Low key draw in first game of the World Chess Championship 2013

The first game of the World Chess Championship 2013 match between defending champion Viswanathan Anand and his challenger Magus Carlsen ended in a draw in only 16 moves and 90 minutes play. Carlsen playing white chose the Reti System an extremely conservative choice. Anand played quickly and confidently, and after his 10...Nb6 introducing forcing play Carlsen already thought he had no advantage, he seemed to want play to develop more slowly, it's not clear to me what he'd overlooked in preparation although Carlsen admitted he did miss that 13.Qe1 is very bad due to 13...Nb4.

This was Carlsen's first world championship game and whilst his opening clearly didn't go well maybe he just wanted to get a feel for what it was like without losing the game. Once things had gone wrong Carlsen felt he had no choice but to "pull the emergency brake" and get to a draw as fast as possible. Anand could have played on with 13...b5 but he didn't see it as being worth the risk and Carlsen claimed he wouldn't have been too upset to play on either.

We got the start of an insight into how the players want to play the match As Anand put it "I got to see what direction he's aiming at and he probably got a clue to mine." It's certainly a bit too early to start getting angry about short draws and saying the match will be boring. Carlsen rarely has them and there's no reason to suspect he'll be looking for them in this match. However it's to be hoped has some more critical opening lines prepared with white.

Game two Anand-Carlsen is on Sunday 3pm Chennai time, 9:30am UK time. Some brief game notes below based on the press conference.

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