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

Getting Fit to Fight: World No. 1 Magnus Carlsen

Posted by World Chess Championship 2013 News Blog
Magnus Carlsen (22) is just three months away from the biggest chess match of his life, but "I do not feel any pressure at all. Everything is normal for me," he told Norwegian news agency NTB today. An interview/feature report appeared in the Norwegian website

Carlsen said in the article, he was preparing himself physically for the long, tough days ahead in India and has a good team around him. "I am very conscious that we should not over focus on the World Cup match though," he said.

Foto: Geir Olsen / NTB scanpix

His manager Espen Agdestein is quick to add that life is "usual" and "my job is to make every day for Magnus as it normally is before any major tournament." Carlsen is playing a lot of golf, tennis and beach volleyball as part of his fitness routine. Jon Ludvig Hammer is helping the World No. 1 with the chess bit.

Foto: Geir Olsen / NTB scanpix

The World No. 1 has an India trip lined up followed by a short tournament in the US. "I'm most curious about how awful and hot it will be. We will also familiarise ourselves with the city, the sounds and the people there. We will also identify which hotel we will be staying," says Carlsen. 

Foto: Geir Olsen / NTB scanpix

Carlsen has also posted photos of himself on his Facebook page. Here is Carlsen's status post accompanying the following photograph.

A lot of press appeared in Kragerø today. They filmed me making this golf putt!

Magnus Carlsen to Visit India from Aug 18-22

Posted by World Chess Championship 2013 News Blog
World Chess Championship 2013 challenger Magnus Carlsen of Norway is likely to visit Chennai from August 18 to 22. "Carlsen will tour New Delhi and Chennai during these days," the All India Chess Federation (AICF) secretary Bharat Singh Chauhan has told The Hindu. Carlsen has never visited India before and is understood to earlier have had reservations about playing in India.

Mr. Singh told journalists that the AICF was preparing for the first-ever World Chess Championship to be held in India and would try to "make it a memorable event along with exploiting its marketing potential." Parallel to the World Chess Championship — to be held at Hyatt Regency, Chennai, from November 6 to 26 — an international Grandmaster and Women's Grandmaster chess tournaments would also be held. The AICF is also planning several other chess events leading up to the final championship.

The Anand-Carlsen match will be covered live on television and the Internet.

'Not bothered about Carlsen's Trainers'

Posted by World Chess Championship 2013 News Blog

World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand has said he would try to understand how his next challenger World No. 1 Magnus Carlsen is going to play, but is not bothered about who is going to train Carlsen for the upcoming World Title match even if it is legendary 13th World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov. 

Viswanathan Anand was speaking in a special interview given to Russian news site RIA Novosti's Viktor Ivanov. Anand said, "I believe that my opponent - a strong chess player, his results speak for themselves. I will train very seriously before our meeting with him and will do everything possible to win."

Anand also said, "My match preparation would cover Carlsen's games and I am trying to understand my opponent. After that I will decide how to proceed. Of course, there will be a team that will help me prepare for the match though I cannot yet tell you about my second."

In reference to rumours about 13th World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov training Magnus Carlsen, a confident Anand said, "Both of us will naturally have a team to help us prepare for the match, but I am not paying all that attention to who is in which team."

Regarding the venue being Chennai for the World Chess Championship 2013, Viswanathan Anand said, "I was very happy even last year when there were prospects of Chennai being the venue for my previous (World Chess Championship 2012) match against Boris Gelfand. This time, if Chennai is the venue, I think it will be a powerful incentive for the development of chess in my state and my country. Personally, first of all it is important just to feel comfortable and to be able to fully concentrate on chess."

When asked about what could be the deciding factors in the forthcoming match particularly considering Carlsen has less experience at that level than Anand, the World Chess Champion said, "In theory, such an experience can really help in an important game. Each of us have our advantages. But not enough just to have them, you should be able to use them. I have experience, I've played these games before, but now the problem is different: to apply them correctly and that would help." --Zainab Raza Undulusi

How Carlsen Came to be The One

Posted by World Chess Championship 2013 News Blog

World No. 1 Magnus Carlsen won the FIDE Candidates' Chess Tournament in London on April 1, 2013 thereby setting up the title clash with reigning (defending) World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand. Both the Norwegian and the other leader of the tournament, up to the last round, Vladimir Kramnik of Russia, unexpectedly lost their game in the final round. So, they remained tied for first place, but Carlsen won on the second tie-break rule: higher number of wins!

It was a truly dramatic situation. Carlsen came good after nearly losing it. Carlsen lost his lead to Kramnik and then recovered it two rounds later. The final round had everyone on the edge. The Norwegian unexpectedly lost his white game against Peter Svidler, but because Vladimir Kramnik also lost to Vassily Ivanchuk, Carlsen won the tournament anyway.

Because Carlsen was leading on tie-break, Kramnik basically had to outperform him in the final round to emerge as the winner: he needed a win if Carlsen drew, or a draw if Carlsen lost. Kramnik, playing black, got under serious pressure right out of the opening, while Carlsen didn’t get much of an opening advantage playing white. Kramnik played the Pirc Defence, and Ivanchuk responded with simple, healthy developing moves. However, the Ukrainian (again!) needed quite some time to make his moves in this game, so even though he was building up an advantage, the Carlsen fans weren’t sure at all about the situation. Would Ivanchuk lose on time again...?

Meanwhile, Carlsen himself was using lots of time himself – too much time. After making his 27th move, the Norwegian had only 5 minutes left for 13 moves, and 2 moves later his clock was down to 1 minute and 20 seconds. It was a situation Carlsen hadn’t been in before in all previous rounds! It must have been around this time that the home page of Norway’s biggest newspaper online,, crashed (like several chess servers) due too the high number of visitors trying to follow the games.

Carlsen only barely made the time control – he made his last three moves in about nine seconds, knocking over some pieces in the process and losing precious seconds there. After the dust had cleared, he found himself in a completely lost ending. Svidler had simply played an excellent game, while Carlsen had succumbed under the pressure and the tension. “I was trying to equalize and then Magnus perhaps overestimated his position,” said Svidler.

“I was spending too much time in the middle game on reasonably good moves but also on not too difficult moves. (…) I definitely overestimated my position. Additionally, I just couldn't calculate very well today and then you have to spend a lot of time, that’s the way it is. Obviously not as much time as I did, because it became a serious liability at the end, but it's not easy. From early on there were lots of things to calculate on every move,” said Carlsen at the press conference, while Ivanchuk and Kramnik were still playing.

Before leaving the press room, Carlsen asked whether he could get the position of that last game on the laptop that was available. By that time Ivanchuk had made the time control, and he had a winning position. Carlsen said: “I think this cannot possibly go wrong,” and right at that moment Kramnik resigned his game, and with it his fight for first place. Carlsen was congratulated by his manager and by Svidler, and immediately gave a few interviews to mostly Norwegian press.

Meanwhile, Ivanchuk and Kramnik arrived in the press room to comment on their game. “I had to play for a win, to burn bridges in a way, because of course I didn't think that Magnus was going to lose. I thought I got what I wanted at some point. It was an interesting position but terribly complicated. Somewhere around 20…Nhf4 I liked my position and then somehow I lost a bit of concentration because I didn’t know what to do,” said Kramnik, who also kept an eye on the other game.

“The problem was that Peter [Svidler]’s position was already promising but not yet so clear so I didn’t know what to do, whether to play for a draw… Somehow I got a bit lost between watching that game and trying to understand what I should do. Then I made a few awful decisions and I was unlucky that I had to make a tough decision on move 40, not 41.” In time trouble the Russian missed an important tactic, and then his position was lost. Ivanchuk agreed that the position was at some point drawish. “But I noticed that my opponent started to play a bit risky and he gave me chances.”

Carlsen then returned to the press room to answer questions in his new status as tournament winner. He said: “I never expected to lose and I didn't really have any expectations for the other game. That didn’t make sense to me since I couldn’t do anything about it. (...) I didn't really want to resign before I was sure that Ivanchuk would win!”

The tournament winner felt that until the 11th round he “played the best chess for sure”. “At the end everyone got tired, the quality got lower and anything could happen. But overall I think I did pretty well and I deserve to win.” 

Carlsen said he was “very impressed” by Kramnik’s comeback in the second half of the tournament. About his match against Anand, he said: “I think it’s going to be very interesting, a great event but it’s a long time ahead so we’ll see what happens.”

The final standings were as follows: 1. Carlsen 8.5 points (5 wins), 2. Kramnik 8.5 points (4 wins), 3-4. Svidler and Aronian 8 points, 5-6. Grischuk and Gelfand 6.5 points, 7. Ivanchuk 6 points and 8. Radjabov 4 points.

The FIDE Candidates' Tournament took place March 14th-April 1st, 2013 at IET London, Savoy Place. It was sponsored by the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) and organized by AGON and the World Chess Federation (FIDE). -- Excerpted from official Fide media release)