Sochi G4: Level game ends in Draw

by Alejandro Ramirez
11/12/2014 – Anand tried to stir things up! Rather than going for a positionally sound line in the Spanish, a Carlsen specialty, Anand tried to enter a theoretical battle in the Sicilian! Which type of Sicilian will remain a mystery as Carlsen avoided a sharp, theoretical confrontation, chose a quieter line, but obtained no advantage. With sound play the game was eventually drawn.

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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
Paris (France)   1:00:00 PM CET UTC+1 hour
Beijing (China - Beijing Municipality)   8:00:00 PM CST UTC+8 hours

Round Four

An interesting game from the get-go. Carlsen had never been in a situation in which he had to recover from a loss against Anand, but that was exactly what he was facing today. It wasn't a do-or-die game but it certainly was a new experience for the defending World Champion.

The game started off with the Sicilian Defense, a sharper opening than the Spanish we have been used to seeing in these 1.e4 games. Carlsen decided not to go for the Open Sicilian but chose a quieter system instead. Anand seemed comfortable enough with the isolated queen pawn setup and confidently traded off into a drawn endgame.

Game four under way!

Carlsen had to consider his options from the very start

Grandmasters Shipov and Kosteniuk are providing
the on-site commentary for the people attending the match in person

Daniel King explains what Carlsen and Anand did today

[Event "World Chess Championship 2014"] [Site "Sochi"] [Date "2014.11.12"] [Round "4"] [White "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Black "Anand, Viswanathan"] [Result "*"] [ECO "B40"] [WhiteElo "2863"] [BlackElo "2785"] [Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez, Alejandro"] [PlyCount "94"] [EventDate "2014.??.??"] [EventCountry "RUS"] 1. e4 c5 $5 {Already a sharper approach to the game. Carlsen showed excellent understanding in the positional and quiet waters of the Spanish in game two. Anand hits back in his second black game with the Sicilian.} 2. Nf3 e6 {This move indicates that Black will play one of the following, in case of White going 3.d4 (the open Sicilian): 3...cxd4 4.Nxd4 and then: 4...Nc6 which is the Paulsen, 4...a6 with the Kan or 4...Nf6 followed by 5...d6 which is the Scheveningen. Unfortunately we will not know which one Anand had planned until, maybe, the next game Carlsen has white!} 3. g3 {This way of avoiding the theoretical battle has been very popular in the last few years. I go into an in-depth discussion of this variation in my recently released DVD on the Paulsen Sicilian that you can find at the ChessBase Shop.} Nc6 4. Bg2 d5 5. exd5 exd5 6. O-O Nf6 7. d4 Be7 {There are many ways that Black can develop once he plays d5. Some of the more popular ones are as Anand played, but without Nc6, or playing Bd6 and Nge7. This specific variation is a little more rare, but the character of the position should not change.} 8. Be3 (8. Nc3 O-O 9. dxc5 Bxc5 10. a3 $5 {was played in Zvjaginsev-Rublevsky this year. Zvjaginsev is one of the experts on the white side of this variation.}) 8... cxd4 {The first move for which Anand took a small think. It was more or less forced, but he is trying to evaluate how to continue from here. Probably Anand expected 8.Nc3.} 9. Nxd4 Bg4 {Black develops with tempo as it is not trivial to defend the queen. The queen does not want to move, but hardly has a choice.} (9... O-O 10. Nc3 Bg4 11. Qd3 {was Jones-Caruana from the Reykjavik Open from 2012. The move-order difference allows Carlsen to put his knight on d2 rather than on c3, but it does not seem to make a big difference.}) 10. Qd3 (10. f3 {is too ugly to be played, as it locks in the bishop on g2 and weakens the bishop on e3.}) 10... Qd7 11. Nd2 O-O 12. N2f3 Rfe8 13. Rfe1 Bd6 { White has play against the isolated pawn, but in return all of Black's pieces are well placed. He will soon bring his rook to c8 finishing his development comfortably and he has relatively little to worry about in the short-run. He has to keep up some kind of pressure so White doesn't simplify into an endgame where the pawn might be weak.} 14. c3 h6 15. Qf1 $5 {The queen did not feel comfortable on d3 as it was vulnerable to certain knight jumps. He also prepares Bh3 - just in case.} Bh5 16. h3 Bg6 17. Rad1 Rad8 18. Nxc6 bxc6 {With the structure changing to hanging pawns d5 is not nearly as weak, and since the c-file is not open c6 is not a big target. White has to exert pressure on the center quickly or he risks being worse.} 19. c4 Be4 20. Bd4 {A strangely annoying move for Black, and a move that allows White to keep equality.} Nh7 {The knight is ready to jump to g5!} 21. cxd5 Bxd5 (21... cxd5 { looks more natural to me than what Anand played, but there is nothing wrong with Bxd5 either.}) 22. Rxe8+ Rxe8 23. Qd3 Nf8 {Black re-routes the knight. With Anand's passive play the pawn structure will give White an edge, but it is difficult to do much with it. That being said, if anyone can form an initiative out of nothing, it is Carlsen!} 24. Nh4 Be5 25. Bxd5 Qxd5 26. Bxe5 Qxe5 27. b3 {Every trade makes the Black pawn structure more vulnerable.} Ne6 28. Nf3 Qf6 29. Kg2 Rd8 30. Qe2 Rd5 $5 {A little sharp. With the passed pawn on d5 Black will be able to create some counterplay, but a lot of endgames are lost for him because of White's queenside majority which allows him to create an outside passed pawn. A simple pawn endgame, for example, would be lost for Black.} 31. Rxd5 cxd5 32. Ne5 (32. Qe5 $5 {It made a lot of sense to try to trade queens. It is not trivial to calculate the knight endgame, but it doesn't look pleasant.} Qd8 $5 {Might be both more sedate and more reasonable. White retains a very slight edge, but maybe not enough to claim an advantage.} 33. Nd4 $14) 32... Qf5 33. Nd3 Nd4 34. g4 $5 {A great practical decision! Black has three major options, and with the clock ticking this is not always easy. Black can trade queens on e4, trade queens immediately, or retreat.} Qd7 (34... Nxe2 35. gxf5 Nc3 $5 { Because of White's structure Black is probably fine in this position. However, it is still dangerous as White's pawns on the kingside look threatening.} (35... Kf8 $5)) (34... Qe4+ $2 35. Qxe4 dxe4 36. Nc5 $16 {is just bad.}) 35. Qe5 {White gains some space, but Black's pieces are well placed and White's king is now a bit vulnerable, allowing counterplay.} Ne6 {A nice position for the knight. If White ever goes f4-f5 he will be faced with a defenseless king, while if the knight is allowed to stay on e6 it controls many, many key squares.} 36. Kg3 Qb5 37. Nf4 Nxf4 {Not a bad time to trade knights. With White's exposed king the queen endgame will almost inevitably be drawn.} 38. Kxf4 Qb4+ 39. Kf3 d4 $5 {Black sacrifices a pawn, but he hopes the activity of the queen and the passed pawn will give him enough to draw.} 40. Qe8+ Kh7 {With time control reached, Carlsen took a breather to look at his alternatives.} 41. Qxf7 Qd2 $1 {This move is actually forced. Grandmaster Rustam Kasimdzhanov, who is doing live commentary for the website, mentioned that Anand would find this by process of elimination if nothing else. Rustam has a good feel for Anand's thought process: he was the Indian's second for a long time!} (41... Qc3+ 42. Ke4 d3 43. Qf3 $1 {and White loses his pawn on d3. All he can do is trade it for the one on a2, but he would be simply down one soldier.} Qe1+ 44. Kxd3 Qb1+ 45. Ke3 $16) (41... Qe1 42. Qf5+ Kh8 43. Qd3 {allows an ugly blockade.}) 42. Qf5+ Kh8 (42... Kg8 $2 {is a clear mistake because it allows White's queen to go to e2.} 43. Qd5+ Kh7 44. Qe4+ Kg8 45. Qe2 $1 {And Black has no good way of making progress with the d-pawn, will probably lose it and with it the game.}) 43. h4 {From a practical point of view, Anand is not worried at all that White will win a long endgame, he will be worried however that he gets mated! Carlsen wants to play g5 and g6 which puts real pressure on the stranded king on h8.} Qxa2 44. Qe6 $5 {Carlsen always likes to keep tension in the position. In this case the queen controls many squares, and White is still threatening g5 and g6.} Qd2 {The queen swings to the defense. It is important to note that g5 is covered.} (44... a5 $2 45. g5 a4 (45... hxg5 46. hxg5 a4 47. Qe8+ Kh7 48. bxa4 $18) 46. Qe8+ { is one of the ways that Black gets mated.}) 45. Qe8+ Kh7 46. Qe4+ Kh8 47. Qe8+ Kh7 {A well earned draw from both sides!} *

Carlsen's choice of 3.g3 is not without poison, but Anand handled it well

The Sicilian! It is good to see Anand trying to go into sharper positions. Carlsen was the one who wanted none of that today, an understandable choice after being theoretically squashed yesterday. He took an approach that resembled game two a lot more than game three, but this time Anand was better prepared and clearly more comfortable with the position.

The resulting queen endgame still contained a trick or two, but Anand was able to accurately figure his way around the maze of the queen endgame complications and drew a position that was still far from trivial.

41...Qd2. Philae has landed. Anand, an active amateur astronomer, played this important defensive move the same minute that the Philae probe touched down on the surface of comet 67P.

Photos by Vladimir Barsky from the official website


M. Carlsen 2863
V. Anand 2792

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.

Summary report in Hindi by Niklesh Jain

राउंड 4 –

आनंद ने काले मोहरो से कार्लसन को ड्रॉ  खेलने पर किया मजबूर ,ली मनोवैज्ञानिक बढ़त !

कल की अपनी  आत्मसंतुष्टि और आत्मविश्वास को बढ़ाने वाली अपनी जीत के बाद आज आनंद ने काले मोहरो से खेलते हुए कार्लसन को ड्रॉ खेलने पर मजबूर कर दिया । और इसके साथ ही आनंद ने एकदिन के विश्राम से पहले मौजूदा विश्व चैम्पियन नार्वे के मेगनस कार्लसन के ऊपर एक मनोवैज्ञानिक बढ़त बना ली है । आज का खेल पिछले तीनों खेल से अलग सिसिलियन डिफेंस में खेला गया थोड़ी ही देर मे खेल सिसिलियन डिफेंस से निकलकर फ्रेंच डिफेंस के तराश वेरिएसन से मिलती जुलती स्थति में पहुँच गया आनंद की d5 पैदल एक और जंहा अकेली होने की वजह कार्लसन की और से आक्रमण का मुख्य केंद्र भी वही थी ।पर आनंद ने अपने खेल को स्तर को मजबूत बनाए रखते हुए कार्लसन के हर आक्रमण को  सफल नहीं होने दिया । 47  चालों के बाद दोनों खिलाड़ी अंक बांटने पर सहमत हो गए इस ड्रॉ के साथ ही दोनों खिलाड़ी 2-2 अंक पर पहुँच गए है । आनंद ने अपनी वापसी से कार्लसन को दबाव में लाने के साथ साथ अपने आपको बेहतर स्थति में पहुंचा दिया है और इसका सीधा प्रभाव आने वाले मुक़ाबले पर भी पड़ेगा । प्रतियोगिता के प्रति लोगो को वापस उत्साही दर्शक  बना दिया है । अब एक दिन के विश्राम के बाद आनंद सफ़ेद मोहरो से कार्लसन का मुक़ाबला करेंगे इंतजार कीजिये एक बढ़िया खेल का ।

आपका निकलेश जैन 

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Saturday 08.11.2014 Round 1 Daniel King, Parimarjan Negi
Sunday 09.11.2014 Round 2 Simon Williams, Nicholas Pert
Monday 10.11.2014 Rest day  
Tuesday 11.11.2014 Round 3 Daniel King, Loek van Wely
Wednesday 12.11.2014 Round 4 Daniel King, Rustam Kasimdzhanov
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Friday 14.11.2014 Round 5 Simon Williams, Irina Krush
Saturday 15.11.2014 Round 6 Daniel King, Yannick Pelletier
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Monday 17.11.2014 Round 7 Simon Williams, Loek van Wely
Tuesday 18.11.2014 Round 8 Daniel King, Loek van Wely
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Thursday 20.11.2014 Round 9 Simon Williams, Irina Krush
Friday 21.11.2014 Round 10 Daniel King, Simon Williams
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Sunday 23.11.2014 Round 11 Chris Ward, Parimarjan Negi
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Tuesday 25.11.2014 Round 12 Simon Williams, Rustam Kasimdzhanov

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Grandmaster Alejandro Ramirez has been playing tournament chess since 1998. His accomplishments include qualifying for the 2004 and 2013 World Cups as well as playing for Costa Rica in the 2002, 2004 and 2008 Olympiads. He currently has a rating of 2583 and is author of a number of popular and critically acclaimed ChessBase-DVDs.


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