18 November 2014

Anand -- Carlsen, Game 8

Carlsen's Theoetical Novelty

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
White has his battery aiming at the king. However, due to Carlsen's moves 9 and 10, the Black king cannot become trapped.

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
There are no imbalances in the position.

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
37.f4 Nc6 38.Nxc6 Kxc6 39.Kd4 f6 40.e4 Kd6 41.e5+ ½–½

Carlsen leads the World Championship Match 4.5 - 3.5. Tomorrow is a rest day.

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