Chess game 9: Viswanathan Anand and Magnus Carlsen share honours again
Vignesh Radhakrishnan, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, November 20, 2014
In the ninth game of the World Chess Championship, Viswanathan Anand playing with black pieces drew with Magnus Carlsen after just 20 moves on Thursday.
Anand started with Berlin defence – 1.e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6, 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. O-O Nxe4 – in game 9. Learn more about Berlin defence here.
Anand was very well prepared in this game, that much was evident. Forcing Carlsen for a quick draw that too when he is playing white, is not easy. Carlsen is not the kind of player who will go for a draw if he is ahead in a championship.
Susan Polgar, famous chess commentator, tweeted, “It’s very very very unusual for Magnus to take such a quick draw with white. Anand and team have to be ecstatic.”
The interesting fact is that, it was Carlsen who forced the draw. In fact he took so much time thinking in this game after every Anand move; it looked like he didn’t expect this position. Seeing Anand’s better position and also his preparation level Carlsen avoided a long battle forcing a draw.
Polgar continued to tweet, “Anand spent 15 mins for 19 moves and easy draw. Magnus spent 49 minutes. This shows good prep by Anand and his team.”
Carlsen later recounted in the press conference, “Well, he was better prepared. I didn’t quite see what to do.”
The queens were off the board in the game as early as move 8.
Then Anand brought his bishops to play. He placed both his bishops pointing at Carlsen’s knights. The Indian Grand Master also connected his rooks by moving his king one square up.
So everything was set for Anand to start a full-fledged attack. The Indian Grand Master had quick replies for every move Carlsen managed.
Carlsen gave it a thought and went for a forced repetition in move 17. Anand may have played on by breaking the repetition but that would have resulted in a small positional disadvantage for him as he would have to move his king back and disconnect his rooks.
So he played along Carlsen’s repetition plan and the game was well over in just one hour and under 20 moves.
There are three games left in the championship. Out of which, Anand has two white games, while Carlsen has one. Game 10 will be played tomorrow. Carlsen is leading in the championship 5-4.