Thursday, November 14

Carlsen vs Anand for World Championship

The 15th World Champion Vishy Anand.
This article appeared first at the Internet Chess Club.

Easily the most anticipated chess event in years, the 2013 World Chess Championship in Chennai remains locked at a score of 2:2.  To the chagrin of millions of chess enthusiasts around the globe, neither the veteran title holder Vishy Anand nor his youthful challenger Magnus Carlsen has broken through yet.  Alas, not all draws can be considered boring.  In particular, Game 4 extended into the sixth hour of play and drew praise on Twitter from none other than 13th World Champion Garry Kasparov for “deep strategic planning” and “fighting human chess.”

#1 Rated in History: Magnus Carlsen.
Both competitors missed promising opportunities as the action heated up.  Playing White in Game 3, Carlsen repeated the Reti opening, but Anand confidently asserted himself for the third contest in a row.  Indeed, pundits fully expected the Indian hero to be strongest in the openings, given over two decades of experience battling the Top 10 players in the world.  The advantage grew in the middlegame and the defending champion could have captured a pawn in complications on move 29.  In time pressure, the Norwegian cleverly escaped into a drawn opposite colored bishop endgame.  

The colors and roles were reversed in Game 4, and for the first time, the challenger showed why he owns the highest chess rating in history.  He employed the Berlin defense, an opening closely associated with the Kasparov - Kramnik title match in 2000.  While Vladimir Kramnik successfully used the Berlin as a draw weapon, Carlsen wanted more.  Fearlessly, he grabbed the poisoned a2 pawn, and nearly cashed it in for victory.  Alas, Anand demonstrated that he, too, could defend cleverly, and traded into a rook endgame, still down a pawn, but dead drawn.

The gloves have come off and I expect more exciting action after the rest day.  Will Carlsen finally achieve an advantage with his third White?  Games 5 + 6 are scheduled for Friday and Saturday, with another rest day on Sunday.

Check out many more photos at the Official Website.

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