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Magnus Carlsen vs Viswanathan Anand
Carlsen - Anand World Championship Match (2014), Sochi RUS, rd 6, Nov-15
Sicilian Defense: Kan. Maroczy Bind Reti Variation (B41)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Nov-16-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: People say that the way to beat Magnus Carlsen is to stay aggressive and pour the pressure on, (and it has been tried) but it usually backfires on the opposition.

Give Carlsen credit.

He plays defense very well.

And the astonishing thing is that for him there is still room for improvement in that area.

The player who will outdo Carlsen one day, (whosoever that may be) will be someone who can do everything Carlsen does, but even better.

To beat Carlsen, you have to outlast him in EVERY PHASE of the game.

Nov-16-14  Edeltalent: I'm surprised nobody has yet noted that this game was fixed!!! Svidler gave it away by announcing the break just before Kd2 with the words <We'll return to you with further news about the game and maybe a surprise or two.>

[Disclaimer: This is not a serious post. I thought I'd better state this, otherwise surely some guys here will take it for one.]

Nov-16-14  csmath: The game would have been a lot more interesting had Magnus played 26. Kd1 and given the black plan with a4-a3 white would have been in driving seat.

Anand's play was weak in either case, perhaps under the influence of missed opportunity.

I have to say that I learned from this game and that Carlsen opening approach here (completely positional) is quite a revelation to me. I would have eliminated 7. Qd3 and yet here on my surprise WC is playing it and achieving superior opening position. I don't play Kan as black but I see 7. ... Nc6 also as a strange opening move as one would expect Qc7 in Kan keeping queens on the board. I am assuming Anand was going for simplification in center as next few moves were to Carlsen's taste and to be expected.

This game has a positional value that was spoiled by mistakes. I think it will come back at some point.

Nov-16-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: "Anand's play was weak in either case, perhaps under the influence of missed opportunity."

This looks right. Anand was doing OK. Carlsen still had work to do.

I think Anand would have played a lot better and put up more of a fight had he not realised he had missed a great shot.

It's best not to know. After he realised what had happened he seemed to drift.

This is the drawback of being a good player. You can spot what you have missed and keep mulling over it. Though Anand has all the experience to know that one must get over it, especially during a game. Carlsen did.

A weaker player would have been blissfully unaware and just got on enjoying the game.

I usually recovered after a blunder, though that is often because my opponent posted a win in their mind.

G Chandler vs R Ratcliff, 1983

I'm using this game because it's here, but I have score books full of these...er...brilliant wins...er...cheapo's.

That will give you a good laugh.
My 8th move dropped a clear piece. (I had already sacced a piece for fun.) Move 8 was a total no excuse blunder.

I had to sac another bit and then my pseudo my Queen to get the win.

Hi Overgod,

Some good points there.

In a nutshell you may be correct.

In general Carlsen is not trying to beat you he just wants you to keep up with him in making good moves.

If you don't then....BANG!

If you do, then OK, there is always the next game.

Very much like a Capablanca but with more energy with a huge dose of poison.

Nov-16-14  tranquilsimplicity: <erniecohen> I understand comrade. I actually understood that your analysis is based on the presumption of perfect play on both sides and I agree with you that based on this approach it becomes harder to analyse any outcome outright; unless of course it's about leaving the Queen 'en prise'.#
Nov-16-14  tranquilsimplicity: <Chancho> Well...actually I believe that in order to beat Carlsen, one has to play aggressively. And I honestly feel that it doesn't mean that when this is expressed there is any disrespect for Carlsen; or indeed not giving him credit.

Let me explain: Carlsen is currently the strongest Chess player on the planet, and this is justifiably reflected by his World Number 1 and World Champion status. He is simply the best. However, to beat Carlsen one has to play aggressively as dynamic play is perhaps the only way to beat Carlsen. This is because Carlsen's greatest Chess strength lies in positional mastery. To beat Carlsen through solid, quiet play is well nigh impossible as he cannot be 'bested' in this kind of play (perhaps only Kramnik might come close IMO). And that is not to imply that Carlsen is no good at tactics; he is. Carlsen and all GMs are well rounded in all aspects of the game.

Finally, in this contest Anand who is very versatile and perfectly at home positionally and tactically has one or two slight advantages over Carlsen, namely experience but most importantly, tactical acumen. Anand peeps Carlsen at tactics. And that is why Anand ought to play to his strengths come what may. But my overall prediction is that Carlsen will triumph (he being the stronger player) though I would be pleased if Anand won.#

Nov-16-14  csmath: Magnus can be beaten in a lot of different ways, as shown in the past. There is nothing specific in any approach. I do not see that Magnus is vulnerable in open tactical conflict, in fact he has shown that he can play that equally well as anything else.

I do not think there is any single recipe to beat him, one just have to be better in a particular game. Obviously just like against anybody else, the opening preparation is a must.

Nov-16-14  csmath: One of the serious problems of Anand, even when he is in the best form is his often inability to keep determination. Many times his game slips easily. There is some complex emotionality in his game and although he is a magnificent player he also often just gives up.
Nov-16-14  haydn20: Just a patzer's notes. In a first run-through, after 13. h4, White has the 2 B's and R's ready for action while Black in undeveloped and will have trouble finding Qside counterplay. Looking back from later positions maybe 16. Rh4 immediately was best. Finally 18...Nb8 looks pathetic at first, but is a fine defensive move with a hidden tactical sting. Oh, and thanks to <kingcrusher> for finding some deep tactics explaining the threat in Black's ...a3.
Nov-16-14  tranquilsimplicity: <csmath> I agree with you to a large extent that Carlsen and any other strong player can be beaten in many ways, and there is no single recipe to beat him.

However, please note the following: in all Carlsen 6 losses to other Grandmasters this year (2014), the games were all (100%) tactical-dynamic oriented.

1) Fabiano Caruana demolished Carlsen twice whilst playing Black where Caruana gains initiative early on and bullies Carlsen all the way to the finish. Carlsen is no tactical novice thus "struts his stuff" but is bested in the end.

2) Teimour Radjabov employed the King's Indian Defence in a highly tactical game where both players were fighting for initiative. Pieces and were flying right, left and centre until Teimour triumphed!

3) Naiditsh played Black against Carlsen's Bishop Opening and seized the initiative from Carlsen in a highly tactical game that Carlsen lost.

4) Finally, Saric played an old line of the Ruy Lopez that is full of traps; Carlsen seemed to match him up to a point but Saric triumphed in this highly tactical slug-fest!

I stand by my comments; to beat Carlsen, though he is perfectly well rounded, your best chance is to be aggressive!!#

Nov-16-14  tranquilsimplicity: That is, the last 6 losses.#
Nov-16-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <Svidler: How do you recover after such a blunder?

<Kramnik: In my experience, you don't! >>

Nov-16-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: analysis by GM Jan Gustafsson: http://chess24.com/en/read/news/gam...
Nov-16-14  jphamlore: <csmath: One of the serious problems of Anand, even when he is in the best form is his often inability to keep determination. Many times his game slips easily. There is some complex emotionality in his game and although he is a magnificent player he also often just gives up.>

That statement I believe is objectively not true as Anand not too many ago went undefeated in a tournament playing 7 of the world's top players twice. If there was such a terrible weakness in his game, one of these other top players should have found a way to exploit it.

What has changed is the opponent he is playing, Carlsen, who has some unique talents no one else seems to have, and also that Anand is playing some openings outside of his usual repertoire, but that too can be somewhat attributed to his opponent.

Nov-16-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: < tranquilsimplicity: <csmath> I agree with you to a large extent that Carlsen and any other strong player can be beaten in many ways, and there is no single recipe to beat him. However, please note the following: in all Carlsen 6 losses to other Grandmasters this year (2014), the games were all (100%) tactical-dynamic oriented.

1) Fabiano Caruana demolished Carlsen twice whilst playing Black where Caruana gains initiative early on and bullies Carlsen all the way to the finish. Carlsen is no tactical novice thus "struts his stuff" but is bested in the end.

2) Teimour Radjabov employed the King's Indian Defence in a highly tactical game where both players were fighting for initiative. Pieces and were flying right, left and centre until Teimour triumphed!

3) Naiditsh played Black against Carlsen's Bishop Opening and seized the initiative from Carlsen in a highly tactical game that Carlsen lost.

4) Finally, Saric played an old line of the Ruy Lopez that is full of traps; Carlsen seemed to match him up to a point but Saric triumphed in this highly tactical slug-fest!

I stand by my comments; to beat Carlsen, though he is perfectly well rounded, your best chance is to be aggressive!!#>

Going into the 2013 match, Carlsen's last four losses had all been long endgames in which he had the white pieces.

I didn't think the Radjabov game was all that tactical, actually.

And, of course, <aggressive> and <tactical> aren't necessarily synonymous.

Nov-16-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi jphamlore,

"If there was such a terrible weakness in his [Carlsen's] game, one of these other top players should have found a way to exploit it."

I agree, and if one of these other top players want to expose this weakness and snatch the crown they will have to do it in a full bloodied match, not a one off tournament game.

"Anand is playing some openings outside of his usual repertoire."

His team are possibly ducking and diving Carlsen's prep. But for how long?

Nov-16-14  Memethecat: From a spectators pov mistakes, even when they're missed, make the the game far more entertaining. MC's poker face and cold sweat after playing Kd2.. then utter relief when it's not pounced on. Vishys composure after missing Nxe5 when really he wants to smash his head through the board. My imaginings of course, but I lost a 10 min friendly 3 weeks ago (my opponent blundered and I took with the wrong piece, saw my mistake immediately), and I'm still thinking about it - a stupid fast paced friendly. I'd hate to be Anand atm.
Nov-17-14  PaulLovric: 26...a4 is a huge mistake and cost Anand the game
Nov-17-14  Chessmusings: Game six thoroughly analysed: http://chessmusings.wordpress.com/2...
Nov-17-14  DaveK: <HowDoesTheHorsieMove> Thanks for that!
Nov-17-14  erniecohen: <<PaulLovric>: 26...a4 is a huge mistake and cost Anand the game>

It was a huge mistake, but the current opinion is that 26...a4 wasn't losing and that 26...♘xe5+ might not even be winning.

Nov-17-14  anandrulez: My question is why play such a bad opening - was it miscalculation ? Did he have to start active defence with the a3 idea - isn't it very committal ? Also does his a3 idea work ? It does appear Anand was more worried than calculating OTB to me.
Nov-18-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi erniecohen:

"....but the current opinion is that 26...a4 wasn't losing and that 26...xe5+ might not even be winning."

26...a4 may still hold but 25...Nxe5+ winning two pawns, spinning the game heavily in Anand's favour and shattering Carlsen's confidence was the way to go.

There is still work to do after 26...Nxe5+ but it's Carlsen fighting for the draw. I'm sure Anand would not have lost it.

That is why the miss was so critcal. Anand lost the game. Now somehow he now has to win one.

Nov-19-14  MindCtrol9: If Caruana would be playing this match, Carlsen would be in a real bad situation.I think Anand played this game too weak.
Nov-19-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: That's speculation based on Caruana's results against Carlsen of late.

In such a hypothetical scenario, it does not necessarily follow that Carlsen would be "in a real bad situation."

A player like Carlsen is capable of making adjustments.

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