Ultra Solid Magnus

The eight game of the match saw a very good choice of an opening for the world champion. Instead of repairing the line that led to a disaster for him in the third game, the Norwegian switched to the main line but chose a rare move. This probably surprised Anand who did not achieve anything out of the opening and Carlsen comfortably held the draw.
A game that I liked (ChessBase 12)

[Event "World Chess Championship 2014"]
[Site "Sochi"]
[Date "2014.11.18"]
[Round "8"]
[White "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Black "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "D37"]
[WhiteElo "2792"]
[BlackElo "2863"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "81"]
[EventDate "2014.??.??"]
[EventCountry "RUS"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 {The world champion tries again the QGD, which
means that he had probably repaired the line after the disastrous third game.}
4. Nc3 Be7 5. Bf4 {Anand stays true to the line that brought him a win in game
three of the match.} (5. Bg5 {is considered less dangerous for the second
player with the move 3.Ng1-f3 inserted as it deprives White of some additional
possibilities, namely the Botvinnik plan with Ng1-e2, f2-f3 and e3-e4, and the
plan with 0-0-0. Nevertheless, Anand was not shy using it in a couple of
blitz games this year, against Kasimdzhanov and Harikrishna, which he duly won.
}) 5... O-O 6. e3 c5 {Nope, we shall not see the repair today, but the main
line instead. The last time Magnus played this was back in 2009.} ({The topical
} 6... Nbd7 {is what the third game saw} 7. c5 c6 8. Bd3 b6 9. b4 a5 10. a3 Ba6
{[%csl Ya6,Yd3]} 11. Bxa6 Rxa6 12. b5 cxb5 13. c6 Qc8 14. c7 {[%csl Ya5,Yb5,
Yb6,Rc7] when the pawn on c7 proved very dangerous, Anand,V-Carlsen,M Wch
Sochi 2014}) 7. dxc5 Bxc5 8. a3 Nc6 9. Qc2 {Vishy chooses the most complex
line where plenty of pieces stay on the board. The other principled line is} (
9. cxd5 Nxd5 10. Nxd5 exd5 11. Bd3 Bb6 12. O-O Bg4 {as in Ivanchuk,V (2779)
-Carlsen,M (2776) Nice 2009.}) 9... Re8 {Diagram [#] This should have been a
big surprise for Vishy! Both the players have a game each in the main line
after} (9... Qa5 {and now} 10. Rd1 {which is calmer} ({Or} 10. O-O-O {which I
suspect is what Anand was heading to} Be7 11. g4 dxc4 12. Bxc4 e5 13. g5 {with
lively, double-edged game and plenty of possibilities for both sides, for
example} exf4 14. gxf6 Bxf6 15. Nd5 Ne7 16. Nxf6+ gxf6 17. Rhg1+ Kh8 18. e4 $44
{Anand,V (2752)-Kramnik,V (2809) Leon 2002}) 10... Be7 11. Be2 dxc4 {all of
this was tested in the game Kramnik-Carlsen, Dortmund 2009.}) 10. Bg5 {The
bishop moves away from the possible e6-e5 attack and puts pressure on the
central pawn. The following curious game demonstrates some of the tactical
possibilities behind the move Rf8-e8.} (10. Rd1 e5 11. Bg5 d4 12. Nd5 Be7 13.
Nxe7+ $2 (13. Bxf6 Bxf6 14. Bd3 $5) 13... Qxe7 14. Be2 $2 d3 $19 {Pinter,
J-Hurme,H Helsinki 35/(507) 1983 Inf 35 [RR]}) ({White can also try to play
against the IQP with} 10. cxd5 exd5 11. Be2 Be6 ({Although Black might try to
solve the problem immediately with the forced} 11... d4 12. Rd1 Bg4 13. O-O Qe7
14. Na4 Bxf3 15. Bxf3 dxe3 16. Nxc5 e2 17. Qxe2 Qxe2 18. Bxe2 Rxe2 {which
looks worth studying.}) 12. O-O Rc8 13. Rfd1 h6 $13 {Svane,R (2440)-Zvjaginsev,
V (2655) Legnica 2013}) 10... Be7 11. Rd1 Qa5 12. Bd3 $146 {The actual novelty.
One game saw} (12. Be2 Ne4 13. cxd5 Nxc3 14. Qxc3 Qxc3+ 15. bxc3 exd5 16. Bxe7
Nxe7 $11) 12... h6 13. Bh4 (13. Bxf6 {yields White no advantage after} Bxf6 14.
cxd5 exd5 15. O-O Bxc3 16. Qxc3 Qxc3 17. bxc3 Be6) 13... dxc4 14. Bxc4 a6 $11 {
Black's plan is very natural and straightforward. He needs to develop the
bishop, thus the b pawn advance is coming next.} 15. O-O b5 16. Ba2 {[%csl
Yg8,Rh7][%cal Ga2b1,Rb1h7] Diagram [#] White's best bet is to create a battery.
} ({Vishy also mentioned the move} 16. Bd3 {although there should not be any
advantage for White after} Bb7 17. Bg3 Rac8 $11 {the position is too
symmetrical.}) 16... Bb7 17. Bb1 {It looks very unpleasant for Magnus, but the
world champion defended in a cool manner} Rad8 18. Bxf6 ({There is another way
to get rid of the key kingside defender} 18. Ne4 {However, there too White
will miss one tempo to be successful in the attack} Nxe4 19. Qxe4 Bxh4 20. Qh7+
Kf8 21. Nxh4 Rxd1 22. Rxd1 Rd8 $11 {when the g7 pawn is untouchable due to the
bank rank weakness} 23. Rxd8+ (23. Rc1 $2 Qd2 {is good for Black only.}) 23...
Qxd8 24. Qh8+ Ke7 25. Qxg7 $4 Qd1#) 18... Bxf6 19. Ne4 ({Both the players
investigated} 19. Qh7+ Kf8 20. Ne4 Rxd1 21. Rxd1 Rd8 {and agreed that there is
nothing there for White} 22. Rxd8+ Qxd8 23. Qh8+ (23. Bc2 $2 Bxb2) 23... Ke7
24. Qxd8+ Nxd8 25. Nxf6 Kxf6 $11) 19... Be7 {Another cool move. If White could
only move away the knight from the board somehow...} 20. Nc5 {This is the
maximum White can get out of the position.} (20. Ng3 {is too slow and Black
can organize counter-play after} g6 21. h4 Rc8 {Anand} ({Or also} 21... Rxd1
22. Rxd1 Rc8 {in either case Black is doing fine.})) 20... Bxc5 21. Qxc5 b4 {
"Unfortunately he has this move," said Anand at the press conference, "when
White's advantage is only symbolic and there is nothing I can do."} 22. Rc1
bxa3 23. bxa3 Qxc5 24. Rxc5 Ne7 {[%csl Yc5,Yd8,Ye8,Yf1][%cal Gd8c8] Diagram [#]
The rooks will now disappear from the board. The game is heading towards the
logical outcome.} 25. Rfc1 Rc8 26. Bd3 ({The rook swap is unavoidable} 26. Rc7
Rxc7 27. Rxc7 Rc8 28. Rxb7 $4 Rc1+ 29. Ne1 Rxe1#) 26... Red8 27. Rxc8 Rxc8 28.
Rxc8+ Nxc8 29. Nd2 {Vishy tried a bit more but he could not make use of the
white color today.} Nb6 30. Nb3 Nd7 31. Na5 Bc8 32. Kf1 Kf8 33. Ke1 Ke7 34. Kd2
Kd6 35. Kc3 Ne5 36. Be2 Kc5 37. f4 Nc6 38. Nxc6 Kxc6 39. Kd4 f6 40. e4 Kd6 41.
e5+ {Diagram [#] Magnus' approach in the opening solved the problem of the
black color today. Vishy tried everything he could but there was not much play
for him as both the players agreed after the game. Carlsen leads 4.5-3.5
before the final four games of the match.} 1/2-1/2

No comments: