Friday, November 15, 2013

World Chess Championship: Game 5

Today Magnus Carlsen (NOR), the challenger, defeated Viswanathan Anand (IND) to take a 3-2 lead in the World Chess Championship taking place in Chennai, India. Carlsen was playing white for the third time in the match.  Here is what happened:

1.  P-QB4  P-K3

In his first two games as white, Carlsen had started with N-KB3.  This time he took a different approach, which turned into a Queen's Gambit Declined.

2.  P-Q4  P-Q4
3.  N-QB3  P-QB3
4.  P-K4  P x KP

By moving his king's pawn, Carlsen entered the Marshall Gambit, which had never before been played in a World Championship.  It can be a very sharp line, but Carlsen took a fairly conservative approach, playing 6. N-QB3 instead of 6. B-Q2.

5.  N x P  B-B5ch
6.  N-QB3  P-QB4
7.  P-QR3  B-R4
8.  N-B3  N-KB3
9.  B-K3  N-B3
10.  Q-Q3

This was a new approach.  Usually at this point white's king's pawn takes black's queen-bishop's pawn).

10.                P x P
11.  N x P  N-KN5
12.  O-O-O  N x B

By castling, white's rook is now behind the white queen,  But most of the observers were not too impressed by Carlsen's plan at this point.

13.  P x N  B-B2

At this point, several grandmasters criticized Anand for pulling back his bishop.  Garry Kasparov suggested N x N for black.

14.  N x N  P x N
15.  Q x Qch  B x Q
16.  B-K2  K-K2
17.  B-B3  B-Q2
18.  N-K4  B-N3
19.  P-B5  P-B4
20.  P x B  P x N
21.  P-N7  QR-QN1 (thus blocking the pawn from reaching the back row)
22.  B x P  R x P
23.  KR-B1  R-N4

At this point, the game seemed even -- each player had two rooks, the light-squared bishop, and five pawns.  Some people thought white had a slightly better position because its bishop was more active.  Anand appeared to be playing for a draw.

24.  R-B4  P-N4
25.  R-B3  P-KR4
26.  QR-B1  B-K1

Now both of Carlsen's rooks are lined up along the king's-bishop file.

27.  B-B2  R-QB4
28.  R-B6  P-R5
29.  P-K4  P-R4
30.  K-Q2  R-N4
31.  P-QN3  B-R4
32.  K-B3  R-B4ch
33.  K-N2  R-Q1
34.  R(1)-B2  R-Q5

After the game, Anand said that his 34th move was the "decisive mistake."  He thought he should have played 34. . . . . R-KN1 instead.  By playing 34 . . . . R-Q5, he had thrown both of his rooks into action on the queenside, and this proved costly.

35.  R-R6  B-Q8
36.  B-N1  R-N4
37.  K-B3  P-B4
38.  R-N2  P-K4
39.  R-N6  P-R5

At this point, black's pieces are clustered around the white king, bishop, and one rook.  But black has an undefended pawn -- and the pawn advantage white gets here will be the difference in the game.

40.  R x P  R x Pch
41.  R x R  B x R
42.  R x Pch  K-Q3
43.  R-R5  R-Q8

Now white is a pawn up -- white has four pawns, a rook, and a bishop.  Black has three pawns, a rook and a bishop.

44.  P-K5ch  K-Q4
45.  B-R7  R-B8ch

Anand's 45th move was heavily criticized.  It was believed that 45. . . . .R-QR8, threatening a white pawn, gave black a good chance for a draw.

46.  K-N2  R-KN8
47.  B-N8ch  K-B3
48.  R-R6ch  K-Q2

The experts seem to think that Anand's position is lost from this point onwards.  White now swaps out the two bishops and some pawns.

49.  B x B  P x B
50.  K x P  R x P
51.  R x P   K-K3
52.  P-R4  K x P

Now white has a rook and two pawns; black has a rook and one pawn.  With the board largely clear, white starts pushing to queen one of his pawns.

53.  P-R5  K-Q3
54.  R-R7  K-Q4
55.  P-R6  P-B5ch
56.  K-B3  R-R2
57.  P-R7  K-B4
58.  P-R4  resigns

At this point it was clear that Carlsen would eventually queen one of his two pawns, so Anand resigned.

Anand now gets to play white in both Game Six and Game Seven, so we will see if he can get back into the match.  Game Six is tomorrow.

After five games:

V. Anand (IND) 2 - 3 M. Carlsen (NOR)

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