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  Carlsen - Anand; Sochi, RUS / 2014.    

This is my coverage (chess video's) of all the games of the World Championship Match played in 2014. (The official website for this match.) I have updated literally DOZENS of chess games (on my web pages) so that these games provide good background material for the openings that were played in these games. (See my video's on the YT channel, most all of the relevant links are with the individual video's for the corresponding games.) [ If this article is correct - and I am 99% sure that it is - the match format was only for a total of 12 games - at the regular time control. (With tiebreaks being played - but only if they were necessary!) ]  


 List of games 

  1. Game One:  Anand is White and Carlsen tries a Grunfeld Defense. [D85] Anand gets some pressure out of the opening, but in the end, it is a well-played draw. (Both sides may have missed a few things, but - in the end - it was not a poorly played game. And considering how many "first games" in a WCS match have resulted in really shoddy play, in the end - chess fans could be happy with this game.)  
    Replay this game on the CG website
    my video of this gamethe CB report on this game

  2. Game Two:  Carlsen is White, and he essays the Spanish Game / Ruy Lopez opening. Anand responds with the Berlin Defense, and Carlsen counters by pushing his QP one square. (1.e4, e5; 2.Nf3, Nc6; 3.Bb5, Nf6; 4.d3.) The ECO/Informant Code for this game was C65. White wound up getting a lot of pressure, but Black should have been able to hold. However, Anand slowly played {slightly} inferior moves, eventually got a bad position and then committed one of the worst mistakes of the whole of his career, (34...h5??); and had to throw in the towel after Carlsen's killer reply. (This game was a big disappointment for Anand's fans!) My video - for this game - is extremely detailed, and shows how Anand could have probably saved this game and what the real mistakes were. 
    Replay this game on the CG websitemy video of this gamethe CB report on this game

  3. Game Three:  Anand is White, and many people probably expected him to lay back and take it easy and try to make a quick draw. However, in one of his shining moments of the whole match, Anand played a hard-hitting opening that employed an opening concept that was obviously deeply and well-prepared. Anand played the "Aronian-style of the Queen's Gambit," (Bf4 instead of Bg5); and from the very beginning, Carlsen was on the ropes. (The ECO/Informant opening code - for this game - was D37.) Anand played a brilliant series of moves that featured a really deep sacrifice. The upshot of White's whole idea was that Anand got a really powerful and dangerous passed Pawn on the c-file. In the end, Magnus Carlsen was unable to cope with the Pawn and lost. A fantastic win for Anand, 1-0 in 34 moves. (One of the best WCS games in a really long time!) 
    Replay this game on the CG website
    my video of this gamethe CB report on this game.  

  4. Game Four:  Carlsen was White, and Anand responded to the champion's 1.e2-e4 opening move with the Sicilian. (1...c5;) Carlsen continued 2.Nf3, when it may have appeared - at least, for a few moments - that we were headed for an exciting Open Sicilian, but it wasn't meant to be. Anand countered with 2...e6; when this seemed to indicate that we might see a Paulsen Sicilian or even and Scheveningen. However, Carlsen nixed all of this and instead played 3.g3!? (The King's Indian Attack? Thus, I think that we must blame Bobby Fischer for this particular opening, he was one of the players who first popularized the King's Indian set-up vs. a French or a Sicilian with ...e6. For more, see Fischer's book, "My Sixty Memorable Games.") This meant that we now had a very unusual type of game where the opening was much less mapped out than we normally see in the Sicilian Defense, the ECO/Informant opening code for this game is B40. I think that this was an extremely well-played effort, Carlsen did everything in his power to make something happen, but Anand simply defended very well in this particular game. The last phase of the game featured a Q+P endgame that was very complicated and very robust, however - when the dust settled - neither side could avoid splitting the point. (1/2 - 1/2 in 47 total moves.)  
    Replay this game on the CG websitemy video of this gamethe CB report on this game.    

  5. Game Five:  In this game Anand was White, and Carlsen played a "Queen's Indian Defense." (1.d4, Nf6;  2.c4, e6;  3.Nf3, b6.) A great deal of the time, especially for the last 20-30 years, most GM's play the "Petrosian System" (4.a3) vs. the QID. However, here Anand chose the older (more classical approach?) with 4.g3. Normally, especially after the effort both sides expended in the last game, we might see a quick draw in under 20 moves - especially since both players were making their moves very quickly. However, Anand seemed determined to make something out of this opening, he tried really hard but never achieved anything tangible for his efforts. After 30-something moves, the Queens had already been traded off and we had all the Pawns on the same side of the board. (They could have agreed to a draw right then.) But the players (today, at least) seemed determined to slug it out to the very end, and after 39 moves, the did (finally) agree to a draw. (After 40.RxP/e3, we would have had a Rook and a KRP for both sides ... unless one of the players blundered - or went to sleep, there was no way that this could have been anything but a draw.) The point was split after almost forty moves, 1/2 - 1/2 in thirty-nine total moves. 
    Replay this game on the CG websitemy video of this gamethe CB report on this game.  

  6. Game Six:  Today - for this effort - Carlsen looked rested and confident, he would also have White in both games six and game seven. (They swap colors in the middle of the match, this is not a rule that I agree with nor fully understand.) Once more, Carlsen was White, and he used 1.e2-e4 as his first play in this act of the WCS match. Anand (again) responded with the Sicilian (1...c5) as he had done in game four. However, this time around, Carlsen played the Open Sicilian with d2-d4, but Anand also offered another surprise by playing the Kan System; (1.e4, c5;  2.Nf3, e6;  3.d4, cxd4;  4.NxP/d4, a6!?); Informant/ECO code <for this one game> of B41. {former} World Champion Tigran Petrosian was the first world-class player to utilize this opening. (Topalov was the last top-50 player to utilize this opening on a regular basis, I think ... although he did not have a stellar record with it.) The "normal" {theory approved} try vs. this opening is 5.Bd3, see this game as one example. Yet - for some reason, probably it was part of his preparation - Carlsen went for 5.c4!? The Queens were quickly traded, and this is the way that Carlsen ground down Anand in the last match. (One example.) IMO, Anand did not respond properly, and after only a handful of moves, had an extremely passive position. This trend continued for many moves, and Carlsen could have come out with a vastly superior position, if he had found all the right moves. However, in an extremely uncharacteristic episode of tactical blindness, Carlsen played a horrible move. (26.Kd2??) Anand, if he had his wits about him, could have hit Carlsen with a tremendous shot and - in a short amount of time - he would have been two or three Pawns ahead. However, he (also) had the blinders on ... and missed his big opportunity. I think that Anand somehow realized what he had just done, he immediately seemed to get a little depressed and did not defend in his normal {stellar} manner ... and was (again) ground down, despite the presence of opposite-colored Bishops. (White went on to win, 1-0 in thirty-eight {38} total moves.)  
    Replay this game on the CG websitemy video of this gamethe CB report on this game.  

  7. Game Seven:  Once more, Carlsen was White and again we saw the Berlin Wall. (The Berlin System of Defense vs. The Spanish Game or Ruy Lopez; the Informant/ECO code for this game was C67. The moves were: 1.e4 e5; 2.Nf3 Nc6; 3.Bb5 Nf6; 4.0-0 Nxe4; 5.d4 Nd6; 6.Bxc6 dxc6; 7.dxe5 Nf5; 8.Qxd8+ Kxd8;) Carlsen is known to like this line, (As Black - I found close to a dozen examples in the DB - here is one.); so maybe this was psychology for Anand? If it wasn't, it certainly was NOT a great choice vs. Carlsen. (Queens off - again!) IMO, Anand's strength is tactical play, he has defeated many opponents with his ability to find great moves in almost any position. (One example.) Again - IMO - what Anand needed ... especially as he already stands at -1 ... was a really wild/messy tactical position, and the Berlin seems to play to one of Carlsen's greatest strengths. (A long endgame with Queens off!) After 24.g4, (the first new move of the game - both players had to know this stuff); it looked like Carlsen was getting somewhere ... many of the pundits that were following the game with their chess engines (on), claimed that Carlsen was winning. However - in this game, at least - Anand defended superbly, sacrificing a piece to reach an endgame (after 33 moves) where Carlsen's practical winning chances were virtually nil. Given Anand's history against him, no one could blame the Champion for trying to grind out a win. However, in the end, it was all academic and one for the history books ... a draw was reached after 122 monumental moves!!! (K+N vs. K)  
    Replay this game on the CG websitemy video of this gamethe CB report on this game.  

  8. Game Eight: (Both players looked at little tired after their previous marathon encounter {see game seven - just above} ... Carlsen actually appeared to doze off at one point!) In this clash, Anand was White and (again) he tried the Bf4 system of play in the Queen's Gambit Declined. (The ECO/Informant code was - again - D37.) This time around, Carlsen played the main line with 6...c5; there are literally THOUSANDS of master-level games in the DB. (Here is one game that I deeply annotated in this line.) Anand responded with 7.dxc5, a variation (IMO) that does not offer enough bite. Play continued for many more moves, and Anand seemed (at one point) to have a little something going. In the end, however, it was all just sophisticated teasing on Carlsen's part, he excels in these types of positions and safely brought the game back into the draw harbor in forty-one (41) total moves. 
    Replay this game on the CG websitemy video of this gamethe CB report on this game.   

  9. Game Nine:  Carlsen was White, and (again) Anand tried out the Berlin System. (See game seven.) However, with the score at +1 for the Champion, this is starting to look like pure foolishness ... if this is the best that his team could come up with, then Anand needs a new group of people around him! Carlsen played a really strong series of moves, and if Anand had accepted his Pawn gambit, I think that Anand would have been ground down in another long Queenless game. Here, however, Anand drew the game by finding the most accurate moves ... but it was a pyrrhic victory, as the end result only brought Carlsen one step closer to an overall victory in the match. (1/2 - 1/2 in only twenty moves.)   
    Replay this game on the CG websitemy video of this gamethe CB report on this game.  

  10. Game Ten:  With time rapidly running out -  the match is only for 12 games at the regular time control, with tiebreakers, but the TB's are only played if needed - Anand finally comes up with an opening idea which I really liked. The challenger was White and played 1.d2-d4. (Anand actually started his career as a KP player, but only later converted to QP games.) Carlsen played an opening that he trots out every so often, the sharp (and somewhat dangerous) Grunfeld Defense. [The Informant/ECO code for this game was D97.] Anand countered by playing one of the sharpest systems (for White), The Russian (classical) System, and Carlsen countered with "The Prins System." (One game that I annotated with this variation.) There are many different variations that White could play in this whole line. Anand played 12.Bg5!?, which is good, but I am not sure if it is the number one line for White. (According to the computers.) After 14.Rad1, Carlsen countered with 14...Ne4!? Now 15.d6 is the top choice of a lot of the better engines, but instead the Indian hero swapped on e4. Play continued for quite some time ... there were a couple of points where you might have thought that Anand had something going, but in the end, Carlsen was able to neutralize just about all of White's pressure. After 32.Rd2, the players decided that it was a fairly sterile position and they agreed to a draw. (1/2 - 1/2 in thirty-two (32) total moves here.)  
    Replay this game on the CG websitemy video of this gamethe CB report on this game.  

  11. Game Eleven:  Once more, Carlsen was White and played 1.e2-e4. Once more we saw the Berlin System of the Spanish Game / Ruy Lopez; ECO/Informant opening's code = C67.  (See games seven and nine, here.) Again, we saw 9.h3, but now Anand tried the "safer" ...h7-h6. So Carlsen played a new idea ... one that was new for this match, anyway. Carlsen played b2-b3 and I immediately saw trouble for Black. Carlsen got a bind, and Anand did not seem to know what to do in the position that he reached. Anand, perhaps sensing defeat ... he looked a little desperate in the video - Black played a semi-sound exchange sacrifice. A messy position was reached, but Anand, (perhaps tiring - he spots his opponent near 20 years in this match); played a whole series of "less-than-best" moves ... and eventually went under. [Carlsen was his usual accurate and remorseless self, 1-0 in forty-five (45) total moves.] It was NOT a happy day for Anand's fans ... but the Champion was obviously tired, but also pleased. (Congrats to both players.)  
    Replay this game on the CG websitemy video of this gamethe CB report on this game.


          -----> This concludes my coverage of the 2014 World Championship Match between Magnus Carlsen and Viswanathan Anand

Click HERE to see my page for all of the games for the 2013 W.C.S. Match ... between these same two contestants. 

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

  Copyright (c) A.J. Goldsby, 2015.  All rights reserved.  

  This page first posted on: {sometime} in December, 2014.   Final format on:  Friday; May 8th, 2015. 
   This page last modified on: Friday, May 08, 2015 11:30 PM .  

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