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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

34733 reads 205 comments
10 votes


  • 17 months ago


    Happy birthday Capablanca! Tha only genius  of the chess world.

  • 17 months ago


    I can't figure out comments like "Compare how Capablanca, Kasparov, Fischer, Tal ... got the world championship title to Carlsen!"

    He is the only one in this match that even went for the win and actually got 2. Anand is the one that should start playing risky but chooses not to. Why would Carlsen need to go out swinging? He already did that. 

    Just for example: If a soccer team leads 2-0, why would they suddenly change their formation to the one with 5 strikers? It's on the opposing team to start being creative and attacking if they even want to win the match.

    Seems like Anand is not that motivated to win.

  • 17 months ago


    No entiendo porqué Anand entró a este duelo sobre la española berlinesa. Tiene que arriesgar. Creo que Carlsen está haciendo lo que le toca, su prioridad es conquistar el campeonato del mundo, no entretenernos. Su especialidad es ganar en el final y así lo hizo en dos ocasiones y eso le es suficiente ante un jugador de la categoría del 15 campeón del mundo. Ya podemos llamar a Carlsen 16 campeón desde Steiniz.

  • 17 months ago


    Okay.  So Anand appears to have resigned the match as a whole.  I'm fine with Carlsen as World Champion.  He deserves to hold the title.

    Anand (the old "Tiger" version) will always be one of my chess ideals.  

    I am now starting to envision someone like Topalov playing Carlsen, or even Nakamura, for the next Championship.  Otherwise, I'm not sure I see anyone taking it from him any time soon.

  • 17 months ago


    I agree that a first to win X number of games would be a better format. The present world championship format is not amenable to fighting chess - it produces cautious chess. Carlsen has done what he needed to do so far.

  • 17 months ago


    I believe in what Fischer suggested  in that during championship matches there must be no draws!a sure fire way of sorting the men out from the boys!!

  • 17 months ago


    I can't fault Carlsen for this. +2, hasn't lost a game, and is only 1.5 points away from the world championship. He plays more ambitiously in tournaments. The onus is on Anand, but he didn't grab his chance to play the Sicilian today.

  • 17 months ago


    It seems to me that Carlsen has completely gotten inside Vishy's head. For Magnus the heavy lifting is over, he just has to not lose. For Anand, I think he's humiliated and will settle for -2. I believe he's too concerned about his legacy and doesn't want this to be a bigger blow out than it already is,

  • 17 months ago


    Either Anand has something up his sleeve which he is trying to hold off until what he thinks would be the right time to reveal it or he is trying to save himself from further losses with the intention of retiring from the chess world with less humiliation.

  • 17 months ago


    it's like watching rybka playing houdini. i'd probably draw it out too if i were  carlsen. it is boring. fischer predicted this would be the future of chess over a decade before. this is why he gave up competitive chess. i laugh to myself when i hear people say anand is going to comeback. to you guys who say this it's been over you just dont know it yet.

  • 17 months ago


    Compare how Capablanca, Kasparov, Fischer, Tal ... got the world championship title to Carlsen!

    In the past, challengers were the wild giants and also the defenders were the mountains. They weren't playing games but fighting in the wars and players were acting like gladiators.

    Now...! The challenger just waits for his opponent's blunders... or a quick draw.

    Carlsen can not be my legendary champion.

  • 17 months ago


    Vishy why? You are fantastic! You can't just resign yourself to this Norwegian! Don't give up! And at this point, you have nothing to lose in the match Vishy go for it! play abstract chess! Play what you're best at playing! confuse Carlsen! He's impossible to beat otherwise! He's like a supercomputer that weakly solved the game! If you play the "best" move, you can't win! You have to take risks.

  • 17 months ago


    Either Anand is super cool and will attack at the end or he is saying goodbay to the chess and will retire right after the match. 

  • 17 months ago


    Carlsen do as may you please to dethrone current chess champion, we are waving for you till u cross the finish line.

  • 17 months ago


    This match is turning into a real snooze-fest. It might rival the previous match on the boredom scale. Even the two decisive games were drifting toward draws until Anand slipped up. Oh well, what can you do? That's why we have hockey......

  • 17 months ago


    Always berlin, we dont expect many more draws and same defense, we need amazing and entertaining 'fighting' games from 2 best player in the world.

  • 17 months ago


    Both players seemed to be rather bored with it all today. Can't believe Anand is not trying to ' mix it up ' a little, he truly seems resigned to his fate. He kind of suggested that tomorrow he will go for it.....does that mean d4??..........

  • 17 months ago


    this si a boring world championship

  • 17 months ago


    Perhaps as 2 of the best players in the world they have decided that they can only play the Berlin or that it is the best defence to 1.e4. Either way it's poor.

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