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Magnus Carlsen vs Viswanathan Anand
"Vichyssoise" (game of the day Jan-15-2013)
Grand Slam Chess Final (2012), Sao Paulo BRA, rd 9, Oct-12
Sicilian Defense: Canal Attack. Main Line (B52)  ·  1-0



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Magnus Carlsen vs Viswanathan Anand (2012) Vichyssoise
Photograph copyright © 2012 courtesy of Galder Orobengoa.

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 15 OF 15 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Feb-03-13  IndigoViolet: <By now we have emptied enough of the dishes for me to clear space on the tiny table for an even tinier magnetic chessboard I have brought with me. Carlsen sets up the Anand game. “I looked at all the usual ways to put pressure on his position, which all grandmasters would consider.” Carlsen then shows me a retreat with the knight “that at first glance looked strange”, because it pulled away from where the action was, “but which would tie [Anand] up completely”. A handful of moves later, Anand had to resign. “This is the sort of move a computer would not understand.”>

25.Nh3 is Houdini 1.5's first choice. It points out Black's best defensive set-up to the threat of Qh6 and Ng5: ...Kh8, ...Qb8/d8 and ...Qg8.

Feb-07-13  toreohm: <Richard Taylor: 15...d5 looks premature>

What happens if 16)cxd5 or 16)exd5?

Why not make that move?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: < toreohm: <Richard Taylor: 15...d5 looks premature>

What happens if 16)cxd5 or 16)exd5?

Why not make that move? >

I think Anand intended 16...Nxd5 in reply but I am not sure.

Feb-07-13  Eyal: <What happens if 16)cxd5 or 16)exd5?

Why not make that move?>

16.cxd5 Nxd5! 17.exd5 Rxd5 and White can't defend the knight; if 18.Nxc6 Rxd1 19.Nxe7+ Kh8! 20.Raxd1 Qe3/e6, winning one of the knights - but not 19...Kf8? 20.Raxd1 Qe3/e6 (20...Bxc3 21.Nxc3 Kxe7 22.Nd5+ winning the queen) 21.Bb4! (Carlsen himself showed these lines after the game).

Btw, 15...d5 in itself is probably fine if Black follows with 17...a5! (which, like Rdc8, defends against the threat of Ba5) - then the idea of advancing the e-pawn can be efficiently countered by 18.e5 Nd7 19.e6 d4! and now (a) White doesn't have Ba5; and (b) 20.exd7 isn't played with an attack on Rc8, so it can be met by 21...dxc3.

Apr-01-13  birthtimes: 21. ... Ng7 22. Qe1 Qc7 23. Nxe6 Qd6 24. Nxg7 Kxg7 25. Rf2 e5 26. cxd5 cxd5 27. Re2 Re8 28. Rc1 Re7 29. Rec2 e4 30. Rc6 Qe5 31. fxe4 Qxe4 32. Qxe4 dxe4 33. Rc7 Re8 34. g4 Rf7 DRAW
Apr-01-13  birthtimes: 17. ... a5 18. cxd5 cxd5 19. Bd4 Qb4 20. e5 Nd7 21. Bc3 Qb6 22. Bd4 Qb4 23. Bc3 DRAW
Aug-23-13  arttrysted: Wow is this one of the shortest games Anand has resigned in the last 10 years?
Oct-22-13  whiteshark: IM Andrew Martin has annotated this <commemorable> game for BCM in a video:
Nov-04-13  Mr. President:
Nov-10-13  QueentakesKing: Thanks Vishy. MC was able to catch up with Caruana. (Wink! Wink!)
Dec-10-13  Boris Schipkov: A great Magnus Carlsen's game! See this game with my commentary in Chess Siberia
Feb-17-14  Chessman1504: This game finally made it into enough game collections to be considered notable. It's about time.
Feb-28-14  joddon: plays all thypes of virtuous chess(carlsin) but dont give him any room thats all he needs. his big guns are his rook pawns.....but what normal players call normal positions....he transfuses them into genre games, games o the next generation so it seems.....then boom, if your wondering in the skies where the clouds are hanging so will all your pieces.....dont give him time cus his clock is your worst enemy...carlsin is so great!!
Mar-28-14  Shamot: Simple Carlsen magic!!!! WOW!
Feb-14-15  ssez222: Premature Resignation in my opinion. Yes black's position seems cramped but Anand should have buckled down and defended for at least another 10 moves and made Carlsen prove the win. Because a clear win is far from certain here.
May-22-15  TheFocus: <Of course you make plans but the positions are often too complicated for proper planning. Then suddenly you get an idea> - Magnus Carlsen, talking about a game he played with Viswanathan Anand at Bilbao in 2012. (Financial Times, Dec 8-9, 2012, page 3).
Jul-01-16  joddon: they both look like theyre sitting on a toilet and have to take a @#$%....i dont think they enjoy playing with each other!!
Oct-09-16  Dave12: interesting. if you are a tactical player like Anand you prepare a home-made move d5!? (exd5 Nxd5! cxd5 Rxd5). but a strategical and creative player can find the answer on the board e5! e6! and suddenly your hands are tied
Jan-14-19  Dave12: My favorite MC game ever. The quickness of which the black position was turning from "looking fine" to "totally lost", without anyone being able to spot the losing move and without any major blunder, is something you rarely find in the world stage of chess. The only game I can recall being comparable to this one, in this perspective, is Capablanca vs Alekhine, 1936
Feb-22-21  Gaito: Anand resigned because he knew his position was hopeless. Notice that in the final position almost all of Black's pieces are tied and immobilized, as they have to protect vulnerable squares or pawns. Black has too many weaknesses, especially the dark squares on the K-side. He can hardly find useful moves, and having to defend such an awkward position against Magnus Carlsen might be a kind of psychological torture for Anand or anybody. But spectators would have liked to see the winning procedure. A possible continuation might have been something like this (SF13 vs. SF13 at 30 seconds per move; hardware: 20 CPU core Dual Xeon E5-2680 v2): 30....Qc8 31.Rxd3 a5 32.Kg2 Rb8 33.Rde3 Rbb6 34.Re2 Qg8 35.Qh4 Rxb3 36.Nxe6 Rb7 37.Qg5 Qb8 38.Qh6 Qg8 39.Nxc5 Rbc7 40.Ne6 Rb7 41.c5 Rc8 42.Qd2 (computer evaluation: +7.38). See diagram below:

click for larger view

The position is utterly hopeless for Black.

Feb-22-21  Gaito: Where did Anand go wrong in this game? To answer this question we could quote Karpov's comment in similar cases: "There wasn't really a big mistake, but just the piling up of many little ones". We may use a very strong chess engine (SF13) in order to find out those "little mistakes" made by Anand. The following diagram shows the position after 19.e6!? (the engine prefers 19.f4! with an evaluation of +0.83):

click for larger view

Anand played 19...fxe6?! but the engine doesn't seem to like that capture very much. Instead, the engine suggests that Black play 19...f6! with equality. (Evaluation: 0.00) LcZero also plays 19...f6! Let us see a sample variation: White: SF13, Black: LcZero (30 seconds per move): 19...f6! 20.Ba5 Qa6 21.c5 Nc7 22.Nd4 f5 23.Bc3 Nb5 24.Nxb5 Qxb5 25.Bxg7 Kxg7 26.Qc3+ Kg8 27.a4 (depth 50) Qe2 28.Rae1 Qa2 (=). A drawish ending. Computer evaluation: 0.00. (See diagram below):

click for larger view

Feb-22-21  Gaito: Let us have a look at the position after 23...Ng7 (See diagram below):

click for larger view

Carlsen played a beautiful positional move: 24.g4!, depriving Black's knight from its two most useful squares f5 and h5. Chess students are apt to learn a lot from this move. Great positional masters from the past, like Botvinnik and Capablanca were also fond of playing such pawn moves that restricted the mobility of the enemy knights. But that move is far from being a winning move (computer evaluation is only +0.69). Anand replied with 24...Rc6?, and that was another "little mistake", as the rook on c6 will obstruct his own queen. Sure enough, Anand was woried by the weakness of his e6 pawn, so he added more protection to that pawn. The engines prefer 24...Qd6, so that Black's queen would be closer to the center and the K-side and would not be obstructed by a rook on c6. After 24...Rc6? Carlsen played another beautiful positional move: 25.Nh3! with a view to taking immediate advantage of the weakened dark squares around Black's king. Now that Black's knight has no useful moves left, White plans to move his Q to h6 and his Knight to g5, then place a rook an e5, and Black's position would be completely tied up and devoid of any useful moves. It is a wondrful positional conception in the spirit of Rubinstein or Capablanca: a strangehold of Black's position is being planned, and it doesn't seem that Anand can do much about it.

Feb-22-21  Gaito: the last critical moment of the game is depicted in the following diagram:

click for larger view

Black can hardly move any of his pieces: touching his knight would be a suicide, and his queen and one rook are used only to fulfill the thankless task of having to protect the weak pawn on e6. Anand played 27...d3?, maybe out of despair, as the alternative was to sit and get slowly strangled. The engine plays 27...Qa6 as the lesser evil, but the evaluation is +2.60. Yet, after 27...d3, 28.Re5! was the last nail in Black's coffin (evaluation: +5.07). This game was really a beautiful positional masterpiece.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <Dave12: My favorite MC game ever. The quickness of which the black position was turning from "looking fine" to "totally lost", without anyone being able to spot the losing move and without any major blunder, is something you rarely find in the world stage of chess. The only game I can recall being comparable to this one, in this perspective, is Capablanca vs Alekhine, 1936>

Except that in that game there is no way for white to break through. Capablanca vs Alekhine, 1936 is a draw by perpetual static advantage.

May-17-23  SChesshevsky: Is an impressive game. Especially against the then World Champ.

Seems to show some typical Magnus themes. He's not averse to the Maroczy Bind. Likes to push e5. Usually for the king side bind. And loves to target the f7 square.

Anand maybe gets a little sloppy with ...Rd8 and ...Qb6 and gets a bit thrown by the alert Qe1. Don't think 17...Rdc8 was part of the plan.

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