Sochi G11: In dramatic finale, Carlsen retains title

by ChessBase
11/23/2014 – The game was all the fans could hope with dramatic play throughout. Vishy Anand played the Berlin to groans but after a critical 23...b5! the situation looked very promising. Whether due to nerves or fatigue, he followed this up with a dubious plan that gave up the exchange with no obvious counterplay. This was the death knell as Magnus Carlsen capitalized. Full report.

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FIDE World Chess Championship Carlsen-Anand 2014

The FIDE World Chess Championship match between defending champion Magnus Carlsen and his challenger Viswanathan Anand is taking place from November 7 to 27, 2014 in Olympic Media Center located in the Adler City District of Sochi, Imeretinsky Valley, on the Black Sea.

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. Sochi Time, which is the same as Moscow time:

Moscow (Russia) 3:00:00 PM MSK UTC+3 hours
New York (U.S.A. - New York) 7:00:00 AM EST UTC-5 hours
Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) 10:00:00 AM BRST UTC-2 hours
Paris (France) 1:00:00 PM CET UTC+1 hour
Beijing (China - Beijing Municipality) 8:00:00 PM CST UTC+8 hours

Find the starting time in your home location

Round Eleven

The game started with a predictable opening: a YABB (yet another boring Berlin). However things took a turn for the better for Anand, and very soon after, for the worse! A brilliant pawn push with 23...b5!! didn't quite put Carlsen against the ropes, but it signaled that Black had his own attacking chances!

A packed room with GM Negi Parimarjan, Chris Ward and Rustam Kasimdzhanov doing
commentary while Garry Kasparov shows up to see the action live on

Svidler and Nepomniachtchi commenting on the game when suddenly...

Magnus after Anand's exchange sacrifice and 29.Nh5, realizing he is now better

The problem was that Anand grossly overestimated his position. The follow-up exchange sacrifice on b4 was, to put it simply, overly optimistic and Carlsen gladly gobbled the offering. Black's position was unable to support the passed pawn, and all Carlsen needed to do was reduce material to put Anand in grave danger.

White's play after being up the exchange was precise and accurate, not afraid of calculating variations and finding 'only' moves to retain a decisive advantage. At the end, the Challenger's position could not hold together any more and Carlsen emerged as the defending World Champion!

Daniel King shows the highlights of game 11

[Event "World Chess Championship 2014"] [Site "Sochi"] [Date "2014.11.23"] [Round "11"] [White "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Black "Anand, Viswanathan"] [Result "*"] [WhiteElo "2863"] [BlackElo "2792"] [Annotator "Robot 8"] [PlyCount "89"] [EventDate "2014.??.??"] [EventCountry "RUS"] 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 (12... b6 13. Rad1 Ne7 14. Rfe1 c5 {was eventually a draw in Anand-Nakamura, 2010.}) 13. Rad1 b6 14. Rfe1 {Played after a ten minute think. It's possible that Carlsen was not entirely familiar with this position specifically and already started to figure out how to place his pieces.} (14. Nd5 a5 15. Nd2 Ne7 16. Ne3 { Kokarev-Leko in the Russian team championship earlier this year. The game was drawn without much happening.}) 14... Be6 15. Nd5 g5 $5 {An interesting approach. This move severely weakens f6, but Anand claims that he can live with a knight there. On the other hand, on g5 Black protects f4, essentially cutting off reinforcements to the e5 pawn in the future. Also the pawn majority has been successfully halted.} 16. c4 Kb7 17. Kh2 a5 18. a4 Ne7 19. g4 Ng6 {So far Anand has played a very nice Berlin. His position is good, but of course White's central domination and extra space allow him to be at least equal.} 20. Kg3 Be7 21. Nd2 Rhd8 22. Ne4 Bf8 23. Nef6 b5 $3 {A bomb shell! This incredibly unexpected move comes with beautiful timing. The pawn cannot be taken or White already risks standing worse.} 24. Bc3 {The strongest idea for White is to ignore the pawn, but now Black's position is quite strong.} ( 24. axb5 a4 25. bxa4 Rxa4 {allows Black to attack the weak c4 pawn and gives him control (for now) of the open a-file. Black is already better and it is not clear how White will hold his position together. For example:} 26. Rc1 Nf4 $1 27. Nxf4 $6 gxf4+ 28. Kxf4 Rd2 $1 $17) (24. cxb5 c6 $1 25. bxc6+ Kxc6 {and now it is White's b3 pawn that is a big issue. The knight on d5 is destabilized which means it must retreat, exposing the weakness on b3.} 26. Ne3 Bxb3 $19) 24... bxa4 25. bxa4 Kc6 26. Kf3 Rdb8 $6 {Played after a 22 minute think. This idea of playing Rdb8 is not bad per se, but its follow-up is not nearly as good.} 27. Ke4 Rb4 {Black sacrifices the exchange, obtaining the pair of bishops, a passed pawn, and fixing his structure on the queenside. Overall he has good chances of obtaining compensation, but not for the full exchange unfortunately.} (27... Rb3 28. Rb1 Rab8 29. Rxb3 Rxb3 30. Rc1 {is playable for both sides, though White does have some annoying pressure against a5.}) 28. Bxb4 cxb4 (28... axb4 $1 {If Black wanted to sacrifice the exchange, he absolutely had to back it up with activity. The only way of doing so was activating his rook on a8.}) 29. Nh5 {The main issue for Black is that his position is still very solid, but it does not have an active way of making progress. If White keeps trading, and trading, and trading, eventually the extra exchange will just be an extra exchange.} Kb7 30. f4 gxf4 (30... Bd7 $1 { Was an interesting resource, but White would have an ace up his sleeve.} 31. f5 Bxa4 32. fxg6 fxg6 33. Nhf6 Bc2+ 34. Kd4 Bxd1 35. Rxd1 c6 36. Nd7 $1 {And ignoring the pawn attack no d5 grants White a huge initiative and two monster passed pawns.}) 31. Nhxf4 Nxf4 $6 {This only helps White.} (31... c6 32. Nxg6 fxg6 33. Nf4 Bxc4 34. Nxg6 Bc5 {was rather bad, but better than the game continuation.}) 32. Nxf4 Bxc4 33. Rd7 $1 {The activity of the rook is starting to make itself felt. Black cannot dislodge this intruder.} Ra6 (33... Kc6 34. Rd4 $1 Ba2 35. Rc1+ Kb7 36. Rd7 {only makes things worse. For example:} Rc8 37. Nd5 b3 38. Nc3 $1 b2 39. Nxa2 bxc1=Q 40. Nxc1 {and Black's position is simply falling apart, starting by the f7 pawn.}) 34. Nd5 Rc6 35. Rxf7 Bc5 {The material difference is too big. Anand is clawing for activity, but White's next stroke ends it.} 36. Rxc7+ $1 Rxc7 37. Nxc7 Kc6 (37... b3 38. Nd5 b2 39. e6 {and the powerful pawn on b2 is not going anywhere.}) (37... Kxc7 38. Rc1 { instantly loses.} b3 39. Rxc4 b2 40. Rxc5+ {and Rb5 next, right on time.}) 38. Nb5 $1 Bxb5 39. axb5+ Kxb5 40. e6 b3 41. Kd3 Be7 42. h4 a4 43. g5 hxg5 44. hxg5 a3 45. Kc3 {The last accurate move, and now Black cannot hold his pawns together anymore.} (45. g6 a2 46. g7 $4 b2 $11) *

Anand started to realize his position was not good after sacrificing the exchange

Stockfish sees mate, as does Komodo, which has a quaint way of showing it (+250)

Game, match and title: a subdued Anand in the press conference.
When asked if he considered retiring after this loss, his answer was a firm "no".

Chief press officer Anastasiyia Karlovich,
who did an incredible job throughout the event

"I feel happy and relieved" the defending World Champion: Magnus Carlsen!

We will be bringing you a full coverage of the press conference and the player's reactions to the match in a future report.


M. Carlsen 2863
V. Anand 2792

Summary of round eleven for Indian readers by Niklesh Jain

कार्लसन जीते !! फिर बने विश्व शतरंज विजेता !!

मुझे आज समझ नहीं आ रहा की किस तरह इस मैच के बारे में आपको बताऊँ । सबसे पहले तो युवा मेगनस कार्लसन को पुनः विश्व विजेता बनने के लिए बहुत बहुत बधाई । वो शायद पहले ऐसे विश्व विजेता जो अपने खेल से सामने वाले को परास्त नहीं करते बल्कि अपने असाधारण अचूक खेल से सामने वाले को कोई मौका ही नहीं देते उन्हे परास्त करने का और फिर सामने वाला खुद ही गल्तियाँ करना शुरू करता है और कार्लसन मशीनों की तरह उसकी गलती को उसे दंड दे देते है । आनंद आज शानदार खेले और फिर अचानक समय के दवाब में गलत चालें चलते चले गए । शायद इस महान खिलाड़ी पर उम्र का प्रभाव अब दिखने लगा है । पाँच बार के विश्व चैम्पियन यकीनन अभी भी दुनिया के सबसे बेहतरीन खिलाड़ियों में से एक है पर विश्व चैम्पियन के हकदार अब मेगनस उनसे भी ज्यादा है ये अब उन्हे मानना ही होगा । क्यूंकी आनंद हर बार इस प्रतियोगिता में दवाब के क्षणो में बिखरते नजर आए है । पर हाँ आनंद की पिछले बार की हार से लेकर इस विश्व चैंपियनशिप के अंतिम मैच तक उन्होने एक बात हमेशा के लिए साबित कर दी की इंसान को कभी हार नहीं माननी चाहिए वो वाकई एक शेर की तरह लड़े । उन्हे अपने इस शानदार प्रयास के लिए और उनके इस जज्बे के लिए सलाम । खेल एक बार फिर बर्लिन ओपनिंग में खेला गया और आनंद ने आज अपनी तैयारी और शानदार चालो के मिश्रण से खेल को एक ऐसे स्थान पर ला दिया था जंहा से वो बहुत मजबूत नजर आ रहे थे और उनका हारना तो लगभग असंभव ही लग रहा था पर अचानक 23 चाल पर कार्लसन की एक थोड़ी कमजोर चाल के जबाब में आनंद ने जैसे ही b5 जैसी शानदार चाल चली अचानक खेल में एक चमक आ गयी पूरी दुनिया के बड़े दिग्गज खेल के विशेषज्ञ इसे अपने अपने हिसाब से आकलन करने लगे आनंद ने कुछ बहुत बेहतरीन चालों के मिश्रण से कुछ देर के लिए लोगो को उनकी जीत के बारे में भी सोचने का मौका भी दिया। ट्वीटर पर तो जैसे बड़े ग्रांड मास्टरों के ट्वीट की बाढ़ सी आ गयी थी और होती भी क्यूँ न बात विश्व विजेता के तय होने की जो थी । पर इसके बाद अचानक आनंद जब Be7 चल कर कार्लसन को और दवाब में ल सकते थे उन्होने अचानक बहुत सोच कर अपने हाथी को कार्लसन के ऊंट के बदले कुर्बान करने का ऐसा निर्णय लिया जो शायद किसी और के लिए तो शायद काम कर भी देता पर कार्लसन के खिलाफ ये उनकी सबसे बड़ी और आखिरी गलती साबित हुई ।मै शायद आज आनंद की जीत के बारे में लिखकर गर्व महसूस करता पर यकीन मानिए आनंद भी अपनी बादशाहत को इस नए युवा अभेद योद्धा के हाथो सौंपकर आज नहीं तो कल संतुष्ट जरूर होंगे ।आनंद को भी उनके आने वाले समय ओर कार्यो के लिए शुभकामनाए भारत को आप पर गर्व है और हमेशा रहेगा ।कार्लसन को जीत की पुनः बहुत बहुत बधाई दोनों खिलाड़ी जमकर खेले और शतरंज दुनियाँ भर में और प्रसिद्ध हुई इससे ज्यादा एक शतरंज प्रेमी को क्या चाहिए ।

उम्मीद है आपको हिन्दी के लेख पसंद आए होंगे ....

आपका निकलेश जैन

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