Friday, November 22, 2013

World Chess Championship 2013: Anand - Carlsen, round 10

Anand needs a win to keep the match alive, but this was a long fought draw. Congratulations to the new World Champion, Magnus Carlsen!

Anand is one of the great players of all time. He has been a contender for the world championship since the 90s and won the title in 2000, lost it in 2002 and won it again in 2007. He defended the title from then till now. He remains one of the strongest players in the world, and has to be one of the favorites to be the next challenger.

Anand choses the Sicilian in response to Carlsen's 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Bb5+ this Moscow variation and its sibling the Rossolimo (2...Nc6 3.Bb5) are very popular in high level play. In many Sicilians, white's light square bishop becomes bad, with lots of white pawns on light squares. Trading it off early allows white to put his pawns on light squares without considering the plight of this bishop. It also allows white to retake on d4 with the queen. 3...Nd7 4.d4 cxd4 5.Qxd4 a6 6.Bxd7+ Bxd7 7.c4 Nf6 8.Bg5

This looks like a new move, but is in keeping with the general plan for white to control the d5-square. This points out the futility of memorizing moves without understanding the underlying reasons. 8...e6 9.Nc3 Be7 10.O-O Bc6 11.Qd3 O-O 12. Nd4 Rc8 13. b3 Qc7 14. Nxc6 Qxc6 

The rook configurations are important. One black rook belongs on c8 and one white rook belongs on d1, but where the other ones go is the tricky part. 15. Rac1 h6 16. Be3 Nd7 17. Bd4 Rfd8 18. h3 white's pieces are on good squares, and now is a good time to make luft. The players now begin a long line of manuevering pieces around making small threats trying to pry something loose. 18...Qc7 19. Rfd1 Qa5 20. Qd2 Kf8 21. Qb2 Kg8 22. a4 Qh5 23. Ne2 Bf6 24. Rc3 Bxd4 

d6 is rarely a problem for black as long as the dark square pieces remain on the board, but white's bishop was applying uncomfortable pressure on the long diagonal. Pushing it back with e6-e5 would have given white the d5-square and made black's bishop into a large pawn. 25. Rxd4 Qe5 26. Qd2 Nf6 27. Re3 Rd7 28. a5 Qg5?! this inaccuracy allows white to apply more pressure on the d6-pawn. 29. e5 Ne8

30. exd6?! releasing the tension too early. After the game Carlsen identified this as an error. Black's d6-pawn cannot move. (30.Ng3 would increase the pressure on black.)30...Rc6 31. f4 Qd8 32. Red3 Rcxd6 33. Rxd6 Rxd6 34. Rxd6 Qxd6 35. Qxd6 Nxd6 

Carlsen likes these types of positions. There is a lot of play left in this endgame. He will advance his king along the g2-a7 diagonal. 36. Kf2 Kf8 37. Ke3 Ke7 38. Kd4 Kd7 39. Kc5 Kc7 

Anand must keep in mind guarding the invasion square of b6, while the knights will spar the kingside. 40. Nc3 Nf5 41. Ne4 Ne3 42. g3 f5 43. Nd6 g5 44. Ne8+ Kd7 

Carlsen could force a draw here with 45.Nd6 and repeat the position, as black must not lose the b7 pawn without a passed pawn to compete with white's a&b pawns, but he goes for the win 45. Nf6+ Ke7  46.Ng8+ Kf8 an alternate and possibly winning path for white would be 47.Nh5, but the calculation is deep and thus risky. Carlsen chose a path where he could not lose. He gives up his knight for all but one of white's pawns, that will result in a Q+Ps v Q+N ending. Q v Q+N is a draw. 47. Nxh6 gxf4 48. gxf4 Kg7 49. Nxf5+ exf5 50. Kb6 Ng2 51. Kxb7 Nxf4 52. Kxa6 Ne6 53. Kb6 f4 

The a and f pawns will promote to queens and Carlsen cannot lose this, and thus will be the winner of the match and the new world champion. 54. a6 f3 55. a7 f2 56. a8=Q f1=Q 57. Qd5 centralizing his queen. 57...Qe1 (Qxh3 would allow white's pawns to get in motion 58.b4 Kf6 59.c5 this is not losing for black, but is worse than the game.) 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

No comments:

Post a Comment