Sochi G9: A quick draw tightens the noose

by Albert Silver
11/20/2014 – While the fans will have been disappointed to see a quick draw in game nine with Carlsen playing white, it will have been much less surprising for the experts. At this point, match strategy is the reigning factor, and with three games left at most, and a one point lead, it is up to the challenger to find a way to make a fight of it with an uncooperative opponent. Report and commentary.

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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 nine

In pugilism or martial arts, a fighter who deliberately avoids fighting can and will be warned or even penalized, and though chess now has a few of its own safeguards, this is a World Championship match, and the rules change. Why do they change? Essentially because of the stakes, and because match play and strategy are a very different beast.

With four games left, and now three after today's encounter, the pressure is on Vishy Anand to force the issue and fight for a win. Magnus Carlsen has justly earned a reputation for fighting and playing on even when there is nothing to gain, such as his famous game against Levon Aronian in the 2013 Sinquefield Cup, so match logic was still left open. In the aformentioned game, a draw by Magnus against Levon would clinch sole first, yet instead of being content to secure the result, he had pressed on and eventually won. A brave and admirable choice, but it must be said that aside from a couple of Elo points, he had everything to lose and nothing to gain.

Magnus Carlsen carefully weighed his options before deciding how to proceed

In Game Nine, Magnus showed maturity or good sense (take your pick) and lay down his cards by following a well-known game by Leinier Dominguez-Ruslan Ponomariov played in 2012, allowing Anand to enter the mainline of the Berlin. They mirrored the moves until move thirteen, and only two moves later the World Champion set the stage for a repetition, which he promptly seized.

Vishy Anand grimaced as he saw what was coming

Daniel King shows how game 9 ended in a draw

[Event "World Chess Championship 2014"] [Site "Sochi"] [Date "2014.11.20"] [Round "9"] [White "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Black "Anand, Viswanathan"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C67"] [WhiteElo "2863"] [BlackElo "2792"] [PlyCount "39"] [EventDate "2014.??.??"] [EventCountry "RUS"] [TimeControl "40/7200:20/3600:900+30"] 1. e4 {3} e5 {7} 2. Nf3 {6} Nc6 {5} 3. Bb5 {9} Nf6 {6} 4. O-O {9} Nxe4 {5} 5. d4 {5} Nd6 {6} 6. Bxc6 {7} dxc6 {6} 7. dxe5 {20} Nf5 {7} 8. Qxd8+ {8} Kxd8 {6} 9. h3 {6} Ke8 {10} 10. Nc3 {7} h5 {9} 11. Ne2 {37} b6 {59} 12. Rd1 {283} Ba6 { 170} 13. Nf4 {815} Bb7 {368} (13... Rd8 14. Bd2 Nd4 15. Nxd4 Rxd4 16. a4 Bc8 17. a5 a6 18. Be3 Rxd1+ 19. Rxd1 b5 20. Nd3 Be7 21. Bc5 Bd8 22. Nb4 Rh6 23. f4 f5 24. c3 Bh4 25. Rd3 Rg6 26. Kh2 Bb7 27. Nc2 Bc8 28. g3 Bd8 29. h4 Be6 30. Nb4 Bc8 31. Rd2 Bb7 32. Rd1 Bc8 33. Rh1 Bb7 34. Kg2 Be7 35. Nd3 Bd8 36. Kf2 Rh6 37. Re1 Bc8 38. Nb4 Kf7 39. Rd1 Ke8 40. Re1 Kf7 41. Re3 Rg6 42. Ke2 Rh6 43. Kd2 Rg6 44. b3 Rh6 45. c4 Rg6 46. Kc3 Rh6 47. Nc2 Re6 48. Nd4 Re8 49. Rd3 bxc4 50. bxc4 Bd7 51. Re3 Be7 52. Bxe7 Kxe7 53. e6 Bc8 54. Kb4 Kf6 55. Kc5 Bb7 56. Nxc6 g6 57. e7 Ba8 58. Re5 Bb7 59. Nd8 Bg2 60. Nc6 Kf7 61. Nb4 Rxe7 62. Rxe7+ Kxe7 63. Nxa6 Kd8 64. Nb4 Ba8 65. Nc6+ Kc8 66. a6 {1-0 (66) Dominguez Perez,L (2726) -Ponomariov,R (2741) Leon 2012}) 14. e6 {960} Bd6 {80} ({With hindsight one might be tempted to argue that here Black should have deviated with something like} 14... fxe6 15. Ng6 Rg8 16. Bf4 {but it looks quite dreadful and could only favor White. If there was a plan to duke it out, the decision came earlier.}) 15. exf7+ {608} Kxf7 {16} 16. Ng5+ {12} Kf6 {16} 17. Ne4+ {10} Kf7 { 7} 18. Ng5+ {92} Kf6 {50} 19. Ne4+ {12} Kf7 {13} 20. Ng5+ {6} 1/2-1/2


There are only three games left, with two whites for the Challenger, including the last game if needed, and the Indian will need to show what he has in store against an opponent who refuses to cooperate to give him chances for a fight. In a way, it is a question that has never really been answered: Magnus is known for his tireless fighting spirit, but if he won't play ball, how successfully can you force the issue? It is the question Team Anand will need to address in the final games, and it promises some fascinating bouts.

Carlsen was quite unimpressed if this was the preparation to 'create chances to play for a win'

Garry Kasparov warned against getting too comfortable

Although game ten will be played tomorrow, the two games thereafter will be separated by rest days each, instead of only after every two rounds, allowing the best preparation possible for the decision.


M. Carlsen 2863
V. Anand 2792

Summary of the round provided by Niklesh Jain in Hindi for Indian visitors

विश्व शतरंज चैंपियनशिप – नवां मैच 20 चालों में ड्रॉ कार्लसन 5-4 से आंगे

पिछली विश्व चैंपियनशिप में नवां मैच जंहा सबसे रोमांचक मैच  साबित हुआ था उसके विपरीत आज का मैच अब तक का सबसे जल्द खत्म होने वाला मैच साबित हो गया । दर्शको के लिए आज का मैच निराशा लेकर आया और सिर्फ 20 चालों में ड्रॉ हो गया और विश्व चैंपियनशिप का सबसे कम चालों का मैच साबित हुआ । कार्लसन ने अपनी एक अंक की बढ़त बरकरार रखी है और उनके हिसाब से उन्हे शायद सफ़ेद मोहरो से और ज्यादा ज़ोर लगाना चाहिए था पर आज आनंद ज्यादा बेहतर तैयारी के साथ थे और उन्हे ड्रॉ करना भी ठीक लगा क्यूंकी वो जितना भी धीरे धीरे 6.5 के करीब जा रहे है उन्हे इसमें कोई बुराई नजर नहीं आ रही है । एक बार फिर बर्लिन ओपेनिंग में मैच खेला गया आनंद ने एक बार फिर वजीर की अदला बदली का रास्ता चुना और अपने किलेबंदी का अधिकार कुर्बान कर दिया । आनंद का सफ़ेद खानो का ऊंट काफी अच्छा नजर आ रहा था साथ ही कार्लसन की e5 पैदल थोड़ा कमजोर थी पर कार्लसन के मोहरे की प्रतिभागिता आनंद से बेहतर थी और लग रहा था की किस तरह कार्लसन अपनी आदत और स्वभाव के अनुसार खेल में दबाव बनाना शुरू करते है खैर आखिरकार अचानक उम्मीद के विपरीत कार्लसन ने पैदल को e6 चलते हुए खेल को आगे ले जाने का एक ऐसा रास्ता चुना जो सीधे तौर पर खेल को ड्रॉ की तरफ ले गया उन्होने अपने घोड़े से लगातार आनंद के राजा को शह देते हुए खेल को बराबरी पर रोक दिया । आनंद ने बाद मे कहा की वो इस ड्रॉ से निराश नहीं है क्यूकी वो काले मोहरो से खेल रहे थे ।

अगले तीन बचे मैच में आनंद दो बार सफ़ेद मोहरो से खेलेंगे और कार्लसन के दिमाग में कंही न कंही दबाव होगा की कंही कोई गलती न हो जाए । अतः यह कहना बेमानी नहीं होगी की आनंद आज के इस मैच के बाद वाकई अपनी संभावनाओं में कुछ सुधार करते नजर आए है । कल का मैच अब शायद सबसे महत्वपूर्ण मैच बन गया है और यह तय करेगा की विश्व विजेता की तरफ कदम कौन मजबूती से आगे बढ़ाता है ।

आपका निकलेश जैन 

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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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Niclas Pert: Grandmaster, trainer, and author of a number of excellent Fritztrainer DVDs.
Loek van Wely: Several times Dutch champion and quick-witted chess commentator.

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Born in the US, he grew up in Paris, France, where he completed his Baccalaureat, and after college moved to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He had a peak rating of 2240 FIDE, and was a key designer of Chess Assistant 6. In 2010 he joined the ChessBase family as an editor and writer at ChessBase News. He is also a passionate photographer with work appearing in numerous publications, and the content creator of the YouTube channel, Chess & Tech.


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