Monday, November 18, 2013

World Championship 2013: Anand - Carlsen, round 7

Carlsen was able to trade down into an even endgame, and a repetition draw on move 31.

Anand is two games down and only has two games as white left. He needed to make something of today.

Anand plays the Ruy Lopez. I was expecting something different, but Anand may have nothing else prepared. Carlsen plays the Berlin again, and why not as he has been better in the two previous uses of this opening. 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.d3 Bc5 5.Bxc6 dxc6 Anand takes a third path this time with the rare 6.Nbd2 Bg4 7.h3 Bh5 8.Nf1 Nd7 defends the e5-pawn 9.Ng3 Bxf3 Carlsen gives up the two bishops. He must not have liked the future of the bishop on g6, or he just wanted to trade pieces 10.Qxf3 g6 11.Be3 Qe7 12.O-O-O O-O-O 13.Ne2 Rhe8 14.Kb1 b6 15.h4 Kb7 Carlsen sets up a more aggressive posture on the queenside. His king guards the c-pawns and his rooks can now slide along the back rank. 16.h5 Bxe3 17.Qxe3 Nc5 18.hxg6 hxg6 Anand opens the h-file. It may be premature, because black should be able to challenge white on the h-file now 19.g3 or perhaps Anand is just reducing the pawns on the kingside. Carlsen takes a long think, and choses to gain space on the queenside, secures his knight on c5, and a long term threat to attack the white king. 19...a5 20.Rh7 Rh8 21.Rdh1 Rxh7 Anand has his rook invasion at the cost of a trade of a pair of rooks. 22.Rxh7 Qf6 A nice placement of black's queen.  On the long a1-h8 diagonal it supports bringing a rook to h8 and helps control the d4 square. It also keeps the white queen off of the f-file.  23.f4 Rh8 24.Rxh8 Qxh8 25.fxe5 Qxe5 This endgame looks equal with few imbalances. A draw looks likely 26.Qf3 f5 27.exf5 gxf5 28.c3 Ne6 29.Kc2 Ng5 30.Qf2 Ne6 31.Qf3 Ng5 32.Qf2 Ne6 1/2-1/2

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