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Carlsen-Anand, Game 8, Drawn In 33 Moves - UPDATE: VIDEO

  • PeterDoggers
  • on 11/19/13, 3:44 AM.

The eighth match game between Magnus Carlsen, playing white, and Viswanathan Anand ended in a draw after 33 moves. The Norwegian challenger switched to 1.e4 and the World Champion defended with the same line that his opponent has been using: the Berlin variation of the Ruy Lopez. Not much happened in this game and the players even played a few more moves after a dead drawn pawn ending had been reached. The score in the World Championship match in Chennai is 5-3 in favor of Carlsen.


More and more journalists have arrived in Chennai — several chess media as well as Norwegian mainstream media had apparently decided to cover the second half of the match. Unfortunately for them, that second half might not be all too exciting. Both games 7 and 8 were drawn without any fireworks, today's game being the most insipid so far. Carlsen's two-point lead is still there. The gap with the desired 6.5 points, however, is getting smaller and smaller.

On Tuesday the game did start with a surprise: after trying 1.Nf3 (twice) and 1.c4 (once), Carlsen switched to a third opening move: 1.e4. Taken aback, Anand spent 1.5 minutes pondering his reply. “In general in the match you shouldn't be surprised... well, I had not prioritized 1.e4,” said the World Champion at the press conference.

The Indian chose 1...e5, and before we knew it yet another Berlin variation of the Ruy Lopez had appeared on the board, but this time with the challenger behind the white pieces. Less of a surprise was Carlsen's 5.Re1, which suited him perfectly in this match situation: White has a tiny edge and can try increasing it without running any risk.

From a historical perspective this was interesting because the last time the position after 5.Re1 had appeared on the board in a World Championship was during the very first: it was played in six games between Wilhelm Steinitz and Johannes Zukertort, in the USA back in 1886. From a chess perpective, today's game wasn't very interesting though.

Anand played what is known as the theoretically most solid way to play for Black; a setup with which many grandmasters managed to draw without much effort. On move 25 Carlsen liquidated to a pawn ending and there the players played five more insignificant moves, before they agreed to a draw.

After the game ended, the journalists and photographers needed to wait for almost twenty minutes for the press conference to start, because the players first had to attend a doping control.

Based on Carlsen's casual remarks at the press conference (e.g. summarizing the game as  “He played the Berlin, I played the most solid line, yadayadayada, let's go to the doping control”) some journalists were speculating that the Norwegian might have needed a drink to perform the test.

Commentators Lawrence Trent and Tania Sachdev saw a conspiracy by the organizers: Anand could still keep his title after Carlsen would be prosecuted for underage drinking! However, this wouldn't work as the legal drinking age in Tamil Nadu is 21.

About thinking for a while on his first move, Anand said: “I didn't really know what his intentions were. I mean, even the Sicilian, if you want to play a dry system, they're available. It's not like there were clear options there. I thought a little bit and I decided to go for this. Of course the match situation speaks for itself and it's my job to liven it up. I guess I'll try in the next game.”
Whereas many of his colleague grandmasters criticised his opening today on Twitter, Anand said: “I'm quite happy with my opening preparation.” What is clear is that he'll need to give whatever it takes to try and play for a win on Thursday. “I get a kind of a bonus evening before the rest day so I'll try and prepare something for the next one.”

Carlsen had no reason to complain. “I didn't particularly mind a draw, as was evident from my play. I was just hoping to set him one or two traps and if not then just to shut it down.” And that's what he did.

World Championship 2013

Name Rtg G1 G2 G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 G8 G9 G10 G11 G12 Pts Perf
Carlsen 2870 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 1 ½ ½ 5.0 2864
Anand 2775 ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 0 ½ ½ 3.0 2781

37553 reads 205 comments
10 votes


  • 22 months ago


    Without Fischer there would be no Magnus

  • 22 months ago


    If Anand is failing so what, to whom he needs to prove? there is nothing for him to prove he is already 43 years old, If Bobby Fischer is able to handle whole USSR, Anand also fighting against the people who doesn't like India raise so that is not new in this area for Anand, One of my friend told that he asked about Anand to the students who came to Canada for studies, I don't know why your asking the person who dosen't know sports itself, come to India and ask who is Vishwanathan Anand. 

    Carlsen didn't acheived anything rather then his ratings, Neither he is not attacking player like Tal or neither an tactical genius like Fischer, Kasparov or neither an complex player like Anand or Topalov not even i can't compare him positional player Capabalanca, He is just a old age Karpov style of play, which the age is assisting him to drain is opponent and he is not facing players like Karpov, Kasparov which Anand faced on his young age.

    more over i am fan of Kasparov and in the same time i love to see Anand's complex games. So Carlsen is not greater then Anand or Kramnik or Ivanchuck. He is just using is age, he will face a player like young Anand style of player in near future.

  • 22 months ago


    The arguments about who is the greatest will go on ... and on. But if you look at the - facts those players who worked on their game without computers have to be held in greater esteem. What Fischer achieved was unbelievable, considering his "unsurmountable" challenge in the face of Soviet chess domination. His single-mindedness to win, his achievements in chess theory and the way he brung chess into the public domain as an intellectual and accessible pursuit is unsurpased. To detract from these achievements by raising his mental frailty doesn't help the argument. Would Magnus Carlson beat Bobby Fischer?... who knows... but Bobby Fischer laid the foundation stones for MC.

  • 22 months ago


    Am1n3  I am sure it was helpful for Carlsen to train with Kasparov but that training is hardly what seperates Carlsen from the other top players.

    I guess you assume then that Carlsen would lose his advantage over the other top players if they just got the chance to train with Kasparov for a year?  

    I am not so sure that Carlsen had better conditions than other talents growing up. He comes from a country that doesn't have that much of a chess culture. My guess is that a russian talent has very good conditions to develop as a chess player.

    Who doesn't deserve what title? Do you mean that Carlsen doesn't the WCC title? The title is not awarded to someone it is taken. If that's that you meant.

  • 22 months ago


    Im cheering for you Vishy, Dont let me down!

  • 22 months ago


    Yeah, Anand is a great player. But Carlsen is greater.

  • 22 months ago


    @IndianHarry...It's either this Idiots are prejudice or they just jealous and afraid to accept the superior greatness that is India..and Anand.

  • 22 months ago


    Couple of comments:

    1. Let's face it; the match (and crown) is in Carlsen's hands unless Vishy does something to change it.  It is Carlsen's responsibility to his team (and himself)to WIN the match; and he is doing so (apparantly without too much difficulty at the moment).  It is Anand who much 'push' if he wants to retain his crown; and so far, it just has not happened (and time is running out).

    2. For those who claim Carlsen is 'not all that good' ... I really have no idea of how you can support such a claim?  He has beaten the best and continues to do so.  He may not drive for 'dynamic' positions; but, he doesn't have to.  He is simply the best there is right now.  If Magnus was really not that good; he would not be here, and would not be leading 5-3.

  • 22 months ago


    IndianHarry People are blaming Anand and not Carlsen becuase Carlsen is doing what he is supposed to do. He is in the lead and his aim should be to protect that lead.

    Anand is behind and needs to change something if he wants to win. It's quite obvious why people blame him for the boring games. 

  • 22 months ago


    Come on Anand!! Go Go Go GO GO Win!!!

  • 22 months ago


    I can't understand why peoples always blamming Anand, Why Carlsen can't play for complex variation damn all the games Anand going for complexity not Carlsen, Carlsen wins only when the opponent make mistake he doesn't have killer instinct like previous champions, Peoples always comparing the past legend especially Bobby Fischer, I agree Fischer great player but not equal to Kasparov or Kramnik or Anand since Fischer never defends his title. I don't know how we can compare a person who can't defend his title with other greats. So called legend Kasparov fall by Kramnik  Berlin defence in the World championship title, The invisible Kramnik in White defeated by Anand in World Title. He lost in Whitle against Anand that too in his pet variation. 

    Why you guys are blaming Anand since he came from India? For us he is the true legend which no one can win the WCC title in all type of formats like Tournament, Knockout and Match type, Why this so called legends can't win there titles? Anand is the only player who defended his title against 3 different players. Kasparov defeats only Short and raising star Anand and too he defeat him in Psychology he lost his title against Kramnik the same person can't match with Anand. 

    We don't want Anand to be in any legendary list who cares, for us he is great. For Anand there is nothing to loose, whether he win or loss he is the champion for us ever. 

    So stop giving nonsense comments againts a champion like Anand.

  • 22 months ago


    Carlsen's play reminds one of Capablanca's, ..an almost pure positional player, sometimes shaky opening prep, both strive for a reasonable middlegame and then, begin to play..slowly putting pressure untill their opponents make a mistake, even if microscopic and when in an endgame, turn "drawn positions" into wins.However, Capa was more fluid,his depth  and coordination of his pieces was unparalled.Anand unfortunately will have no answers, as i believe the 6th game completely unerved him.

  • 22 months ago


    I have heard this extremely stupid argument a few times now (lastly from Am1n3that Carlsen is not that great because he got coached by Kasparov and other good players as young.

    I guess the argument is that anyone could become great if they only had Kasparov as a coach. 

    Kasparov is one of the greatest players of all time but I never heard that he is one of the greatest coaches of all time. Carlsen was a pretty good player before he started to work with Kasparov, maybe even better than Kasparov himself at that point.  

    Are someone's skills less worthy of respect because he has had good teachers?

  • 22 months ago


    Nope, Anand Gelfand is worse. Even Kramnik Anand is worse.

  • 22 months ago


    If you think playing for draws or a lot of draws are unbecoming of a world championship match, you are blissfully unaware of the norm in most world championship games historically...

    Mosquito King, you are crazy saying Capablanca would've gone for broke! The man was famous for going for a draw when the situation got too hairy. None of the men you named went all out, all the time!

    EDIT: Just wanted to add, there is a lot of money on the line, you must remember as well.

  • 22 months ago


    It seems like both players were working for a draw in this game. Not a championship caliber game??

  • 22 months ago


    Yup, nakamura will give us fighting chess, although losing chess to Carlsen. Then world championship will be done in game 7.

  • 22 months ago


    Yeah, with Caruana, Nakamura or even Ivanchuk we will see some fighting chess. Right now (and at most for the next seven days) the World chess champion title does not make sense.

  • 22 months ago


    Neither of these two are playing for the fans, nor should they be. And for those comparing Anand unfavourably to Fisher or Kasparov, Fisher didn't (have the guts to?) defend his title, and Kasparov as challenger produced 17 consecutive draws in his first match with Karpov. In comparison to either of these achievements I think Anand comes out rather well!

  • 22 months ago


    As there was once Fischer fear, there is now Carlsen fear.  Carlsen's opponents know that if Carlsen gains even a microscopic advantage, the game is over.That is a complete nightmare for most players, and they just crumble psychologically. 

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