It's on! Carlsen-Anand, Game 1 Drawn - UPDATE: VIDEO

  • PeterDoggers
  • on 11/9/13, 3:58 AM.

The first game of the World Championship match in Chennai was a short one: after 16 moves and less than 1.5 hours Magnus Carlsen, playing white, and Viswanathan Anand agreed to a draw. The game was watched by about 400 spectators and officials in the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Chennai and many millions of fans around the globe via Indian and Norwegian TV as well as the Internet.


The game started as a Réti opening but then transposed into a Fianchetto Grunfeld. After White's 13th move, there was an opportunity for Black to repeat the moves, and Anand took it even though computer engines suggested a slight advantage for Black. A quick draw in the first game of the match, however, can mean a nice psychological advantage!

"I have had a few such embarrassing draws in the Candidates Matches," was Carlsen's answer to the question whether he was surprised. He was "not too thrilled about the way the game went" and called the tactics that started after 10...Nb6 "an immediate crisis". He felt right away that he needed to force a draw when he suiddenly noticed 13.Qe1?! Nb4!.

"I just had to pull the emergency brake and go for a draw," said Carlsen. "Hopefully in the next few days, we can give you some more than 1,5 hours." To the question whether he would have played on with the black pieces, Carlsen said: "I didn't see anything for Black and I think White's long term prospects are fine."

"We exchanged information in game one. It was almost a relief to finally get the chance to play," said a relaxed World Champion, who was in full control in the opening phase. As the famous Russian online commentator GM Sergey Shipov put it, "Carlsen failed to get Vishy into unknown territory." Anand called 10...Nb6 "a rather sharp idea" that "forced play right away".

A huge crowd and about 150 journalists showed up for the start of this much awaited match. The 400 tickets were sold out.

The symbolic first move, 1.Nf3, was executed by FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov and on the other side of the sound-proof glass, about fifty photographers (including the author of these lines) were literally fighting to get a good shot of the action.


The organizers were struggling a little on the first day of the match. The internet in the press room was rather slow, and commentators had the same problem. Even worse, the transmission of the games on the official site by Chessbomb "exploded", as Lennart Ootes put it, and so during the first fifteen minutes or so it was difficult to be sure about which moves were played.

On Sunday Anand will play with the white pieces and then Monday will be the first rest day. 11 games remain to be played in this best of 12-series. The first player to reach 6.5 points will emerge as champion.

Inside, the lobby of the Hyatt Regency hotel is clearly chess-themed...
...while outside hundreds of people are gathering
Photographers have to step outside as well and undergo a security scan...
...while inside they are kept from the sound-proof glass...
...with a simple rope.
The waiting has begun.
First to arrive are the arbiters: Chief Arbiter Ashot Vardapetyan
of Armenia and Deputy Arbiter Almog Burstein of Israel
We suddenly notice a funny bra-like logo and are trying to find out what it is (Update: it's this!)
17 minutes before the game, Anand arrives in the rest area
About four minutes before the start, Carlsen arrives and sits at the board
Anand joins him and the players shake hands...
...and fill out their notation form
Carlsen then leaves again, and Anand sites at the board, highly concentrated, for about two minutes
Anand leaves again, and Carlsen gets back to the board
As he looks through the glass and sees all the photographers fighting to get a good pic...
...he can't prevent a smile!

Anand returns to the board, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov makes the first move, and the match has finally begun.

The players at the press conference, exchanging variations

You can find all info on's coverage of the match here.

47275 reads 251 comments
17 votes


  • 2 years ago


    Two excellent world class players are playing each other-I wouldn't at all be surprised that their first match resulted in a draw...there are many more to go!

  • 2 years ago


    excellent start for anand; he played very aggressively and I'm sure this took carlsen completely by surprise. a real disappointment to and for carlsen's white game kicking off the match. I question carlsen's 11. c5?! and really would have enjoyed seeing the game continue after 12. ...Qa5!? from anand. but anand's 12. ...Nd5 was effective enough leaving carlsen's Ra1 looking pretty silly due to the forced Bc1. very well prepared by vishy.

  • 2 years ago


    They should agree for straight 6 draws right now. So to save us from the dissappointment. I have been egerly waiting for this match and What I saw? Draw by repitiion. You are allready at world championship. What are you trying to achieve? There's not going to be seprate final this is the final. At Anand Vs. Gelfand World Championship, Dinnel King said "Players should not be allowed to offer draws" I agree. But this is worst. Anad could have pushed b pawn forward, Or Magnus could have played Qa4. This is huge disappointment!

  • 2 years ago


    This is the art of war! Small tactical victories, this one for Anand...

  • 2 years ago


    Very unlike Calsen to accept a short draw.Hmmmm.Is it a strategy to make Anand complacent?..sort of lull him into a brutal trap.However Anand should have been happy to draw with black.

  • 2 years ago


    Seriously!!! this was game 1??! 

    I remember replaying anand kasparov in 98?? way back when anand was contender and kasparov was champ. the games were, in my childs eye,powerful. I hope the other games are better. even the gelfand anand games were demure and staid, but definitely not so lifeless, for the lack of better word

  • 2 years ago


    boring game

  • 2 years ago


    How disappointing!

  • 2 years ago


    yes boring it's almost like italian catenaccio soccer 30 years ago...

    really,really dissapointing i'm not sure if i'm going to follow the next matches probably that will be a waste of time as well...

  • 2 years ago


    I heard Carlsen's fart after Anand player 9. ... dxc4.... he released all the pressure

  • 2 years ago


    poor start.....for so much anticipation...both should have avoid repetation draw they could have least 30+ moves for agreeing draw.....:-(

  • 2 years ago


    The pressure

  • 2 years ago


    Excellent start for the champ. If next two are also drawn, MC will lose the 4th.

  • 2 years ago


    Very boring and very dissapointing. Both not worth to compete for the crown like this. Fischer had the right additude, he refused to take in draws under 40 moves.

    This is like WC soccer and both teams stay on their own half and after 120 minutes it is still 0-0. I fear the worse for the comming 11 games.

  • 2 years ago


    Huge disappointment and anti-climax.

  • 2 years ago


    Very good start for Anand. At first I thought that Carlsen is the obvious winner. But after yesterday's conference and today's game, I think Anand has his chances.

  • 2 years ago


    Surely Carlsen must have seen this line. I wonder why he did not play more ambitiously.

  • 2 years ago


    Anand gave a solid response to Carlsen. A psychological win for anand with black..

  • 2 years ago



  • 2 years ago


    Unfortunate start. Hope it gets more interesting! 

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