World Championship 01: First fight, first draw

by Alejandro Ramirez
11/8/2014 – A hard-fought draw kicks off the match in Sochi. Anand was the one that came in with guns blazing, ruining his pawn structure for activity and a bind on e6. Carlsen slowly pushed it back and eventually it was Black that found himself with the initiative, attacking White's pawn structure on the kingside and the weak king on a1. Alas, it was insufficient. Round one analysis!

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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 One

A psychologically difficult to assess game! With Anand coming out with an interesting idea in the Grunfeld, it seemed as if the Indian would start to build up some pressure against the World Champion.

However it was far from simple: Carlsen showed incredible resilience in his defense and slowly he gained ground against Anand's blockade. When it was lifted, the resulting heavy piece endgame was incredibly unpleasant for White. The pawns on f4 and h2 were targets while the king on the corner was far from safe.

Anand started with a big time advantage on the first time control,
but that all changed when the major piece endgame was reached.

Anand trying to defend a difficult position

Carlsen striking his familiar pose when trying to grind down endgames

[Event "WCh 2014"] [Site "Sochi RUS"] [Date "2014.11.08"] [Round "1"] [White "Anand, V."] [Black "Carlsen, M."] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "D85"] [WhiteElo "2792"] [BlackElo "2863"] [Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez,Alejandro"] [PlyCount "95"] [EventDate "2014.11.08"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 $5 {The Grunfeld must be one of the most popular ways of meeting 1.d4 at the top level of chess; however it is not part of the World Champion's common repertoire. It is clear that Carlsen is bringing new things to the table and Anand's team will have to adapt quickly.} 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. Bd2 {In the face of an opening that he did not expect, Anand decides to play a variation that is relatively quiet and is far from being a theoretical duel.} Bg7 6. e4 Nxc3 7. Bxc3 O-O 8. Qd2 {This type of Grunfeld focuses on holding the central tension without committing White's pawn to c3, which leaves it vulnerable to the pressure from the g7 bishop. In this case White will rely on his pieces to support his d4 and e4 pawns.} Nc6 {Carlsen played this relatively quickly, but it is a rare line.} (8... c5 {has been seen in many grandmaster games.} 9. d5 e6 10. Bc4 {was the very recent Tomashevsky-Kasimdzhanov from the Grand Prix last month.}) 9. Nf3 {After this move Carlsen went on a 15 minute think. Interestingly, Carlsen this time around has already revealed that his seconds are "the Dane and the Hammer" referring to Nielsen and Hammer. However, many speculated that maybe Nepomniachtchi would help Carlsen, and this line has been played by the Russian player recently.} (9. Ne2 {is also possible but it blocks the development of the f1-bishop.}) 9... Bg4 10. d5 Bxf3 11. Bxg7 {This is a novelty already.} (11. gxf3 Ne5 12. Be2 c6 {Moiseenko-Nepomniachtchi, 0-1 August 2014.}) 11... Kxg7 12. gxf3 Ne5 13. O-O-O c6 (13... Nxf3 $2 {Drops a kn ight.} 14. Qc3+) 14. Qc3 f6 15. Bh3 cxd5 16. exd5 $1 {Anand ruins his structure! To compensate this he now has a strong hold over e6 and will be able to kick out Black's knight from e5. For Black, he will be able to reroute this knight somewhere else that is useful and his structure remains very solid. } (16. Rxd5 Qb6 $17 {starts looking bad for White. His control of the d-file is worthless as long as the knight is stable on e5, since it guards d7. Kicking out t he knight is not an option.} 17. f4 $2 e6 $1 {And the strong threat is Rac8. Black would already be winning.}) 16... Nf7 17. f4 Qd6 { Black's blockade on the dark-squres is keeping his position together. There is no easy way to penetrate and Black will create counterplay if left alone. The idea of pushing the a-pawn down the ranks comes to mind.} 18. Qd4 {A fascinating strategical game. White has a clear clamp on the position, but on the long-term he is worse because of his ruined pawn structure. Practically speaking it seems as if White has the easier time finding moves, but by no means do I think Black is objectively worse. Carlsen whos great resilience in finding passive but solid moves.} Rad8 19. Be6 Qb6 $1 {I like this plan. Anand can now go into an endgame, but that seems counter-intuitive.} 20. Qd2 $6 { This might be turning point. The concession seems natural; give up the good position of the queen on d4 to avoid the queen trade. However It seems that after this White has no good way of continuing.} (20. Qxb6 axb6 21. Kb1 {Even though this might still be far from an advantage, the possibility of quickly going to c7 with the rook and the passive position of the black rooks allow White to have some chances to create problems.} Nd6 22. Rc1 f5 $1 23. Rc7 Kf6 24. Bd7 $1 Ne4 25. Rxb7 {is only slightly unpleasant for Black.}) 20... Rd6 21. Rhe1 (21. Kb1 Nd8 22. Bg4 Nc6 $5 (22... e6 23. Bf3 exd5 24. h4 $5 {This kind of computer idea is hard to play over the board. It is, at least immediately, not c lear to me why White has enough compensation for the pawn. There is some initiative on the queenside but Black's position does look solid.}) 23. h4 Nb4 24. Bf3 Rc8 $132) 21... Nd8 22. f5 Nxe6 23. Rxe6 {Despite White's bind on the e6 square, it is Black that is now better. As soon as he solidifies his e7 pawn he can start working on grinding down White's structure.} Qc7+ (23... Rxe6 24. fxe6 Rc8+ 25. Kb1 Qd6 {is also rather appealing, but it does seem that Black might run out of ideas if the blockade must be preserved.}) 24. Kb1 Rc8 $6 {perhaps letting White establish a rook on e6 is not a good way to push for any advantage.} 25. Rde1 Rxe6 26. Rxe6 Rd8 27. Qe3 Rd7 28. d6 $1 {A tactical way of getting rid of his weakness. Anand is v ery close to equalizing.} exd6 29. Qd4 Rf7 30. fxg6 hxg6 31. Rxd6 {White's structure on f2 and h2 is still somewhat weak, but with his piece activity it does seem as if he should hold comfortably.} a6 32. a3 Qa5 33. f4 {Despite the computer's approval of this move, it is somewhat strange. Why push the f-pawn instead of the h-pawn?} (33. h4 Qf5+ 34. Ka2 Qe5 {perhaps Anand didn't want to deal with another rook endgame, considering how haunted by them he was last year...} 35. Qxe5 fxe5 36. Re6 $11) 33... Qh5 34. Qd2 Qc5 35. Rd5 Qc4 36. Rd7 Qc6 (36... Rxd7 37. Qxd7+ Qf7 {would force the queen to permanently defend the second rank, leaving it as a simple draw.}) 37. Rd6 (37. Rxf7+ Kxf7 38. Qe3 a5 $1 {This would be what we have been calling a "Carlsen position". With the weak structure on the kingside Black has some chances of making progress by bringing in the king, as long as there is no perpetual, but of course with perfect play it should be drawn.}) 37... Qe4+ 38. Ka2 Re7 39. Qc1 a5 {White has no way to improve so Black tightens the noose around White's king ever so slightly. This doesn't have a particular threat in mind, it is simply improving Black's chances.} 40. Qf1 a4 {With time control reached it is clear that the position is nothing but unpleasant for White. He is now passive, has to defend f4, and his king doesn't feel very comfortable.} 41. Rd1 Qc2 42. Rd4 {Black has to set-up some kind of lethal threat to make progress. The main thing is that if he can create real problems to the White king, White might run out of resources to defend both the king and the pawns on the kingside.} Re2 $6 (42... Re3 {The commentary team was very worried about this move appearing on the board. 43... Rxa3+! is a lethal threat.} 43. Qd1 (43. Rd7+ Kf8 44. Rxb7 Rb3 45. Rxb3 axb3+ 46. Ka1 Qxh2 {White's badly placed king and the need to keep the queen on the first rank (or at lest protect the checkmate threats on the first rank) make this an incredibly unpleasant endgame that might just be lost.} 47. Qd1 $1 { immediately threateining perpetuals.} (47. Qd3 Qh1+ 48. Qb1 Qf3 49. Qxg6 Qxf4) 47... Qh3 $1 {A hard move to find, especially from far away.} (47... Qxf4 48. Qd8+ Kg7 49. Qd7+ Kh6 50. Qh3+ Kg5 51. Qxb3 $11) 48. a4 Kg7 49. a5 Qe6 $1 50. Kb1 $1 Qe4+ 51. Kc1 Qxf4+ 52. Qd2 Qf1+ 53. Qd1 Qc4+ 54. Kd2 Qd4+ 55. Ke1 Qe5+ 56. Kf1 Qxb2 57. Qd7+ Kh6 58. Qh3+ Kg5 59. Qe3+ Kf5 60. Qf3+ Ke6 61. Qg4+ Kd6 62. Qf4+ Kd7 63. Qg4+ f5 64. Qa4+ Ke6 65. Qc6+ Ke5 66. Qc7+ Ke4 67. Qc6+ Kd3 68. Qb5+ Kc2 69. Qe2+ Kb1 {And Black has finally run away from the checks.}) 43... Qxd1 44. Rxd1 Rb3 {is very unpleasant as Black's king will march in and once b5 is played the queenside is locked down.}) 43. Rb4 {Now White's defensive set-up also includes pressure against the b7 pawn. Black cannot be careless with his own king.} b5 {Paralyzing White's position, but Anand still has an important resource.} 44. Qh1 $1 {Incredibly important! Now Black's king is under threats of a perpetual.} Re7 45. Qd5 Re1 46. Qd7+ Kh6 47. Qh3+ Kg7 48. Qd7+ 1/2-1/2

Daniel King shows the endgame of round 1

If there were any real winning chances, it was with the move 42...Re3.

Anand was asked if he mixed up the move order during the game, as 0-0-0 is unusual. He tried to avoid the question by saying he could not really comment on such a thing during the match, but at the end he admitted that it was definitely not a mix-up.

Carlsen did not seem to think he had a win during the press conference

The press conference was relatively short and sweet

Anand survives the difficult endgame, but on the other hand he should never had gotten into so much trouble tomorrow. The match proves it will be very hard-fought yet again, but many say that Anand needs to strike as soon as possible.


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.

Round report in Hindi by Niklesh Jain

विश्व शतरंज चैंपियनशिप प्रारम्भ- राउंड 1 बराबर पर छूटा मुक़ाबला

एक बार फिर विश्व शतरंज का सिरमौर बनने की जंग शुरू हो चुकी है । खिलाड़ी लगातार दूसरी बार वही है पर बाजी अब चेन्नई भारत में नहीं सोची रूस में खेली जा रही है। पाँच बार के विश्व चैम्पियन भारत के विश्वनाथन आनंद जो पिछले वर्ष अपने खिताब को नहीं बचा पाये थे पिछले एक साल के अपने बेहतरीन प्रदर्शन के कारण मौजूदा विश्व चैम्पियन नार्वे के मेगनस कार्लसन को चुनौती दे रहे है  आज के मैच में आनंद ने सफ़ेद मोहरो से खेलते हुए अपने वजीर की पैदल दो घर चलकर खेल की शुरुआत की और अगली ही कुछ चालों में मैच एंटी बर्लिन डिफेंस में पहुँच गया । 11 वी चाल में आनंद ने वजीर की पैदल पांचवे घर पर आगे बढ़ी और दोनों के काले खाने के ऊंट और कार्लसन के सफ़ेद खाने के ऊंट और आनंद के घोड़े की अदला बदली के साथ ही खेल आनंद के सफ़ेद खाने के ऊंट और कार्लसन के घोड़े के आसपास ही निर्भर होना तय हो गया था जंहा आनंद की अलग अलग पैदल उनकी कमजोरी थी तो कार्लसन को कमजोर e6 खाना आनंद के ऊंट को बेहतर खेल दे रहा था । 22वी चाल में कार्लसन ने अपने घोड़े से आनंद के ऊंट को बदलते हुए मैच वजीर और हाथी के एंडगेम की और मोड दिया और दोनों तरफ की कमजोरियों को देखते हुए खेल लगभग ड्रॉ नजर आने लगा था हालाँकि कार्लसन थोड़ा बेहतर स्थिति में नजर आ रहे थे पर आनंद मैच को बराबरी पर रोकने में सफल रहे अब देखना ये होगा की दोनों मे से कौन पहली जीत दर्ज करता है ।

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
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
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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
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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