continued the fight with Qg4. Instead he took on d5 which was a pretty timid decision. Carlsen was playing extremely fast up to that point and Anand did not want to test the Norwegian’s preparation. A quick draw and Anand missed his chance to press as White. But what was worse, Anand apologized to the spectators at the press conference for the lack of fight. Playing on home turf had surely put a lot of pressure on him. 1.0-1.0.

25 minutes was all that Magnus needed to make a draw with Black pieces

Game 3: Botching up a winning advantage

Carlsen,M (2870) - Anand,V (2775) [A09]
FWCM2013 (3), 12.11.2013

Position after 29.Rxe3

As many of you might remember, Anand had to be bold here and pick up the b2 pawn. It was not so easy to calculate everything but post game analysis proved that Anand had a nearly decisive advantage. The Indian player had his chance but once again didn’t go for the most principled continuation and instead played 29…Bd4. Magnus miraculously escaped. 1.5-1.5.

He felt that Bxb2 would give White a lot of counterplay, but it was a moment
when his intuition betrayed him

Game 4: Virtuoso defence

Anand,V (2775) - Carlsen,M (2870) [C67]
FWCM2013 (4), 13.11.2013

Position after 35.Ne4

Magnus was close to winning game four. He had Anand on the ropes. But Anand rose like a Phoenix. 35.Nf2-e4 was one of the most brilliant defensive moves I have ever seen in my life. In an extremely difficult position he came up with sacrificing the g4-pawn. He could sense that his activity will be sufficient to create a lot of hurdles in Carlsen’s path to victory. He was right and the game ended in a draw. A huge sigh of relief for the Indian fans. 2.0-2.0.

Though Carlsen was a little sad that he did not convert the position, this game gave
him the required confidence that he could wrest the World Champion’s title from Vishy

Game 5: The decisive game

Carlsen,M (2870) - Anand,V (2775) [D31]
FWCM2013 (5), 15.11.2013

Position after 45.Bh7

That’s how tough it is in a match. After 45 moves of being pushed onto the defensive, Anand had his chance here to secure a draw with 45…Ra1! Instead he chose 45…Rc1+ and was convincingly outplayed in the endgame. As said by Anand many times later, this was the crucial game of the match which changed the flow in Carlsen’s favour. Carlsen leads 3.0-2.0.

The first blood was drawn, Anand give up, Carlsen leads

That’s how popular Magnus is!

Replay the annotated games from rounds 1-5

Select games from the dropdown menu above the board

– Part two with games 6-10 will follow shortly –




Sagar is an International Master from India with two GM norms. He is also a chartered accountant and would like to become the first CA+GM of India. 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 of the ChessBase India website.
Discussion and Feedback Join the public discussion or submit your feedback to the editors


Discuss

Rules for reader comments

 
 

Not registered yet? Register

tkokesh tkokesh 11/6/2014 10:25
Wallace, I was not referring to the photos, but to the text. For instance:

"Anand as White could have continued the fight with Qg4. Instead he took on d5 which was a pretty timid decision. Carlsen was playing extremely fast up to that point and Anand did not want to test the Norwegian’s preparation. A quick draw and Anand missed his chance to press as White. But what was worse, Anand apologized to the spectators at the press conference for the lack of fight. Playing on home turf had surely put a lot of pressure on him."

This paragraph only mentions Carlsen's speed NOT his play, and reads as if Anand was playing against himself. The other game descriptions read the same. For instance, game five. "After 45 moves of being put onto the defensive, Anand..." instead of "Carlsen dialed up the pressure for 45 moves, after which Anand..." This is what I was referring to; the descriptions of all five games are from Anand's point of view.
ulyssesganesh ulyssesganesh 11/4/2014 04:08
kramnik was right when he said, vishy was giving too much respect to carlsen..... it was true.... it happened ........ a vishy without confidence in his own abilities and showing too much of respect to magnus' moves! this time he must not do if he wants to win!
Bostonian Bostonian 11/3/2014 10:25
Very good summary Sagar - I look forward to part two. I am hoping Anand has some novel tricks up his sleeves and plays fearlessly! As a viewer, that's all I expect - a fighting match. The results wont matter then. Carlsen has age (and therefore stamina) on his side and Anand has experience. (but age is a big negative) Both are more or less equally talented although I would tip slightly in favor of Anand on the originality and talent scale. But Anand most definitely lacks that killer instinct and ruthlessness that Carlsen has. Carlsen is the overall favorite but I wont be much surprised if Anand has recuperated from his loss and strikes back. He got enough preparation time. I feel a little bad that Peter Nielsen having been Anand's second for years has switched camps to the current champion. This is a significant competitive advantage since he knows Anand's preparation/style/weaknesses/strengths. He should have remained neutral for this year too. Not fair but it is what it is.
crazycheck crazycheck 11/3/2014 06:44
Very nice article, I can't stop waiting for the next part!
Wallace Howard Wallace Howard 11/3/2014 04:25
"I vaguely remember Anand having an opponent (Magnus something?) in the WC Match... but you'd never guess that from reading this article." -

What an odd thing to say. There are six photos: four of them show Magnus and the sixth is of Carlsen's fans. His name is mentioned in the very first sentence. Personally, I think it's nice to read something involving Magnus that isn't calling him Mozart or a fashion model. There has been a LOT of praise for Carlsen, which is deserved, but let's not forget that Anand is pretty good, too!
Wallace Howard Wallace Howard 11/3/2014 04:18
This is a fantastic reminder of how close the first part of the match was.
Carlsen had stumbled at the end of the Candidates (remember? he actually ended TIED with Kramnik) and he played nervously at the beginning of the WCC. Anand had chances but seemed timid. Perhaps playing in India was a factor, perhaps Carlsen's massive elo was intimidating. Whatever was the case then, it's different now. Anand was convincing in the candidates (undefeated) whereas Magnus has not been as dominant in 2014 (mostly thanks to Caruana!). This match should be closer. Magnus has a lot to lose, whereas Anand can play for glory. That said, I still expect Carlsen to win... I just think it will be closer than 2013, perhaps it will even be settled with rapid tie-breaks.
tkokesh tkokesh 11/3/2014 04:53
I vaguely remember Anand having an opponent (Magnus something?) in the WC Match... but you'd never guess that from reading this article.
murali100 murali100 11/3/2014 04:18
Looking back, Anand didn't play that bad...just a lack of confidence got him into trouble...perhaps, Carlsen presence is affecting him psychologically...
thx1138x thx1138x 11/3/2014 01:08

In the past if a world champion or the challenger lost a few games he could come back big deal but now there is no margin for error if either player loses a game or two forget it they've made it too unforgiving.

It was better when they played a real world championship with 24 games like Fischer Spassky 72.
gurutactician gurutactician 11/3/2014 12:05
Mr. Shah, one could sense your enthusiasm for chess. A few years ago I stumbled upon your chess website where you were annotating a couple games and almost every other move had an exclamation mark, it seemed! Now at the highest level of reporting, the players of course, must earn it! That said, just as I enjoy GM Maurice Ashley's style of commentary, I look forward to your reporting and annotating (I don't believe you've done live commentary yet).

Anyways, (I may be a bit late) but welcome to the highest echelon of chess, whether as a player or journalist. In your latest piece, I relived the 2013 WCC experience from the comfort of my home in the United States!! Double exclamation here. Well done.

(Both Anand & Carlsen are of course fantastic players, but I hope the Tiger from Madras makes it interesting... because next year Fabiano Caruana may be eyeing the Chess Throne!!!)
1