Live Video Commentary of the Carlsen-Anand World Chess Championship 2014

Tonight is the third of twelve games between World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen, (Norway) and challenger and former World Champion Vishy Anand (India). The first game, in which Anand was White, was a draw. The second game was won by Magnus Carlsen…

Result: Anand Wins. Anand (White) opened with P-Q4 which led into one of the many variations of the Queen’s Gambit Declined. The first couple of moves suggested the Nimzo-Indian, but when Anand’s QKt hopped onto QB3 Carlsen moved his bishop to K2 instead of QKt5.

I was interested to see Anand move his gambit-offering pawn forward to extend his pawn chain rather than maintain tension in the centre. It turned out that his game plan was to advance the pawn to the 7th file, which he achieved on his 14th move. The pawn was blockaded by Carlsen’s queen, but supported by a bishop, knight and rook.

When Anand moved his KKt to KKt5, Carlsen spent about half an hour staring at the board before making his 17th move. The combination of positional (and preparational) advantage for Anand and diminishing time for Carlsen led to a fine victory for Anand, who levelled the championship with this key game.

Here is a 20-minute review of the game by Chess Network:

Follow the action as it happens or review previous games here:

Game 1 Anand v Carlsen, 8th November 2014

Anand opened with his preferred P-Q4 (d4) to which Carlsen responded with the Grünfeld Defence.

Carlsen put Anand under a lot of pressure, but the move of the game was Anand’s 44th Q-KR1 (Qh1). It was a move that Russian GM Peter Svidler did not notice in his entertaining live analysis. He rightly described it as “brilliant” in his post-match analysis of the game.

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. cd5 Nd5 5. Bd2 Bg7 6. e4 Nc3 7. Bc3 0-0 8. Qd2 Nc6 9. Nf3 Bg4 10. d5 Bf3 11. Bg7 Kg7 12. gf3 Ne5 13. 0-0-0 c6 14. Qc3 f6 15. Bh3 cd5 16. ed5 Nf7 17. f4 Qd6 18. Qd4 Rad8 19. Be6 Qb6 20. Qd2 Rd6 21. Rhe1 Nd8 22. f5 Ne6 23. Re6 Qc7 24. Kb1 Rc8 25. Rde1 Re6 26. Re6 Rd8 27. Qe3 Rd7 28. d6 ed6 29. Qd4 Rf7 30. fg6 hg6 31. Rd6 a6 32. a3 Qa5 33. f4 Qh5 34. Qd2 Qc5 35. Rd5 Qc4 36. Rd7 Qc6 37. Rd6 Qe4 38. Ka2 Re7 39. Qc1 a5 40. Qf1 a4 41. Rd1 Qc2 42. Rd4. Re2 43. Rb4 b5 44. Qh1 Re7 45. Qd5 Re1 46. Qd7 Kh6 47. Qh3 Kg7 48. Qd7 ½–½

Game 2 Carslen v Anand, 9th November 2014

In this game, Carlsen opened with the Ruy Lopez and Anand responded with what is usually considered to be the “solid” Berlin Defence and  according to Matthew Debord a popular choice in top-level chess against the Ruy Lopez. The Berlin Defence puts the King’s Knight on KB3 (Nf6) instead of immediately challenging White’s Bishop, which is pinning Black’s QKt to the King. Interestingly, W. R. Hartson (British chess champion, 1973 and 1975), in The Penguin Book of Chess Openings (published in 1981) writes,

This is another sound developing line, but like the Steinitz Defence rather too passive for most modern tastes. 

How fashions change, but after this game, fashion may be set to change again, back in favour of the Morphy Defence, in which White’s bishop is immediately challenged by Black’s queen’s rook’s pawn.

Carlsen’s unchallenged bishop took Anand’s knight, forcing him to retake with his queen’s knight’s pawn, doubling his  c-pawns. Carlsen then mobilized his rooks, notably on his 14th move with R-QR3 (Ra3) so that by the time the minor pieces were exchanged he had a clear advantage.

Anand’s clock was running down when he blundered on move 34 with P-KR4 (h5), missing the danger of 35.Q-QKt2 (Qb7) after which Anand immediately resigned. Matthew Debord nicely summed up the game in his review on the Business Insider site,

A lot of people think Magnus is a boring player who just likes to get to tough endgames and grind his opponents down. But with this beautiful Ruy Lopez refutation of the Berlin, he looked like Bobby Fischer, one of the greatest Spanish game players who ever lived. Even though Anand made mistakes and helped Carlsen out, this is one of those games that will be studied by GMs who want to rehabilitate 1. e4 and break the Berlin’s imposing reputation — its lock, really, on top-tier competition. 

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. d3 Bc5 5. 0-0 d6 6. Re1 0-0 7. Bc6 bc6 8. h3 Re8 9. Nbd2 Nd7 10. Nc4 Bb6 11. a4 a5 12. Nb6 cb6 13. d4 Qc7 14. Ra3 Nf8 15. de5 de5 16. Nh4 Rd8 17. Qh5 f6 18. Nf5 Be6 19. Rg3 Ng6 20. h4 Bf5 21. ef5 Nf4 22. Bf4 ef4 23. Rc3 c5 24. Re6 Rab8 25. Rc4 Qd7 26. Kh2 Rf8 27. Rce4 Rb7 28. Qe2 b5 29. b3 ba4 30. ba4 Rb4 31. Re7 Qd6 32. Qf3 Re4 33. Qe4 f3 34. g3. h5 35. Qb7 1–0