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  A summary of the games.  
  (The official FIDE website for this match ... for however long they keep it up.  
  Click HERE to open/save these games in PGN format; click  HERE  to download the games.)  

In November of 2013, the reigning World Champion (Viswanathan Anand) and his challenger (Magnus Carlsen) faced off in Chennai, India ... to determine who the (new) World Champion would be. 


  1. Game One was a rather nervous, uninspiring affair. Carlsen played 1.Nf3, so the game begins as a Reti/King's Indian Attack. Carlsen - perhaps moving too quickly - lost control of his c4-square and was forced to take a draw by repetition. (16 moves.) For his part, Anand did almost nothing wrong, and almost everything right. Click here to replay this game on the CG website. Click here to see the excellent ChessBase article on this particular game. Click here to see my video on this game.   

  2. Game Two also did not inspire confidence ... in either player, nor did it indicate that either player was in the mood for an all-out fight! (Anand had the White pieces in this game.) It began 1.e4, c6; which is a Caro-Kann Defense. The game continued down the Classical line, [B18]; which has not been seen <regularly> at the World Championship level since the matches between Tigran Petrosian and Boris Spassky. After a promising beginning, the players quickly entered a series of exchanges ... and then quickly agreed to a draw. (This game took even less time to play than the first game did. A repetition was played and a draw agreed in 25 total moves.) Click here to replay this game on the CG website. Click here to see the excellent ChessBase article on this particular game. Click here to see my video on this game.  

  3. Game Three was yet another Reti/King's Indian Attack by Carlsen, and this game was worse and more miserable a failure (as an opening) than the first game. [A07] The game began with the moves: 1.Nf3 d5; 2.g3 g6; 3.c4 dxc4; 4.Qa4+. As far as I could tell, the game was dead equal for the first 9 or 10 moves. But somewhere along the way, Carlsen lost the thread of the position, and was slowly beaten back. White's Queen was driven to the worst square possible, and all the kibitzers were already proclaiming a win for Black. Indeed, Anand missed (or avoided) 29...BxP/b2, with a great advantage for Black. At one point, (around move 35); Black was two Pawns ahead. However, Black's Pawn on d3 was a dead duck, and we still had Queens on, plus both Rooks AND (most importantly) opposite-colored Bishops. A series of exchanges ensued, and it soon became obvious that neither side could avoid the split point, drawn in 51 total moves. (The final position was quite humorous, two Kings and the Bishops, with all the Pawns gone!) Click here to replay this game on the CG website. Click here to see the excellent ChessBase article on this particular game. Click here to see my video on this game.

  4. Game Four was a Ruy Lopez / Spanish game. [C67] Anand played 1.e2-e4, and Carlsen naturally countered with one of his favorite defenses, the Berlin System. For the first 10 or so moves, we followed one of the main lines. However, after 11...Kc8; there are only 4-5 games in the whole CB database. Anand played 18.Ne2, probably thinking that Carlsen could not afford to grab the Pawn on a2. However, this is exactly what Magnus played. Now Black probably had some real winning chances. Anand countered sharply, and to me, it never seemed that White was clearly in danger of losing the game. They played on for some time, eventually getting down to 1 Pawn, two Kings and two Rooks, which is probably just a book draw. (You can go to the Shredder Endgame TB website to verify this.) All-in-all, it was an entertaining, full-blooded struggle, albeit a flawed one. (Drawn in 64 total moves.) Click here to replay this game on the CG website. Click here to see the excellent ChessBase article on this particular game. Click here to see my video on this game.   

  5. Game Five started out 1.c4, (English); but quickly transposed to a Semi-Slav. (The 'normal' move order would be: 1.d4 d5; 2.c4 c6;  3.Nc3 e6; 4.e4.) With 6.Bd2, we could have entered the very sharp lines of the Marshall "Anti-Slav" Gambit. However, perhaps sensing that Anand had something specifically prepared, sidestepped this and instead played 6.Nc3. This leads to lines that are less well known, yet I am sure that this is exactly what Carlsen had intended, as the challenger quickly uncorked his novelty, 10.Qd3. (This was the first time that this move had been used at the GM-level.) After 23.Rhf1, the challenger had exactly the kind of position that he wanted ... a much better ending, where he could grind away on his opponent and wait for a mistake. {Eventually, this is exactly what happened.} Of course, the analysis clearly shows that Anand did not have to lose this game, in fact, he missed many opportunities to draw - and my analysis clearly shows that. In the end, after 58 hard-fought moves, Anand was forced to give up and turn down his King. (GM V. Anand, in the interview after the game, was to call this the critical encounter of the whole match.)  Click here to replay this game on the CG website. Click here to see the excellent ChessBase article on this particular game. Click here to see my video on this game. 

  6. Game Six turned out to be an interesting game, many were expecting a timid draw after the fireworks of the previous day. Once  again Anand began the game with one of his favorite weapons, 1.e2-e4. (Which usually leads to a Ruy Lopez / Spanish Game.) In game four, Anand marched down the main line of the Berlin Defense, lost a Pawn and came close to losing the game. This time, he took no risks and played a line that many GM's have used when playing the White pieces. (1.e4, e5; 2.Nf3, Nc6; 3.Bb5, Nf6; 4.d3, an "Anti-Berlin" system.) Black responded with perhaps one of his most aggressive developments ... (4...Bc5); to which White played 5.c3. After 5...0-0; 6.0-0, Re8; most engines rate the position as already being close to level. After 8.Ba4, the game follows theory until 10.Bg5, which appears to be a theoretical novelty. Carlsen played very precisely to nullify most of White's advantage. Than an ill-advised move by Anand left him with doubled e-pawns. Now Carlsen went to work and slowly ground White down in an amazing ending ... at one point, Carlsen (playing the Black pieces) was two pawns down, but went on to win the game! However, the analysis of this game clearly shows that - with correct play - Anand could have easily drawn this game. (0-1, 67 moves.) Click here to replay this game on the CG website. Click here to see the excellent ChessBase article on this particular game. Click here to see my video on this game. 

  7. As in game six, Game Seven began with Anand having the White pieces. This is because ... for whatever reason, the match agreement stipulated that the colors would "flip" in the middle of the match. (I see it as illogical, and even obscene, however, I obviously had no input as to how the match was set up.) Anand - again - began with 1.e4, and Carlsen - again - countered with the Berlin System. Once more, Anand played the anti-Berlin System of 4.d3. But instead of repeating the opening of game six, Anand played 5.BxN/c6. This was a good attempt to un-balance the game, however ... considering his match situation, down two points ... he also should have prevented just about any reasonable exchange. (Maybe 6.h3!?) After 6.Nbd2, we are following Carlsen-Aronian, 2012 Grand Slam, (final). After 6.Nbd2, we have a little under 100 games in the database, however, after 6...Bg4; that number literally is reduced to around 6-7 games; of which only 3-4 are GM games. After 7.h3, we are probably following M. Adams vs. L. Fressinet; from (the) 2011 Bundesliga. Then after 7...Bh5; 8.Nc4, we would be following the  master-level contest: S. Sjugirov (2641) - P. Maletin (2598); [C65] / RUS Cup final / Khanty-Mansiysk, (R#1.3) / 13,12,2013. (Which of course, happened after the match.) Instead, after 8.Nf1, we are in new territory, the Anand-Carlsen game is the only example that I can find in the database. Carlsen played very accurately to neutralize any edge that Anand might have had. (I wonder how much credit does Carlsen get? Is it enough? Most people recognize that he is a wizard in the endgame, but does anyone realize just how accurate his openings really are?) Anyway, after 12...0-0-0; the game was very close to dead level. Indeed, for the last 10-15 moves, both Fritz and Houdini yield evaluations that are dead level, or " = 0.00." And the game was agreed drawn after 32 moves ... with another repetition of moves about to occur. 
    Click here to replay this game on the CG website. Click here to see the excellent ChessBase article on this particular game. 
    Click here to see my video on this game.  

  8. In Game Eight, we had a small surprise. Carlsen played 1.e2-e4, and Anand responded with 1...e5. Even more surprising, when Carlsen offered the White side of the Ruy Lopez, Anand countered with Carlsen's favorite Berlin Defense. Either this was pure genius or simply desperation ... either way, the resulting Pawn structure quickly became too simplified to give Black any real winning chances. The opening moves were: 1.e4 e5; 2.Nf3 Nc6; 3.Bb5 Nf6; 4.0-0 Nxe4; 5.Re1 Nd6; 6.Nxe5 Be7; 7.Bf1 Nxe5; 8.Rxe5 0-0; 9.d4 Bf6; 10.Re1 Re8; 11.c3 Rxe1; 12.Qxe1. All this is the same as the game, Nakamura-Giri; 2012. (I began a detailed analysis for another website on this game. However, I never got paid, so that analysis was never published.)  Rather than the 'normal' 12...Nf5; or even 12...Qe7; Anand chose the somewhat tame 12...Ne8. While this turned out to be good enough for equality, Black never had even a whisper of a winning chance. By the time the K+P ending rolled around, it became obvious that Anand was not playing "win at all costs," but was simply happy to make a draw. (Drawn, 1/2 in 33 total moves.) Click here to replay this game on the CG website. Click here - or here - to see two articles on the ChessBase website. (There is a free analysis that you can download - by a GM ... so there is no point in my trying to excessively dissect this game.) Click here to see my video on this game.  

  9. In Game Nine, we finally had a real fight, if Black failed to find a perfectly accurate defense, he would be checkmated. Anand (with the White pieces) played 1.d2-d4, and Carlsen (playing Black) responded with a Nimzo-Indian Defense. (1.d4 Nf6; 2.c4 e6; 3.Nc3 Bb4.) Anand, knowing his opponent's reputation for good prep, opted for the somewhat wild and wooly 4.f3. (This line has less theory surrounding it than many others - probably Anand felt that this was his best chance to generate a position that had real winning chances.)  Carlsen responded with a somewhat controversial line, he eventually shoved his Pawn to c4, cramping White and making it hard for the first player to develop his QB. (4...d5; 5.a3 Bxc3+; 6.bxc3 c5; 7.cxd5 exd5; 8.e3 c4. When I once did this in a game, a master told me that it was blatantly anti-positional. 8...0-0; is the main line in the "Power-Book.") Anand {now} developed in such a way as to have real threats against Carlsen's King. (9.Ne2 Nc6; 10.g4 0-0; 11.Bg2 Na5; 12.0-0 Nb3; 13.Ra2!? The box prefers RR 13.Rb1, here.)  Now Carlsen played 13...b5!? (The engines unanimously choose 13...h6.) Now Anand chose 14.Ng3, while the programs seem to prefer 14.Nf4. (This may seem inconsequential at first, however, in some lines, it makes a big difference - White can play h2-h4 and sack a Pawn and get a nasty attack.) Now after 14...a5; ('!?' Once more, the engines prefer 14...h7-h6.) 15.g5, Ne8; it was clear that White was on the attack, and that Black had to defend precisely, in order not to lose material or get mated. After the {further} moves: 16.e4 Nxc1;  17.Qxc1 Ra6; a critical position had been reached. Anand played, 18.e5!?, closing off the center. [J. Friedel preferred 18.Rb2, while Houdini's suggestion of 18.f4, looks more flexible.] After the further moves: 18.e5 Nc7;  19.f4 b4; Anand played 20.axb4. (This looks bad to me, it leads to many exchanges. In Anand's match situation, I think that 20.Raf2, was much more suited to trying to win at all costs.) The final moves were: 20....axb4; 21.Rxa6 Nxa6; 22.f5 b3; 23.Qf4; Nc7; 24.f6 g6; 25.Qh4 Ne8; 26.Qh6 b2; 27.Rf4 b1Q+;  28.Nf1?? Qe1; 0-1 

    It is was fairly obvious - after the game - that 28.Nf1?? was a terrible move, in fact ... it was a horrible blunder. Instead, 28.Bf1, lead to tense play where White still lad a fair amount of winning chances.  Click here to replay this game on the CG website. Click here to see CB's initial report on this game, click here to see the main report ... with some excellent analysis by GM Josh Friedel.  Click here to watch my video of this game.   

  10. In Game Ten, Anand's back was against the wall, in order to prolong/draw the match, he had to win three games in a row ... 
    two with the Black pieces! (This was probably a nearly impossible task for any human.) Carlsen, playing the White pieces, was obviously playing it safe. Carlsen started off with 1.e4, and Anand (finally!) countered with a Sicilian. And since Carlsen was clearly in the lead, he chose a dry line:  1.e4 c5; 2.Nf3 d6; 3.Bb5+ Nd7; 4.d4 cxd4; 5.Qxd4 a6; 6.Bxd7+ Bxd7; 7.c4 Nf6; 8.Bg5 e6; 9.Nc3 Be7; 10.0-0 Bc6. Now Carlsen chose 11.Qd3!?, when activating one of the Rooks (to the center) clearly had to be the way to go. (11.Rad1, - Fritz 13. 11.Rfd1, - A.J.G.) I am sure that Carlsen had a reason for playing this move, however, I am unsure of what it could have been. (It could not have been that he was afraid of exchanges, every swap works in his favor. I must note that a few engines at least initially consider this move, so perhaps he had prepared this line on his laptop.) After 11...0-0; Fritz likes Rfd1, (Rad1!?); but Carlsen chose 12.Nd4, and perhaps this was his strategy. (To remove one of Black's Bishops or force Black to retreat.) After the further moves: 12...Rc8; 13.b3 Qc7; 14.Nxc6 Qxc6; 15.Rac1, White had a nice position, no real weaknesses, and all of his pieces worked well together. Meanwhile, Black had a slight disadvantage, (in space); with nothing much to show for it. After the further moves: 15...h6; 16.Be3 Nd7; it was clear that Anand (as Black) was playing on the dark squares. Now 17.f3, or 17.Qd2, looked to be best, however Carlsen chose 17.Bd4. Now play proceeded: 17...Rfd8; 18.h3 Qc7; 19.Rfd1 Qa5; and Fritz likes Qg3, but Carlsen (instead) chose 20.Qd2, and Anand responded with 20...Kf8. Now play proceeded: 21.Qb2 Kg8; 22.a4 Qh5; 23.Ne2 Bf6; 24.Rc3 Bxd4; 25.Rxd4 Qe5; 26.Qd2 Nf6; 27.Re3 Rd7; 28.a5. White has a solid edge, and it is hard to find an active plan for Black. Now Anand made a mistake and played 28...Qg5? Now Carlsen played 29.e5, and Anand had to play 29...Ne8. And ... for whatever reason ... Carlsen countered with a blunder of his own: 30.exd6? (The simple 30.Nc3, with the idea of Ne4 looks to be winning for White. I have to chalk this double blunder - so close together - to nerves, emotional drain and the wear and tear of nine difficult games at the World Championship level.) Now Black regains the Pawn, and we go into an endgame: 30...Rc6 ;31.f4 Qd8; 32.Red3 Rcxd6; 33.Rxd6 Rxd6; 34.Rxd6 Qxd6; 35.Qxd6 Nxd6; 36.Kf2 Kf8. Now after 37.Ke3, the move 37...Nf5+! looked to be the way to go. Instead, Anand chose the slightly inferior 37...Ke7; here. Now play proceeded: 38.Kd4 Kd7; 39.Kc5 Kc7; 40.Nc3 Nf5; 41.Ne4 Ne3; 42.g3 f5!? (Black must be careful - White's King is much better than his own.) Now 43.Nd2!, (it takes squares away from the BN); may have given White some winning chances, although it is far from being an easy win. Instead, Carlsen chose 43.Nd6!? (The threat is the simple 44.Ne8+, but Black has an easy way out of this.) White actually winds up losing his Knight, but gets a lot of Pawns for it:  43...g5; 44.Ne8+ Kd7; 45.Nf6+ Ke7; 46.Ng8+ Kf8; 47.Nxh6 gxf4; 48.gxf4 Kg7; 49.Nxf5+ exf5; 50.Kb6 Ng2; 51.Kxb7 Nxf4; 52.Kxa6 Ne6; 53.Kb6 f4; 54.a6 f3; 55.a7 f2; 56.a8Q f1Q;  

    Objectively, this position is a draw, although it is exciting ... and gave the spectators something to talk about. 

    Play concluded: 57.Qd5 Qe1; 58.Qd6 Qe3+; 59.Ka6 Nc5+; 60.Kb5 Nxb3; 61.Qc7+ Kh6; 62.Qb6+ Qxb6+; 63.Kxb6 Kh5;  64.h4 Kxh4; 65.c5 Nxc5; (and a Draw was agreed to here. (-) Click here to replay this game on the CG website. Click here to see the excellent article on the CB website. (You can download the full analysis of this game - in PGN format, by GM A. Ramirez - for free!) Click here to see my video on this game.  

    Carlsen - as the new World Champion! (Click here to see the CB story.) 

    So the young Norwegian, GM Magnus Carlsen was crowned World Champion. 
    Click here to see a CB article, comparing Carlsen to some of his predecessors. (Google this topic.) 

[Event "RUS Cup final"]
[Site "Khanty-Mansiysk"]
[Date "2013.12.13"]
[Round "1.3"]
[White "Sjugirov, Sanan"]
[Black "Maletin, Pavel"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C65"]
[WhiteElo "2641"]
[BlackElo "2598"]
[PlyCount "42"]
[EventDate "2013.12.12"]
[EventType "k.o."]
[EventRounds "4"]
[EventCountry "RUS"]
[SourceDate "2013.12.25"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. d3 Bc5 5. Bxc6 dxc6 6. Nbd2 Bg4 7. h3 Bh5 8. Nc4 Nd7 9. Be3 f6 10. Qd2 Qe7 11. Nh4 O-O-O 12. Nf5 Qf8 13. O-O Bf7 14. b3 g6 15. Ng3 h5 16. Bxc5 Nxc5 17. Qe3 Kb8 18. f4 Bxc4 19. bxc4 Qd6 20. Ne2 Rhf8 21. f5 g5 1/2-1/2 

Originally, I had planned to do a brief web page on all of these games. However, for many different reasons, I decided that this was not really necessary. A few of the reasons that I decided not to do a web page on every game:  

  1. All the games have excellent coverage, many different sites offer video's and analysis, some by well-known GM's. 

  2. I had already done a fairly good analysis of these games in preparation to do my own YT video on each game. 

  3. This web page offers a brief summary of each game and all the key links that one of my {game} web pages would offer.   

  4. The ChessBase website has free downloads by many top masters, so I thought I could at least match that - with my own DL's. 
    (This is a feature that I have only recently began to use.)

  5. Now I can offer an Adobe copy of my key analysis. Click here to see game five, click here to see game six.  

Click here to return to my home page.     Click here to go/return to my annotated games page. 

  Copyright (c) A.J. Goldsby, 2014. All rights reserved.  

  This page first posted on: December 29th, 2013.  This page last modified on: Saturday, February 15, 2014 12:02 PM

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