There is a lot of talk that Magnus Carlsen does not study the openings, but simply plays very good chess. He plays better chess than anyone else, ever.
Viswanathan Anand is almost a legend in his opening preparation. Even Vladimir Kramnik, no slouch in terms of preparation for a match, was thoroughly out-prepared by Anand.
Today's game, thus, becomes very important because Carlsen played a novelty that neutralized White's chances in a well-known position of the Queen's Gambit.
Anand,Viswanathan (2792) -- Carlsen,Magnus (2863) [D37]
WCC Sochi (8), 18.11.2014
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 Be7 5.Bf4 0–0 6.e3 c5
6...Nbd7 was played in game 3.
7.dxc5 Bxc5 8.a3 Nc6
The players have reached a fairly common position in the Queen's Gambit declined.
|After Anand's 9.Qc2|
Carlsen opts for a relatively rare move. 9...Qa5 is the most common move.
There are nine prior instances of this move in the ChessBase database. Other moves played in this position are 10.Rd1, 10.O-O-O, and 10.cxd5.
This move is essentially the novelty, although it appears once in the ChessBase database, played by an A Class player, Gunther Manheimer in 2010.
10...d4 was played in Showalter -- Janowski 1898, and has been the main move since.
10...dxc4 was tried in the 2002 Championship of Israel, Lev -- Ruderfer. White won in 67 moves.
11.Rd1 Qa5 12.Bd3 h6 13.Bh4 dxc4 14.Bxc4 a6 15.0–0 b5 16.Ba2 Bb7 17.Bb1
|After Anand's 17.Bb1|
17...Rad8 18.Bxf6 Bxf6 19.Ne4
19.Qh7+ was shown by Anand during the press conference. 19...Kf8 20.Ne4 Rxd1.
19...Be7 20.Nc5 Bxc5 21.Qxc5 b4 22.Rc1 bxa3 23.bxa3 Qxc5 24.Rxc5 Ne7 25.Rfc1 Rc8
|After Carlsen's 25...Rc8|
26.Bd3 Red8 27.Rxc8 Rxc8 28.Rxc8+ Nxc8 29.Nd2 Nb6 30.Nb3 Nd7 31.Na5 Bc8 32.Kf1 Kf8 33.Ke1 Ke7 34.Kd2 Kd6 35.Kc3 Ne5 36.Be2 Kc5
|After Carlsen's 36...Kc5|
Carlsen leads the World Championship Match 4.5 - 3.5. Tomorrow is a rest day.