Wednesday, 13 November 2013

de Verdier´s thoughts: Anand-Carlsen 2:2

For the report about games four and five, I´ll give the word to occasional guest blogger here, Mr. Michael de Verdier:
He wrote about the games, but also some general thoughts about this match.

Michael de Verdier :

Game 3:

After a not so needed rest day it was time for the players to get at it again for the third game on Tuesday.
A lot of talk about the opening preparation so far of course. It was interesting to note that Carlsen's chose the Réti once more with 1.Nf3 and 2.g3. It seems like he is aiming for non-theoretical opening play where Black cannot force anything with computer analysis.
In Game 1 however, Anand had no problems in neutralizing this strategy with a solid set up including a kingside fianchetto, and so also in Game 3.
 This time Carlsen chose to counter in the centre already on move 3 with 3.c4 (compared to 3.Bg2 Bg7 4.d4 in Game 1), and at least he got a game going this time.
 As the game have and will be further analyzed on every web site there is I will not go into much detail about the game. It seems like Anand's only chance for something significant was to grab a pawn at move 29 with 29.-Bxb2 but this seems to give White decent chances for counterplay according to most commentators.

Game 4:

In this game the match snowballed into a fully-fledged fight that started already somewhat in Game 3. Finally Carlsen got going and exerted real pressure on his opponent.
Carlsen switched to 1.-e5 and the players entered the Berlin endgame. Again Black came out of the opening with a promising position, which has been the case in all of the games so far.
 Carlsen was pressing the whole game but the Indian World Champion somehow found the right resources to keep his hopes alive. After a long fight this game also ended in a draw on move 64. (Again this game will be analyzed in details by strong grandmasters and computers all over the web so it would be a bit pretentious for me to go into more detail).

Generally about the match

It is interesting to note that Anand seems more comfortable, both at the board at especially at the press conferences. Carlsen seems to try to play it cool and refuses to answers most questions and mostly stares blank during the press conferences. It seems like he is not as relaxed as he would like to make out. I don’t know if the readers agree with these speculations.
Now the players will have a (more deserved than last time) rest day and continue with Game 5 on Friday.


  1. Hi Michael,
    Great Blog.
    What do you think about the Kasparov sitting in the front row question?
    Anand seemed to indicate that he did not know about.
    But then Magnus took the Mickey out of him and said we certainly did not tell him where not to sit. I think Anand was annoyed by Magnus' comment.
    What do you think?

  2. Hi Duncan,

    I think in general these intrigues is one of the things that make the World Championship matches so special and generate an interest from people who are not already chess fans. However, I guess for us chess players it is sometimes a bit amusing to listen to the questions and the things that the journalists focus on.

    The Indian GM Parimarjan Negi wrote an interesting article on the press conferences and the things surrounding the match.