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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

34810 reads 205 comments
10 votes


  • 17 months ago


    Lol Carlsen double dare Anand by playing e4!


    Carlsen: “Try your Sicilian that your fans speak wonders and you will meet my true power >)”

    And Anand reply “no thanks I will play the berlin…”



    So funny.

  • 17 months ago


    Any extended WCC match suggestion should face the reality; sponsors are not all too eager to come by.

  • 17 months ago


    There has been a lot of talk about Anand playing the Sicilian this game. Perhaps he was remembering Bilbao 2012:


  • 17 months ago


    12 games is way too few for a title match. At a minimum it should be 16. The current format is extremely unfair to the person who falls behind and only encourages the person who's ahead to play it safe.

  • 17 months ago


    Carlsen gave Anand the opportunity to play a Sicilian Defense and he cowardly decided to play the Berlin Wall.

  • 17 months ago


    24 games match is the correct format for the WCC.

    Chess.com needs to make a survey on this topic.

  • 17 months ago


    I would think the doping tests would look for ritalin-type drugs that enhance concentration and other executive brain functions. 

    And yeah, Magnus is going to take it to the house.

  • 17 months ago


    With just one Anand win Carlsen will not be shaken. With two: more likely.

  • 17 months ago


  • 17 months ago


    Perhaps Anand understands a "little" better than the assembled crowds here, the immense pressures and their effect on the psyche in the closing rounds of a world title match. With just one win Anand could introduce Carlsen to a whole new world; where thinking clearly and calmly, and controlling one's nerves is near impossible.

    Food for thought

  • 17 months ago


    Anand lost his balls.

  • 17 months ago


    The Yoda quote in the comments below is most appropriate.

  • 17 months ago


    that smile on Carlsen face in the last picture, I think tells it all about who is going to win the title. No doubt that he will get 1,5 points necessary to crown him world champion . Anand is to passive and his strategy of waiting oponent's mistake is without any succes in my opinion.

  • 17 months ago

    NM Petrosianic

    ok anand was happy to make a draw with black without testing carlsen at all and carlsen was content to give him one as anand needs a win in the next three games.

  • 17 months ago


    "I guess I'll try in the next game.” Anand


    "Do or do not. There is no try." Yoda

  • 17 months ago


    Anand must be playing some kind of metagame that I don't understand. At least I hope that's what it is.

  • 17 months ago


    I think Anand's strategy is simple but logical: Avoid any more losses and hope an opportunity arises in a game where he take the initiative and win. To do so though, he should pull some surprise openings out of the old chestnut box; simply counting on mangus to make an error or to be caught off guard is not enough - Anand needs to surprise mangus with an opening or opening line - otherwise, the tournamnet is over.

  • 17 months ago



    Blueberries :)

  • 17 months ago


    "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." Anand said. I hope for 1.d4 and a more agressive Anand to make the match (and the games!) more interesting.

  • 17 months ago


    There is one thing I really like about Carlsen becoming World Champion...Nakamura hates it.  Has Naka ever beaten Magnus?  LMAO! Cool

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