Tal Chess June 2013: Carlsen-Anand 1-0 ~ World Chess Championship 2013 Viswanathan Anand vs Magnus Carlsen at Chennai Hyatt Regency

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Monday, August 5, 2013

Tal Chess June 2013: Carlsen-Anand 1-0

Posted by World Chess Championship 2013 News Blog Monday, August 5, 2013
The fifth round at the 8th Tal Chess Memorial on June 18, 2013 was the last time World No. 1 Magnus Carlsen and World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand met across the board before the 2013 World Chess Championship. Not just Moscow, most of the chess world had an exciting Tuesday as the Challenger beat the World Champion who played a passive game. Carlsen played a rare variation in the Nimzo-Indian and said: I thought I’d play a line that he hasn’t faced in a long time and I thought that hopefully he wouldn’t be too prepared for that.

Speaking about the psychological advantage of the game, Magnus Carlsen said:
I think it's good before the World Championship match to remind him that I can outplay him once in a while. [Smiles.] Since obviously between us there have been a lot of draws, recently at least. But I'm not going to go around and think that he's going to have such a bad day every day at the World Championship. I'll have to prepare for the worst, definitely. And to clarify, I don't mean to prepare for the worst, that I'm going to lose necessarily, but that he's going to be at his best and not give away anything [for] free like today.
Eventually, Boris Gelfand won the event with 6 points and Carlsen was a clear second with 5.5 points. Anand finished ninth with 3.5 points at the event just ahead of Vladimir Kramnik in the 10-player event

Here is the Round 5 game with comments by Magnus Carlsen at the post-match press conference.

Carlsen, M. (2864) - Anand, V. (2786)

Result: 1-0
Site: Moscow RUS
Date: 2013.06.18

[...] 1.d4 ¤f6 2.c4 e6 3.¤c3 ¥b4 4.e3 O-O 5.¤ge2 "I thought I'd play a line that he hasn't faced in a long time and I thought that hopefully he wouldn't be too prepared for that." (Carlsen) 

5...d5 6.a3 ¥e7 7.cxd5 ¤xd5 8.¥d2 ¤d7 9.g3 b6 10.¤xd5 exd5 11.¥g2 ¥b7 12.¥b4 "Since I've put all my pawns on dark squares it makes sense to exchange this bishop first." (Carlsen) 

12...¤f6 12... c5 13. dxc5 bxc5 14. Bc3 and "his hanging pawns are more likely to be weak than a dynamic strength, because his pieces are not particularly active and mine are well positioned to meet whatever he's going to do in the center." (Carlsen) 

13.O-O ¦e8 14.¦c1 c6 15.¥xe7 ¦xe7 16.¦e1 £d6 Carlsen expected 16... Ne4 17. Nf4 Nd6 "and I can never really push the pawns on the queenside because the knight is very well placed to meet that, but after 18. Nd3 followed by putting pressure on the c6-pawn White is already playing for two results, which is an achievement." (Carlsen) 

17.¤f4 ¥c8 "Now he's trying to reposition the bishop to f5 after which his problems would be much less. It's a decent enough positional move, it just doesn't work. At least as far as I could see." (Carlsen) 

18.£a4 ¦c7 "The logical move, preparing ...Bf5." (Carlsen) 18... Bd7 19. Qb4! "and I believe in general the exchange of queens is favourable to White. 19... Ne8 20. Nd3 f6 21. Qxd6 Nxd6 22. Nb4 Rc8 23. Nxc6 Bxc6 24. Rxc6 Rxc6 25. Bxd5+ is of course a helpful line but it explains that Black is already in a bit of trouble here." (Carlsen) 

19.f3 "Now the problem is I change plans. I really cannot see a good continuation here for him. If I manage to push e4-e5 he will have serious positional problems." (Carlsen) 

19...¥e6 "I was thinking about 19... Qd8 20. e4 dxe4 21. fxe4 Bd7 and now White shouldn't rush but play 22. Qb3! keeping all the threats. (22. e5 Nd5 23. Nxd5 cxd5 ) 

20.e4 dxe4 21.fxe4 £d7 22.d5 cxd5 23.£xd7 ¦xd7 24.¤xe6 fxe6 25.¥h3 "I suspect he missed this, after which it's pretty much gone. There are tactical problems everywhere." (Carlsen) 

25...¢h8 26.e5 ¤g8 27.¥xe6 ¦dd8 28.¦c7 d4 29.¥d7 "I just go 30.e6 and take the pawn; there's really nothing he can do." (Carlsen) 1-0