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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

34440 reads 205 comments
10 votes


  • 16 months ago


    yes....how does this doping in chess work?'


    cos I could do with a little of whatever it is myself....Laughing

  • 16 months ago


    I hope Anand can make this more exciting.  I wish he'd opened with sicilian instead of a king's pawn game.  I feel like that would have played to Anand's strengths (preparation and complicated tactics).  It's clear that Magnus is perfectly content (pardon the pun) drawing out the rest of the match.  I've said before that I both hope Magnus wins yet want Anand to earn some respect putting up a fight.  I don't want this match to come down to 2 wins that were paltry blunders by an aging champion.  It has so much more potential, Let's see a real battle!

  • 16 months ago


    "come on the gay is world no, 1." -GM_Joji23

    I know it is just a language barrier, but try to remember that it is "Guy," not "Gay."  There is quite a large difference.

  • 16 months ago


    four rounds to go. Go vishy Anand!we still believe you can rock the board!

  • 16 months ago


    carlsen is both a good defensive player and an attacker...

    so definately i do think he deserves the WCC....

    come on the gay is worlds no,1...   he wins over 80% of tournaments he plays.

  • 16 months ago



    "It's more than a little ironic that Carlsen will win the WCC and lose rating points in doing so."

    Fischer lost rating points to Spassky.

  • 16 months ago


    oh come on why would carlsen be drinking? why waste his title practically handed to him? three more games of accurate played and he has his title all screwed up

  • 16 months ago


    i think a hacker came in and changed it to doping control

  • 16 months ago


    How can you dope in chess?

  • 16 months ago


    It's more than a little ironic that Carlsen will win the WCC and lose rating points in doing so.

  • 16 months ago


    @danheisman, @JamesTKirk2261: Thanks.

  • 16 months ago


    hey all draws man, then magnus will win. 3 draws left. vishy wins twice he has a fighting chance. these 12 games we are short change in terms of thrilling action.

  • 16 months ago


    wow lots of Super GM's   commented on this article,Winkthey know everything about chessSealed

  • 16 months ago

    NM danheisman

    C1:53 - I believe that is the clock ("C") times. White has an hour and 53 minutes and Black an hour 30, meaning once Anand decided on his line, he played the remaining book moves rather quickly.

  • 16 months ago


    There should be an option for Anand to resign before Carlsen gets 6,5 points. He looks lost already.

  • 16 months ago


    carlsen is not boring by playing e4. It was a good move.

    anand could have played the sicilian - he played it before - got a win or two against kasparov with the sicilian. he only prepared e5 for the world ch it seems.

  • 16 months ago


    Could somebody please inform me as to what the "C1:53" notation (as inserted in move 19 of the annotated game in the article) means? Google yields tons of false positives.

  • 16 months ago


    @Paul: Game 9 is a must-win-game for Anand, because he needs two wins and has two white games left. He can't wait for the score to be 6-4 and then try to win with black.

  • 16 months ago


    still 3 draws or 1win and 1 draw is gud 4 carlsen 2 win the title

  • 16 months ago


    Minttunator .. ok, thanks.  :)

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