14 November 2014

Anand -- Carlsen, Game 5

In order to blog the World Championship match, I need to set the alarm to arise early. I was awake a few minutes after today's game began and looked at the game on my iPad from the comfort of bed. An hour later, I looked at the game again and concluded that Viswanathan Anand was not getting much with the White pieces.

When the alarm went off, I made coffee and fed the dogs. By the time I settled into my chair to check on the game, it was over and Magnus Carlsen and Anand were sitting at the board discussing the game. The press conference started a few minutes later.

Reporters are proving adept at asking questions the players will not answer.

Magnus, are you still looking for a response to 1.d4?

Vishy, are you playing at your best?
During a match is not the time for such analysis.

Magnus, after 22.Qf3, did you feel as if you were playing against yourself?
No, but of course it is more pleasant to play White in such a position.

Anand,Viswanathan (2792) -- Carlsen,Magnus (2863) [E16]
WCC Sochi (5), 14.11.2014

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.g3 Bb4+ 5.Bd2

5.Nbd2 is also playable, but Anand's move is vastly more popular.

5...Be7 6.Nc3 Bb7 7.Bg2

Black to move
After Anand's 7.Bg3

I have had White in this position twice in online games. I misplayed both games, winning on time in a dead lost position and forcing a draw by repetition after squandering a material advantage in the other.


Carlsen chooses an uncommon move

8.e4 d5 9.exd5

9.cxd5 has also been played.

9...cxd5 10.Ne5 0–0 11.0–0 Nc6 12.cxd5 Nxe5 13.d6!?N

13.dxe5 Nxd5 14.Nxd5 Bxd5 15.Bc3 Bxg2 16.Qxd8 Rfxd8 17.Kxg2 Rd5 18.Rfd1 Rad8 19.Rxd5 Rxd5 20.f4 f5 21.Rc1 Kf7 22.Be1 ½–½ Komljenovic,D (2465) -- Palac,M (2561) Sibenik 2010

Black to move
After Anand's 13.d6

13...Nc6 14.dxe7 Qxe7

Anand has created an imbalance of bishop versus knight.

15.Bg5 h6 16.d5 Na5 17.Bxf6 Qxf6

The minor piece imbalance has been eliminated. Anand is, however, maintaining the initiative.

18.dxe6 Qxe6 19.Re1 Qf6 20.Nd5 Bxd5 21.Bxd5

Again, there is a minor piece imbalance.

21...Rad8 22.Qf3

Here the game becomes interesting. During the press conference, the players went through a couple of interesting variations that they considered during the game.

Black to move
After Anand's 22.Qf3

22...Qxb2 23.Rad1 Qf6 24.Qxf6 gxf6 25.Re7

Black to move
After Anand's 25.Re7


25...Nc6 reveals potential dangers in this position 26.Rc7 Ne5 (26...Rd6 27.Rxc6; 26...Nb4 27.Bxf7+ Kg7 28.Be8+) 27.Rxa7.

26.Rxa7 Nc6 27.Rb7

27.Rc7 Ne5 28.f4 Rd7 29.Rb7.

27...Nb4 28.Bb3 Rxd1+ 29.Bxd1 Nxa2 30.Rxb6 Nc3 31.Bf3 f5 

White to move
After Carlsen's 31...f5
32.Kg2 Rd8 33.Rc6 Ne4 34.Bxe4 fxe4 35.Rc4 f5 36.g4 Rd2 37.gxf5 e3

White to move
After Carlsen's 37...e3

38.Re4 Rxf2+ 39.Kg3 Rxf5 ½–½

The match score is 2.5-2.5

Carlsen gets White in the next two games.

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