Carlsen Retains the Title!

In what appeared to be a decisive game Magnus Carlsen of Norway defeated Viswanathan Anand of India to keep the crown of a World Champion.
A game that I liked (ChessBase 12)

[Event "World Chess Championship 2014"]
[Site "Sochi"]
[Date "2014.11.23"]
[Round "11"]
[White "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Black "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C67"]
[WhiteElo "2863"]
[BlackElo "2792"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "89"]
[EventDate "2014.??.??"]
[EventCountry "RUS"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. O-O Nxe4 5. d4 Nd6 6. Bxc6 dxc6 7. dxe5 Nf5
8. Qxd8+ Kxd8 9. h3 Bd7 {Anand deviates first today. In the previous games of
the match he played} (9... Ke8) 10. Nc3 h6 11. b3 (11. Bf4 {is another way of
developing the B, when} b6 (11... Kc8 {is more common}) 12. a4 a5 13. Rad1 Kc8
14. b3 Bb4 15. Ne4 Be6 {was equal in Shirov,A-Almasi,Z/Polanica Zdroj 2000/CBM
79 (40)}) 11... Kc8 {This is Kramnik's choice, he used this development in the
match against Kasparov.} 12. Bb2 {Diagram [#]} c5 {[%csl Yd5] And this is
quite fresh. In most of the case Black does not like to allow the white N on
d5 that early.} (12... b6 {remains the main plan and this is definitely
influenced by the match Kasparov- Kramnik. One of the firts games in this line
was played in this direction. A more recent example saw} 13. Rad1 Ne7 {[%cal
Gc6c5,Ge7g6,Ge7c6]} (13... Be6 14. g4 Ne7 15. Nd4)) (12... Ne7 13. Nd4 (13.
Rad1 c5 14. Ne2 Ng6 {[%csl Rd4,Re5,Rf4]}) 13... c5 14. Nde2 Bf5 $1 {[%csl Rc2]
which forces the white R to defend the pawn passively as in Shirov,A (2745)
-Volokitin,A (2671) Dagomys 2009}) 13. Rad1 b6 14. Rfe1 {The knight could go
to d5 at once.} (14. Nd5 Bc6 15. c4 Kb7 16. g4 Ne7 17. Nh4 Bxd5 18. cxd5 Rd8
19. d6 cxd6 20. Rxd6 Nc6 21. Rxd8 Nxd8 22. f4 $16 {Mista,A (2467)-Deszczynski,
A (2341) Wysowa 2003}) (14. Nd5 a5 15. Nd2 Ne7 16. Ne3 Nf5 17. Nd5 Ne7 18. Ne3
Nf5 {1/2 (18) Kokarev,D (2621)-Leko,P (2730) Loo 2014}) 14... Be6 15. Nd5 g5
16. c4 $146 ({The logical novelty. Carlsen overprotects the knight in the
center. In the only predecessor White could not equalize after} 16. Nh2 Kb7 17.
f4 $2 Nd4 (17... c4 $1) 18. Bxd4 cxd4 19. Nf6 gxf4 $17 {Zhidkov,P (2278)
-Vitoshinskiy,Y Dubna 2001}) 16... Kb7 17. Kh2 a5 {[%cal Ga5a4] The threat is
to open up the a file for the rook. This should be prevented.} 18. a4 Ne7 $11 {
[%csl Ya4,Yb3,Yc4][%cal Ge6f5,Gf5c2,Yc2b3] But now the pawns on the queenside
are somewhat vulnerable. Black can attack them in the future with Be6-f5-c2.}
19. g4 Ng6 20. Kg3 Be7 (20... Bg7 {at once is less precise as White can go for}
21. h4 {However, Black has an interesting counter-blow} h5 $5 {with a possible
line} 22. Nxg5 hxg4 23. Rh1 Rh6 24. Nxe6 fxe6 25. Nf6 Rah8 26. h5 Nxe5 27. Bxe5
Bxf6 28. Rde1 $14 {and White retains pressure.}) 21. Nd2 {The opposite colored
bishop endgames favors Black.} (21. Nxe7 Nxe7 22. Nd2 Ng6 {as the white bishop
is blocked and if its counterpart comes out any time all the queenside pawns
will be in danger.}) 21... Rhd8 22. Ne4 Bf8 $1 {Now with h3-h4 out of the
question the bishop can return to the long diagonal.} 23. Nef6 {Both the white
knights occupied some nice squares, but what is coming next? It is hard to
say for White, but Vishy has a very nice blow in his disposal.} b5 $1 {[%csl
Ya4,Yb3,Yc4] Typical, but nice! The queenside is discovered.} 24. Bc3 $1 {The
correct decision that keeps control of the situation. The alternatives are
clearly inferior for Magnus:} (24. cxb5 $2 c6 25. bxc6+ Kxc6 26. Ne3 Bxb3 $17 {
sees the white pawns diasappear.}) ({While} 24. axb5 $6 {is also good for
Black only} a4 25. bxa4 Rxa4 26. Rc1 Nf4 27. Rc2 Bxd5 28. Nxd5 $15 (28. cxd5
Be7 29. Bc1 Nd3 30. Re3 Rd4 31. Bb2 Nxb2 32. Rxb2 Bxf6 33. exf6 Rd6 $15)) 24...
bxa4 25. bxa4 Kc6 {[%cal Gb8b1] Now Anand gets counterplay on the open b file
and his position seems preferrable.} 26. Kf3 Rdb8 {The first critical moment
of the game. This move is logical but two other moves deserved serious
attention.} (26... Bg7 {was suggested by Anand himself and he assesed it as
equal.}) (26... Be7 $5 {On the other hand might be already bettter for Black!
For example} 27. Ke4 (27. Nxe7+ $2 {is once again just bad} Nxe7 28. Rxd8 Rxd8
$17) 27... Bxf6 $1 {Once that the knights disappear the knight versus bishop
in a blocked position will be definitely favorable for the Indian GM!} 28. exf6
Bxd5+ 29. cxd5+ Kd6 $15) 27. Ke4 {Diagram [#] The second critical moment of
the game and the match. Anand went all in with his next move} Rb4 {I do not
know how to comment it and what marks to put here. Let me quote Vishy then-
"It was a bad bluff and I got punished"- Anand.} ({A good alternative would
have been} 27... Rb3 28. Rb1 Rab8 29. Rxb3 Rxb3 {when the game should most
likely end in a draw after something like} 30. Ra1 (30. Bxa5 {is worse as} Ra3
(30... Rxh3) 31. Bxc7 Rxa4 32. Rc1 Bg7 33. Bd6 Bxf6 34. Nxf6 Nf4 $15 {leaves
White's position rather lose.} (34... Bxc4 $15 {is also good.})) 30... Bg7 {
Now a forced line goes} 31. Bxa5 Rxh3 32. f3 Rh2 33. Bc3 (33. Bxc7 $4 {loses a
piece due to} Bxf6) 33... Re2+ 34. Kd3 Rh2 35. a5 (35. Ke4 $11) 35... Bxf6 36.
exf6 Bxd5 37. cxd5+ Kxd5 38. Bd2 (38. a6 $4 Nf4+ 39. Ke3 Re2#) 38... Ne5+ 39.
Kc3 Rh3 40. a6 Rxf3+ 41. Kc2 Nd7 42. a7 Nb6 43. a8=Q+ Nxa8 44. Rxa8 Rxf6 $11)
28. Bxb4 cxb4 29. Nh5 {Now Magnus converters the advantage with an iron grip!
The idea is to open up the game after f2-f4.} Kb7 {Or else the king might be
under a pin here} (29... Rb8 30. f4 gxf4 31. Ndxf4 Nxf4 32. Nxf4 b3 (32... Bxc4
$2 33. Rc1 {[%csl Rc4,Rc6][%cal Rc1c6]}) 33. Nxe6 fxe6 34. Rb1 Rb4 35. Kd3 $16)
30. f4 $1 {[%cal Rf1f8,Rd1d8] Diagram [#]} gxf4 31. Nhxf4 Nxf4 32. Nxf4 Bxc4
33. Rd7 Ra6 (33... Kc6 34. Rd2 Kb7 35. Rc1 Bb3 36. Rd7 $18) 34. Nd5 Rc6 35.
Rxf7 Bc5 {Diagram [#]} 36. Rxc7+ $1 {The most exact follow up- all the pieces
disappear.} Rxc7 37. Nxc7 Kc6 (37... Kxc7 38. Rc1 Bb3 39. Rxc5+ Kb6 40. Rb5+
Ka6 41. Kd4 Bxa4 42. Rb8 $18) 38. Nb5 Bxb5 39. axb5+ Kxb5 40. e6 b3 41. Kd3 Be7
42. h4 a4 43. g5 hxg5 44. hxg5 a3 (44... Bxg5 45. Re5+) 45. Kc3 {Diagram [#]
And this is where Vishy shook Magnus's hand resigning the match!
Congratulations to the new-old champion Magnus Carlsen of Norway and his
worthy opponent Vishy Anand of India! Many thanks to both the players for the
unforgettable match!} 1-0


Intense Fight

Round ten saw Magnus Carlsen returning to the Gruenfeld where he produced a novelty on move fourteen. It seems as Viswanathan Anand did not react at the most dangerous way and the Norwegian held the game to a draw rather convincingly.
A game that I liked (ChessBase 12)

[Event "World Chess Championship 2014"]
[Site "Sochi"]
[Date "2014.11.21"]
[Round "10"]
[White "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Black "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "D97"]
[WhiteElo "2792"]
[BlackElo "2863"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "63"]
[EventDate "2014.??.??"]
[EventCountry "RUS"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 {Carlsen switches to the Gruenfeld. It should
have been difficult for Anand to prepare for each game. The thing is that
Carlsen does not choose the same opening despite its positive outcome. The QGD
served him well in the last game, while the Gruenfeld was not that good in
game one, but nevertheless he switches back to it. Thus Anand has to work
more, in different directions and to spend more energy in the pre-game
preparation.} 4. Nf3 Bg7 5. Qb3 {The Russian system was chosen by Anand. This
is not only respect to the orginers of the match but his main weapon against
the Gruenfeld.} dxc4 6. Qxc4 O-O 7. e4 Na6 {Curiously, Magnus had only two
games in this line, back in 2003 and 2005. In the latter he chose the same
move.} ({Also possible is} 7... a6 {which was played against Anand by a former
second of Carlsen} 8. Be2 b5 9. Qb3 Nc6 10. e5 Be6 11. Qd1 Nd5 {with solid
position for Black in Anand,V (2811)-Nepomniachtchi,I (2730) Moscow 2011}) 8.
Be2 {The main move.} ({The only previous game of Magnus in the line saw the
offbeat} 8. Bg5 c5 9. d5 e6 10. O-O-O Qa5 11. Qb5 Qxb5 12. Bxb5 Nc7 13. Be2
exd5 14. exd5 Rd8 15. d6 Nce8 16. Bb5 $13 {Azmaiparashvili,Z (2658)-Carlsen,M
(2570) Khanty-Mansiysk 2005}) 8... c5 9. d5 ({White is not ready for the open
game} 9. dxc5 {yields him nothing after} Be6 10. Qb5 Rc8 $36) 9... e6 10. O-O
exd5 11. exd5 Re8 {The second most common but quite natural move. Vishy had
faced the main move twice against Garry-Almighty} (11... Bf5 12. Rd1 Qb6 13.
Qh4 (13. d6 Rad8 14. Na4 Qc6 $5 {Anand,V (2781)-Kasparov,G (2812) Frankfurt
1999}) 13... Bc2 14. Rd2 Bf5 15. Rd1 Bc2 16. Rd2 {1/2 (16) Anand,V (2781)
-Kasparov,G (2812) Frankfurt 1999}) 12. Bg5 {It is useful to provoke a
weakness on the kingside.} h6 13. Be3 Bf5 14. Rad1 {All of this have already
been seen. Here Magnus came up with a logical novelty} Ne4 $146 {[%cal Rf5b1,
Rg7b2] Diagram [#] Which however is not surprisng at all for any Gruenfeld/KID
player. The road for thh two black bishops is opened and they can start
exerting pressure on the queenside.} ({Previously only} 14... Qb6 {was checked
and here beside the move} 15. b3 {White has plenty of interesting options to
work in his laboratory} (15. Nh4 $5) (15. Qb5 $5) (15. Rd2 $5) 15... Rad8 16.
Rd2 Ng4 17. Bf4 Qa5 18. Rc1 {All of this was played by one of Anand's seconds}
g5 ({Black missed a good shot} 18... b5 $1 19. Qxb5 (19. Nxb5 $2 Re4) 19...
Bxc3 20. Qxa5 Bxa5 21. Bxa6 Bxd2 $17) 19. Bg3 Bxc3 20. Qxc3 Qxc3 21. Rxc3 {
with doubled-edged endgame in Wojtaszek,R (2713)-Ponomariov,R (2729) Poikovsky
2012 Obviously the Polish GM provided Anand with some additional know-how.})
15. Nxe4 {The first moment where the challenger could have gone for the sharp}
(15. d6 $5 Nxc3 (15... Bxc3 $6 {looks too risky} 16. bxc3 Nxd6 $2 17. Qf4 $18 {
White has grand attack on the dark squares.}) 16. bxc3 Qb6 {Only the further
analyzes will prove if the d6 pawn is a weakness or an asset to the first
player.}) 15... Bxe4 ({Worse is} 15... Rxe4 {as the rook is vulnerable there}
16. Qc1 Kh7 17. Bd3 $16) 16. Qc1 {The second moment of the game where Vishy
could have played sharper. Why endgame?!} ({I strongly believe that the right
treatment of the position was to keep the queens on the board. A central
passer is good in the middlegame and not in the endgame. It separates the
flanks into two independent parts and can help the kingside attack. In the
endgame the cetral pawn is easily attacked by the king and is in most cases a
weakness.} 16. d6 $5 {with the obvious idea} Bxb2 $2 (16... Bc6 {should be
better although White has a lot to play for, for example} 17. Qc1 $5 {The
knight on a6 is misplaced and the kingside is under pressure.} Re6 18. Bxa6
bxa6 19. Qxc5 Bxf3 20. gxf3 {and White is better as} Bxb2 {fails to} 21. d7 {
Notice how difficult it is not for Black to block the pawn!}) 17. Bxh6) 16...
Qf6 17. Bxh6 Qxb2 {[%csl Yb2,Yc1] Diagram [#] "I was a little overoptimistic.
I thought that without the queens on the board I am immediately fine." Carlsen.
He indeed hs to solve some problems but as he demonstrated in the later, the
endgame is much easier to hold than the middlegame.} (17... Bxd5 {is also
possible although White is little better after} 18. Rxd5 Rxe2 19. Bxg7 Kxg7 20.
Rd7 Re7 21. Rxe7 Qxe7 22. Re1 Qf6 23. Re4 $14 {thanks to the misplaced Na6.})
18. Qxb2 ({Or} 18. Bxg7 Qxc1 19. Rxc1 Kxg7 20. Bxa6 bxa6 21. Rxc5 Red8 22. Rd1
Rab8 $11 {as Magnus intended to play.}) 18... Bxb2 19. Ng5 {"I underestimated
this move," Carlsen. And I suspect that this is the position that tempted
Anand to swap off the queeens. Now he wins the bishop pair.} (19. d6 {is also
interesting.}) ({However} 19. Bxa6 $2 {is simply wrong as the c pawn supported
by the bishop pair will be good only for Black} bxa6 20. d6 c4 $17) ({another
tempting continuation is suggested by Anand} 19. Bb5 {although this should not
be much after} Red8) 19... Bd4 $1 {[%csl Gd4,Yd5] Diagram [#] "This was very
precise"- Anand. The pawn on d6 had been excluded from the main forces and is
now doomed. Vishy tries everything he can to generate threats with his
bishops.} ({Black has no time to save the bishop} 19... Bf5 20. Bb5 Red8 21. d6
Bd4 22. Bc4 Rxd6 23. Nxf7 Rd7 24. Nd6+ Kh7 25. Nxf5 gxf5 26. Bf4 $16) ({Neither
} 19... Bc2 $2 {is good due to} 20. Rd2 Nb4 21. d6 $16) 20. Nxe4 Rxe4 21. Bf3
Re7 22. d6 ({While watching the game I anticipated the line} 22. Bf4 Rd7 23. d6
Nb4 24. Rd2 {which basically transposes into the game. Then after} Re8 {[%csl
Yd6][%cal Ge8e6,Gb4c6,Gd4e5,Ge5d6] Black intends to surround the pawn with
Re8-e6, Nb4-c6 and Bd4-e5. Somethimes the kingside pawns also help. Examplary
line goes like this} 25. Rc1 Nc6 (25... Re6 {also makes sense}) 26. Bxc6 bxc6
27. Kf1 f6 (27... Re6 28. Re2 Rxe2 29. Kxe2 f6) 28. h4 (28. Re2 Rxe2 29. Kxe2
g5 30. Bg3 f5 $11) 28... Kf7 29. g3 Rg8 30. Re2 g5 31. hxg5 fxg5 {and the d6
pawn will disappear.}) 22... Rd7 23. Bf4 Nb4 {Finally the knight enters the
game.} 24. Rd2 {The last critical moment of the game.} ({Anand mentioned at
the press conference the move} 24. Rfe1 $5 {[%csl Yb7,Rd6,Ge7][%cal Ge1e7,
Rf3b7] Diagram [#] although he did not provide any further lines. This is a
pawn sacrifice and very risky decision but looks tempting! After} Nxa2 25. Re7
$1 Rxe7 (25... Rad8 26. Bd5 $1 Nc3 27. Bxf7+ Kg7 28. Rde1 Bf6 29. Rxd7 Rxd7 30.
Be6 $16) 26. dxe7 Re8 27. Re1 Nb4 {The knights hold both teh critical c6 and
d5 square and seems fine after f7-f6 and Kg8-f7 finally neutralizing the pawn.
} 28. Bxb7 f6) 24... Re8 25. Rc1 Re6 {Getting into the d6 pawn busyness.} 26.
h4 Be5 27. Bxe5 Rxe5 28. Bxb7 {Diagram [#] Forces the draw. Obviously Anand
could not do anything more} (28. Bg4 {is met with} f5 29. Be2 Kf8 30. g3 b6 31.
Bf3 Re6 32. a3 Na6 33. Be2 Nb8 34. Rcd1 a6 {[%cal Gb6b5,Gc5c4] intending both
b6-b5 and c5-c4 as well as Nb8-c6-d4} (34... Nc6 $2 35. Bb5) 35. a4 Nc6 36.
Bxa6 Nd4 $11 37. Rxd4 (37. Bc8 Nf3+ 38. Kg2 Nxd2 39. Bxd7 Rxd6) 37... cxd4 38.
Bc8 Rexd6 39. Bxd7 Rxd7 $11) 28... Rxb7 29. d7 Nc6 30. d8=Q+ Nxd8 31. Rxd8+ Kg7
32. Rd2 {The resources are exausted, the peace treaty signed. Carlsen leads 5.
5-4.5 and need one more point to defend the title.} 1/2-1/2


Uneventful Draw

Game nine of the match ended peacefully quite quickly. Anand's super preparation allowed him a chance to equalize rather easily. Carlsen decided not to risk and forced a draw by perpetual.
A game that I liked (ChessBase 12)

[Event "World Chess Championship 2014"]
[Site "Sochi"]
[Date "2014.11.20"]
[Round "9"]
[White "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Black "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C67"]
[WhiteElo "2863"]
[BlackElo "2792"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "39"]
[EventDate "2014.??.??"]
[EventCountry "RUS"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 {The Berlin rules.} 4. O-O Nxe4 5. d4 Nd6 6.
Bxc6 dxc6 7. dxe5 Nf5 8. Qxd8+ Kxd8 9. h3 Ke8 10. Nc3 h5 11. Ne2 {Carlsen
decided to check what has Anand prepared here.} b6 12. Rd1 Ba6 13. Nf4 {[%cal
Ge5e6] Diagram [#]} Bb7 $146 {A novelty. Vishy came very well prepared for the
match. The bishop belongs to the long diagonal.} ({Previously only} 13... Rd8 {
had been seen} 14. Bd2 Nd4 15. Nxd4 Rxd4 16. a4 $1 {and Whitye proved that the
rook is needed on a8.} Bc8 17. a5 a6 18. Be3 Rxd1+ 19. Rxd1 b5 20. Nd3 $16 {
[%csl Gc5] Diagram [#] Dominguez Perez,L (2726)-Ponomariov,R (2741) Leon 2012})
14. e6 {The key theme in the Berlin and the most straightforward continuation.}
({Probably White could try} 14. c4 {with the idea to meet} c5 {with} ({However
here Black can play} 14... Rd8 {and in comparison to the game
Dominguez-Ponomariov he will enjoy some additional ideas} 15. Bd2 c5 {now d5
is under control} 16. Bc3 Bxf3 17. Rxd8+ Kxd8 18. gxf3 {and if anyone is
better here it is not White.}) 15. Nd5 {[%csl Rd5]}) 14... Bd6 $1 {Blocks the
d file, defends the c7 pawn, attacks the f4 knight and developes a piece. How
multifunctional a move could be?} 15. exf7+ Kxf7 16. Ng5+ Kf6 17. Ne4+ {
Diagram [#] Magnus has no advantage at all and decides to call it a day.} Kf7
18. Ng5+ Kf6 19. Ne4+ Kf7 20. Ng5+ {Melik was right so far. Yesterday at the
TV show he predicted two draws, while I expected big fight today. I wonder if
this short game is due to fatigue in Carlsen or due to the super-prep by Anand.
Whichever the case, Magnus is one game closer to defending the title and Vishy
gets an extra white color to spoil his plans.} 1/2-1/2


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


Marathon Battle

The second half of the WCC match in Sochi started with a marathon battle. Viswanathan Anand returned to the Berlin and Magnus Carlsen decided to try the main lines today:
A game that I liked (ChessBase 12)

[Event "World Chess Championship 2014"]
[Site "Sochi"]
[Date "2014.11.17"]
[Round "7"]
[White "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Black "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C67"]
[WhiteElo "2863"]
[BlackElo "2792"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "243"]
[EventDate "2014.??.??"]
[EventCountry "RUS"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 {As I predicted after the second game, the
Berlin is back. It would not be surprise if the opponents play it with
reversed colors.} 4. O-O Nxe4 5. d4 Nd6 6. Bxc6 dxc6 7. dxe5 Nf5 8. Qxd8+ Kxd8
9. h3 Ke8 10. Nc3 h5 11. Bf4 Be7 12. Rad1 Be6 {Some time ago a very strong GM
revealed to me that this is the easiest equalizer for Black.} 13. Ng5 Rh6 {
Black will trade on g5 but only once that he can kick away the annoying bishop.
} (13... Bxg5 14. Bxg5 h4 15. Rd2 Rh5 16. f4 {will leave the rook on h5
offside and the king in trouble along the d file.}) 14. g3 (14. Rfe1 Bb4 15. g4
hxg4 16. hxg4 Ne7 17. Nxe6 Rxe6 18. Kg2 Bxc3 19. bxc3 Rd8 20. Rxd8+ Kxd8 21.
Rh1 Nd5 22. Rh8+ Kd7 23. Bg3 g5 {was played the round before in Radjabov,T
(2726)-Andreikin,D (2722) Tashkent UZB 2014}) 14... Bxg5 {Now it is the right
time as otherwise White will stabilize the situation in the flank with the
move h3-h4. What follows next is pretty forced} 15. Bxg5 Rg6 16. h4 {Diagram
[#] The only chance to fight for the advantage is to sacrifice a pawn. Vishy
had already faced the alternative, which is known as a forced draw} (16. Bf4
Nh4 17. Kh1 Nf3 18. Kg2 Nh4+ 19. Kh1 Nf3 20. Kg2 {1/2 (20) Grischuk,A (2747)
-Anand,V (2817) Monte Carlo 2011}) 16... f6 17. exf6 gxf6 18. Bf4 Nxh4 19. f3 {
The pawn is gone, but Magnus wants to play Kg1-f2 and then attack on the open
central files. Vishy needs to reduce the pressure.} Rd8 {Which he does
promptly. All of this is not new yet.} 20. Kf2 Rxd1 21. Nxd1 Nf5 22. Rh1 {This
is the important pawn White wishes to win. Two versus one on the kingside will
give a chance for a dangerous passer.} Bxa2 {Black uses the moment when the
knight blocks the rook to snatch another pawn.} ({Passive defense is highly
inappropriate} 22... Ng7 23. Ne3 Kd7 24. Ng2 {as gthe rook on g6 will suffer.})
23. Rxh5 Be6 24. g4 ({Or else Black will trade the rooks and there will be
nothing to play for} 24. Bxc7 Rh6 25. Rxh6 Nxh6 26. g4 {½-½ Alekseev,E (2675)
-Grachev,B (2672) Kocaeli 2014}) 24... Nd6 25. Rh7 {Diagram [#]} Nf7 $146 {
[%csl Yh7][%cal Gf7h8,Gf7h6,Rg6h6] The novelty. Yes, on move 25! A couple of
weeks ago another Super-GM game went} (25... f5 $6 {The evaluations are due of
Anish Giri} 26. g5 $6 ({Giri underestimated how unpleasant} 26. Rxc7 $1 Nb5 27.
gxf5 Bxf5 28. Rxb7 Bxc2 29. Ne3 {is for Black, despite the limited number of
pawns.}) 26... Nf7 27. Rh5 {and even here White is somewhat better but Black
defended well to deserve the draw in Giri,A (2768)-Radjabov,T (2726) Tashkent
2014}) 26. Ne3 {This stops the positional threat f6-f5 which will
significantly reduce the material.} (26. Bxc7 {is again nothing} Rh6 (26... f5
$11 {is also good}) 27. Rxh6 Nxh6 $11) 26... Kd8 {If you do not want it, I
will keep it.} 27. Nf5 {The knight is transferred to a better position while
watching carefully the f5 spot.} c5 28. Ng3 $1 Ne5 $1 {I am not sure if this
was still prep but it looks like a very convincing defense. If Anand allows
the maneuver Ng3-h5 his position will become very, very suspicious. Have a
look at it} (28... b6 29. Nh5 a5 {These two moves are not necessary but it
makes good sense to advance the pawns where you are stronger. Now very strong
is} 30. Bg3 $1 {[%csl Ye6,Yg6][%cal Gh5f4] with the threat Nh5-f4.} ({Rather
than the forced line} 30. Bxc7+ Kxc7 31. Nf4 Rh6 32. Nxe6+ Kd6 33. Rxf7 Kxe6
34. Rb7 Rh2+ 35. Ke3 Rxc2 36. Rxb6+ $11) {and if} 30... Kd7 31. f4 $1 {is
large advantage for White in the complications} Rh6 (31... Bxg4 32. Rxf7+ Ke8
33. Rh7 {wins a piece for White}) (31... Rxg4 {loses the exchange} 32. Nxf6+
Ke7 33. Nxg4 Bxg4) 32. f5 Rxh7 33. Nxf6+ Ke7 34. Nxh7 {and the two kingside
pawns are far more dangerous than all the black queenside ones.}) 29. Rh8+ ({
I suspect that Anand would have also sacrificed a piece in case of} 29. Bxe5
fxe5 30. Rh5 Bxg4 31. fxg4 Rxg4) 29... Rg8 ({The pawns might get dangerous if
left on the board} 29... Kd7 30. Ne4 Kc6 31. Bxe5 fxe5 32. Rh5 Kd5 33. Nc3+ Kd6
34. Ke3 b6 35. Nb5+ $16) 30. Bxe5 fxe5 31. Rh5 {[%csl Ye5,Rf3,Rg4] Diagram [#]}
Bxg4 $1 {The point of Vishy's defense. The pawns on gthe kingside disappear
and the knight cannot do much on one flank only.} 32. fxg4 Rxg4 33. Rxe5 b6 34.
Ne4 Rh4 35. Ke2 Rh6 36. b3 Kd7 37. Kd2 Kc6 {Technically speaking Magnus is a
pawn up but the problem is that the knith cannot be separated into three pawns
:) The real problem is that anytime he tries to advance his pawns this will
lead to exchanges and will liquidate into a theoretically draw endgame R+N
versus R.} 38. Nc3 a6 39. Re4 Rh2+ 40. Kc1 Rh1+ 41. Kb2 Rh6 42. Nd1 Rg6 43. Ne3
Rh6 44. Re7 Rh2 45. Re6+ Kb7 46. Kc3 Rh4 47. Kb2 Rh2 48. Nd5 Rd2 49. Nf6 Rf2 {
Nothing much happened in the past few moves. At the moment that the white
knight approaches the black camp though Anand starts hitting it with the rook.
This is the best defensive technique as he does not want to allow too much
freedom to the white pieces.} 50. Kc3 Rf4 51. Ne4 Rh4 52. Nf2 Rh2 53. Rf6 Rh7
54. Nd3 Rh3 55. Kd2 Rh2+ 56. Rf2 Rh4 57. c4 {Finally a white pawn moved but it
can easily be attacked here by a black one.} Rh3 58. Kc2 Rh7 59. Nb2 Rh5 60.
Re2 Rg5 61. Nd1 b5 62. Nc3 c6 63. Ne4 Rh5 64. Nf6 Rg5 65. Re7+ Kb6 {Vishy is
not afraid of ghosts.} 66. Nd7+ Ka5 ({Naturally not} 66... Kc7 $4 67. Nxc5+ Kd6
68. Ne4+ $18) 67. Re4 Rg2+ 68. Kc1 Rg1+ 69. Kd2 Rg2+ 70. Ke1 ({Or else all the
pawns will disappear.} 70. Re2 Rxe2+ 71. Kxe2 Kb4) 70... bxc4 {Well calculated.
} 71. Rxc4 Rg3 72. Nxc5 Kb5 {with the threat Rg3xb3.} 73. Rc2 a5 74. Kf2 Rh3
75. Rc1 Kb4 76. Ke2 Rc3 {[%csl Yb3] Diagram [#] The last pawn disappears. Many
players would have call it a day now, but not Carlsen. For two reasons. First
of all, he is Magnus and this is something you cannot escape of. The second
one has more to do with the match strategy. In every single situation the
stronger side pushes as much as he likes for the pure joy of it. And- to
exhaust the opponent. The match history knows many game in which a player who
had defended long game with the black pieces is so exhausted in the next game
that does not even try to win but chooses to make a short draw instead and get
some rest. However, I doubt that this will be the case tomorrow as Anand
desperately needs a win to keep his chances alive.} ({Not} 76... Rh5 77. Rc4+)
77. Nd3+ Kxb3 78. Ra1 Kc4 79. Nf2 Kb5 80. Rb1+ Kc4 81. Ne4 Ra3 82. Nd2+ Kd5 83.
Rh1 a4 84. Rh5+ Kd4 85. Rh4+ Kc5 86. Kd1 Kb5 87. Kc2 Rg3 88. Ne4 Rg2+ 89. Kd3
a3 90. Nc3+ Kb6 91. Ra4 a2 {Black does not need the pawns to make the draw.}
92. Nxa2 Rg3+ 93. Kc2 Rg2+ 94. Kb3 Rg3+ 95. Nc3 Rh3 96. Rb4+ Kc7 97. Rg4 Rh7
98. Kc4 Rf7 99. Rg5 Kb6 100. Na4+ Kc7 101. Kc5 Kd7 102. Kb6 Rf1 103. Nc5+ Ke7
104. Kxc6 {Diagram [#] Kasparov once won this endgame to Judith Polgar (back
in 1996). Still, it is extremely unprobable that anything like that happens in
a WCC match.} Rd1 105. Rg6 Kf7 106. Rh6 Rg1 107. Kd5 Rg5+ 108. Kd4 Rg6 109. Rh1
Rg2 110. Ne4 Ra2 111. Rf1+ Ke7 112. Nc3 Rh2 113. Nd5+ Kd6 114. Rf6+ Kd7 115.
Nf4 Rh1 {The rook stands as far away of the white king as possible. Anytime it
approaches he will start checking it and if the knight covers the check Black
will just keep it pinned. This is the defensive method is brief.} 116. Rg6 Rd1+
117. Nd3 Ke7 118. Ra6 Kd7 119. Ke4 Ke7 120. Rc6 Kd7 121. Rc1 Rxc1 122. Nxc1 {
A marathon battle! Carlsen tried everything he could to crack the defense that
Anand skilfully had built but in vain.} 1/2-1/2

The world champion leads 4-3, but the challenger has 3-2 white colors till the end of the match.


A Heart-breaker!

The sixth game of the match between Magnus Carlsen and Vishy Anand turned into a real thriller.
A game that I liked (ChessBase 12)

[Event "World Chess Championship 2014"]
[Site "Sochi"]
[Date "2014.11.15"]
[Round "6"]
[White "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Black "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B41"]
[WhiteElo "2863"]
[BlackElo "2792"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "75"]
[EventDate "2014.??.??"]
[EventCountry "RUS"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 {Anand does not mind repeating the opening from game four.}
3. d4 {Carlsen does. He came fully equipped for the game, determined to get
something out of the white color.} cxd4 4. Nxd4 a6 {Anand is determined to
play the Kan/Paulsen line. On account of this choice his former second S.
Ganguly rhetorically asked: "When was the last time that the Kan/Paulsen was
played on this level?" My bet would be the Petrosian-Spassky match in 1969...}
5. c4 {Another opening surprise! This match has plenty of psychological fight.
The last time Magnus played this was back in 2004. Vishy on his turn had never
faced it. At least with the black pieces.} (5. Bd3 Bc5 6. Nb3 Ba7 7. Qe2 d6 {
was the course of the game Bobras,P (2518)-Anand,V (2775) Germany 2014}) 5...
Nf6 6. Nc3 Bb4 {Time for Magnus to experience something new! His two games ten
years back saw both:} ({the sharp} 6... Qc7 7. a3 Nxe4 8. Nxe4 Qe5 9. Bd3 Qxd4
10. O-O {Carlsen,M (2385)-Trygstad,K (2330) Fredrikstad 2003}) ({and the
positional} 6... d6 7. g3 Qc7 8. Be3 b6 9. Bg2 Bb7 10. O-O Nbd7 11. Rc1 {
Carlsen,M (2484)-Werle,J (2407) Wijk aan Zee 2004}) 7. Qd3 $5 {The second main
move in the position. There was a burst of popularity of this line in 2005.
Even Anand had tried it as White.} (7. Bd3 {remains the main move.}) 7... Nc6 {
Diagram [#] I personally do not like this move. I wonder why Anand deviated
from the principled central push} (7... d5 $5 8. exd5 exd5 9. Be2 O-O 10. O-O
Nc6 11. Nxc6 bxc6 {especially if he remmebered that he got nothing against
Svidler as White after} 12. Bg5 Bxc3 13. bxc3 Be6 14. Rfd1 h6 15. Bh4 dxc4 16.
Qg3 Qb8 17. Bxf6 Qxg3 18. hxg3 gxf6 19. Rd4 Rfd8 20. Rf4 {1/2 (20) Anand,V
(2786)-Svidler,P (2735) Monte Carlo 2005}) 8. Nxc6 dxc6 9. Qxd8+ ({Also
interesting is} 9. e5 Qxd3 10. Bxd3 Nd7 11. f4 {as in Kovacevic,A (2576)
-Miezis,N (2533) Nova Gorica 2010}) 9... Kxd8 10. e5 $14 {The engame is
extremely pleasant for White.} Nd7 ({In case of} 10... Ne4 11. a3 $1 {is very
strong, for example} Bxc3+ 12. bxc3 {and if} Nxc3 13. a4 Ne4 14. Be3 {Black
will have problems with both his knight and the dark squares.}) 11. Bf4 Bxc3+ {
A sad necessity. Anand will now suffer on the dark squares.} ({Black can
hardly preserve the bishop} 11... Ke7 12. O-O-O Ba5 13. Ne4 $16 {as the knight
will be super strong on d6.}) ({Also in case of} 11... Kc7 12. O-O-O {White
threatens Nc3-e4-d6 which will force the trade of the bishop anyway.}) 12. bxc3
Kc7 {The king is safer on c7 rather than e7. There are no checks along the
h4-d8 diagonal and it can also support a future pawn on b6.} 13. h4 $1 {[%cal
Gh1h3,Gh3g3,Gh4h5,Gh5h6,Ra1d1,Rd1d3,Rd3f3,Rf3f7,Rh3h4,Rh4g4,Rg4g7] Diagram [#]
However, the problem is the kingside now. With this move the world champion
grabs space on this part of the board and creates possible targets on the f7
and g7 squares. Since White owes more space on the kingside, he can also lift
both his rooks for the attack and the plan seems pretty scary.} b6 ({Black
would be happy to block the h pawn, but this will weaken further the dark
squares, for example} 13... h5 14. Rh3 b6 15. Be2 Bb7 16. Rd1 Rad8 {with the
idea to trade the rooks along the open file} 17. Rg3 g6 18. Bg5 {[%csl Yd8,Ye7,
Yf6,Yg7,Yh6,Yh8]} Rde8 19. Rgd3 Nc5 20. Rd6 $16 {and Black is paralized.}) 14.
h5 h6 {Or else h5-h6 and domination on the dark squares as in the previous
line.} 15. O-O-O Bb7 16. Rd3 $1 {Simple and effective. White could have
started with} (16. Rh4 {as well. I suspect Magnus disliked} Nc5 17. Rg4 Rag8 {
the knight on c5 looks great and prevents the rook from shifting along the
third rank.}) 16... c5 17. Rg3 Rag8 (17... Rhg8 18. Bd3 {already loses a pawn
due to the threat Bd3-h7.}) 18. Bd3 {Completely controlling the right side of
the board. The threat Rh1-h4-g4xg7 is very hard to meet.} Nf8 ({The king can
also try to help, but the position arising after} 18... Kd8 19. Rh4 Ke7 20.
Rhg4 Kf8 {is frankly speaking, ugly. After} 21. Bc2 {Black is in a sort of a
zugzwang. The threat is Bc2-a4 and then the rook will penetrate along the d
file. If} Bc6 {allows} 22. Rd3 {and then Rd3-d6}) 19. Be3 $1 {[%csl Yf4][%cal
Yf8g6,Yg6f4] Diagram [#] The bishop pays respect to the tricky knight. It is
indeed wise to stay away of the tricky piece and not to get within its range.
The hasty} (19. Rh4 $2 {will blow the advantage away after} g5 $1 20. hxg6 Nxg6
{Where White will have nothing better than a draw with} 21. Bxg6 ({As} 21. Rhg4
$2 {simply loses} h5 22. Rg5 Nxf4 23. Rxg8 Rxg8 24. Rxg8 Nxd3+ $19) 21... Rxg6
22. Rxg6 fxg6 23. Rxh6 Rxh6 24. Bxh6 Bxg2) 19... g6 {The only chance. Vishy
naturally does not want to wait and see the rooks breaking his position.} 20.
hxg6 Nxg6 21. Rh5 {There is no rush. Magnus achieved what he wanted. The pawn
on h6 is doomed.} (21. Bxh6 $2 Nxe5 $17) (21. Rxh6 $6 {leads only to a draw as
the bishop on d3 is hanging in the line} Nxe5 22. Bf4 Rxg3 23. Bxe5+ Kd7 24.
Rxh8 Rxd3 $11) 21... Bc6 22. Bc2 {One more move of respect. Both to the knight
and the bishop.} Kb7 23. Rg4 {White is obviously better, but Magnus struggles
to find a plan from now on. The main problem is that if he ever pushes the f
pawn there are problem along the g file} (23. f4 $2 Ne7 24. Rxg8 Rxg8 25. Rxh6
Rxg2 $11) ({However, the immediate} 23. Kd2 {was a way to improve, for example}
a5 24. Ke2 Ne7 25. Rxg8 Rxg8 26. g3 Rg4 27. Bd3 {and White wins the pawn on h6.
}) 23... a5 24. Bd1 Rd8 25. Bc2 Rdg8 {Diagram [#] First Magnus repeated the
moves and then when determinetely} 26. Kd2 $4 {or the blunder of the match so
far! This loses at least a pawn and Magnus saw it at the moment he played it.}
({The problem with} 26. Kd1 Nf8 27. Rf4 Be8 {is that White has no time to
consolidate the advantage due to the lose position of his pieces} 28. Rh2 (28.
g3 $2 f5 $1) 28... Ng6 {and Black is holding.}) 26... a4 $4 {Returning the
favor! This was probably the crtical moment of the match. Vishy could have won
a pawn} (26... Nxe5 $1 27. Rxg8 Nxc4+ 28. Kd3 Nb2+ 29. Ke2 Rxg8 {with
excellent winning chances for Black.}) 27. Ke2 a3 {The pawn on a2 is fixed and
Anand is hoping that the a3 pawn will once become a queen. For instance after
Bc6-a4-b3!} 28. f3 Rd8 {Takes control of the open file and prepares the
following maneuver} 29. Ke1 {Magnus steps away from the possible check on d3.}
({Vishy would find counterplay after} 29. Bxg6 fxg6 30. Rxg6 Ba4 $1 31. Rxe6 (
31. Rh1 Bc2) 31... Bc2 {this is where the Rd8 is needed} 32. Re7+ Ka6 33. Rh1
Bd3+ 34. Kf2 Bxc4 {but after all this is an extra pawn, White can play further
for the win.}) 29... Rd7 30. Bc1 Ra8 {[%cal Gc6a4,Rd7d1] Diagram [#] with the
threat Ba4 to trade the good bishop and check on d1 is it retreats.} 31. Ke2
Ba4 ({Both the players said at the press conference that Black should be OK
after} 31... Ne7 {I am not so sure about it} 32. Rg7 Ba4 33. Bxa4 Rxa4 34. Rxf7
Rxc4 35. Bd2 {looks winning for White.}) 32. Be4+ Bc6 $2 {This loses.} ({It
seems as they both leveled Black's counter chances low after} 32... Ka7 33.
Bxa8 Kxa8 34. Bxa3 Rd1 35. Rxh6 Ra1 36. Ke3 Nxe5 (36... Rxa2 37. Bc1 Nxe5 38.
Rg7 Nxc4+ 39. Kf4) 37. Rg7 Nxc4+ 38. Kf4 Nd6 39. Ke5 Rd1 {the bishop is
paralized on a3, perhaps Black can survive this.}) 33. Bxg6 fxg6 34. Rxg6 Ba4
35. Rxe6 Rd1 (35... Bb3 36. axb3 a2 37. Bb2 $18) 36. Bxa3 Ra1 {It seems as the
bishop is trapped, but} 37. Ke3 {Diagram [#]} Bc2 (37... Rxa2 38. Bc1) 38. Re7+
{A heartbreaker!} 1-0

Carlsen leads 3.5-2.5 after the first half of the match.

Game Five is a Flawless Draw

Vishy Anand managed to put pressure on the position of the World Champion in the fifth game of their match in Sochi. Despite the surprising choice of Magnus Carlsen of a QID, the Challenger came well prepared and introduced a novelty which gave him a certain pull. Magnus, however defended flawlessly and secured the half point after all the resources were exhausted.

A game that I liked (ChessBase 12)

[Event "World Chess Championship 2014"]
[Site "Sochi"]
[Date "2014.11.14"]
[Round "5"]
[White "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Black "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "E16"]
[WhiteElo "2785"]
[BlackElo "2863"]
[PlyCount "78"]
[EventDate "2014.??.??"]
[EventCountry "RUS"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 {Anand decided to avoid the Nimtzo-Indian defense
that brought success to his opponent in their previous match.} b6 4. g3 Bb4+ {
A small surprise by Carlsen. The last time the World Champion played like that
was back in 2007. The previous encounter of the adversaries saw} (4... Bb7 5.
Bg2 Be7 6. O-O O-O 7. Nc3 Ne4 8. Bd2 Bf6 9. Qc2 Nxd2 10. Qxd2 d6 {with
approximate equality, Anand,V (2780)-Carlsen,M (2843) Sao Paulo/Bilbao 2012})
5. Bd2 Be7 6. Nc3 Bb7 7. Bg2 c6 {An interesting moment of the game. Magnus
blocked the possible d4-d5 advance, so typical for the QID.} ({For instance,
after the more common} 7... O-O {White can react with the pawn sacrifice} 8. d5
$5 exd5 9. Nh4 c6 10. cxd5 Nxd5 11. Nf5 Nxc3 12. Bxc3 $44 {as in Nikolic,P
(2485)-Kavalek,L (2590) Wijk aan Zee 1982}) 8. e4 d5 9. exd5 {This is the
modern treatment of the position. The other capture does not provide any
advantage for the first player, know from the following game:} (9. cxd5 cxd5
10. e5 Ne4 11. O-O O-O 12. Re1 Nxd2 $1 13. Qxd2 (13. Nxd2 Nc6 14. Nb3 a5 15. a4
Ba6 $10) 13... Ba6 14. a3 Nc6 15. b4 Bc4 16. Qe3 b5 $10 {Karpov,A (2780)
-Tiviakov,S (2625) Linares 1995}) 9... cxd5 10. Ne5 {The pressure on the long
diagonal is unpleasant for Black but once that he finishes the development it
should be nivilated.} O-O 11. O-O Nc6 12. cxd5 Nxe5 {All of this was played
fairly quickly and Anand also played quite fast the actual novelty of the game}
13. d6 $146 {White at least gains the bishop pair.} ({The other move promises
nothing to White} 13. dxe5 Nxd5 14. Nxd5 Bxd5 15. Bc3 Bxg2 16. Qxd8 Rfxd8 {
with a quick draw in Komljenovic,D (2465)-Palac,M (2561) Sibenik 2010}) 13...
Nc6 {The only move. Weak is} (13... Bxg2 14. dxe7 Qxe7 15. dxe5 Bxf1 16. exf6
Qxf6 17. Qxf1 $16) 14. dxe7 Qxe7 15. Bg5 {White owes the bishop pair but he
also has an isolated pawn on d4 which can be easily attacked. He need to hurry
with the development of the initiative as otherwise the pressure along the d
file might be quite annoying for him.} h6 {Diagram [#]} 16. d5 $1 {The typical
central break is Anand's best choice. After} (16. Bxf6 Qxf6 17. d5 exd5 18.
Qxd5 ({Black can even grab the pawn in case of} 18. Nxd5 Qxb2) 18... Rad8 {
Black equalizes with ease.}) 16... Na5 $1 {The best defense.} ({In case of the
obvious} 16... Rad8 {Diagram [#] White could have sacrificed the queen with}
17. Bxf6 Qxf6 18. dxc6 $1 Rxd1 19. Rfxd1 Bc8 20. Rac1 {for the queen White has
only a R and a B but the pawn on c6 is restricting the black bishop and is
enormous power. The white pieces are generally controlling the board which
means that this should be compensation with great interest.}) 17. Bxf6 Qxf6 18.
dxe6 Qxe6 {Magnus does not like to allow weaknesses in his camp.} (18... fxe6
19. Bxb7 Nxb7 20. Qe2 Nc5 21. Rad1 $14) 19. Re1 {Diagram [#]} ({I suspect that
the Challenger could have posed more problems if he had transposed the moves
with} 19. Bxb7 $5 Nxb7 20. Qf3 {[%csl Rf6] The difference is that now the
black Q does not have access to the f6 square} Nc5 21. Rfe1 Qc4 (21... Qf6 22.
Qxf6 gxf6 23. Rad1 {looks nice for White with the pawns doubled on the f file.}
) 22. b3 Qa6 23. Nd5 $14) 19... Qf6 {Diagram [#] Now Black is seemingly in
control and as the position is very symmetrical the slight innitiative of the
first player should slowly evaporate.} 20. Nd5 $1 {Vishy fights for the
initiative!} ({One curious line runs} 20. Bxb7 Nxb7 21. Qe2 Rfd8 22. Rad1 Rxd1
{Not the only defense, of course} 23. Rxd1 Rd8 24. Rxd8+ Qxd8 25. Qa6 Nc5 $5
26. Qxa7 Nd3 {with the idea to counter-attack after} 27. b3 $2 Qe8 $1 28. Qxb6
Qe1+ 29. Kg2 Qxc3 $17) 20... Bxd5 21. Bxd5 Rad8 22. Qf3 Qxb2 {Magnus is not
afraid of the active white pieces. He had calculated everything very well. A
more solid defense is} (22... Qxf3 23. Bxf3 Nc4 24. b3 Nd2 25. Bg2 Rd7 $11) 23.
Rad1 {White has beautiful pieces and managed to arrest the opponent's knight
on the a file. One more move and his initiative will become fearsome, but...}
Qf6 $1 {Or else the white rook will penetrate on the seventh rank.} ({At the
press conference Anand explained that they both committed the same mistake in
their preliminary calculations. In the line:} 23... Rd6 24. Bxf7+ $1 Rxf7 25.
Re8+ Kh7 26. Qxf7 Rxd1+ 27. Kg2 Rd6 28. Qf5+ Rg6 29. Re6 $18 {they both
thought that Black can now defend with Qb2-c1+(!) followed by Qc1-g5 with a
tempo...}) 24. Qxf6 gxf6 25. Re7 Kg7 $1 {The counter-sacrifice levels the game.
The pawns on the queenside disappear and White cannot use the weaknesses on
the kingside. The bishop will no longer be better than the knight once that
the play is concentrated on one flank only.} ({Bad is} 25... a6 $2 26. Bxf7+ $1
) 26. Rxa7 ({Anand mentioned both} 26. Rc7) ({and} 26. Kg2 {as possible ideas.
He did not like the latter because of} f5 {as he cannot take on f7 anymore.
But White should be better after} ({However, Black should be able to defend
after} 26... Nc6 {which is what Carlsen thought it is better} 27. Rc7 Ne5 28.
Rxa7 Rd6 29. Bb3 Rxd1 30. Bxd1 Rd8 31. Bb3 Rd2) 27. Rxa7 Nc6 28. Rb7 {as the
game defense} Nb4 {fails to} 29. Bxf7 Rxd1 30. Bh5+ Kh8 31. Bxd1 Nxa2 32. Rxb6
$16) 26... Nc6 27. Rb7 Nb4 28. Bb3 Rxd1+ 29. Bxd1 Nxa2 30. Rxb6 Nc3 {Diagram
[#] Obviously all of this was seen in advance by both the opponents. The have
heads to the logical outcome.} 31. Bf3 f5 32. Kg2 Rd8 33. Rc6 Ne4 34. Bxe4 fxe4
35. Rc4 f5 36. g4 Rd2 37. gxf5 e3 38. Re4 Rxf2+ 39. Kg3 Rxf5 {Diagram [#]
There is nothing to play for. Vishy Anand prepared a novelty which gave him
initiative in the center, but the Magnus Carlsen defended well enough to solve
the problem of the black color in this game. The result is leveled 2.5-2.5}

The result is equal 2.5-2.5. In the next two game Magnus Carlsen will have two white colors.


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.

Vishy Levels the Score!

Yesterday was a great day for chess! Former World Champion Vishy Anand showed what he is capable of and defeated the reigning champion Magnus Carlsen to level the score in the match.
Contrary to the expectations and fears of many of the chess fans all over the world this match looks nothing but one-sided!
Since I was travelling to India for a FIDE trainer's seminar, I had no physical ability to annotate the game.
I will use Erwin L'Ami's notes for chess.com instead:
A game that I liked (ChessBase 12)

[Event "Wch Sochi"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2014.11.11"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Anand, Vishy"]
[Black "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D37"]
[Annotator "EA"]
[PlyCount "67"]
[EventDate "2014.??.??"]

{[Annotations by GM Erwin l'Ami]} 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 {Just as in Chennai,
Magnus does not stick to one opening but rather jumps from one to the other.
That means no Grunfeld today but a 'solid' Queen's Gambit.} 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3
Be7 5. Bf4 O-O 6. e3 Nbd7 7. c5 c6 {Diagram [#]} ({A small surprise as at the
top level this move is completely overtaken by} 7... Nh5 {taking the bishop on
f4. Having said that, Carlsen has used the text move in previous games and it
is of course a perfectly respectable line as well.}) 8. Bd3 ({[The game should
be compared with} 8. h3 b6 9. b4 a5 10. a3 Ba6 11. Bxa6 Rxa6 12. b5 cxb5 13. c6
Qc8 14. c7 b4 15. Nb5 a4 16. Rc1 Ne4 17. Nd2 Ndf6 18. f3 Ra5 19. Nxe4 Nxe4 20.
fxe4 Rxb5 21. Qxa4 Ra5 22. Qc6 bxa3 23. exd5 Rxd5 24. Qxb6 Qd7 25. O-O Rc8 26.
Rc6 (26. Qa6 Rb5 27. Rb1 Rb2 {Gyimesi,Z (2616)-Vaganian,R (2587) Germany 2006})
26... h6 27. Rfc1 Kh7 28. Qa6 Rf5 29. Bd6 Bh4 30. Qxa3 Bf2+ 31. Kh1 Rd5 32. Bf4
f5 33. Qc3 Bh4 34. Rb6 Bg5 35. Be5 Bd8 36. Rb8 {1-0 Tomashevsky,E (2646)
-Riazantsev,A (2656) Moscow 2008 - PD]}) 8... b6 9. b4 a5 10. a3 Ba6 {[%csl
Ya6,Yd3] One of the points behind Black's previous two moves, Magnus' bad
bishop can now be exchanged on a6.} 11. Bxa6 ({When this was played by Vishy
without a glitch I knew we would be in for an exciting day! Instead} 11. O-O
Qc8 {leads to much quieter play.}) 11... Rxa6 12. b5 {The only serious
follow-up, if Black gets to play Qa8 his position will be ultra-solid. The
game continuation tries to make use of the fact that after the exchange on a6
Black's forces have been slightly discoordinated.} cxb5 13. c6 Qc8 14. c7 {
[%csl Ya5,Yb5,Yb6,Rc7] Diagram [#] So far for the 'solid' Queen's Gambit!
Black has an extra pawn but in return Vishy has created a monster on c7,
paralysing Black's position. One can find about a dozen games featuring this
position and no doubt both players have spent there time on this position.
However, given how the game develops I expect Anand has spent considerably
more time on it then his opponent.} b4 ({I am no expert on this line, but I
feel} 14... Bxa3 $5 15. Nxb5 Bb4+ {deserves attention. After} 16. Ke2 {I want
to play} Nc5 $5 {the idea being} 17. dxc5 bxc5 {when the knight on b5 has lost
stability and with it White's entire position.}) ({Perhaps (} 14... Bxa3 {)}
15. O-O Bb2 16. Nxb5 {is the right idea, going all in with the pawn on c7.
Food for thought!}) 15. Nb5 a4 {Logical, Magnus is preparing to expel the
mighty knight with Ra5.} 16. Rc1 Ne4 ({White's previous move prevented} 16...
Ra5 {because of} 17. Bd6 {when} Rxb5 18. Bxe7 b3 19. Bxf8 Nxf8 20. O-O {
doesn't give Black enough compensation for the exchange.}) 17. Ng5 Ndf6 {It
was rather mystifying for me to see that Magnus took 32 minutes to play this
move. Although we are already on move 17, playing this sharp line with Black
means you have to know it much, much deeper than that.} 18. Nxe4 {Diagram [#]}
Nxe4 $2 ({The players were still following a game Aronian-Adams, Bilbao 2013
but Anand shows a strong improvement over that game. I am not sure what Vishy
had in mind after} 18... dxe4 {because} 19. Nd6 Bxd6 20. Bxd6 b3 21. Bxf8 Kxf8
{gives excellent compensation for the Exchange. At any rate Magnus had to go
for this because the game continuation lands him in serious trouble.}) 19. f3
Ra5 ({Magnus had two interesting alternatives though they both feel a bit
fishy. One is} 19... Nc5 20. dxc5 bxc5 21. axb4 cxb4) ({and the other is} 19...
Qd7 20. fxe4 Rc8 {after which White probably does best to return the piece with
} 21. exd5 exd5 22. O-O (22. Qd3 Ra5 $1) 22... Qxb5 23. Qg4 $1 Qe8 24. Rc6 $1 {
when there is serious pressure on Black.}) 20. fxe4 ({And that's it! This
simple capture - the first move of every engine - is a huge improvement over}
20. Qe2 Qd7 21. fxe4 Rc8 $1 {which was fine for Black in Aronian-Adams, Bilbao
2013. At the risk of repeating myself, it really makes me wonder where Magnus'
preparation ended.}) 20... Rxb5 21. Qxa4 Ra5 22. Qc6 bxa3 ({There is no time
to include} 22... dxe4 {because} 23. a4 $1 {followed by castle leaves Black
more or less paralysed.}) 23. exd5 {[%csl Ya3,Yb6,Gc7,Gd5] Diagram [#] "The
difference of pawns is what I'm playing for," said Anand, refering to a3 and
c7.} Rxd5 (23... exd5 $5 {was mentioned by match commentator Peter Svidler as
a possible improvement. The idea is to keep the a-file in Black's position. In
any case also here it is obvious that only one side is playing.}) 24. Qxb6 {
"Probably [this] was in my prep but maybe it goes further." (Anand)} Qd7 25.
O-O ({A small inaccuracy. It is curious to note that even this position
occured in practice, though with the white pawn standing on h3 instead of h2!
Surprisingly that makes a huge difference in the following line:} 25. Qa6 $1 {
(Anand did consider this as he said at the press conference)} Rc8 26. Rb1 $1
Rxc7 27. Rb8+ Bd8 28. Bxc7 Qxc7 29. Rc8 {and White wins. Now imagine White's
pawn being on h3 and suddenly 29...Qg3+! wins... for Black! Could it be that
Vishy mixed up the games and therefore didn't choose 25.Qa6?}) ({(} 25. Qa6 {
) Black's best is probably to retreat with} Qc8 {but after} 26. Qa4 {it just
looks awful, to put it mildly.}) 25... Rc8 26. Rc6 {Amongst other things
preventing Black from swapping bishops on d6.} g5 $5 ({An exclamation mark for
finding this and the following move. Insisting on trading the bishops with}
26... Bf6 27. Qa6 e5 28. dxe5 Bxe5 29. Bxe5 Rxe5 {is very strong were it not
for the tactical solution of} 30. Rfc1 Rd5 {[%csl Rc7][%cal Ra8h8] Diagram [#]}
31. Qxc8+ $3 (31. Qxa3 $2 Rd1+ 32. Rxd1 Qxd1+ 33. Kf2 Qd2+ 34. Kg3 Qe1+ 35. Kh3
g5 $1 {allows Black to escape.}) 31... Qxc8 32. Rb6 {and the weakness of the
back rank combined with the strength of the c7-pawn make matters hopeless for
Black.}) 27. Bg3 $6 (27. Be5 {was definitely worth considering, if only
because the game continuation} Bb4 {is now refuted by} 28. Qxb4 Qxc6 29. Qe7 $1
{with a huge attack.}) 27... Bb4 $1 {[%csl Rb4][%cal Rb4d2,Rb4a5] Diagram [#]
Extremely resourceful! Now both Bd2 and Ba5 are in the air. Vishy's response
is cool and collected. [Anand hadn't seen this - PD.]} 28. Ra1 $1 {During the
press conference Anand mentioned he was pleased with this move and rightly so!}
Ba5 $2 ({Having been under pressure for the entire game and running out of
time fast can be straining, even for the very best. In game 2 something very
similar happened to Vishy. Having been under huge pressure the whole game he
erred with 34...h5??. Blunders don't appear just like that! For completeness
sake I should mention that} 28... h5 {would have remained the status quo:
White is clearly better but by no means winning yet.}) 29. Qa6 Bxc7 30. Qc4 {
Pinning and winning! The remainder of the game is of little interest. Black is
simply losing heavy material.} e5 31. Bxe5 Rxe5 32. dxe5 Qe7 33. e6 Kf8 34. Rc1
{I believe it's fair to say the match is now wide open!} 1-0

It's a brad new match now!


Magnus Takes the Lead!

The second game of the WCC in Sochi must have been very demoralizing for the challenger and all his supporters. Carlsen did his usual thing of squeezing water out of the stone and won very convincingly. The fact that Anand's mistake was not obvious at all must have been very frustrating for the Indian GM.
A game that I liked (ChessBase 12)

[Event "World Chess Championship 2014"]
[Site "Sochi"]
[Date "2014.11.09"]
[Round "2"]
[White "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Black "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C65"]
[WhiteElo "2863"]
[BlackElo "2792"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "69"]
[EventDate "2014.??.??"]
[EventCountry "RUS"]

{Once people tended to say that this move demonstrates the determination of
the first player.} 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 {Nowadays some people regret
of the old days. It did not take us long to see the Berlin in the match.} 4. d3
{Magnus decided to try and squeeze something out of the Anti Berlin.} Bc5 5.
O-O d6 6. Re1 ({Adams tried the trade on c6 recently} 6. Be3 Bb6 7. Bxc6+ bxc6
8. h3 O-O 9. Re1 h6 10. Nbd2 {Adams,M (2743)-Ponomariov,R (2723) Dortmund 2014}
) ({Looking into advance in the game we should say that there is another
adherent of the approach that the World Champion used in the game. Gata Kamsky
is the man in question, although he prefers to develop the bishop on e3
whenever he captures on c6.} 6. Bxc6+ bxc6 7. h3 O-O 8. Nc3 Bb6 9. Re1 {Kamsky,
G (2723)-Ponomariov,R (2718) Moscow 2008}) 6... O-O 7. Bxc6 {The fact that
Carlsen inserted the rook move before trading shows that he has something
original on his mind.} bxc6 8. h3 Re8 {Diagram [#]} 9. Nbd2 $146 {The actual
novelty. Previously only} (9. Be3 {had been tried. White won that game too, is
this the refutation of the Berlin?!} Bb6 10. Nbd2 {Moritz,A (1237)-Kyas,P
(1506) Willingen 2006}) 9... Nd7 {One idea is to conduct d6-d5. Another- to
bring the knight to e6 from where it will control both d4 and f4 squares.} ({
Also interesting is} 9... h6 10. Nc4 Nh7 {intending f7-f5} ({or} 10... Be6 $5))
10. Nc4 Bb6 ({The central aproach is tactically justified} 10... d5 11. exd5
cxd5 12. Ncxe5 Nxe5 13. Nxe5 Bxf2+ 14. Kxf2 Rxe5 15. Rxe5 Qf6+ 16. Qf3 Qxe5 {
but this would have led to the typical Carlsen's position after} 17. Qf4 Qe7
18. Be3 $14 {[%csl Ya7,Yc7,Rc8,Yd5,Ge3] slight edge without much counterplay
for the opponent.}) ({Anand also disliked} 10... Nf8 11. c3 Ne6 12. d4 exd4 13.
cxd4 Bb6 14. Be3 {which seems a bit better for White as well.}) 11. a4 $1 {
Typical Scotch idea. Magnus wants to trade the bishop but does not want to
allow} (11. Nxb6 axb6 {[%csl Yc6,Ye6][%cal Gc6c5,Gd7f8,Gf8e6,Gd7b8,Gb8c6,Yc6d4,
Ye6f4] which will reinforce black's dark-squared control.}) 11... a5 12. Nxb6
cxb6 13. d4 {White managed to get something out of the opening. Still, it
should not be much.} Qc7 {One of the natural moves that remain unnoticed
without thorough analyzes. I would not call it a mistake but since White's
initiative grew after it with alarming speed this moment is worth mentioning!}
({Probably Vishy had to clarify the situation in the center with} 13... c5 $5 {
[%csl Yd4]} 14. dxe5 (14. c3 cxd4 15. cxd4 Bb7 16. Ra3 d5) 14... Nxe5 {with
the idea to meet} 15. Ra3 {with} Ba6 $11) 14. Ra3 $1 {[%csl Yg8][%cal Ga3d3,
Rd3d8,Gd3g3,Gg3g8] Diagram [#] The rook is looking for a career in the center
or on the king's flank.} Nf8 15. dxe5 dxe5 16. Nh4 ({There is nothing to hope
for on the open file at the moment} 16. Rd3 Ba6 17. Rd2 Rad8 $11) 16... Rd8 17.
Qh5 (17. Rd3 Ba6 $11) 17... f6 {Anand is carefully defending. He brings fresh
forces on the flank- the queen at first, then centralizes the bishop} (17...
Ng6 {may transpose to the game.} 18. Nf5 f6 19. Rg3 Be6) 18. Nf5 Be6 19. Rg3 {
Carlsen also did everything that he could to create threats. Now the defense
is quite unpleasant for the Indian GM.} Ng6 ({Vishy could have also defended
with} 19... Rd7 20. Bh6 g6 21. Qh4 Qd8 22. Qg4 Kh8 23. h4 Raa7 ({Not} 23...
gxf5 $2 24. exf5 Qe7 25. fxe6 Nxe6 26. Qf5 $16) 24. h5 g5 {although Black's
situation remains unpleasant.}) 20. h4 {White already had a choice of
interesting continuations} (20. Bh6 $5 {Diagram [#] would have most likely
transposed to the previous note as if} gxh6 (20... Rd7 21. h4 {transposes to
the line above}) 21. Rxg6+ $1 hxg6 22. Qxg6+ Kf8 (22... Kh8 $2 23. Qxf6+ Kh7
24. Qxh6+ Kg8 25. Qxe6+ $18) 23. Qxf6+ Qf7 (23... Bf7 24. f4 $3 exf4 25. e5 {
Diagram [#] is mate in 8 if you ask your engine...}) 24. Qxh6+ Ke8 (24... Kg8
25. Re3 $18) 25. Qh8+ Kd7 26. Rd1+ Kc7 27. Qxe5+ Kb7 28. Rxd8 Rxd8 29. Nd6+
Rxd6 30. Qxd6 {the four pawns should be definitely stronger than the bishop.})
20... Bxf5 {A critical moment of the game! The knight was definitely annoying
but after this trade Vishy gives the keys of the castle to Magnus.} ({The
inhuman defense} 20... Rd7 21. Qg4 ({However, White can play better} 21. Bh6 $1
{with the point} gxh6 22. Qxh6 {that leads to unstoppable h4-h5 and powerful
attack.}) 21... Nf4 22. Bxf4 exf4 23. Rf3 Re8 {is sugegsted by the engines} 24.
Rxf4 Qe5 25. c3 g6 26. h5 Kf7 27. hxg6+ hxg6 28. Nh6+ Kg7 29. Nf5+ Kf7 $11) ({
One more inhuman defense is the line} 20... Kh8 {I have no idea what marks to
put on that one...} 21. Rxg6 ({Most likely Carlsen would prefer} 21. Qf3 Bxf5
22. exf5 (22. Qxf5) 22... Ne7 {but this would be more favorable version of the
game continuation for Black.}) 21... Qf7 22. Bh6 {Still no idea...} gxh6 23.
Rxh6 Qxh5 24. Rxh5 Rd2 25. Ne3 {[%csl Yh5] Diagram [#] White is a pawn up but
play without the rook on h5.}) 21. exf5 Nf4 ({White is also better after} 21...
Nf8 22. Be3 c5 23. Qg4 Kh8 24. h5 Qf7 (24... h6 $2 25. Bxh6) 25. h6 g5 26. Qe2
{but was probably preferable to the game continuation.} (26. fxg6 Nxg6 27. f4 (
27. Qf5))) 22. Bxf4 exf4 23. Rc3 $16 {[%csl Ya8,Gc3,Yc7,Ge1,Gh5] Diagram [#]
The difference in the activity of the heavy pieces spells trouble to the
Challenger.} c5 24. Re6 $1 ({Magnus wisely refuses to win the pawn in return
for activity} 24. Rc4 Qf7 25. Qxf7+ Kxf7 26. Rxf4 Rd2 27. Re6 Rb8 28. Rc6 Rb7 (
{There is no time for} 28... Rxc2 29. Rc7+ Kf8 (29... Kg8 30. Rg4) 30. Rg4 $18)
29. Rc4 Rd5 (29... Re7 30. Rxb6 Re1+ 31. Kh2 Rxf2 32. Rxc5) 30. g4 h5 31. f3
$16 {White has good winning chances but the game continuation was even
stronger!}) 24... Rab8 25. Rc4 Qd7 26. Kh2 $1 ({Once again discarding} 26. Rxf4
Qd1+ 27. Qxd1 Rxd1+ 28. Kh2 Rd2 29. h5 h6) 26... Rf8 (26... Re8 27. Rce4 Rxe6
28. fxe6 Qe7 29. Qf5 $16) 27. Rce4 Rb7 28. Qe2 $1 {[%csl Re2,Ge4,Ge6] Diagram
[#] The Alekhine doubling of the heavy pieces in action.} ({It was also
possible to grab the pawn} 28. Rxf4 Qd2 29. Qf3) 28... b5 29. b3 bxa4 ({Anand
will be happy to get rid of the queenside pawn but after} 29... c4 30. axb5
cxb3 31. b6 b2 32. Qc4 $1 {White wins due to the line} b1=Q 33. Re8+ Qf7 34.
Rxf8+ Kxf8 35. Qc8+ Qe8 36. Qxe8#) 30. bxa4 {Once more no rush. It might have
been horrible to be in Anand's shows this game.} (30. Re7 Qd5 31. Rxb7 Qxb7 32.
Rxa4 $16) 30... Rb4 (30... h6 31. c3 {would not have changed the situation.
White will start the harvest soon.}) 31. Re7 Qd6 $1 {The best defense.} ({In
case of} 31... Rxe4 32. Qxe4 Qc8 {White would have taken the more valuable
pawns first} 33. Ra7 Re8 34. Qd5+ Kh8 35. Rxa5 $18) 32. Qf3 Rxe4 33. Qxe4 f3+
34. g3 h5 $4 {[%csl Rg7][%cal Ra7g7] Diagram [#] This loses instantly. Vishy
blunders under the constant pressure. After} (34... Qd2 35. Qxf3 Qxc2 36. Ra7
Re8 37. Rxa5 $16 {Magnus would still need to show good technique to deserve
the full point.}) 35. Qb7 {One of those typical Magnus games where one wonders
where did his opponent made a mistake! The new plan chosen by the World
Champion proved more venomous than expected. But it was the super neat play of
Carlsen that won the game!} 1-0


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


Andreikin-Karjakin (Part 2)

This is the second part of the game in question. The attack that Andreikin conducted was highly instructive, flawless.


Exciting Draw as a Desert

The Tashkent Grand Prix brought a lot of joy and excitement for the chess fans all over the world.
This game from the last round was a sweet finish of the event:
A game that I liked (ChessBase 12)

[Event "FIDE Grand Prix Tashkent 2014-15"]
[Site "Tashkent"]
[Date "2014.11.02"]
[Round "11"]
[White "Jobava, Baadur"]
[Black "Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "A70"]
[WhiteElo "2717"]
[BlackElo "2764"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "74"]
[EventDate "2014.??.??"]
[EventCountry "UZB"]

{For the first and last time in this tournament we are going to break the
tradition and analyze a draw game instead of a decisive one.} 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4
c5 3. d5 e6 4. Nc3 exd5 5. cxd5 d6 {In the decisive round Mamedyarov pays a
tribute to his great compatriot Vugar Gashimov. The Benoni took key part in
Vugar's opening repertoire and it is quite likely the two Azeri Super-GMs have
studied the opening together.} ({Still, the choice of the opening should have
been a surprise for Baadur, as I have found only one game in the database
where Shakhriyar chose the Snake Benoni} 5... Bd6) 6. e4 ({Rather surprisingly,
the Benoni is a rare guest in Jobava's games. He had tried here the rare lines
after} 6. Nf3 g6 7. Bg5 ({And also} 7. Qa4+)) 6... g6 7. Nf3 Bg7 8. h3 {This
time the sharp modern line was chosen by Jobava.} O-O 9. Bd3 b5 10. Nxb5 Nxe4
$5 {Many sources consider this option tempting, but inferior. This evaluation
might reconsidered after the game.} ({Vugar Gashimov preferred instead the
main line} 10... Re8 11. O-O Nxe4 12. Re1 a6 13. Na3 Nf6 14. Rxe8+ Nxe8 $11 {
Karjakin,S (2721)-Gashimov,V (2730) Baku 2009}) 11. Bxe4 Re8 12. Ng5 Qa5+ 13.
Nc3 Ba6 {Black sacrificed a whole piece but managed to keep the opponent's
king in the center. The white pieces are rather lose as well and various
threats, like teh simple pawn pushes h7-h6 and f7-f5 are in the air.} 14. Bd2
Nd7 $1 {Development above all! Bad is:} (14... h6 15. Ne6 $1 fxe6 16. dxe6 Rxe6
17. Qg4 $16) ({and} 14... f5 15. Ne6 fxe4 16. Nxe4 $16) 15. Qc2 Rab8 $1 {Once
again Shakh neglects the material in favour of the pure energy.} ({A tempting
alternative is} 15... Ne5 16. O-O-O f5 17. f4 Nc4 18. Bd3 Nxb2 $1 19. Kxb2 {
Diagram [#] in conjunction with the computer blow} Re3 $3 $146 {[%csl Rb2,Yc3,
Yd3][%cal Rg7a1,Ra5c3,Rb8b1,Re3d3] None has ever tested this in over the board
game and it is definitely worth analyzes!} ({Instead} 19... Bxd3 20. Qxd3 $18 {
left Black with no counterplay in Murali Krishnan,B (2412)-Turov,M (2624)
Mumbai 2010}) {The key idea of the line is} 20. Bxe3 Rb8+ 21. Kc1 Qa3+ 22. Kd2
Rb2) ({Once again regaining the piece seems insufficient} 15... f5 16. Ne6 fxe4
17. Nxe4 Qb6 18. Bc3 Bh6 19. Bd2 Ne5 20. Bxh6 Qb4+ 21. Bd2 {1-0 (21) Ulibin,M
(2523)-Munoz Pantoja,M (2459) Montcada 2013}) 16. O-O-O Ne5 {This whole line
was mentioned in a recent book on the Benoni by GM Petrov. The eveluation is
clear plus for White on the account of the game below.} 17. Rhe1 $146 {[%csl
Ye8][%cal Ge1e8] Diagram [#] The most natural move is a novelty. "I understood
that Shakhriyar is very well prepared and decided to play safe"- Jobava.} ({
The only predecessor saw:} 17. Na4 Qd8 18. Rde1 f5 19. f4 fxe4 20. fxe5 Bd3 21.
Qd1 Bxe5 {and eventhough White managed to win later it is quite obvious that
Black has at least clear compensation for the piece, Bern,I (2590)-Olafsson,H
(2545) Sweden 1994}) 17... Rec8 $1 {The idea is to meet the threat Nc3-a4 with
the next move.} ({The main problem for Black now is that he cannot play
actively with the knight} 17... Nc4 18. Bd3 Rxe1 19. Rxe1 Rxb2 20. Re8+ Bf8 21.
Qxb2 (21. Qa4 $1 {looks also very strong.}) 21... Nxb2 22. Bxa6 {and both the
players agreed that White has too much material for the queen.}) 18. Na4 Rb4 $1
{"I was chocked when you played this as I thought I was winning" said Baadur
to his opponent at the press conference. "Yes, but after..."} 19. f4 {"The
only move"-Shakh.} Nc4 20. Bf5 $1 {[%csl Rf7,Rh7][%cal Rf5c8,Yc2f5,Rf5f7,Rf5h7]
Diagram [#] "I remembered somehing- my analyzes", said Shakh. "Now White is
either winning, or losing."} ({One of the lines where White is losing arises
after the natural capture-} 20. Bxb4 $2 cxb4 21. Bd3 b3 $1 22. axb3 Bxb2+ $1
23. Nxb2 Qa1+ 24. Qb1 Na3+ $19) 20... Rcb8 {This time this is an only move for
Black.} ({Bad is} 20... gxf5 21. Qxf5 Qxa4 22. Qxf7+ Kh8 23. Bc3 {as it is
White who is mating.}) ({And also} 20... Nxd2 21. Bxc8 $18 {wins simply for
White.}) 21. Bxb4 Qxb4 22. a3 (22. Qb3 $5 gxf5 (22... Bb5 23. Qxb4 cxb4 24. Bc2
$18) 23. Qxb4 (23. Re7 Bb5 24. Nc3 Nxb2 25. Qxb4 cxb4 26. Nxb5 Nxd1 27. Nxd6
Bf8 28. Rxa7 Bxd6 29. Kxd1 Bxf4 30. Nxf7) 23... cxb4 {[%cal Ga6b5] followed by
Ba6-b5. "I did not like this as the bishop on g7 is very strong"- Jobava.} 24.
Re7 Bb5 25. Rxa7 Bxa4 26. Rxa4 Nxb2 27. Ra6 (27. Ra7)) 22... Nxa3 $1 {Missed
by Jobava.} ({White was hoping for} 22... Qa5 {although it seems as the
players were seeing ghosts in the post mortem-} 23. Bd3 $2 ({Probably White
should go for the wild complications after} 23. b3 Nxa3 24. Qd2 Qb5 25. Qe3
gxf5 26. Nxf7 Qxa4 $5 27. Nh6+ (27. bxa4 Rb1+ 28. Kd2 Rb2+ 29. Kc1 Rc2#) 27...
Bxh6 28. Qg3+ Kf7 29. Re7+ Kxe7 30. Qh4+ Kd7 31. bxa4 {when nothing is clear
as usual in this game.}) 23... Nxb2 24. Nxb2 Qxa3 ({None of them mentioned the
simple move} 24... Bxb2+ {after which it is Black who is winning} 25. Qxb2 Rxb2
26. Kxb2 Bxd3 27. Re8+ {or else the rook on e1 is hanging} Kg7 28. Rxd3 Qb5+ $1
{[%csl Rd3,Re8][%cal Rb5d3,Rb5e8]}) 25. Bxa6 Bc3 26. Rd3 {and even in this
line White is not winning, say} Qa1+ 27. Qb1 Bxb2+ 28. Kc2 Qa4+ 29. Kd2 Bc3+
30. Kxc3 Rxb1 31. Rxb1 Qxa6 {the active queen is capable of miracles when the
opponent's king is not safe.}) 23. bxa3 Qxa3+ ({Better than} 23... Qxf4+ 24.
Rd2 (24. Qd2 $2 Qxa4) 24... Qxg5 25. Bd3 c4 26. Bxc4 Rc8 (26... Qg3 $5 {is
still unclear!}) 27. Bxa6 Rxc2+ 28. Kxc2 {with the idea} Qh4 $2 29. Re8+ $18)
24. Kd2 Qg3 $1 {"Once that I found this move I thought it is great for me. I
have no rook, no knight, but that is OK!"- Mamedyarov.} 25. Rb1 $1 {Baadur
trades the active black rook and saves the game.} (25. Re4 gxf5 $19) 25...
Qxf4+ 26. Kd1 Rxb1+ 27. Qxb1 Qd4+ 28. Kc1 Qf4+ 29. Kd1 gxf5 {Shakh tries his
last chance for a win.} ({The Azeri GM did not like the endgame after} 29...
Qxa4+ 30. Qc2 Qd4+ 31. Qd2 Qxd2+ $6 ({Here too Black can force a draw if he
likes} 31... Qa1+ 32. Qc1 Qd4+ $11) 32. Kxd2 gxf5 33. Re8+ Bf8 34. Nxh7 $16)
30. Re8+ Bf8 {Diagram [#]} 31. Nxc5 $1 {Once more a very precise decision.} ({
The position remains equal after} 31. Rxf8+ Kxf8 32. Ne6+ fxe6 33. Qb8+ Kg7 34.
Qxa7+ Kf6 35. Qxa6 Qd4+ 36. Ke1 Qxd5 37. Nc3 $11 {but it is definitely much
easier to play here as Black!}) 31... Qd4+ 32. Kc1 Qxc5+ 33. Qc2 Qg1+ 34. Qd1
Qc5+ 35. Qc2 Qg1+ 36. Qd1 Qxg2 {The last try.} 37. Qh5 (37. Nxh7 Kxh7 38. Rxf8
Qxh3 39. Rxf7+ Kg6 {would be once more easier to play as Black albeit drawish.}
) 37... Qg1+ {And due to the mating threats Black is forced to give the
perpetual. One of those draws we would be happy to see more often!} 1/2-1/2

Congratulations to Dmitry Andreikin for the clear win of the event!