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Magnus Carlsen vs Viswanathan Anand
"Tear Down This Wall!" (game of the day Jan-24-2015)
Carlsen - Anand World Championship Match (2014), Sochi RUS, rd 2, Nov-09
Spanish Game: Berlin Defense (C65)  ·  1-0



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Magnus Carlsen vs Viswanathan Anand (2014) Tear Down This Wall!

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 31 OF 31 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Nov-17-14  tranquilsimplicity: <Keypusher> Indeed. I fully appreciate that tactical and aggressive are not synonymous. Fischer was very aggressive but highly technical, generally using tactics to finish games off, but usually grinding opponents positionally and ruthlessly.

However, when we use the term tactical, there is an implicit acknowledgment that this kind of style is most usually aggressive eg. Tal, Kasparov, Bronstein, Spielmann, Geller, Morozevich, Shirov etc, the list goes on.

Correction on an earlier post; Carlsen lost 4 times to Caruana this year (2014) where Caruana wins 3 games through aggression and tactical motifs. And a quiet Reti Opening as White through a tactic. Naiditsch beat Carlsen with a Nimzo-Indian in a game where the former seizes and maintains the initiative. Teimour beat Carlsen in a KID which I felt was rather tactical and interesting (but you feel that that game wasn't tactical - ok, we agree to disagree). Saric then beat Carlsen in a highly aggressive tactical game.

You have asserted that Carlsen's last 4 games in 2013 were long endgames. Well..I found only 2 long endgames that is Carlsen v Wanghao, a quiet game I must admit where Carlsen is positionally 'bested'; however bear in mind that Wanghao playing Black was the aggressor in that game by seizing the initiative with 24...e4.

Then in the other long endgame against Ivanchuk in the Sicilian, Carlsen is again positionally 'bested' by the aggressive Ivanchuk who declines a draw by repetition.

And in the 4th game that I looked into Morozevich unleashes the highly tactical Levenfish variation against Carlsen's Dragon and with pseudo-sacrifices as 21.Nd5! and 29.Rxf7, Carlsen loses on time; but Black's position is in tatters!

The Blitz game (Philidor Defence) against Karjakin as White is perhaps the only one where Carlsen's opponent adopts quiet, solid play and prevails.

Therefore my conclusion remains undented; to beat Carlsen who is the best player on the planet, who is perfectly well rounded, one's best bet is not to sit back and play quietly as Carlsen's greatest strength lies exactly in this type of game, but to play aggressively and hope for the best.#

Nov-18-14  cro777: <erniecohen> It seems that Anand's chances to hold the draw with 34...Qd2 (instead of 34...h5) were considerable. White's best choice is 35.Qxf3, to get rid of the annoying f-pawn, but Black also captures on c2.

click for larger view

What might be White's plan in this position? I had a brief discussion with GM Alexander Baburin. This is his suggestion:

"Maybe White has a way of keeping the a-pawn, maybe he can afford to trade off pawns on the queenside but then advance his pawn to g5 to open up the black king."

Nov-19-14  cro777: "Maybe White has a way of keeping the a-pawn."

GM Csaba Balogh suggested: "Black had some chances to survive after 34...Qd2 35.Qxf3 Qxc2 36.Kg2 Kh8 37.Qc6 h6 38.Ra7 Qxf5 39.Rxa5

click for larger view

White retains the advantage, but it is going to be difficult to convert into a full point."

(Chess Evolution, Issue 142)

Nov-23-14  erniecohen: <cro777> The problem with GM Balogh's line is 37...h6, which saves a tempo in some lines but which fails because of 38. Ra7 Qc3 39. Qc7. The drawing move is 37...Rg8 - see the posting with "How is White to make progress?" in the middle, about 13 postings back from here.
Nov-23-14  cro777: <erniecohen: How is White to make progress?>

Black had chances to survive after 34...Qd2 35.Qxf3 Qxc2 and "after 35. Qxc2 36. Kg2 Kh8 37. Qc6 Rg8, how is White to make progress?"

click for larger view

This is <erniecohen>'s analysis:

1) 38. Ra7 Qc3 39. Qb5 Qb4 40. Rxa5 Qe4+ 41. Kh2 c4 39. Qd5 h6 40. Rc7 Qd4 41. Qxd4 cxd4 42. Rd7 Rb8 43. Rxd4 Rb4

2) 38. Qb5 Qxf5 39. Qxa5 h6 40. Rc7 Rc8

37...h6 38.Ra7 and 37...Rg8 38.Ra7 has been mentioned by experts.

Nov-27-14  Ulhumbrus: After 13 d4 White has an advantage in space and if other things are equal, according to Fine the attack is the way to make use of an advantage in space. However other things are not equal: Black may be able to make his c pawn count. Svidler suggested that if Black had played ...c5 at one point this would have created difficulties for White's attack. It may be worth looking up Svidler's commentary.
Nov-27-14  cro777: With 12.Nxb6 cxb6 Carlsen chose to exchange the 2nd pair of light pieces and undouble the c pawns to take control of the center. After 13.d4 Svidler assessed Anand's position as very solid.

click for larger view

Petr Svidler:"At this point, Black’s position seemed very solid – and after the possible 13…c5, challenging the White center straight away, I feel Black would have solved his opening problems."

Svidler's suggestion 13...c5 has been thoroughly analyzed by GM Pavel Maletin. According to his analysis, after

13...c5 14.d5! (White's only chance to fight for the advantage) Nf8 15.Ra3 Ng6

it is difficult to assess the resulting position.

click for larger view

16.Nd2 Rf8 17.Nc4 f5 18.exf5 Rxf5 19.Rb3 Ba6! 20.Qg4! Bxc4 21.Qxc4 Rb8 22.Bd2.

Maletin's analysis (in Russian) can be found at

Dec-01-14  Ulhumbrus: 14 Ra3?! attempts to attack although White can hardly claim superiority despite having more space. Lasker's advice when an opponent tries to do that is to <disregard it entirely, develop your reserves and begin a swift counter-attack>

This suggests that Black is advised to disregard the attack entirely, to develop his reserves and to begin a swift counter-attack.

This suggests that Black should disregard entirely the threats of Nh4 or of Rg3, try to develop his queen's bishop and queen's rook and start a quick counter-attack. One way to do this is by 14...Bb7 15 Nh4 Rad8 16 Rg3 d5. Another way is by 14...Ba6 15 Nh4 Rad8 16 Rg3 d5.

Jan-19-15  jrofrano: This game was the third best game of 2014:
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: Selected as the 9th best game of 2014 by a vote of <chessgames> members.
Jan-24-15  Doniez: Today is a kind of Carlsen day at CG, game of the day and Saturday puzzle. I prefer the puzzle today
Jan-24-15  Mating Net: A tremendous pun for the GOTD, an early candidate for pun of the year. Congrats to whomever submitted this gem. A terrific blend of chess & history.
Jan-24-15  NBAFan: Impressive positional play by Magnus Carlsen.
Jul-26-15  joddon: carsen opening seems so simple like a baby is playing chess....then the irony of his play, his tactical abilty without having any expectations of his intuition for the games and his element of surprise come when he looks and seems so unready and uneasy for the GAME!!.... you think he sleeps, actually he is in deep thought of planning to win....any how he gets his pieces in active squares only because from the start he know where he s gonna end.....ANAND plans and he annoys the @#$% out of him because he doesn't know why manus can think so far ahead...70 moves!!
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <joddon> Where do you get this thinking 70 moves ahead bit?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi AylerKupp,

It's easy. This game was 35 moves long so Carlsen analysed every move twice.

Nov-30-15  rcs784: Nobody's talking about this, but I wonder if Anand's error with 34...h5?? had anything to do with a miscalculation in the following line after 34...Qd2: 35. Kh3 Qxf2 36. Qd5+ Kh8 37. Qf7 Qf1+! 38. Kg4 h5+!! 39. Qxh5 Kg8 40. Qg6 Qc4+ 41. Kh5 (or Kxf3 Qf1+ perpetual and White's king cannot step onto the e-file because of Qe1+ winning the rook) Rf7!! 42. Re8+ Rf8 draw.

This line is a draw, but Anand would have needed to calculate some very precise moves to be sure he could hold. It was also right before the time control, and I think Anand may have been short on time. (Does anyone remember the clock situation here?)

This, I think, explains 34...h5: If Black only wanted to create a flight square for his king, as some have suggested, he would have played h6. I think Anand was trying to improve on the above line (thinking it was losing for Black) and played h5 to stop the White king from fleeing via g4, overlooking 35. Qb7 in the process.

Any thoughts?

Nov-30-15  rcs784: I should have mentioned, incidentally, that the same line can be reached after 34...Qd2 35. Qe6+ Kh8 36. Qf7 Qxf2+ 37. Kh3 Qf1+ etc.
Nov-30-15  rcs784: Oh, I'm sorry, Richard Taylor, I missed your post back on page 28, where you show the same analysis I just posted. You get credit for it.

But I totally agree with you that this was probably what Anand missed in the game.

Jun-02-16  Tuzmor: 34. ..h5? (Again Anand plays h5 and throws away the game!)
Oct-15-16  joddon: like who the heck plays 18 be6?u got to take pieces away .....not let them stick there to build power.....I wonder in a 2nd game any one in hell would do this , I certainly hope Karajakin wont play so Anand played pawn moves a grade 2 level amateur could this all rigged....any chess player who knows whats happening knows how fake this game is....unless Anand really loves to lose ....why, I know Carslen creates an edge almost any time he bring his king into play, or doubles rooks, and what not, I'm most confused?!....does time trouble worry a player in the world championship level so much that others cant understand the stakes???? I hope this year something is more constructive than playing with Blacks pieces....or I'm just plain stupid and don't realise it is a tactic Vishy wanted to make it too easy for Carlsen.....real bad game indeed!!!!!!!!!!!!
Oct-15-16  joddon: 26 should be re8...and yes H5 throws tha games, if the opening is really constructively and intuitively correct by playing Rd8 to allow his Whites Queen to come out.....I guess Anandd was really sure of the king side pressure and the way his knight would work but then to trade off with the bishop....ok that's not so bad, but then like he could easily traded off the Rooks for a draw...Sorry but this game really pisses me off!!
Nov-23-18  joddon: magnus has a huge database in his opening has ever given him any looks as if he gets familiarised with any opening anyone ever plays.....that's why he always one knows how to start with ancient rules they said play the his case ….you have to play the player
Nov-23-18  zanzibar: Might make an interesting study to see how many moves deep in the opening, on average, Carlsen goes before arriving at a unique position (say, based on post-1950 GM games) vs. other super-GM's.


Feb-23-21  Gaito: It is very curious and funny: What attracts the attention of the public is not always the quality of the game itself, but the fame of the players. Just imagine that this very same game had been played by two completely unknown players. I can bet that it would have attracted zero attention, and almost zero kibitzers. Furthermore, the few people who played over that game would have criticized moves like 24...Rab8?, and of course the horrible oversight 34...h5???, not to mention another oversight by White: 28.Qe2? (28.Re8! would have won quickly). There are many thousands of chess games that are far more interesting, far more exciting and of a much higher quality than this game (even unknown games played between two chess engines). But this particular game has 31 pages full of commentary and analysis by kibitzers, while it would deserve to have at most half a page. Art is something funny: most people don't really like the object of art itself, but rather the name and business of the celebrity. In the future, (and even today) the finest chess games, and the most beautiful and exciting chess games are games played not by humans, but by engines. But people don't like games played by computers, because computers are not celebrities. People enjoy a bad game played by two celebrities rather than a good game played by machines or human players who are not celebrities. Very funny indeed. Back in 1972 the match Fischer vs. Spassky attracted the attention of the whole world, and made headlines in every newspaper. It was even called "the match of the century". But out of the 21 games played in that match, there were at most five or six really exciting and very good games, the remaining 15 or 16 games were either dull games, or bad games spoiled by terrible blunders and oversights. I remember Petrosian's words when he analyzed the games of that match: "It was called the match of the century. To me it was not even the match of the year!"
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