The 2014 World Chess Championship Match between Carlsen and Anand is taking place in Sochi, Russia – the venue of the Winter Olympics earlier this year. The match will consist of 12 games and, if necessary, tie-break games. The draw for colours was conducted during the opening ceremony where a magician pricked black and white balloons and doves appeared, thus giving the challenger the white pieces in the first game. The time control for each game shall be: 120 minutes for the first 40 moves, 60 minutes for the next 20 moves and then 15 minutes for the rest of the game with an increment of 30 seconds per move starting after move 61 has been made. Anand’s seconds are Krishnana Sasikiran, Radoslaw Wojtaszek and Grzegorz Gajewski, while Jon Ludwig Hammer and Peter Heine Nielsen will assist the champion. The press conference saw both players looking fairly tense and somewhat taciturn regarding their prospects: “I’m ready to give it another shot, that’s all I can say.” Anand “Seriously, being the favourite doesn’t really matter... if you don’t play well you’re not going to win.” Carlsen. The opening game was a tough struggle with Anand appearing to have a useful initiative before drifting a bit and then having to work to hold the major piece ending.
Anand, Viswanathan (2 792) - Carlsen, Magnus (2 863) D85 WCh 2014 Sochi RUS (1) 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. Bd2 (This modest-looking move comes with
ambitious intentions) …Bg7 6. e4 Nxc3 7. Bxc3 O-O 8.Qd2 Nc6 9. Nf3 Bg4 10. d5 Bxf3 11. Bxg7 Kxg7 12. gxf3 Ne5 13. O-O-O c6 14. Qc3 f6 15. Bh3! cxd5 16. exd5 Nf7 17. f4 Qd6 18. Qd4 Rad8 19. Be6 Qb6 20. Qd2 Rd6 21.Rhe1?! (21 h4! was considered more to the point with GM Radjabov strongly castigating Anand’s choice) …Nd8 22. f5 Nxe6 23. Rxe6 Qc7+ 24. Kb1 Rc8 25. Rde1 Rxe6 26. Rxe6 Rd8 27.Qe3 Rd7 28. d6 exd6 29. Qd4 Rf7 30. fxg6 hxg6 31. Rxd6 a6 32. a3 Qa5 33. f4 Qh5 34. Qd2? (34.Qe3 Qxh2 35.Rd8 Qh1+ 36.Ka2 Qc6 37.Qh3 Qc4+ 38.Ka1 Qc1+ with equality. Now Carlsen has the edge) …Qc5 35. Rd5 Qc4 36. Rd7 Qc6 37. Rd6 Qe4+ 38. Ka2 Re7 39. Qc1 a5 40. Qf1 a4 41. Rd1 Qc2 42. Rd4 Re2 (42…Re3!? was considered the last winning attempt which would leave White with a difficult choice between an unpleasant rook endgame after 43.Qd1 and a similarly difficult Queen ending after 43.Rd7 Kh6 44.Rb7 Rb3! 45.Rxb3 axb3 46.Ka1 Qxh2-GM Svidler) 43. Rb4
44. Qh1! (Activating the queen and thus
securing the draw) …Re7 45. Qd5 Re1 46. Qd7+ Kh6 47.Qh3+ Kg7 48. Qd7+ 0.5-0.5 “Maths like chess requires too direct and personal a confrontation to allow graceful defeat. There is no element of luck, there are no partners to share the blame for mistakes; the nature of the discipline places it precisely at the centre of the intellectual being, where true cerebral power waits to be tested. A loser must admit in some very important way he is the intellectual inferior of the winner. Both mathematics and chess spread before the participant a vast domain of confrontation of intellect with strong opposition, together with extreme purity, elegance of form and an infinitude of possibilities.” – Alfred Adler, German mathematician