The Match Had Started!

The first game did not disappoint! The challenger produced a novelty, got some initiative but the world champion defended well and leveled the chances. Anand then hesitated and stood on the edge of the abyss. Magnus missed the continuation though and Vishy bailed out.
A game that I liked (ChessBase 12)

[Event "World Chess Championship 2014"]
[Site "Sochi"]
[Date "2014.11.08"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Black "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "D85"]
[WhiteElo "2792"]
[BlackElo "2863"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "95"]
[EventDate "2014.??.??"]
[EventCountry "RUS"]

1. d4 {The long awaited match have started! Anand choses a move which is not
his favorite but one which gives more winning chances in the past years.
Remember, the Berlin?} Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 {The last time Carlsen played
the Gruenfeld was in 2013. This variation should not come as a surprise for
Anand though. The Gruenfeld has a reputation of a very solid and forced
opening for good reason. Anand had played it himself in matches and Gelfand
have even prepared it as a surprise weapon against Vishy in their match in
2012. "The Hammer" in Carlsen's camp is a vivid fan of the defense as well.} 4.
cxd5 Nxd5 5. Bd2 {Diagram [#] A curious choice. According to Megabase both the
opponents have pleasant memories in this line, scoring 2/2 each.} ({Their last
game in the Gruenfeld saw} 5. e4 Nxc3 6. bxc3 Bg7 7. Be3 c5 8. Qd2 cxd4 9. cxd4
Nc6 10. Rd1 {Anand,V (2811)-Carlsen,M (2826) Moscow 2011}) 5... Bg7 6. e4 Nxc3
({Previously Carlsen have only tried} 6... Nb6 7. Be3 O-O 8. h3 ({Wang Yue
tried against Carlsen} 8. Bb5 Be6 9. Nge2 {to which the future World Champion
reacted with the novelty-} ({Magnus also faced} 9. Nf3 Bc4 10. b3 Bxb5 11. Nxb5
Qd7 $11 {Zimmerman,Y (2320)-Carlsen,M (2385) Salzburg 2003}) 9... c6 {and
later won, Wang,Y (2752)-Carlsen,M (2813) Medias 2010}) 8... e5 9. Nf3 exd4 10.
Bxd4 Bxd4 11. Qxd4 {Anand,V (2788)-Svidler,P (2754) Moscow 2009}) 7. Bxc3 O-O
8. Qd2 Nc6 ({Deviating from} 8... c5 9. d5 Bxc3 10. bxc3 e6 11. d6 {Anand,V
(2783)-Hammer,J (2608) Stavanger 2013}) 9. Nf3 Bg4 10. d5 Bxf3 {Diagram [#]}
11. Bxg7 $146 {Vishy revealed his first novelty in the match. He is trying to
prove that the Ne5 is vulnerable.} ({Previously only} 11. gxf3 {have been
tested} Ne5 12. Be2 c6 13. f4 Nd7 14. Bxg7 (14. dxc6 $5 Bxc3 15. Qxc3 Rc8)
14... Kxg7 15. dxc6 bxc6 16. Rc1 Nf6 {this game was definitely familiar to the
World Champion as he had Black as his second some time ago, Moiseenko,A (2707)
-Nepomniachtchi,I (2714) Yaroslavl 2014}) 11... Kxg7 12. gxf3 Ne5 13. O-O-O {
White is stronger in the center and thus he intends to attack on the kingside.}
c6 {Magnus reacts logically to the novelty. He opens files on the queen's
flank for an attack and bothers Vishy in the center.} ({I doubt we will ever
see a blunder like} 13... Nxf3 $4 14. Qc3+ {in a WCC match.}) 14. Qc3 f6 15.
Bh3 {Takes control of the c8 square which would be quite tempting for a black
rook.} ({Winning a pawn is too risky} 15. f4 Nf7 16. dxc6 (16. Bh3 {would most
likely transpose to the game} cxd5 17. exd5) 16... Qc7 17. cxb7 Qxb7 18. Qe3
Rab8 19. b3 a5 $36 {as Black will have lovely attack on the queenside.}) 15...
cxd5 {The World Champion prefers to spoil the opponent's pawn structure rather
than his own one} (15... Qb6 16. f4 Nf7 17. dxc6 bxc6 {in this line the black
pawns are quite vulnerable as well.}) 16. exd5 {The challenger pins his hopes
with the activity.} ({Safer from strategical point of view was} 16. f4 Nf7 17.
Rxd5 Qb6 18. Qe3 {alhtough Black is fine after} Qa6 {for example.}) ({White
will have problems with his pawns after} 16. Rxd5 Qb6) 16... Nf7 $11 {[%csl
Yd5,Gd6,Gf7] Diagram [#] Nimtzowitsch would be delighted to see the d5
criminal in prison.} 17. f4 Qd6 ({Black connects the rooks and activates the
queen. One would expect the knight to occupy this outpost. However, the white
initiative will be unchallanged in that case} 17... Nd6 18. Kb1 a5 19. Rhg1 a4
20. f5 {and Black cannot advance the g pawn} g5 21. Rxg5+ ({Or also} 21. f4))
18. Qd4 Rad8 19. Be6 {[%csl Ye6,Re7][%cal Re1e7] Diagram [#] I have the
feeling that this was the first inaccuracy by White in the game. The bishop on
e6 blocks the e7 pawn and stops it from going forward, but at the same time
blocks the white rooks from attacking it.} (19. Rhe1 $5 {looks preferrable} e5
20. fxe5 Nxe5 21. Re3 {followed by f2-f4 with a slight pull for White.} (21. f4
$2 Nf3)) (19. Qxa7 $2 {is bad} Ra8 20. Qd4 Rxa2 $17) 19... Qb6 {Magnus
untangles his pieces.} 20. Qd2 {Vishy wisely prefers to play with the queens
on the board. His pawn structure is indeed quite a mess and he migth easily
get into trouble once that Black consolidates.} (20. Qxb6 axb6 21. Kb1 Nd6 22.
Rc1 f5 23. Rc7 Kf6 {this looks easier for Black.}) 20... Rd6 21. Rhe1 Nd8 {The
bishop is too strong and needs to go west. Magnus starts to create some
problems to his opponent.} 22. f5 ({Better than} 22. Bh3 e6 $1 23. Bg2 exd5 24.
Bxd5 $2 Qc5+ 25. Kb1 Nc6 {where White loses material on the pin.}) 22... Nxe6
23. Rxe6 Qc7+ (23... Rxe6 24. fxe6 Qd6 25. Kb1 Rc8 26. h4 {looks OK for White.}
) 24. Kb1 ({The rook endgame favors Black} 24. Qc2 Qxc2+ 25. Kxc2 Rc8+ 26. Kb3
Kf7 $15) 24... Rc8 {with the threat Rd6xd5 and if White captures the
rook-Qc7-c2-c1 and mate.} 25. Rde1 Rxe6 26. Rxe6 Rd8 27. Qe3 $1 {Activity
above all. This is the key in positions with heavy pieces on the board.} Rd7 {
Diagram [#]} 28. d6 {Anand decided to get rid of the weakness at once. However,
he could have saved some unpleasant minutes to himself had he played the active
} (28. fxg6 $1 hxg6 29. h4 $1 {Next, White is going to discover the opponent's
king and secure at least a draw} Qd8 30. d6 exd6 31. h5 $1 {[%csl Yg7][%cal
Rg1g8,Re1e8] Diagram [#]} gxh5 32. Re8 Qc7 ({Black has to be careful} 32... Qb6
$4 33. Qg3+ Kh7 34. Rg8 {will lead to mate.}) 33. Qg3+ {with these active
pieces White can never lose and if needed can force perpetual, for example} Kh6
34. Rh8+ Rh7 35. Qe3+ Kg7 36. Re8 Qc4 37. Re7+ Kh8 38. Re8+ $11) 28... exd6 29.
Qd4 Rf7 30. fxg6 hxg6 31. Rxd6 a6 {Seemingly a dead draw but just like in the
previous match Carlsen manages to create a lot of trouble to his opponent.} 32.
a3 Qa5 33. f4 Qh5 34. Qd2 ({There is no need to sacrifice a pawn yet} 34. Ka2
Qxh2 35. Rd8 Qe2 36. Qd5 Qe7 $15) 34... Qc5 35. Rd5 Qc4 36. Rd7 {This should
be OK, but active play was still better} (36. h4 $1 Qe4+ 37. Ka2 Qh1 38. h5 $1
gxh5 39. Qd3 {and the exposed king deprives Black of any winning chances} Qh4 (
39... h4 $2 40. Rh5 f5 (40... Qg2 41. Rxh4) 41. Qd8 {and Black is getting
checkmated.}) 40. Qe4 Qg4 41. Rd2 Kh6 42. Rg2 Re7 43. Qxe7 Qxg2 44. Qxf6+ Qg6
45. Qh8+ Qh7 46. Qf6+ $11) 36... Qc6 37. Rd6 {Once more hesitation. After
saying A Anand could have gone for the B} (37. Rxf7+ Kxf7 38. Qd3 {with
holdable endgame as} Qh1+ {does not win a pawn} 39. Ka2 Qxh2 40. Qd7+ Kf8 41.
Qc8+ Kg7 42. Qxb7+ $11) 37... Qe4+ 38. Ka2 Re7 39. Qc1 ({It is too late for}
39. h4 Qc4+ 40. Ka1 Re2 $17) 39... a5 $1 {A very strong practical resource!
The pawn on a4 will create a lot of tactical possibilities for Black.} 40. Qf1
$2 {One more mistake and Vishy gets close to a disaster.} (40. Qc8 $1 {was
still a neat draw after} a4 41. Rd8 Qe6+ (41... Kf7 42. Rf8+ Kg7 43. Rg8+ Kf7 (
43... Kh7 $4 44. Rh8+ Kg7 45. Qf8#)) 42. Qxe6 Rxe6 43. Rd7+ Kh6 44. Rxb7 Re4
45. b4 (45. Rb4 f5 $1) 45... axb3+ 46. Kxb3 Rxf4 $11) 40... a4 41. Rd1 Qc2 {
with the threat of Re7-e2 to completely paralize White.} 42. Rd4 {Diagram [#]}
Re2 $6 {Magnus lets Vishy off the hook.} ({Critical was} 42... Re3 $1 {[%csl
Ya2,Ra3][%cal Re3a3] with the threat Re3xa3! and mate on the next move. White
has three defenses} 43. Rd7+ {which leads to a difficult queen endgame} (43.
Rb4 $6 {which loses to} Rb3 44. Rxb3 axb3+ 45. Ka1 Qxh2 $19) (43. Qd1 {which
lead to a difficult rook endgame} Qb3+ (43... Qxd1 44. Rxd1) 44. Ka1 Qxd1+ 45.
Rxd1 Kh6 $17) 43... Kh6 44. Rxb7 Rb3 45. Rxb3 axb3+ 46. Ka1 Qxh2 47. Qd1 Qxf4
48. Qh1+ Kg5 49. Qd5+ f5 50. Qxb3 {Only further analyzes will prove if Black
was winning here or not, but whatever the conclusion is one thing is certain-
this would be a nightmare to defend in a parctical game.}) 43. Rb4 $1 {Now
Anand confidently saves the game.} b5 44. Qh1 (44. Rxb5 $4 Qc4+) 44... Re7 45.
Qd5 $1 Re1 46. Qd7+ Kh6 (46... Kg8 47. Qd8+ Kf7 48. Qd7+ $11 Re7 49. Qxb5) 47.
Qh3+ Kg7 48. Qd7+ {A very interesting start of the match. Vushy showed
willingness to risk and play for a win and Magnus showed strong nerves and
great positional maneuvering.} 1/2-1/2

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