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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.

46493 reads 251 comments
17 votes


  • 23 months ago


    Why are so many people disappointed with this draw ? As quick draws go this is an interesting tactical one, especially in the context of this match. Brilliant,I cant wait for more !

  • 23 months ago


  • 23 months ago


    i think today anand won mentaly

  • 23 months ago


    Many are commenting about Anand, You guys needs to understand his experience against the great players like Karpov, Kasparov, Kramnik, Ivanchuk, Topalov etc.. in 1995 match against he lost against Kasparov because Kasparov used psychological pressure on the young Anand. Anand lost against well relaxed Karpov. This too defeats are not at all a defeat, but we have consider this as a defeat. We all know about Anand if we critics more about him he will show more agression on board. Great example 2008 Bonn Match against Kramnik. Anand is the only player who defend his title in the challenger den (Topalov) match in Bulgaria. Carlsen is not a Bobby Fischer and Anand is not a Spassky they are all different category. Please don't compare with them. Carlsen win matches only when the opponent play for win and make a mistake, Like this Anand lost his two matches against Carslen, but Anand can play any type of position, we all know Anand is a tactical monster and genius of tactical play, Anand can play like Karpov (means playing more prophalatic moves), He can also play positonaly more or less passively. Ratings are not gathered on one opponent. Please don't think Anand plays only for draw. 

    In this game Carlsen play for Draw not Anand. 

    One more thing Anand is a expert to drive his opponent to the unknown territory which Anand knows. (Example Kramnik and Topalov matches).

    I don't think need to give more example about Anand. We all know him very well.

  • 23 months ago


    excellent start for anand, he played very aggressively which must have come as a big surprise to and for carlsen playing the white pieces to kick off the match.
  • 23 months ago


    Talk chess...theres no need to cry. Everybody is entitled for their opinion.

  • 23 months ago


    Go Anand!

  • 23 months ago


    Nothing special that happened here...there will be enough fighting games during the next days! Thank you, staff, for posting the games and the great fotos.

  • 23 months ago


    @beaufeet7.I agree that it was not a hard fought game.far from it.however i m tired of people projecting Carlsen as some kind of alien genius and Anand as a novice.That's why i requested a measure of objectivity.I think Carlsen is still the favourite.Just that it may not be as easy as most people see to think.

  • 23 months ago


    Thanks to chess.com for posting the game

  • 23 months ago


    preventing a major disAster by magnus. but he needs to take the game to anand. steel of nerves by the young man.

  • 23 months ago


    Nice article, keep us informed. Thank You!

  • 23 months ago


    Remember folks, they are not playing to entertain us - but to win the championship.   We all know most wins come from white for both players and universally for all players, and is where the attack come from.  Today draw was certainly a win situation for Anand and show that he is well prepared for Carlsen.  Anand defend it well and force Carlsen to take the draw route.  Go Anand!!

  • 23 months ago


    choroshevo dnia nashim zascitnikam..:)

  • 23 months ago


    It's just disappointing that we get treated to games ending in  a draw after a mere 16 moves.. One is left wishing for the good old days of Kasparov or Fischer when such quick draws were more the exception than the norm. Let's just hope this first game is not a harbinger of things to come.

  • 23 months ago


    GregCachin do not underestimate Anand.It funny that most people project Anand as a babe in the woods. True Carlsen is in great form and his ELO rating is regal.However this is matchplay and not a tournament where Carlsen needs to play any opponent just once!Anand seems to be more relaxed than Carlsen.He took the fight to Carlsen today.Carlsen avoided the battle. Be fair in your assessment.

  • 23 months ago


    just who lost the first nerve.......seems too early to draw a first blood.

  • 23 months ago


    He might win 7-4 but not 8-4, albatrosses!

  • 23 months ago


    carlsen just don't want to give a broken-heart in the 1st game, almost all 1st game draws, don't worry fireworks begins at the 3rd game, remember fischer is so good that he gave 2 easy points in a world championship match, no one else does except fischer who consider "my title"....

  • 23 months ago


    I get a feeling Carlsen was testing the waters. He looked nervous the first WC game.

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