28 November 2013

Morphy Defense: Signature Games

Max Lange Annotates

The Morphy Defense to the Spanish Opening (Ruy Lopez) owes its name to the second and fourth games of Paul Morphy's match against Adolf Anderssen. This match was played at the Hotel Bretenil in Paris, where Morphy was staying, 20-28 December 1858. Morphy lost the first game, playing the White side of an Evans Gambit, drew the second game, and then won five games in a row.

In the second game, Anderssen played a dangerous sacrificial attack against Morphy's king. Morphy defended well. Morphy might have had an advantage in the end, but chose to repeat moves and agree to a draw. The third game was the sole Ruy Lopez in which Morphy had White. The American won a nice miniature. Game four began along the lines of game two, and Morphy won with Black.

On 22 December 1858, Morphy won games three and four of the match. Game three lasted about two hours, and game four lasted four hours. After Morphy's success with the defense that now bears his name, Anderssen switched to 1.a3 for the remainder of his games with White.

Max Lange annotations to the games of the match appear in Paul Morphy: A Sketch from the Chess World, trans. Ernest Falkbeer (London, 1860). With slight alterations, such as converting English descriptive notation to algebraic, this post reproduces Lange and Falkbeer's notes to games two and four.

Anderssen,Adolf -- Morphy,Paul [C77]
Paris m2 Paris (2), 21.12.1858
[Lange, Max]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6

It would be stronger to play Nf6 at once. The White bishop is well placed at a4, and if Black, in order to dislodge him, should venture upon advancing the b-pawn, the queen's side will be exposed.

3...Nf6 4.d3 Bc5 5.c3 Qe7 6.0–0 0–0 7.d4 Bb6 8.Bg5 d6

4.Ba4 Nf6

White to move


Castling at this point would be stronger; for if Black takes e-pawn with knight, White answers with Re1 followed, eventually, by d4. Still the move in the text has some merit of its own, as the first player threatens to play c3 on the next move. In this position Black's game is extremely confined, and the slightest error will place it in jeapordy, as indeed, can be seen by the next moves.

Nevertheless Herr Lowenthal zealously censured the move d3, exaggerating the force of other attacks, and pretending that the above move has only been made for the sake of the defence, whilst Herr Falkbeer did full justice to the first player, thus concluding in his notes: "The brilliancy of this game, one of the best which was ever played since the arrival of Mr. Morphy in Europe, reflects great credit both on the American champion and on his renowned antagonist. The spirited and energetic manner in which White followed up his attack, and also the tenacity of Black's defence, are equally deserving of admiration."

5...Bc5 6.c3 b5

The German Handbuch recommends Qe7 in the variation given at move 3 above. In the present position, however, the move in the text is preferable, as Qe2 at this point could be answered with d4, and if exd4 with castling on the next move.


It may be left as an open question whether the retreat of the bishop to b3 should not be more advisable at this juncture. However, we for our part, have no occasion to answer that question as Herr Lowenthal does, stating: "We much prefer  Bb3," without giving any reason for this assertion.

7...d5 8.exd5 Nxd5 9.h3 0–0 10.0–0 h6 11.d4 exd4 12.cxd4 Bb6 13.Nc3 Ndb4 14.Bb1

Had he advanced the d-pawn instead of Bb1, to avoid the apparent loss of a pawn, the following variation, which would have resulted in Black's favor, might have arisen. 14.d5 Ne7 15.Be4 f5 16.d6 (16.Qb3 fxe4 17.d6+ Kh8 18.Qxb4 Qxd6 19.Qxd6 cxd6 20.Nxe4 d5 21.Ned2 This move being compulsory to save the h-pawn. Black has decidedlythe better game.) 16...fxe4 17.dxe7 Qxe7 18.Nd5 Nxd5 19.Qxd5+ Be6 20.Qxe4 Qf6 with the better game; If, however, White at his fourteenth move had preferred to protect his d-pawn with the bishop, the annexed interesting variation would have probably occurred. 14.Be3 Nxc2 15.Qxc2 Nxd4 16.Bxd4 Bxd4 17.Rad1 c5 18.Nxd4 cxd4 19.Qe4.


Black could not have taken the pawn with impunity.

14...Bxd4 15.Ne2 Bb6 16.a3 Nd5 17.Qc2 winning a piece.
14...Nxd4 15.Nxd4 Bxd4 16.Qf3 Be6 (16...c6 17.Rd1 Qf6 18.Qe4) 17.Qe4.

15.a3 Nd5 16.Ne2 Nf6

Necessary, as White threatened to play Qc2 winning a piece. In the fourth game of the match, in which, up to this point, the same moves were played, Anderssen played 16.Be3 instead of the move in the text. 17.Be3 Re8 18.Ng3 Bc4 19.Nf5 This way of establishing the knight on e5 is one of the favorite manoeuvres of the German master, by which he has obtained many a brilliant victory. Had he played Re1, instead, Black could have taken the d-pawn with impunity. Qd3, however, would have lessened the attack, which it is White's evident intention to keep up by all means.

19...Bxf1 20.Qxf1 Ne7 21.N3h4 Nxf5 22.Nxf5 Qd7

White to move


The depth and elegance of this sacrifice is acknowledged even by Herr Lowenthal, as follows: "From personal experience we know how dangerous it is to make such a sacrifice as this, in contending with Mr. Morphy, whose insight into a difficult position is such as to enable him to hit the blot which almost invariably accompanies the giving up of a piece for a pawn. Mr. Anderssen, however, here follows up the game with great accuracy and ingenuity, and the result does him much credit."

We have no doubt that the sacrifice of the bishop at this critical point was perfectly correct and opportune, the more so, as the preparatory and seemingly strong move Qc1 could have effectually been replied to with Ne4, shutting up the White bishop.

23...gxh6 24.Qc1 Bxd4

24...Ne4 25.Qf4

White to move


25.Nxh6+ would have been less efficacious. True, White would have won, had Black moved  the king to h8.

25...Kh8 26.Bf5 Qe7 (26...Qd6) 27.Qf4 (27.Qg5 Bxf2+) 27...Qe2 28.Qh4.
25...Kf8 26.Bf5 Qd6 27.Qg5 Re5 28.Kf1 Rae8 29.f4 Re2.

25...Re1+ 26.Kh2 Ne4 27.Bxe4 Rxe4

27...Rxa1 28.Ne7+ Qxe7 29.Bh7+=

28.Qg5+ Kf8 29.Qh6+ Ke8 30.Nxd4

Black to move


Even Herr Lowenthal here remarks: "The last series of moves has been admirably played by the German master."

30...Qxd4 31.Qc6+; 30...Rxd4 31.Qh8+.


Anderssen never displays his powers so effectually, as after having exchanged the queens. He is justly considered the greatest living chess player with regard ti the skillful management of the minor pieces.

31...cxd6 32.Rd1 Kf8 33.Rd2 Rae8 34.g4 R8e5 35.f3 Re1 36.h4 Rd5 37.Kg3 a5 38.h5 Kg8 39.Kf2 Re8 40.Kg3 Re7 41.Kf4 Kh7 42.Kg3 Re3 43.Kf4 Re8 44.Kg3 Re3 ½–½

This game lasted five hours.

Anderssen,Adolf -- Morphy,Paul [C77]
Paris m2 Paris (4), 1858
[Lange. Max]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.d3 Bc5 6.c3 b5 7.Bc2 d5 8.exd5 Nxd5 9.h3 0–0 10.0–0 h6 11.d4 exd4 12.cxd4 Bb6 13.Nc3 Ndb4 14.Bb1 Be6 15.a3 Nd5 16.Be3 

Black to move

In the second game Anderssen played Ne2

16...Nf6 17.Qd2

With the twofold object of placing the Rook on d1 and of capturing h6 with the bishop at the right moment.

17...Re8 18.Rd1 Bd5

Decidedly stronger than Na5, which could have been answered with the above-mentioned sacrifice.

19.Ne5 Qd6

White to move


20.Nxd5 Nxd5 (20...Qxd5 21.Ba2) 21.Qc2 Nxe3 22.fxe3 Nxe5 23.dxe5 Qxe5 24.Qh7+ Kf8 25.Bf5 Bxe3+ 26.Kh1 g6 with the better game.

20...Nxd4 21.Bxd4 Bxd4

White to move


22.Ng4 would have much improved White's attack.


This is the correct reply. Had he taken Qxd5, White would have advantageously answered with Nc6.

23.Nxf6+ Qxf6 24.Qh7+ Kf8 25.Be4 Rad8

White to move


This is the turning point of the game. White ought to have played now Rf1, and thus obtained the better game; for if Black, on the next move takes Bxb2, White can effectually reply Rae1. By the weak move above White missed the opportunity of following up successfully an attack, which was well planned hitherto.

26...Bxb2 27.Rab1

In answer to Re1, Black could have played g5.

27...Rxd1+ 28.Rxd1 Qxf2 29.Qh8+ Ke7 30.Qh7 Be5 31.Bf3 Qg3 32.Kg1 Qg6 33.Qxg6 fxg6 34.Bb7 Rb8 35.Bxa6 c6 36.Kf2 Bd6 37.Rd3

Even a4 at this point would scarcely have saved the game.

37...Kd7 38.Ke2

Black to move


38...Kc7 39.a4 Bf8 (39...Be5 40.axb5 cxb5 41.Rd5) 40.axb5 cxb5 41.Rc3+ Kb6 42.Bc8.

39.Bb7 Rxa3 40.Rd1 Kc7 41.Bc8 Ra2+ 42.Kf3 Bc5 43.Be6 Rf2+ 44.Kg3 Rf6 45.Rd7+ Kb6 46.Bg4 Bd6+ 47.Kh4 c5 48.Bf3 c4 49.Rxg7 Rf4+ 50.Bg4 c3 51.g3 Rxg4+ 0–1

27 November 2013

Morphy Defense: First Book Lines

Before Paul Morphy played 3...a6 in response to Adolf Anderssen's Spanish Opening, or Ruy Lopez, published analysis had appeared in Handbuch des Schachspiels (Berlin, 1852).

The Handbuch, often called the German Handbook in English publications set the standard for opening reference in the nineteenth century and was still in use well into the twentieth century. It went through eight editions: 1843, 1852, 1858, 1864, 1874, 1880, 1891, and 1912-1916. It's first editor, Paul Rudolf von Bilguer (1815-1840) died before the first edition was published. Tassilo von Heydebrand und der Lasa (1818-1899) saw the first five editions through publication, retaining Bilguer's name as editor.

The 1852 edition was the first to include what would come to be known as the Morphy Defense. The lines presented in the Handbuch (1852) are reproduced here. There are two notes to line 3 that I have not yet translated, but that I may add later.

After 3...a6
Line 1.

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6* 4.Bxc6 dxc6 5.Nxe5 Qd4 6.f4** Qxe4+ =

Line 2.

-- -- -- -- 5.0–0 Bd6 6.d4 exd4 7.Qxd4 f6 8.Re1 Ne7 9.e5 fxe5 10.Nxe5 0–0 11.Bg5*** Qe8 12.Nc4 Nf5

White to move

13.Rxe8 Nxd4 14.Rxf8+ Kxf8 15.Nxd6 Nxc2 16.Nxc8 Rxc8 17.Na3 Nxa1 =/+

Line 3.

-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- 13.Qc3 Qg6 14.Nxd6 cxd6 =

Line 4.

White to move
Position for Lines 4 and 5

-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- 12.Nd2 Nf5 13.Qc3 Qh5 =

Line 5.

-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- 12.Bxe7 Qxe7 13.Nd2 Be6 =

Line 6.

[1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6] 4.Ba4 Bc5 5.c3 b5 6.Bb3

After 6.Bb3 in Lines 6 and 7
6...d6 7.d4 exd4 8.cxd4 Bb6 9.Bd5 Nge7 10.Nc3 Bg4 11.Be3 Bxf3 12.gxf3 =

Line 7.

6...Qe7 7.a4 Rb8 8.axb5 axb5 9.0–0 Nf6 10.d4 Bb6 11.Bg5 d6 12.Qd3 Bd7 =

Line 8.

-- -- -- - 4...Nf6 5.d3 b5 6.Bb3 Bc5 7.c3 d6 8.d4 Bb6 +/=

White to move

*This move, described by Anonimo Modenese [that is, Domenico Ercole del Rio; see "Morphy Defense: Early History"] could possibly occur. But if White would take Nc6 immediately, Black then will be a bit better developed with 3. Ng8 to f6 instead a7 to a6 because of his threat towards e4.

** White also can play the knight to d3, f3, or g4 with the same result.

*** Reference to Cozio ending here with the remark that White has a beautiful game. The game, however, as shown in the following lines is not unfavorable for Black.

26 November 2013

Morphy Defense: Early History

The Morphy Defense to the Spanish Opening is more popular than all other Black third moves combined. 3...a6 accounts for nearly 71% of the more than 335,000 Spanish Opening games in the ChessBase Online database. The immediate attack on the Spanish bishop with this pawn move did not originate with Paul Morphy, but owes its initial popularity to his taking it up, according to David Hooper and Kenneth Whyld, The Oxford Companion to Chess (1996), 264.

In 1858, Morphy faced this move once against Johann Jacob Lowenthal before playing it twice in his match with Adolf Anderssen. He also played the move in games against Thomas Barnes and Jules Arnous de Riviere. Morphy would have been familiar with this move before his trip to Europe because it had been played by Charles Henry Stanley against Eugene Rousseau in the match in New Orleans in 1845.

The move 3...a6 in the Spanish first appears in the writing of Domenico Ercole del Rio (1750). His brief work was absorbed in a longer work by Giambatista Lolli (1763). Lolli's version then served as the basis for part of John Cochran, A Treatise on the Game of Chess (London, 1822). Cochran's Treatise point out that Ruy Lopez had suggested 3.Bb5 as a refutation of 2...Nc6, preferring to defend the pawn with 2...d6 and then offers, "how far he has succeeded in proving the move to be bad, the reader may judge by this game and the following Variation" (162).

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Bxc6 dxc6 5.Nxe5 Qd4

White to move

This move is asserted by del Rio to be best.

6...Bxg4 7.Qxg4 Nf6

And the second player has "by no means an inferior game" (162).

In the variation, 3...Bc5 is offered instead of 3...a6. After a few moves, Black's position is equal or better in the lines given.

24 November 2013

The Berlin Defense: History

The Berlin Defense (ECO C65-C67) in the Spanish Opening (or Ruy Lopez) is a major alternative to the more common Morphy Defense. It was popular in the nineteenth century, but passed out of favor in the early twentieth. Fifty years ago, the Berlin was described as "fundamentally too passive" (Leonard Barden, The Ruy Lopez [1963], 145). Even so, the opening had adherents, such as GM Arthur Bisguier.

Vladimir Kramnik's use of the Berlin Defense in his World Championship match with Garry Kasparov revived the opening. It has retaken its position as an important opening played regularly in top tournaments. It appeared in four of the ten games in the 2013 World Championship. Magnus Carlsen employed it three times, and Viswanathan Anand played it once. Although the opening has a reputation for being drawish, it often creates imbalances that allow either side to play for an advantage long into the endgame. Carlsen scored one of his victories in the match when Anand faltered in a long and difficult endgame that began with the Berlin Defense.

The opening's name stems from it having been recommended in Handbuch des Schachspiels (Berlin 1843), edited by Tassilo von Heydebrand und der Lasa and Paul Rudolph von Bilguer. Bilguer began the project, but died before bringing it to publication. Lasa completed the project and continued updating it through four more editions (1852, 1858, 1864, 1874). The so-called Morphy Defense (3...a6) does not appear in the first edition of the Handbuch, but is treated in the 1852 edition, where Lasa asserts the superiority of 3...Nf6.
Dieser Zug, welchen der Anonimo Modenese angiebt, kann sehr gut geschehen. Hätte Weiss aber die Absicht, sogleich Sc6 zu nehmen, so würde Schwarz durch 3.Sg8 nach f6 statt a7-a6 dann wegen des Angriffs auf e4 noch etwas besser entwickelt sein.
Tassilo von der Lasa, Handbuch (1852), 162.*
The Ruy Lopez opening received its name from the Handbuch des Schachspiels using the term, "The Knight's Game of Ruy Lopez," according to Howard Staunton (The Chess-Player's Handbook [1847], 147).

The Berlin Defense was considered a standard response to the Spanish in 1889 when Wilhelm Steinitz advocated the system (3...d6) that would come to bear his name (Steinitz, The Modern Chess Instructor [1889], 1). There, the Morphy Defense (3...a6) was considered an alternate main line. Johann Jacob Lowenthal, however, asserted two decades earlier that Morphy's move is "generally considered best" (The Chess Player's Magazine, vol. 1, New Series [1865], 45). According to Lowenthal, Domenico Ercole del Rio had first suggested the move that became associated with Morphy following his match with Adolf Anderssen.

Lowenthal's assessment differs from that of Max Lange a mere five years earlier. Lange wrote in Paul Morphy: A Sketch from the Chess World, trans. Ernest Falkbeer (1860) that 3...Nf6 "would be stronger" than Morphy's 3...a6, as played in games two and four of his match with Anderssen. White's bishop is "well placed" at a4 and "if Black, in order to dislodge him, should venture upon advancing the [b-pawn], the queen's side will be exposed" (256). Lange refers his readers to "elaborate analysis" in Sammlung neuer Schachpartien (1857).

There Lange offers the history that Ruy Lopez de Segura recommends 3.Bb5 against the knight's defense of the pawn on e5, which the clergyman considered better protected by the pawn move 2...d6. Lange explains that the opening is called the Spanish Game or Ruy Lopez due to this analysis offered by the priest in 1561. His reasoning does not match the Spanish master's, he notes. Rather, he asserts that Black's efforts to drive away the bishop allow it to take up residence on b3 with no loss of time, while also weakening Black's queenside. However, the recommendation of the Berlin School offers Black compensation (43-44).
Die allgemeine Theorie ist aber spater jenem Rathe des spanischen Meisters nicht vollkommen beigetreten; sie hat vielmehr nach Aufrechterhaltung der Vertheidigung 2. Sb8 — c6 nun bei 3. Lfl — b5 durch die von der Berliner Schule vorgeschlagene Entgegnung 3. Sg8 — f6 die Spiele schnell auszugleichen empfohlen.
Lange, Sammlung neuer Schachpartien (1857), 43
The importance of the Spanish Opening is revealed, Lange asserts, in the attention it receives from Tassilo von der Lasa, Carl Friedrich Jaenisch, and Howard Staunton.

Lasker's Advocacy
Truth derives its strength not so much from itself as from the brilliant contrast it makes with what is only apparently true.
Emanuel Lasker, Common Sense in Chess (1917), 25
The Morphy Defense first surpassed the Berlin system in popularity, according to the ChessBase database, in the 1870s.** However, they remained close to equal through the 1880s and 1890s, and then in the first decade of the twentieth century, the Morphy variation was played three times as often as the Berlin. In the next decade, 3...a6 appeared five times as often as 3...Nf6.

The Berlin Defense to the Spanish Opening had reached it peak of popularity, while the Morphy Defense dramatically increased its adherents at the same time that Emanuel Lasker presented his lectures that would be published as Common Sense in Chess. The lectures were presented in spring 1895 and the first edition of the book appeared in 1896. After several editions by several publishers, a corrected edition was published by David McKay in 1917. That edition was reprinted as a cheap Dover paperback in 1965 that remains widely available today.

Lasker's central purpose in the lectures and book were to lay out general principles for all phases of the game. His opening principles are put forth in "Lasker's Rules". These conclude the first lecture. In the second lecture, he offered two games and variations that illustrate these rules at work in the Spanish Opening. In the third lecture, he offered some discussion of the Morphy Defense, which he notes at the outset violates one of his opening principles. The Berlin Defense conforms to Lasker's rules.

In his first illustrative game in the second lecture, we have the moves 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.O-O Nxe4 5.Re1 Nd6

White to move

Lasker observes of 5.Re1, "[n]ot the best move, but one that most naturally suggests itself" (19). Nonetheless, Carlsen played this very move in game 8 of his match with Anand. That game followed a line that had been employed in the first official match for the World Championship in 1886, deviating only with 12...Ne8.

Lasker's continuation from the diagram has been rare (24 games in ChessBase Online).


6.Nxe5 is the overwhelmingly most popular choice, followed by 6.Bxc6 in roughly one-quarter of the games.

6...Nxb5 7.Nxe5

"Cunning play." Lasker observes, "If Black now takes one of the knights he loses" (19).

Lasker presents some lines after 7...Nxc3 in which White either gains a piece or generates a mating attack against the king. These seem useful instruction for developing players. In his main line, after 7...Be7, Black ends up with a better game.
And Black's game is, if anything, preferable. You see how quickly White's attack has spent itself out. But then he did not make the best of his position at move 5.
Lasker, Common Sense, 21
Lasker returns to the main line after 4.O-O Nxe4, offering what remains today White's most popular move.


Black to move

Here, 5...Nd6 has become Black's most popular response. Lasker continued with 5...Be7, the second most popular move today.

6.Qe2 Nd6 7.Bxc6 bxc6 8.dxe5 Nb7

After 5...Be7, the rest of Lasker's moves remain the top choices in this line.

White to move

Lasker's comments on the diagram ring true today:
We have no come to a critical stage. Black's pieces have retired into safety, ready, with one single move, to occupy points of importance. White, on the contrary, has the field to himself, but he can do nothing for the present, as there is no tangible object of attack. Various attempts have been made to show that White has here the superior position. I do not believe that White has any advantage, and am rather inclined to attribute the greater vitality to the party that has kept its forces a little back. (23)
The Berlin Defense offers several prospects for interesting and dynamic play. It can produce a tactical melee, a positional squeeze, or a cold and lifeless position that leads to an early draw. I was happy to see several variations of this old and new opening system deployed in the recently completed World Championship match.

*I received assistance translating this passage from a member of Chess.com, hauntedgarage2000. He offered: "This move, described by Anonimo Robenese, could possibly occur. But if White would take Nc6 immediately, Black then will be a bit better developed with 3. Ng8 to f6 instead a7 to a6 because of his threat towards e4." Another member of the site, Kevin Hermann, helped by translating a passage from the 1843 text.

Corrections to my transcription to this passage were made 27 November 2013. Thanks to additional help from McHeath on Chess.com for pointing out four spelling errors. In addition, Anonimo Robenese should be Anonimo Modenese, a name associated with Domenico Ercole del Rio (see also "Morphy Defense: Early History").

**The more time that I spend reading nineteenth century chess books and periodicals, the more I realize that ChessBase and other electronic databases are woefully incomplete as historical references. Aside from the most highly publicized matches and tournaments, and the records of the best known players, the games in nineteenth century publications are mostly absent from databases.

23 November 2013

FIDE World Championship 2013: Critical Positions

Magnus Carlsen is the new World Champion of chess. He takes his place in a line of official and quasi-official world champions that go back 127 years.* Most of these champions have taken their place at the top as a consequence of prevailing in a match of many games against the reigning champion. Carlsen defeated Viswanathan Anand 6.5-3.5 in a match scheduled for twelve games, with provisions for tie-break games if tied after twelve.

Chess is a game that requires the players to assess ever changing arrangements of the chess pieces on a board of sixty-four squares. There are an estimated 10^43 possible positions, the vast majority of which will never appear on a chess board. Each individual chess game contains dozens of chess positions, and most of the time a majority of these positions are new. Carlsen became world champion by correctly assessing more often than Anand the chess positions they created together. In excess of 850 positions appeared in their ten games. Assessment of these positions required considering many hundreds more that did not occur.

The positions presented here appear to have been the most significant in determining the outcome of the match.

White to move

The first game followed previously played games as far as White's twelfth move. In the diagram, Black has just played 12...Nd5 creating both the first unique position in the match and the first critical position. White is already worse, and Carlsen understood that. He played the best move 13.Qb3 and it led to a draw by repetition a few moves later.

White to move

In the second game, the critical position was one that had occurred before. 18.Qg4 offers White prospects for a slight advantage with complex play. Anand chose to play it safe with 18.Qxd5, and seven moves later the game was drawn by repetition in an equal position.

Black to move

World Champion Anand appears to have missed a second opportunity to gain an advantage in the third game. He played 29...Bd4 in this position. 29...Bxb2 might have given him chances for clear advantage.

White to move

Anand's 16.Ne1 appears inferior to 16.Ne2. The a-pawn eventually fell, but White was able to generate less play for the material than if he had permitted 16...Bxa2 (although Carlsen would not have been compelled to make this capture). Anand's plan from this stage in the early middlegame conceded the advantage to Black over a series of moves.

In the press conference after game 10, Carlsen pointed to games three and four as revealing to him that Anand was vulnerable. He was then able to relax and play his normal style of chess. Carlsen's style produced opportunities for Anand to err.

Black to move

45...Rc1+, which was played by Anand in this position was an error. 45...Ra1 saves the game. This ending is not simple. The g-pawn appears to be the dangerous one, and Anand went after it after the check.

White to move

Computers can find the draw that follows from 60.b4, but both Anand and Carlsen thought the critical moment in the game had come some time earlier, perhaps 38.Qg3. It is interesting to contemplate that if White's b- and c-pawns were not on the board, Anand's 60.Ra4 would be consistent with the manner than the weaker side can hold positions where the stronger side has g- and h-pawns.

White to move

Neither player made any notable errors in game 7. After Anand's 27.exf5 in this position, the game quickly ended in a repetition.

Black to move

Anand found the correct 23...Qd8 in this position, and all the pieces were swapped off a few moves later. After some cursory pawn moves by both players, the position was wholly locked.

White to move

In a desperate situation, Anand went all out for checkmate in the ninth game. Carlsen defended well, and having survived the assault gained the upper hand. Here, White can probably hold and settle for a draw after 28.Bf1, but Anand played 28.Nf1 and resigned after 28...Qe1. Anand's error was made ten moves earlier, perhaps, when he anticipated this position.

Chess players must assess most positions long before they appear on the board.

Black to move

Anand's 28...Qg5 gave Carlsen the chance to play for a fourth win. He chose a line that he thought was winning, and then found the knight ending complex enough that he decided to force a draw to end the match. After 29.e5, White had a clear advantage, although it might have been more significant with greater precision on Carlsen's part.

Carlsen's most significant errors cane in the final game, when they no longer mattered.

*The World Chess Champions have been:
Wilhelm Steinitz (1886-1894)
Emanuel Lasker (1894-1921)
Jose Capablanca (1921-1927)
Alexander Alekhine (1927-1935)
Max Euwe (1935-1937)
Alexander Alekhine (1937-1946)
Mikhail Botvinnik (1948-1957)
Vasily Smyslov (1957-1958)
Mikhail Botvinnik (1958-1960)
Mikhail Tal (1960-1961)
Mikhail Botvinnik (1961-1963)
Tigran Petrosian (1963-1969)
Boris Spassky (1969-1972)
Bobby Fischer (1972-1975)
Anatoly Karpov (1975-1985)
Garry Kasparov (1985-2000)
Vladimir Kramnik (2000-2007)
Viswanathan Anand (2007-2013)
Magnus Carlsen (2013-  )

FIDE World Champions (official classical title in dispute 1993-2006)
Anatoly Karpov (1993-1999)
Alexander Khalifman (1999-2000)
Viswanathan Anand (2000-2002)
Ruslan Ponomariav (2002-2004)
Rustam Kasimdzhanov (2004-2005)
Veselin Topalov (2005-2006)

22 November 2013

Carlsen -- Anand 2013, Game 10

The Last Battle

I would like to take some responsibility for his mistakes.
Magnus Carlsen, Press Conference
The old tiger came out to fight the young challenger today. Needing only a draw in the next three games, Magnus Carlsen had to battle Viswanthan Anand through a long game. For much of the game, however, it appeared to be the challenger who was pressing for a decision. The game reached a knight ending with many pawns on both sides of the board. Both sides had chances, but with correct play a draw seemed likely.

Carlsen opened with his king's pawn and soon found himself battling Anand's Sicilian. After some complexities where it appeared that both players made inaccuracies, the heavy pieces were swapped in one series of exchanges. Then, each player had six pawns and a knight. White had a majority on the queenside; Black had a majority on the kingside. The White king was able to occupy the center, while the Black king took up a post two squares away.

Carlsen pressed with a slight advantage. As his knight penetrated into Anand's position, it appeared that he wanted to win another game. He avoided an opportunity to repeat the position. White sacrificed his knight to contain the Black forces on the kingside, while his king mopped up the Black pawns on the queenside. Both players promoted pawns, creating a queen and knight against queen and three pawns.

Carlsen forced the exchange of queens, and the game quickly petered out to a draw.

Magnus Carlsen is the new World Champion!

Carlsen,Magnus (2870) - Anand,Viswanathan (2775) [B51]
FWCM 2013 Chennai (10), 22.11.2013

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Bb5+ Nd7 4.d4 cxd4 5.Qxd4 a6 6.Bxd7+ Bxd7 7.c4

Black to move


Anand played 7...e5 against Carlsen earlier this year.

Reference Game:

Carlsen,M (2868) -- Anand,V (2783) [B51]
Supreme Masters 2013 Sandnes NOR (2.3), 09.05.2013
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Bb5+ Nd7 4.d4 cxd4 5.Qxd4 a6 6.Bxd7+ Bxd7 7.c4 e5 8.Qd3 b5 9.Nc3 bxc4 10.Qxc4 Be6 11.Qd3 h6 12.0–0 Nf6 13.Rd1 Be7 14.Ne1 0–0 15.Nc2 Qb6 16.Ne3 Rfc8 17.b3 a5 18.Bd2 Qa6 19.Be1 Nd7 20.f3 Rc6 21.Qxa6 Rcxa6 22.Ned5 Bd8 23.Nb5 Rc8 24.Bf2 Kh7 25.Kf1 Rcc6 26.Rac1 Bg5 27.Rc3 Bxd5 28.Rxd5 Rxc3 29.Nxc3 Rc6 30.Be1 Nc5 31.Nb5 Nb7 32.h4 Be3 33.Ke2 Bc5 34.h5 Bb4 35.Bd2 g6 36.a3 Bxd2 37.hxg6+ Kxg6 38.Kxd2 h5 39.g3 f6 40.Na7 Rc7 41.Nb5 Rc6 42.Ke2 Kf7 43.b4 axb4 44.axb4 Ke6 45.Rd3 Rc4 46.Rb3 d5 47.Kd3 Rc6 48.exd5+ Kxd5 49.Rc3 f5 50.Nc7+ Kd6 51.Ne8+ Kd5 52.Rxc6 Kxc6 53.Ng7 Nd6 54.Nxh5 e4+ 55.fxe4 Nxe4 56.Kd4 Kb5 57.g4 fxg4 58.Kxe4 g3 59.Nxg3 Kxb4 ½–½

8.Bg5 e6 9.Nc3 Be7 10.0–0 Bc6 11.Qd3 0–0 12.Nd4 Rc8 13.b3

This move does not appear in my database. 13.Rac1 was played in the sole game that reached this position.

Reference Game:

Schoeneberg,Manfred (2360) -- Danailov,Silvio (2425) [B53]
Leipzig BKL Leipzig (3), 1986
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Qxd4 Nc6 5.Bb5 Bd7 6.Bxc6 Bxc6 7.c4 Nf6 8.Nc3 e6 9.0–0 Be7 10.Qd3 0–0 11.Nd4 Rc8 12.Bg5 a6 13.Rac1 Qa5 14.Bd2 Qd8 15.Bg5 b6 16.Nxc6 Rxc6 17.Ne2 Qa8 18.f3 Rfc8 19.Be3 Nd7 20.b3 Qb7 21.Nd4 R6c7 22.a4 Bf6 23.Rfd1 g6 24.Ne2 Be7 25.Nc3 Rc6 ½–½

Black to move

13...Qc7 14.Nxc6 Qxc6 15.Rac1 h6 16.Be3 Nd7 17.Bd4 Rfd8 18.h3 Qc7 19.Rfd1 Qa5 20.Qd2 Kf8 21.Qb2 Kg8 22.a4 Qh5 23.Ne2 Bf6 24.Rc3 Bxd4 25.Rxd4 Qe5 26.Qd2 Nf6 27.Re3 Rd7 28.a5

Black to move


This move appears to be an error, which gives White chances for a substantial advantage. The queen must hold to prevent the e-pawn's advance. Moves like 28...Rb8 and 28...Kh7 hold the position for the moment.

29.e5 Ne8 30.exd6

30.Nc3 was the route to a superior game. During the press conference, Carlsen stated that he thought he was winning with the line he played. If he had realized it was equal, he would have spent some time to find a better move.

30...Rc6 31.f4 Qd8 32.Red3 Rcxd6 33.Rxd6 Rxd6 34.Rxd6 Qxd6 35.Qxd6 Nxd6

White to move

36.Kf2 Kf8 37.Ke3 Ke7 38.Kd4 Kd7 39.Kc5 Kc7 40.Nc3 Nf5 41.Ne4 Ne3

At this moment, the game is still going. It seems that three possible results remain. Black could win, which will lead to an eleventh game. Carlsen could win or draw, which ends the match with a new world champion.

Screenshot of iPad App 
42.g3 f5 43.Nd6

Black to move

Anand described today's game as a microcosm of the match itself. He was referring to his error on move 28, but also to the manner in which Carlsen was able to provoke errors with continuous pressure. In this position, White has choices. Black must find the only move and defend with precision.


Anand found the only move.

44.Ne8+ Kd7 45.Nf6+ Ke7

45...Kc7 was better. White's advantage increases with Anand's move.

White to move


46.Nh5 appears to be winning. Carlsen stated in the press conference that the variations became too complex, so he decided to "shut it down" and force a draw.

46...Kf8 47.Nxh6 gxf4 48.gxf4 Kg7 49.Nxf5+ exf5 50.Kb6 Ng2 51.Kxb7 Nxf4 52.Kxa6 Ne6 53.Kb6 f4 54.a6 f3 55.a7 f2 56.a8Q f1Q

White to move

57.Qd5 Qe1 58.Qd6 Qe3+ 59.Ka6 Nc5+ 60.Kb5 Nxb3 61.Qc7+ Kh6 62.Qb6+ Qxb6+ 63.Kxb6 Kh5 64.h4 Kxh4 65.c5 Nxc5 1/2-1/2

21 November 2013

Anand -- Carlsen 2013, Game 9

This was the correct choice. I have no regrets about that.
Viswanathan Anand, Press Conference
World Champion Viswanathan Anand went all out trying to checkmate Magnus Carlsen. There were some sharp lines that both players needed to calculate. In the end, Carlsen defended accurately and Anand may have missed a line where he could have saved a half-point. Carlsen needs one draw in the next three games. He has White tomorrow.

Anand,Viswanathan (2775) -- Carlsen,Magnus (2870) [E25]
FWCM 2013 Chennai (9), 21.11.2013

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.f3 d5 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.bxc3 c5 7.cxd5 exd5 8.e3

Black to move


This move was first played by Alberic O'Kelly against Victor Kortchnoi in 1954. The game was drawn. Eight years later, O'Kelly had the White side and lost.

8...O-O is the most popular line, but White scores well.
8...Qc7 scores well for Black, as does the line played by Carlsen


This move was first played by Viktors Pupols.


Reference Game:

9...Bf5 10.Nf4 0–0 11.g4 Bg6 12.h4 h6 13.Bg2 Bh7 14.0–0 Nc6 15.g5 hxg5 16.hxg5 Ne8 17.e4 Nc7 18.e5 b5 19.Qe1 Ne6 20.Qg3 Nxf4 21.Bxf4 a5 22.Kf2 Bg6 23.Rh1 Qe7 24.Rae1 f6 25.gxf6 1–0 Pupols,V -- Wang,A Seattle 1982.


This pawn thrust was played on move 9 in O'Kelly's games.

10...0–0 11.Bg2 Na5 12.0–0 Nb3 13.Ra2 b5 

White to move


Reference Game:

14.g5 Nd7 15.e4 Nb6 16.e5 Bf5 17.f4 Na4 18.Rf3 Bb1 19.Rc2 a5 20.Rh3 b4 21.Be3 Bxc2 22.Qxc2 g6 23.axb4 axb4 24.cxb4 Nb6 25.f5 Qd7 26.Ng3 Ra1+ 27.Bf1 Nc8 28.Rh6 Ne7 29.Qg2 Nxf5 30.Qh3 Rfa8 31.Rxh7 Kf8 32.Ne2 Nxe3 33.Qxe3 Qg4+ 34.Ng3 R8a2 35.e6 Rxf1+ 36.Kxf1 Qd1+ 37.Qe1 Qf3+ 0–1 Gardner,R (2202) -- Shabalov,A (2534) Calgary 2012.


The game's novelty.

14...Bb7 was played in a short draw in 2011.
14...Re8 was played in a game on the Internet Chess Club that White won.

15.g5 Ne8 16.e4 Nxc1 17.Qxc1 Ra6 18.e5 Nc7 19.f4

19.Rb2 may have been considered.

Carlsen discussed the position after 19.f4 during the press conference. "There were an amazing number of complicated lines," he noted. He would have liked to play g6 and maneuver his knight to f5 to blockade the pawns. But, then White can build up pressure on the queenside. Consequently, Carlsen explained, "I had to go all out for counterplay."

19...b4 20.axb4 axb4 21.Rxa6 Nxa6

White to move


22.cxb4 may lead to equality, but that is not Anand's intent.

22...b3 23.Qf4

"I wasn't sure what to do. As it happens, my moves weren't that complicated. I had to play the only moves all the time." Magnus Carlsen, Press Conference


Anand said that he anticipated 23...Kh8 24.f6 g6 25.Qh4 b2 with the difference that after Rb1, Black has Qa5.


Black to move


24...gxf6 is an option, but "25.Nh5 looked very dangerous here" (Carlsen).

25.Qh4 Ne8 26.Qh6

26.Ne2 might have been possible.

In the press conference, Anand went through a line where he tried to explain what he missed while anticipating this moment from an earlier position, but his line is hard to follow because Carlsen's b-pawn disappears from the board.

Where's Carlsen's b-pawn?

It was the speed of Anand's analysis that was hard to follow. Note that White's knight, too, is missing. The pawn promoted and the queen was exchanged.

26...b2 27.Rf4 b1Q+

White to move


28.Bf1 Qd1 29.Rh4 Qh5 30.Nxh5 gxh5 31.Rxh5 (In the photo above, Anand was looking at 31.Bh3, and the problem is that Black has 31...Qb6) 31...Bf5 32.Bh3 Bg6 33.e6 Nxf6 34.gxf6 Qxf6 35.Re5 (the computer likes 35.Rf5 Qxe6 36.Rf1) 35...fxe6 36.Qe3 and White can hold. Carlsen showed this line in the press conference, stating that he and Anand had discussed it after the game.

28...Qe1 0–1

20 November 2013

Lasker's Rules

Lesson of the Week

In the beginning of the chess game, it is important to rapidly mobilize your forces. While doing so, it is necessary to gain control of important points and lines--central squares, files, ranks, and diagonals. As a guideline for opening mobilization, World Champion Emanuel Lasker set out four rules.* Young players this week are learning these rules.

Lasker stated that six moves should be devoted to moving the center pawns, the two knights, and the bishops.

1. Do not move any pawns in the opening of the game but the e- and d-pawns.
2. Do not move any piece twice in the opening, but put it at once upon the right square.
3. Bring out your knights before developing the bishops.
4. Do not pin the opponent's king knight before your opponent has castled.

Lasker presented these rules after going through four short illustrative games in which errors were quickly punished. One of these games was featured in the lesson of the week two weeks ago. The other three games, and additional games are used this week to illustrate the principles. No group of players will see all of these illustrative games.

Lasker adds that the knights are generally best posted on f3 and c3 for White, f6 and c6 for Black. He adds that the kingside bishop should normally stay on its original long diagonal, and most often should be posted on the c-file where it eyes f7 or f2. He grants an exception to the first rule for opening on the queenside, when the c-pawn may need to advance before the knight is deployed.

Illustrative Games

The first illustrative game comes from Saturday's tournament.

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 h6

Black violates the first rule, and White quickly exploits the error.

4.d4! Nf6

Black should have captured the d-pawn with 4...exd4. Now, the knight will be forced to move again.

5.dxe5 Nxe4

Black might play on with 5...Ng4.


Black to move

Black will lose the knight or lose to checkmate.

The second illustrative game offers the same tactic. It is among the model games employed by Gioachino Greco.

Greco,Gioachino -- NN [C54]
Europe, 1620

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.c3

Lasker never played this move. It violates his first rule. However, he did observe that in certain openings, this pawn might be permitted to move as an exception. He mentioned d-pawn openings as often needing c4 prior to Nc3. By preparing d4, this move facilitates the effort to make Black's bishop move a second time.

Despite Lasker's rule, 4.c3 is the main line in the Italian Opening and is okay.

4...Nf6 5.d4

Black to move


The retreat is the wrong square for the bishop. In his World Championship Match, Lasker played  5...exd4 6.cxd4 Bb4+. This line is also in many of Greco's games. Lasker won several games from the Black side of this position.

6.dxe5 Nxe4 7.Qd5 the knight is lost 1–0

The third illustrative game is one of the best known games in chess history. It is called the Opera Game because it was played at the Paris Opera. Paul Morphy played against a Count and a Duke who worked together to find the right moves, or rather the wrong ones.

Morphy,Paul -- Isouard,Carl and the Duke of Brunswick [C41]
Paris, 1858

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 Bg4

Black violates the fourth rule


Black to move

4... Bxf3

4...dxe5 is worse 5.Qxd8+ Kxd8 6.Nxe5

5.Qxf3 dxe5 6.Bc4 Nf6 7.Qb3 Qe7 8.Nc3 c6 9.Bg5

White also violates rule 4, but in this case is appropriate.

9...b5?? 10.Nxb5 cxb5 11.Bxb5+ Nbd7

Now all of Black's pieces are pinned or otherwise tied down to defending against pins.

12.0–0–0 Rd8 13.Rxd7 Rxd7 14.Rd1 Qe6 15.Bxd7+ Nxd7

15...Qxd7 is better, but loses. 16.Qb8+ Ke7 17.Qxe5+ Kd8 18.Bxf6+ gxf6 19.Qxf6+ Kc7 20.Rxd7+ Kxd7 21.Qxh8.

White to move

16.Qb8+ Nxb8 17.Rd8# 1–0

Lasker's First Illustrative Game

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Bc4 h6 4.Nc3 Bg4 5.Nxe5 Bxd1 6.Bxf7+ Ke7 7.Nd5# 1–0

Lasker's Second Illustrative Game

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nxe5 Nc6 4.Nxc6 dxc6 5.d3 Bc5 6.Bg5 Nxe4 7.Bxd8 Bxf2+ 8.Ke2 Bg4# 0–1

Lasker's Fourth Illustrative Game

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bg5 Be7 5.Bxf6 Bxf6 6.Nf3 0–0

6...dxe4 is better 7.Nxe4 Nd7 8.Bd3 b6 9.0–0 Bb7

7.Bd3 b6 8.e5 Be7 9.h4 Bb7

White to move

10.Bxh7+ Kxh7 11.Ng5+ Kg6 12.Ne2 Bxg5

12...Kh6 was played in a game that Lasker might have known 13.Nf4 g6 14.h5 Bxg5 15.hxg6+ Kg7 16.Rh7+ Kg8 17.Qh5 Bf6 18.Rh8+ 1–0 Crespi,N -- Cavallotti Milan 1881

13.hxg5 f5 14.gxf6 Kf7

Another game that Lasker may have known continued 14...Rh8 15.Nf4+ Kf7 16.Qg4 Rxh1+ 17.Kd2 gxf6 18.Qg6+ Ke7 19.Qg7+ Ke8 20.Qg8+ Ke7 21.Qxe6+ Kf8 22.Rxh1 Bc8 1–0 Fritz,A -- Mason,J Nuremberg 1883

15.Nf4 Rh8 16.Qg4 Rxh1+ 17.Kd2 gxf6 18.Qg6+ Ke7 19.Qg7+ Ke8 20.Qg8+ Ke7 21.Qxe6+ Kf8 22.Rxh1 Kg7 23.Rh7+ Kxh7 24.Qf7+ Kh8 25.Ng6# 1–0

These games all illustrate occasional deviations from Lasker's rules in the first moves, but generally the winning player adhered to them more closely, deviating only to seize an opportunity provided by the opponent's neglect.

*Emanuel Lasker, Common Sense in Chess (1917).

19 November 2013

Carlsen -- Anand 2013, Game 8

Magnus Carlsen appeared relaxed during the press conference after today's game. He was joking with reporters and laughing at his own comments. Others were laughing too.

Asked to describe the game, he noted that he played  the most solid system against the Berlin, "yada, yada, yada, let's go to the doping control." Asked about a statement Fabiano Caruana made in an interview that Carlsen is good at finding openings that are unpleasant for his opponents, Carlsen stated, "Caruana is a very good player and a clever guy; there must be something to what he says." He said that he was not in the mood to think today. He claimed there was not much to think about in the game. He said, "I was just hoping to set some traps, and if not, to shut it down."

Carlsen,Magnus (2870) -- Anand,Viswanathan (2775) [C67]
FWCM 2013 Chennai (8), 19.11.2013


Anand thought for nearly five minutes after Carlsen played this move. Many predicted that Anand would meet this move with the Sicilian. In the postgame press conference, Anand stated that he did not know his opponent's intentions, and there are dry systems against the Sicilian as well.

1...e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.0–0 Nxe4 5.Re1

5.d4 see game 4 for the Berlin Wall, but Anand as White.

5...Nd6 6.Nxe5

Black to move


Every beginner should learn 6...Nxb5 7.Nxc6+ winning the queen.

7.Bf1 Nxe5 8.Rxe5 0–0 9.d4 Bf6 10.Re1 Re8

10...Nf5 Neumann -- Anderssen 1866.

11.c3 Rxe1 12.Qxe1

Black to move


Daniel King stated in his Power Play video that 12...Nf5 had been played from this position in the first World Championship match.

Reference Game:

Steinitz,William -- Zukertort,Johannes Hermann [C67]
World Championship 01st USA (4), 18.01.1886
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.0–0 Nxe4 5.Re1 Nd6 6.Nxe5 Nxe5 7.Rxe5+ Be7 8.Bf1 0–0 9.d4 Bf6 10.Re1 Re8 11.c3 Rxe1 12.Qxe1 Nf5 13.Bf4 d6 14.Nd2 Be6 15.Bd3 Nh4 16.Ne4 Ng6 17.Bd2 d5 18.Nc5 Bc8 19.Qe3 b6 20.Nb3 Qd6 21.Qe8+ Nf8 22.Re1 Bb7 23.Qe3 Ne6 24.Qf3 Rd8 25.Qf5 Nf8 26.Bf4 Qc6 27.Nd2 Bc8 28.Qh5 g6 29.Qe2 Ne6 30.Bg3 Qb7 31.Nf3 c5 32.dxc5 bxc5 33.Ne5 c4 34.Bb1 Bg7 35.Rd1 Bd7 36.Qf3 Be8 37.Nxc4 dxc4 38.Rxd8 Nxd8 39.Qe2 Ne6 0–1

13.Bf4 d5 14.Bd3 g6 15.Nd2 Ng7 16.Qe2 c6

White to move


Carlsen's move appears to be a novelty. Two prior games reached the position before this move.

17.Be5 Bxe5 18.Qxe5 Bf5 19.Bxf5 Nxf5 20.Re1 Qd6 21.Nb3 Qxe5 22.Rxe5 f6 23.Re2 Kf7 24.Nc5 Nd6 25.f3 Re8 26.Rxe8 Kxe8 27.Kf2 b6 28.Nd3 Kd7 29.g4 g5 30.Ke3 h6 31.f4 ½–½ Rozentalis,E (2619)--Bruzon Batista,L (2691) Montreal 2013

17.Nb3 b6 18.Re1 Bf5 19.Bxf5 Nxf5 20.Nc1 Qd7 21.Nd3 Ng7 22.Be5 Re8 23.Qf1 Bxe5 24.Nxe5 Qd6 25.h3 f6 26.Ng4 Rxe1 27.Qxe1 h5 28.Ne3 Qe6 29.Qb1 Kf7 30.Qd3 Qd7 31.Qa6 Ne8 32.c4 dxc4 33.Qxc4+ Kg7 34.d5 cxd5 35.Nxd5 Qe6 36.Qd4 Nd6 37.Kf1 Nf5 38.Qc4 Ne7 39.Ne3 Qe5 40.Qa4 Qxb2 41.Qxa7 Qb1+ 42.Ke2 Qb5+ 43.Kd2 Qb4+ 44.Kc2 Qc5+ 45.Kd1 Qd6+ 46.Ke2 Kh6 47.Qa8 Kg7 48.Qe4 Qc5 49.Qe6 Qb4 50.g4 hxg4 51.hxg4 Qb5+ 52.Kf3 Qc5 53.a4 Nc6 54.Kg2 Ne7 55.Kh3 Qa3 56.Kh2 Qc5 57.Kg2 Qc7 58.Nc4 Qb7+ 59.Kg1 Nc8 60.g5 fxg5 61.Ne5 Qe7 62.Qxg6+ Kf8 63.Nf3 Qd7 64.Qh6+ Ke8 65.Qh5+ Kd8 66.Qxg5+ Kc7 67.Qf4+ Kb7 68.Nd2 b5 69.Qe4+ Ka6 70.axb5+ Kxb5 71.Qc4+ Kb6 72.Nb3 Qf5 73.Qg8 Kc7 74.Nd4 Qf6 75.Qc4+ Kd7 76.Qb5+ Kc7 77.Qd5 Qg6+ 78.Kf1 Qb1+ 79.Ke2 Qb2+ 80.Ke3 Qc1+ 81.Ke2 Qb2+ 82.Kd3 Qxf2 83.Qc5+ Kb7 84.Qd5+ Kc7 85.Ne6+ Kb8 86.Qe5+ Ka8 87.Qa5+ Qa7 88.Qxa7+ ½–½ Nepomniachtchi,I (2711)--Riazantsev,A (2688) Khanty-Mansiysk 2011

17...Bf5 18.Bxf5 Nxf5 19.Nf3 Ng7 20.Be5 Ne6 21.Bxf6 Qxf6 22.Ne5 Re8 23.Ng4

Black to move

Carlsen has set a little trap.


Anand avoids the trap, and everything comes off the board.

23...Qg5? 24.f4! (24.h4 is strong, but perhaps not as good as f4)

a) 24...Qh5 25.Nf6++-

b) 24...Qxf4 25.Rf1 Qb8 26.Nf6++-

c) 24...Qd8 25.Qe5 Ng7 26.Nf6+ Qxf6 27.Qxf6 Rxe1+ 28.Kf2+-

24.Qe5 Ng7 25.Qxe8+ Nxe8 26.Rxe8+ Qxe8 27.Nf6+ Kf8 28.Nxe8 Kxe8 29.f4 f5 30.Kf2 b5 31.b4 Kf7 32.h3 h6 33.h4 h5 ½–½