Sochi G5: A few palpitations, but no heart attack

by ChessBase
11/14/2014 – Today we saw a very well-prepared Carlsen, in contrast to the round three rout, and he rattled off his Queen's Indian at lightning speed. Vishy Anand was unfazed with White and never backed down from the sharp decisions. It seemed like a sedate draw until Magnus took a risky pawn on b2, providing chances for Anand, but in the end it petered out. Report of a short and sweet game.

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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 five

Round five saw something of a role-reversal. Anand, who is known for his deep preparation, was somewhat surprised in the opening as Carlsen blitzed out his moves. However, it was Anand who obtained the slightly superior position! Carlsen saw himself getting under pressure as White's bishop and rooks dominated the position, though he was temporarily a pawn up. Maybe with a little more finesse Anand could have made life harder for the World Champion, but as it was, the Norwegian had few problems to make a draw.

Carlsen thought a full 14 seconds on his sixteenth move

Carlsen's first big decision of the game was whether to take the b2 pawn and when to do it. When he did, he had some problems, but after Anand hastily took a black pawn on a7, the World Champion was safe again.

That bishop on d5 is a nuisance! From a practical perspective the move 23...Qf6
was very good.

Daniel King analysed the critical moments in his video report

[Event "WCh 2014"] [Site "Sochi RUS"] [Date "2014.11.14"] [Round "5"] [White "Anand, V."] [Black "Carlsen, M."] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "E15"] [WhiteElo "2792"] [BlackElo "2863"] [Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez,Alejandro"] [PlyCount "78"] [EventDate "2014.11.08"] [SourceDate "2014.01.04"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 b6 {Carlsen switches out of the Orthodox lines of the QGD and chooses to go for the Queen's Indian Defense, a system that has stood the test of time.} 4. g3 Bb4+ {This finesse is becoming an increasingly popular alternative to the normal 4...Ba6 and 4...Bb7.} 5. Bd2 Be7 6. Nc3 Bb7 7. Bg2 c6 (7... O-O {this move order is more common, and more often than not Black plays the knight to a6, but one could argue it is an older and less flexible setup.}) 8. e4 {Anand took six minutes for his first think of the game, probably trying to remember the crucial lines in this off-beat position.} d5 9. exd5 cxd5 10. Ne5 O-O 11. O-O Nc6 12. cxd5 Nxe5 13. d6 Nc6 14. dxe7 Qxe7 15. Bg5 h6 16. d5 Na5 17. Bxf6 (17. d6 Qd8 18. Bxf6 Qxf6 { and the pawn on d6 looks weak, not strong.}) 17... Qxf6 18. dxe6 Qxe6 {This was Carlsen's first think, but it took only four minutes and a half. Up to this point he had confidently blitzed out all of his moves.} (18... Bxg2 19. exf7+ Qxf7 20. Kxg2 Nc4 {seems to give compensation in form of pressure on the f-file and well placed pieces, but I dont' see the need to give up a pawn.}) 19. Re1 Qf6 20. Nd5 $1 {Carlsen must have been unfamiliar with this move, which practically speaking is an interesting attempt to mix up things. White only has a few moves to play before the game is completely drawn due to the symmetrical pawn structure.} Bxd5 $1 (20... Qxb2 21. Re2 $1 {Surprisingly, the queen is in some trouble:} Qa3 22. Re3 Qb2 23. Rb1 Qxa2 24. Ra1 $1 Qc4 25. Rxa5 bxa5 26. Ne7+ {and White emerges with two pieces for a rook and two pawns - but with Black's shattered structure on the queenside and the lack of targets for Black's rooks White seems to be better.}) 21. Bxd5 Rad8 22. Qf3 $1 {The only way to keep pressure. Anand's play is very strong, and Carlsen has to decide if he wants to take the pawn on b2 or to play an inferior endgame.} Qxb2 (22... Qxf3 23. Bxf3 Nc4 24. b3 Nd6 25. Re7 {is without a doubt better for White. How much better is something that can be argued, but it is not a pleasant position to defend.}) 23. Rad1 Qf6 {A good practical decision! Carlsen sees that the pressure is mounting and decides to ruin his pawn structure in order to simplify matters on the queenside.} 24. Qxf6 gxf6 25. Re7 Kg7 26. Rxa7 {Natural, but perhaps with more patience Anand could have set up more problems.} (26. Rc7 $5 $14 {The point is that Black has no really useful move while the a-pawn will fall sooner or later. This will keep the White's a- and Black's b-pawn on the board.}) 26... Nc6 27. Rb7 Nb4 {The point. Now that the bishop must move and the rooks will be swapped, a2 is undefended.} 28. Bb3 Rxd1+ 29. Bxd1 Nxa2 30. Rxb6 Nc3 31. Bf3 {Black's pawn structure is ugly, but he has very little to worry about. The bishop is too clumsy to create real threats and although the knight is stranded for now, it won't be stranded forever.} f5 $1 {Anchoring the knight on e4. Even if Carlsen loses a pawn on e4 when minor pieces are traded the endgame will be easily drawn.} 32. Kg2 Rd8 33. Rc6 Ne4 34. Bxe4 {In this scenario White doesn't even get a pawn and the game is trivially drawn, but there wasn't much else to do anyway.} fxe4 35. Rc4 f5 36. g4 Rd2 37. gxf5 e3 38. Re4 Rxf2+ 39. Kg3 Rxf5 1/2-1/2


The press conference was short and sweet, much like the game:


M. Carlsen 2863
V. Anand 2792

Live comments on

Our team of commentators will analyse and comment the games of the match live on the server. In four languages: English, German, French, and Spanish.


Friday 14.11.2014 Round 5 Simon Williams, Irina Krush
Saturday 15.11.2014 Round 6 Daniel King, Yannick Pelletier
Sunday 16.11.2014 Rest day  
Monday 17.11.2014 Round 7 Simon Williams, Loek van Wely
Tuesday 18.11.2014 Round 8 Daniel King, Loek van Wely
Wednesday 19.11.2014 Rest day  
Thursday 20.11.2014 Round 9 Simon Williams, Irina Krush
Friday 21.11.2014 Round 10 Daniel King, Simon Williams
Saturday 22.11.2014 Rest day  
Sunday 23.11.2014 Round 11 Chris Ward, Parimarjan Negi
Monday 24.11.201 4 Rest day  
Tuesday 25.11.2014 Round 12 Simon Williams, Rustam Kasimdzhanov

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Our team of World Championship commentators (English)

Irina Krush: The female in the commentator team, several times US Women's Champion.
Daniel King: Well known, popular, experienced, and very good. Author of many Fritztrainer DVDs

Simon Williams: Englisher grandmaster, author of two popular ChessBase King's Gambit DVDs.
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