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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 Chess.com's coverage of the match here.

42864 reads 251 comments
17 votes


  • 17 months ago


      It's nice to be comfortable when you want to be in control,. but after awhile some steam builds up and you start to get ideas. I'm betting there will be lots more excitement to come in this event,.. good luck!

  • 17 months ago


    A rather tame 'feel out' game...Nothing to be drawn(g) from this other than each payer checking the other's pulse..expect fireworks...

  • 17 months ago


    Modern tennis racquettes are so good that they have added about 20-30 km/hour of speed to serves. Which forces the striker to stand behind the base line even for the second serve, most of the times. This leads to a baseline to baseline rallies most of the times.

    Some of us who grew up on McEnroe/Connors serve and volley game, may find modern tennis boring. They may even conclude that Federer is 'coward' for not moving to the net after serving. They forget how technology has changed the game and it would be foolish for Federer to rush to the net if a Nadal or a Djokovich or a Murray or for that matter any top 20 player is on the other side. To such watchers of the game I say, times have changed, deal with it.

  • 17 months ago


    awsome game

  • 17 months ago


    Yeah Anand! Show him what you've got!!

  • 17 months ago



    i don't know why you hate Anand so much!..seen ur comment in a few other threads and i can say you don't really understand CHESS as played by experts (NM +) your assesment of today's game (first game of the championship) is opposite to experts+(NM+ the commentators) opinion.you are saying Anand did not fight...(do you know what kind of a player plays black side play Grunfeld, and a sharp line in that?).

    i have played a few and lost most of that to know it needs a much more aggresive chess personality.

    so STOP blaberring and start supporting ur statements with logic,analogy in chess is start providing ur fighting/exciting lines which you think ANAND missed/avoided as risky (and most of us would be able to destroy your line with 1/2 hour of comp analysis). 

  • 17 months ago

    FM frankdischinger

    As far as I know, the team of Anand was given in the Interview by Anand himself, look the video. Peter Leko ist one of his team members. Calson, as far as I know, had made a secret of his team members.

  • 17 months ago


    If Magnus Carlsen were a company, then I would say his stock prices took a solid beating today! The first game of World Championship 2013 ended in a draw in just 16 moves.
    Usually in such matches, the onus is on the white player to push his opponent to fight for the half point! Magnus Carlsen being White had this responsibilty on his shoulders. Many people thought he would be a daredevil and play 1.e4, while some said he could try to throw Vishy off his game with 1.b3 or 1.g3.
    Nothing like that did occur as Carlsen went for a risk free edge with 1.Nf3.
    With the reti converting itself to the Slav Grunfeld, it seemed as if Vishy was going to face the chinese water torture!
    But there is something about champions that is very unique. I have always seen it in sports like Tennis or Cricket, when the commentators say that Federer raised the game to a whole new level or Sachin took the attack to the bowlers. Maybe it was first time that I witnessed in C...hess that Vishy Anand increased the speed of the game to dizzying proportions!
    From a slow slight edge for white, the game turned right on its head with complete chaos on the board. Making 4 super strong moves in a row, dc4! Nb6!, Nc4!, and Nd5! Anand was in the drivers seat!
    It was then that Magnus Carlsen realised that he had to change his profession from being a hunter to become a Fireman, as he quickly tried to extinguish Vishy's Initiative!
    On a more demanding day, Vishy might have played on, but considering today was the first day, and after all the hype and hooplah, it was but natural for him to seek some rest!
    I think the draw had the following repercussions:
    1. The ease with which Vishy drew with black, will give him a good night's sleep.
    2. Carlsen as a favourite : this stock has just taken a huge fall!
    3. Carlsen personally must be happy to the extent that in his first game in match play he didnt botch it up with a loss!
    4. The spectators who spent 2000rs for the match must have felt a little sad!
    5. And last but not the least as Pentala Harikrishna (india no. 2) rightly tweeted, the seconds got only 1.5 hrs of sleep!!
    As tomorrow Vishy dons the white pieces, I expect that he will make Carlsen's life much more miserable than what Carlsen achieved today!

  • 17 months ago



    Okay, @Andre your comments make me sad. I guess any patzer today could beat Capablanca, by that logic. I do think Anand is awesome though. I am rooting him on!

  • 17 months ago


    @Skand...remember there are alot of ignorance, unenlightend people in this world...just know that you are more Superior than them ;)

  • 17 months ago



    Unfortunately, there is a lot of truth to what you say.

  • 17 months ago


    Fischer/Kasparov comparisons:

    You want to know an underrated reason the games of the 1972 match were relatively long? LOTS of mistakes by both Fischer and Spassky! Compare the quality of play in that match to a contemporary match, for example last year's Anand-Gelfand match...it's not even close.

    This whole mythology about Fischer "beating the Soviets" is a little misleading. Fischer could have had plenty of GMs helping him, but he was liked to work on chess alone.

    Kasparov made PLENTY of short draws in World Championship matches--and I don't blame him for it one bit. His matches were very long, required a lot of tension and energy, and he played 5 World Championship matches in the space of 6 years, the first one of course being the length of two matches!

  • 17 months ago


    People with such mentality would have applauded Fisher and Kasporov if they had agreed for a draw in this position. They would have called it "good assessment of the board". If Anand does it, it is cowardice. There are some people who just do not wish to give Anand his due - a champion of champions! The only one who won world championship in all three editions of the game, a champion who even agreed to play in the country of challenger for the sake of chess. You think Fischer would have done it? Anand is a player who drove in a car across Europe to defend his title and did not make a fuss over it. 

    It is amazing how biased people lose perspective.

  • 17 months ago


    LOL Fisher and Karpov had many quick draws. Game 1 as black a quick draw is a huge success.

  • 17 months ago


    As for Game 1: Carlsen was just trying to get a "playable position" against Anand, play for two results, and wear him down (as many others have said). The risk with such an approach in the opening is that sometimes you miss completely and allow the opponent an easy equality or path to a draw.

    Carlsen chose the opening strategy that is right for him, and he couldn't get anything. He wasn't "trying" to make a short draw.

    Anand simply played the position as objectively best as he could, and pushing the b-pawn would entail unnecessary risk, where Black is unlikely to get more than 1/2 point anyway from such a position, and would play into Carlsen's strategy of lengthening the games. Anand was completely correct in repeating moves. He, too, wasn't "trying" to make a short draw.

    Short draws sometimes happen in chess--and I mean short draws where the players are NOT aiming for them. Amateurs want excitement--but uncontrolled "excitement" is a great way to lose most of your games and keep a low rating...that's why they're amateurs.

  • 17 months ago


    To All Carlsen fans and Anand detractors:


    Anand has ONLY to defend his title - not win it; hence Carlsen has to do all the dancing; Anand will only play the music!!

    Anand will definitely be happy how the Game 1 went.  Game 1 = advantage Anand! simple.

  • 17 months ago


    Just another lazy day at the office for Vishy! 14...b6 would have given him a slight advantage of -27 according to Shredder and the advantage would have grown with correct play. He seemed to want the easy draw and did not want to fight hard to win. I am very disappointed. Fisher or Kasporov would never countenance such cowardice! 

  • 17 months ago


    good game..black demostrated nice tactical play..but white resisted it ..some draws come after 60 moves this came in 16 moves..Fans need to digest and applaud brilliant play ..

  • 17 months ago


    P_G_M: Pay attention to chess news before criticizing the coverage.

    Chess.com (and other places) reported Anand's naming of team members in the opening press conference as Sasikiran, Chanda, Wojtaszek, and Leko. Carlsen declined to name his team members.

  • 17 months ago


    Psychological victory for Vishy!  

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