A Solid Draw in Game Four

The fourth game saw the typical minimal-advantage-pressing by the World Champion and a subtle and confident defense by Anand. The latter held his own with seeming ease. The material and moral advantage that Carlsen had in the first two games evaporated completely.
A game that I liked (ChessBase 12)

[Event "World Chess Championship 2014"]
[Site "Sochi"]
[Date "2014.11.12"]
[Round "4"]
[White "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Black "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "B40"]
[WhiteElo "2863"]
[BlackElo "2785"]
[PlyCount "94"]
[EventDate "2014.??.??"]
[EventCountry "RUS"]

1. e4 {Magnus remains true to the open games.} c5 {Vishy- not. We would most
likely see the Berlin later in the match again, but not today.} 2. Nf3 e6 {A
small surprise. Anand usually chooses the sharp and well explored Najdorf. His
last game in the line was against Bobras in 2014 and the last but one was
already in 2008.} 3. g3 {One can expect the unexpected from Carlsen, but this
line he had already tried.} Nc6 {A curious blitz game saw} (3... b6 4. Bg2 Bb7
5. Qe2 d6 6. d4 cxd4 7. Nxd4 Nf6 8. O-O Nbd7 9. Rd1 a6 $4 10. e5 $1 Bxg2 11.
exf6 Bh3 (11... Bb7 12. Nxe6 $1) 12. Qh5 {and it was basically over- Carlsen,M
(2843)-Caruana,F (2772) Sao Paulo/Bilbao 2012}) 4. Bg2 d5 5. exd5 exd5 6. O-O
Nf6 7. d4 Be7 8. Be3 cxd4 9. Nxd4 {All of this was probably Anti-Caruana
preparation by Magnus. The way that he won to his rival appealed that much to
the people that a lot of them gave it a try} Bg4 $146 {[%cal Gg4d1] Diagram [#]
A logical novelty. Anand is developing a piece with a tempo. Previously only} (
9... O-O {was tested, for example} 10. Nc3 (10. h3 {deprives the bishop of the
g4 square but Black equalized after} Re8 11. Re1 h6 12. Nd2 Bd6 13. c3 Bd7 {
Short,N (2696)-Caruana,F (2675) Wijk aan Zee 2010}) 10... Bg4 {whe the arising
position is more or less similar to teh one in the actual game.} 11. Qd3 a6 12.
Rfe1 Qd7 13. Nxc6 (13. Na4 $5 {to make use of the weakened b6 square was
interesting.}) 13... bxc6 14. Na4 {and White was little better in Jones,G
(2635)-Caruana,F (2767) Reykjavik 2012}) 10. Qd3 Qd7 11. Nd2 O-O {Black avoids
the weakening a6-a6 move for the time being. Not allowing strong outposts
against Carlsen sounds like a healthy idea to me.} 12. N2f3 ({White would be
happy to use the c5 square for this knight, however after} 12. Rfe1 Rfe8 13.
Nxc6 bxc6 14. Nb3 {Black wil get the f5 square in return and built
counter-play with} Bf5 15. Qc3 Ne4 $132) 12... Rfe8 {A typical IQP position
had arisen. We usually see those in the Tarrasch line of the French defense
after 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 c5 4.exd5 exd5. The French IQP was tested in the
WCC matches between Karpov and Kortschnoi. As a rule the latter was solving
the problems quite confidently. White has slightly better pawn structure and
will be happy to trade as many pieces as possible. Ideally, he would like to
see his knight on d4 torturing the light-squared bishop of the opponent.} 13.
Rfe1 ({This is the reason why he does not go for the light-squared bishop
immediately with} 13. Nxc6 bxc6 14. Ne5 Qb7 15. Nxg4 Nxg4 16. Bd4 {White had
traded a pair of pieces which is generally desirable, but after} Bf6 {Black
would be happy as he will have a hefty knight on the board.}) 13... Bd6 14. c3
{[%csl Rd6,Re3,Gg2][%cal Gg2d5] Diagram [#] One of the differences in
comparison of the French IQP is favorable for White- the fianchettoed bishop
is very strong and exerts pressure on the pawn at once. Another difference is
in Black's favor though- White is deprived of the usual plan to swap off the
dark-squared bishops with Be3-f4 or Be3-g5-h4-g3.} h6 {Anticipates the move
Be3-g5 which can be rather awkward for the second player.} 15. Qf1 {A little
venomous move. White prepares h2-h3 followed by Nf3-h4-(f5) when the black
bishop will not feel comfortable.} Bh5 $1 {Anticipates the threat. It is
always somewhat discouraging to know that your opponent knows what are you up
to.} (15... Rad8 16. h3 Bh5 17. Nh4 {looks good for White.}) 16. h3 {Magnus
took the g4 square out of the black knight and bishop.} (16. Nh4 $5 {deserved
attention, for example} Bc5 17. Nhf5 Bb6 {would most likely force White to
play h2-h3 anyway.} 18. h3) 16... Bg6 17. Rad1 Rad8 $11 {Both the sides
developed nicely their troops. The World Champion decides to start the trades
as there are no squares to work at} 18. Nxc6 {Diagram [#]} ({Both} 18. Nh4 Bh7)
({and} 18. Bc1 Ne4 {look good for Black.}) 18... bxc6 {The IQP was transformed
into IQP pair of pawns.} 19. c4 {A typical idea. Otherwise the IQP pair might
turn into something intimidating, known as hanging pawns.} Be4 $1 {[%csl Rg2]
[%cal Re4g2] The human solution. This takes care of White's most dangerous
piece.} ({For some reason my computer likes} 19... Bb4 20. Bd2 Bxd2 21. Rxd2
Ne4 22. Rdd1 Qb7 23. cxd5 cxd5 {a human being will hardly like the combination
of a white Nd4 versus black Bg6.}) (19... Qb7 $5 {though equally good.}) 20.
Bd4 {White uses the moment to worsen the position of the opponent's knight.}
Nh7 21. cxd5 Bxd5 {A bit unexpected but good. The isolated pawns provide
excellent outposts for the black pieces. Vishy does not want to allow pawn
majority for his opponent on the queen's flank. Instead he chooses the pawn
construction he used to defeat Veselin Topalov in their WCC match four years
ago.} (21... cxd5 {should also be a touch better for White although, if you
ask Black he might argue that it is equal.}) 22. Rxe8+ Rxe8 23. Qd3 ({White is
not threatening anything after} 23. Qa6 {for example} Nf8 24. Qxa7 Qxa7 25.
Bxa7 Ra8 26. Bd4 Rxa2 27. Ne5 Bxg2 28. Kxg2 c5 29. Bc3 Bxe5 30. Bxe5 Ne6 $11)
23... Nf8 {Improves the least active piece.} 24. Nh4 Be5 {Both the bishops
disappear and the defense is easier for Black.} 25. Bxd5 ({In case of} 25. Bxe5
Rxe5 26. f4 Re8 27. Nf5 Qe6 {the white king is too weak and he has not time to
grab the pawn} 28. Bxd5 cxd5 29. Qxd5 Qb6+) 25... Qxd5 26. Bxe5 Qxe5 27. b3 Ne6
28. Nf3 Qf6 {[%csl Rf6,Yg1] Black's task is to keep the white pieces busy with
threats on the kingside. Anand defends flawlessly.} 29. Kg2 Rd8 30. Qe2 Rd5 ({
Better than} 30... Rxd1 31. Qxd1 Qe7 32. Qd3) 31. Rxd5 cxd5 {White achieved
his goal of trading as many pieces as possible but the remaining queens on the
board allow plenty of counter-play for the second player.} 32. Ne5 Qf5 33. Nd3
Nd4 34. g4 $5 {The last chance to get something out of the game.} Qd7 ({Anand
does not want to calculate the consequences of the knight endgame, knowing
that "a knight endgame is more or less a pawn one"-Botvinnik..} 34... Nxe2 35.
gxf5 Kf8 36. Kf3 Nd4+ 37. Kf4 Nc6 38. b4 {the outside passer might be too
dangerous!}) 35. Qe5 Ne6 36. Kg3 ({The d4 pawn might become dangerous-} 36. Nb4
$2 d4 37. Nd3 Qc6+ 38. Kh2 Qc2) 36... Qb5 (36... d4 {was also good.}) 37. Nf4
Nxf4 38. Kxf4 ({Nothing changes} 38. Qxf4 a5) 38... Qb4+ 39. Kf3 {Diagram [#]}
d4 {Anand is temporary sacrificing a pawn to force the draw.} 40. Qe8+ Kh7 41.
Qxf7 Qd2 42. Qf5+ Kh8 43. h4 {with the idea to open the king after g4-g5 but
there is no time for that.} (43. Qf4 Qxa2 44. Qxd4 Qxb3+ $11) 43... Qxa2 44.
Qe6 (44. g5 Qxb3+ 45. Kg4 d3 {will lead to a perpetual anyway.}) 44... Qd2 45.
Qe8+ Kh7 46. Qe4+ Kh8 47. Qe8+ Kh7 {Anand comfortably held the black color
today. He traded the right pieces and activated his own ones in the proper
time.} 1/2-1/2

Tomorrow is a free day.

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