Sochi WCh G2: A day to remember

by Albert Silver
11/10/2014 – November 9 was a day of anniversaries and birthdays, large and small, and was almost incidentally the day of the second game of the world championship match. Around the world, it represents the 25th anniversary of a world made whole, while for chess players it is also the day when, 29 years earlier, Garry Kasparov became the youngest world champion in history.

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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

International times for your location

A day to remember

November 9 was and is a day to remember, a day to celebrate. Round two of the world championship match was played on it, and while the chess world was entirely caught up in the mundane questions of opening choice, and how the game would proceed, the world at large was celebrating the much grander 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Germans celebrate the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989

It was all anyone could talk about, a surreal dream no one could quite believe had happened

It is impossible to overstate the symbolic importance of this, as the Wall had become the number one icon representing a world divided in two, and its fall set forth a chain of events that led to the end of the Cold War that had gripped it.

That said, chess fans would have a further reason to remember this day, and most especially the great Garry Kasparov. Exactly 29 years before, on November 9, 1985, Garry Kasparov won the 24th game of his historic match against Anatoly Karpov, winning the match with a score of 13-11 and crowning himself the 13th World Champion, and the youngest in history at the age of 22.

On November 9, 1985, Garry Kasparov became the youngest World
Champion in history at age 22, breaking Tal's record after more than
20 years

The revered Latvian genius Mikhail Tal was also born on November 9
in 1936

There was a final significance to the date of November 9, one that held special significance only to the Carlsens, which will be revealed at the end.

Game two

The second game of the match almost immediately made spectators think there might be an unspoken design to pay homage to the date with the shadow of the Berlin appearing on the board in the first moves.

Vishy's choice of 1...e5 led to some consternation as the pundits had hoped to see a sharper
choice with 1...c5

Nevertheless, the shadow the Berlin has cast is so fierce, that many
players shy away from 1.e4 for that reason alone

Magnus chose an Anti-Berlin line he had clearly prepared for the match
and quickly took the game away from the known theoretical paths with
the quite surprising 7.Bxc6!?

Top grandmasters chimed in on the decision

On Playchess, grandmaster commentators Simon Williams and Nicolas Pert also provided
lengthy analysis and discussion of the moves and the game, and were equally surprised

The position had started to look fairly inocuous, despite all the pieces still on the board...

...until Magnus unleashed the startling 14.Ra3! injecting life and imbalance.

The threat of an attack began to appear and it was unclear how real or threatening this was

The spectators, without the benefit of GMs whispering their advice, or engines telling them
what to think, were mesmerized

Magnus began to dominate the position

The threats were real and Vishy's equanimity was shattered as he showed signs of concern

In this position, Magnus played 20.h4! a strong move by all means,
but after several minutes the engines began to favor the astonishing
possibility 20.Bh6!? Even they did not seem to have a clear evaluation
and the line does require a full rook sac at the start with 20...gxh6
21.Rxg6! A missed masterpiece?

News of the position's development spread and suddenly everyone was watching

Black tried to release the pressure with some exchanges, but instead found himself overwhelmed
by a double rook and queen battery on the center file that left him gasping for air

In the end it turned out to be too much and he cracked under the pressure and blundered

It is not quite back to the drawing board, but deliberately opting into a long strategic struggle
does not seem the best approach

It was a media frenzy after the game to record the moments after the first blow. Magnus was
asked whether he had won the game as a birthday present to his father, but he was forced to
admit he had not even considered the possibility. 

The news was covered everywhere, and outlets such as the Washington Times or
Business Insider carried the story

Anand will have a day off to recover and he has his loved ones for support (photo by Vladimir Barsky)


M. Carlsen 2863
V. Anand 2792

Live commentary on Playchess

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.


Tuesday 11.11.2014 Round 3 Daniel King, Loek van Wely
Wednesday 12.11.2014 Round 4 Daniel King, Rustam Kasimdzhanov
Thursday 13.11.2014 Rest day  
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

All premium members have free access to the live commentary.

English commentators for game three

Loek van Wely: Several times Dutch champion and quick-witted chess commentator.
Daniel King: Well known, popular, experienced, and very good. Author of many Fritztrainer DVDs

Schedule of live commentary, TV shows, training and tournaments is Europe's largest chess server, as well as being the official server of the German Chess Federation. More than 4,000 players are logged on every evening, and you can play, chat, watch grandmaster games or take part in free chess training with friends from anywhere in the world. There is even a special room for beginners and hobby players where you can play games without a clock.

Get your Playchess membership intantly – or try it out with a single mouse click

Live commentary on Playchess is also available in other languages:


  • Klaus Bischoff: German Champion and Anchor of the German chess commentary on Playchess
  • Oliver Reeh: Also known as "Tactics Reeh" for his regular column in the ChessBase magazine and the ChessBase website
  • Dr. Karsten Müller: Graduated mathematician and chess grandmaster. His works on the endgame changed endgame training completely.
  • Thomas Luther: Several times German champion. Active in the FIDE commission for the handicapped.
  • Merijn van Delft: From the Dutch dynasty of the van Delfts. Lives in Hambug and in Holland.
  • Yannick Pelletier: Several times Swiss champion. With a linguistic gift he can provide commentary in a number of languages.
  • Markus Ragger: Grandmaster and Austria's number one.
  • Harald Schneider-Zinner: Chess trainer and moderator of ChessBase TV Austria.


  • Christian Bauer: Grandmaster, several time French Champion and member of the French national team.
  • Fabien Libiszewski: International Master and member of the French national team.
  • Romain Edouard: Grandmaster, European Junior Champion and Vice-World Junior Champion, member of the French national team.
  • Sebastien Mazé: Grandmaster and French national coaach


  • Ana Matnadze, Marc Narcisco, Sergio Estremera 



The games are being broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server If you are not a member you can download a free Playchess client there and get immediate access. You can also use ChessBase 12 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.

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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