Sochi G7: Unbreakable Anand

by Alejandro Ramirez
11/17/2014 – Today's game was truly a make-or-break deal for the challenger, with all the signs of a 'break' as he got into trouble in a Berlin and had to give up a piece for two pawns in a position many said was lost. There then followed a titanic struggle as Magnus tried in vain to break Vishy and his impenetrable fortress, but the Indian never gave ground. Report of round seven!

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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 seven

Today's round was a titanic struggle. Carlsen came with a deep opening idea in the most predictable of battlegrounds: the Berlin Defense of the Spanish Opening. The cunning pawn sacrifice had been used previously by top-notch grandmasters, but Carlsen's twist with 24.g4!? added an extra dimension of unpleasantness to Black's position.

Legendary journalists: Anastasiya Karlovich is FIDE's press officer while Vijay Kumar makes TV reports on chess for Doordarshan, which can be recieved all over Asia. His reports have on occasion been available to 400 million people.

Anand had to think long and hard about how to diffuse White's initiative, and how to go into an endgame where he wasn't worse by much. His brave and intuitive decision to sacrifice his bishop in order to reach an endgame where White had one knight, two pawns and a rook against Black's rook and four pawns seems sound, but it left everyone wondering if the position was actually drawn or if White could crack through Black's defenses. Over the board, it was impossible to tell, and even most of the commentators had no clue as to whether Black would hold or not, both in the practical sense and in the abstract, objective sense!

Anand had to brace himself for a long defense: 122 moves!

Grandmasters Shipov and Smirin were some of the confused commentators who wondered
how to evaluate the endgame. They were in charge of the Russian commentary.

The Berlin surprised no one, but Anand will have to make sure this line holds in future encounters.
His seconds will be hard at work looking at this game and trying to improve upon it.

Daniel King explains the critical positions in game 7

[Event "World Chess Championship 2014"] [Site "Sochi"] [Date "2014.11.17"] [Round "7"] [White "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Black "Anand, Viswanathan"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C67"] [WhiteElo "2863"] [BlackElo "2792"] [Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez,Alejandro"] [PlyCount "243"] [EventDate "2014.??.??"] [EventCountry "RUS"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. O-O (4. d3 {not avoiding the endgame this time around! We saw this previously in the match.}) 4... Nxe4 5. d4 Nd6 6. Bxc6 dxc6 7. dxe5 Nf5 8. Qxd8+ Kxd8 9. h3 Ke8 10. Nc3 h5 11. Bf4 Be7 12. Rad1 Be6 13. Ng5 Rh6 14. g3 (14. Rfe1 h4) 14... Bxg5 (14... h4 15. g4) 15. Bxg5 Rg6 16. h4 f6 17. exf6 gxf6 18. Bf4 Nxh4 19. f3 Rd8 20. Kf2 Rxd1 21. Nxd1 Nf5 22. Rh1 Bxa2 23. Rxh5 (23. b3 Bb1 24. Ne3 Nxe3) 23... Be6 24. g4 {The game's novelty, and a late one. The position had been reached three times in past GM games and they all ended in a draw. Carlsen (or, to be more precise, Carlsen's team) must have figured out that 24.g4 allowed him to retain some pressure.} Nd6 {Played after a five minute think, maybe Anand was recalling his preparation, but from the amount of time he was taking on his moves it is possible he was already making them up over the board. Carlsen, on the other hand, looked confident and played every move after a one or two minute think.} 25. Rh7 Nf7 (25... Bf7 {Is a little too passive. White has more than enough compensation after} 26. Ne3 $1 Rg8 (26... Kf8 27. Bxd6+ cxd6 28. Nf5 $14) 27. Bxd6 cxd6 28. Nf5 $16) 26. Ne3 {White's pressure is annoying. He controls the seventh rank which forces Black to keep the h7 rook out of the queenside with his knight on f7, paralyzing it. The c7 pawn is weak and has to be defended from the bishop on f4. The rook on g6 is inactive and the bishop on e6 has no targets now that it has chowed down the a2 pawn. And yet, Anand has good reasons to believe he will be ok.} Kd8 (26... Ke7 27. Bxc7 Rh6 28. Rg7 (28. Rxh6 Nxh6 {looks slightly uncomfortable for Black, but may be defensible.}) 28... Kf8 $1 $17) 27. Nf5 c5 (27... Bxf5 28. gxf5 {leaves the knight on f7 hanging.}) 28. Ng3 {Carlsen played up to this point only taking two minutes per move at the most. After 28.Ng3 Anand tanked for almost half an hour trying to figure out the position!} Ne5 (28... b6 29. Nh5 {Keeps enormous pressure.}) (28... Kd7 29. Nh5 Kc6 30. Bd2 $5 {preparing a fork on f4 also looks uncomfortable.}) (28... c4 29. Ne4 a6 30. Nc5 Bd5 31. Nxb7+ $1 $16) 29. Rh8+ { And now it was Carlsen's turn to think. He thought for about 25 minutes before he decided to go for this check. He also had a very real alternative in taking on e5.} (29. Bxe5 fxe5 30. Ne4 (30. Rh5 Bxg4 (30... Rf6 31. Ke3 Bd5 32. Ne4 Bxe4 33. Kxe4 Rf4+ 34. Ke3 Rb4 35. Rxe5 {and White's passers definitely look more dangerous than Black's.}) 31. fxg4 Rxg4 32. Rxe5 {is again similar to the game.}) 30... Bxg4 (30... Bd5 $6 {any variation that does not involve taking on g4 looks too risky.} 31. Nxc5 Bc6 32. g5 $1 $16) (30... b6 31. Rh5 Bxg4 32. fxg4 Rxg4 33. Rxe5 {is similar to the game.}) 31. fxg4 Rxg4 32. Nxc5 Rc4 33. Ne6+ Kc8 34. c3 {is a much worse version of the sacrifice in the game.}) 29... Rg8 (29... Kd7 30. Ne4 (30. Rh5 $5 {not letting Black take on g4.} Nxf3 $2 31. Rh7+ $18) 30... b6 (30... Kc6 31. Bxe5 fxe5 32. Rh5 $1 $16 {White's pieces dominate and his position will soon force Black to sacrifice on g4.}) 31. Nxf6+ Rxf6 32. Bxe5 $16) 30. Bxe5 fxe5 31. Rh5 Bxg4 $1 {I think this is the best practical decision that Anand could have taken. The endgames in which he was not allowed to sacrifice his bishop already looked dangerous at best.} ( 31... Rf8 32. Ke3 Bd5 33. Ne4 Bxe4 34. Kxe4 Rf4+ 35. Ke3 Rb4 36. Rxe5 Rxb2 37. Rxc5 b6 38. Rc3 {and White should win the pawn race, making Black's position lost.}) 32. fxg4 Rxg4 33. Rxe5 {A fascinating endgame. I had the pleasure of doing live commentary for this game with super-GM Loek Van Wely, and we both had the feeling there should be a way to crack Black's defense, but we never found one! Somehow Black kept finding interesting resources that just barely drew; most of which involved counterplay and trying to trade off the pawns on the queenside, even at the cost of all of Black's remaining pawns. Nepomniachtchi mentioned in the live broadcast that he thought this should be a draw.} b6 (33... Rb4 34. b3 b6 (34... c4 35. Re4) 35. Ne2 a5 36. Nc3 c4 37. Na2 cxb3 38. Nxb4) 34. Ne4 Rh4 35. Ke2 Rh6 36. b3 Kd7 37. Kd2 Kc6 38. Nc3 a6 39. Re4 Rh2+ 40. Kc1 Rh1+ 41. Kb2 Rh6 {You could say we have reached the starting point. The question here is how Carlsen will attempt to make progress. It seems that Black's only weakness is his pawn on c7, and he must target that. A rook trade is fatal for Black, so he must avoid it unless White's king is so far away that the knight and pawn endgame can be calculated to a draw. This logically means that the knight must attack c7, so d5 is a prime candidate, but things are not so easy.} 42. Nd1 Rg6 43. Ne3 Rh6 44. Re7 Rh2 (44... Rf6 $2 {Anand always had to be careful of falling for a fork.} 45. Rxc7+ Kxc7 46. Nd5+ ) 45. Re6+ Kb7 46. Kc3 (46. Nd5 Rd2 {doesn't help White.}) 46... Rh4 47. Kb2 Rh2 48. Nd5 (48. Ng4 Rg2 49. Ne5 {Putting the knight on e5 was an idea we toyed around for a while, but it did not lead anywhere.} Rh2 50. Nd3 Rh5 51. c4 Rh2+ 52. Kc3 Rh5 53. Re3 Rh2 54. Nf4 Rh4 55. Rf3 Rg4 56. Nd5 b5 {and as much as we tried we could not break down Black's position.}) 48... Rd2 49. Nf6 Rf2 50. Kc3 Rf4 51. Ne4 Rh4 52. Nf2 Rh2 53. Rf6 Rh7 54. Nd3 Rh3 55. Kd2 Rh2+ 56. Rf2 Rh4 57. c4 {Finally White commits to c4. This locks down Black's queenside and creates a stronghold for the knight on d5. Anand has two choices, he can continue without moving (by passing with his rook) or he can try to set up a c6 and b5 structure to hold.} Rh3 58. Kc2 Rh7 59. Nb2 Rh5 $1 {This move signifies the start of Anand's commitment to play b5 and c6. This particular structure will leave c5 very weak, which is why the rook is now needed on the fifth rank.} 60. Re2 (60. Na4 b5 61. Nc3 Rh4 62. cxb5 axb5 63. Nxb5 c4) 60... Rg5 61. Nd1 (61. Na4 b5 62. Nc3 c6 63. Ne4 Rh5 64. Nf6 Rf5 65. Re7+ {We had reached this in analysis before Carlsen played 61.Nd1. It is strikingly similar to the line that was played in the game, but with the rook on f5 things change! } Kb6 66. Nd7+ Ka5 (66... Kc7 $1 67. Rh7 Kd6 68. Nb6 Rf2+ {and although we also tried this position for some time, we could not win.}) 67. Ne5 $18 Kb4 68. Nd3+ {and the fact that the knight here controls f2 is of paramount importance. } Ka3 69. Ra7 $18) 61... b5 62. Nc3 c6 63. Ne4 Rh5 64. Nf6 Rg5 (64... Rh4 $5 { Another way of defending.} 65. Re7+ Kb6 66. Re4 Rh2+ 67. Kd3 (67. Kd1 Rh1+) 67... Rh3+ 68. Re3 Rxe3+ $11) (64... Rf5 {was also good.}) 65. Re7+ Kb6 66. Nd7+ Ka5 (66... Kc7 67. Nxc5+ Kd6 68. Ne4+ {does not work here!}) 67. Re4 (67. Ne5 Kb4 $1 68. Nd3+ (68. Nxc6+ Ka3 $11 {White's pieces are so awkward and the king is so exposed to checks on the ranks that it does not seem possible for him to win! What a surprising turn of events.}) 68... Ka3 69. Ra7 Rg2+ $11) 67... Rg2+ 68. Kc1 Rg1+ 69. Kd2 Rg2+ 70. Ke1 bxc4 $1 {Very well calculated by Anand. He realizes that with White's king on e1 this move exactly works and he can draw comfortably.} 71. Rxc4 (71. bxc4 Kb4 {is pretty obviously drawn. Black just needs to push the a-pawn.}) 71... Rg3 72. Nxc5 (72. Rxc5+ Kb4 73. Rxc6 Kxb3 {leads to a knight and pawn endgame that is drawn, and it was basically what happened in the game after a longer process.}) 72... Kb5 73. Rc2 a5 {White's pieces are completley paralyzed. With b3 being the only pawn remaining there is no way to untangle the queenside. The king cannot approach the b3 pawn to defend it and thus it is doomed to fall.} 74. Kf2 (74. Kd1 Rg1+ 75. Kd2 Rg2+ $11) 74... Rh3 75. Rc1 Kb4 76. Ke2 Rc3 77. Nd3+ Kxb3 78. Ra1 Kc4 79. Nf2 {Carlsen goes for a position in which he can hope to win the pawns and then go into a drawn rook and knight endgame, but one in which he can torture Anand. The rest of the game needs no commentary, Anand held comfortably.} Kb5 80. Rb1+ Kc4 81. Ne4 Ra3 82. Nd2+ Kd5 83. Rh1 a4 84. Rh5+ Kd4 85. Rh4+ Kc5 86. Kd1 Kb5 87. Kc2 Rg3 88. Ne4 Rg2+ 89. Kd3 a3 90. Nc3+ Kb6 91. Ra4 a2 92. Nxa2 Rg3+ 93. Kc2 Rg2+ 94. Kb3 Rg3+ 95. Nc3 Rh3 96. Rb4+ Kc7 97. Rg4 Rh7 98. Kc4 Rf7 99. Rg5 Kb6 100. Na4+ Kc7 101. Kc5 Kd7 102. Kb6 Rf1 103. Nc5+ Ke7 104. Kxc6 { With the last pawn captured White has until move 154 to checkmate his opponent. The clock starts ticking.} Rd1 105. Rg6 Kf7 106. Rh6 Rg1 107. Kd5 Rg5+ 108. Kd4 Rg6 109. Rh1 Rg2 110. Ne4 Ra2 111. Rf1+ Ke7 112. Nc3 Rh2 113. Nd5+ Kd6 114. Rf6+ Kd7 115. Nf4 Rh1 116. Rg6 Rd1+ 117. Nd3 Ke7 118. Ra6 Kd7 119. Ke4 Ke7 120. Rc6 Kd7 {Clearly White has made no progress and he calls it a day.} 121. Rc1 Rxc1 122. Nxc1 1/2-1/2


Komodo! The recently released engine claimed that on move 67 the game was already drawn!
Stockfish, even at a higher depth, gave White some winning chances.

Carlsen trying to torture Anand from a very unique pose

At the end of the day it was a hard fought draw

This draw was absolutely instrumental for Anand. It would have been a gargantuan task to lose two games in a row and come back from a two game deficit with only five games to go. As it is the Indian player will have three Whites in the last five games, and although he would like to win tomorrow, he can still think of not losing with Black and keep his three Whites to attempt at another win.

The match is still in Carlsen's hands, but Anand keeps fighting, he keeps finding resources and he is not about to give up. Tomorrow will see Anand try to come back with a vengeance!


M. Carlsen 2863
V. Anand 2792

Summary of the game in Hindi by Niklesh Jain

राउंड 7 – आनंद का शानदार बचाव , पर कार्लसन की बढ़त बरकरार 4-3 से आंगे

आज तो विश्व चैंपियनशिप के सबसे रोमांचक मैच की उम्मीद थी और ऐसा हुआ भी एक अनिर्णीत मैच भी कितना रोमांचक हो सकता है आज एक बार फिर देखने को मिला । 122 चालो तक तकनीक , रक्षात्मक खेल ,और साथ ही साथ जीतने की हरसंभव प्रयास का अविस्मरणीय नमूना था आज का मैच , एक और जंहा आनंद ने पिछले मैच की गल्ती से उबरकर अपने जबरजस्त रक्षात्मक खेल से खेल को बराबर पर रोक लिया वंही कार्लसन के झुझारूपन ने सभी का मन एक बार फिर मोह लिया ।

जीतने के लिए खेलने की उनकी आदत और समझ उन्हे एक अलग ही स्तर पर खड़ा कर देती है । आनंद भी आज काफी उम्दा नजर आए वो तेज तो खेले पर आज उन्होने अपने रक्षात्मक पकड़ को पुनः साबित किया । आज खेल एक बार फिर बर्लिन ओपेनिंग से शुरू हुआ जल्द ही वजीर की अद्ला बदली से ये साफ हो गया था की खेल एक बार फिर एंडगेम की और बढ़ेगा और इस बार आनंद ने अपने मोहरो के खेलने को ज्यादा तरजीह दी ।यह मैच विश्व चैंपियनशिप के इतिहास का दूसरा सबसे लंबा मैच साबित हुआ इससे पहले कार्पोव और कोर्चनाई के बीच इससे पहले 124 मूव तक मुक़ाबला चला था

अगले पाँच में से 3 मैच आनंद सफ़ेद मोहरो से खेलेंगे इसका मतलब बेहद साफ है आनंद को किसी भी हाल में सफ़ेद मोहरो से जीत दर्ज करनी ही होगी । आज के ड्रॉ ने आनंद की उम्मीद अब भी बनाए रखी है देखना होगा आनंद की तैयारी काम आती है या कार्लसन की अनजान परिस्थिति में भी बेहतरीन खेलने की क्षमता । आज का मैच आनंद के ऊंट के बलिदान ओर शानदार बचाव के लिए जाना जाएगा की उम्मीद बरकरार है देखते है कल खेल किसी दिशा में आगें बढ़ता है ॥ आपका निकलेश जैन

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Monday 17.11.2014 Round 7 Simon Williams, Loek van Wely, Alejandro Ramirez
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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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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