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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.

44210 reads 251 comments
17 votes


  • 19 months ago


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

  • 19 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"....

  • 19 months ago


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

  • 19 months ago


    It's "emergency brake" not "emergency break" unless he pooped in his pants and had to hit the toilet in a hurry. Surprised

  • 19 months ago


    "I have had a few such embarrassing draws in the Candidates Matches."

    Really?! What candidates matches has Carlsen played?

  • 19 months ago


    Carlsen spend a lot more time on the clock and went for the draw...hmm..

  • 19 months ago


    Keep up the photos peter! nice article !

  • 19 months ago


    Keep up the photos peter! nice article !

  • 19 months ago


    Ssrikako, if Anand outplayed Carlsen 100 percent he would have won.

    Carlsen is also a master tactician, he equals Anand in this and probably surpasses him.

    Carlsen is more naturally gifted and perhaps overrelies on complications and unknown territory, underpreparing in the opening.

    Anand is very well prepared and focused in the openings and this can bite Carlsen in the ass.

  • 19 months ago


    This is just one of the many draws happening in this championship. At the end, Carlsen wins 8 to 4.

  • 19 months ago


    Very disappointing that the first game was a short draw.  However, not really unexpected considering this is Carlsen's first important match.

  • 19 months ago


    Good Wishes to Both Chess Titans

  • 19 months ago


    Anand-Carlsen photo shaking hands. Is MC really this short or was he only half standing?

  • 19 months ago


    I think from this first game it is clear how Magnus respects Vishy,he said he had to pull emergency brake.I am really intrested to see what has Magnus prepaired as white because if he is gonna play lines like in the first game i think Anand will have advantage in the match.Knowing the mind set of Magnus i expect much tougher fight in following games and let the best man win and most important for chess let there be a checkmate seen in offical world championchips matches.That would be cool...

  • 19 months ago


    What about this idea: if a drawn position appears, white looses (since white is supossed to have a slight advantage for moving first). Would that not make chess games alot more interesting? Does it make any sense? (there would be only wins and defeats, an a lot more action I believe, all in all, one will always win and one will always loose).

  • 19 months ago


  • 19 months ago


    I honestly don't see how Carlsen could have reasonably avoided that variation in this opening.

  • 19 months ago


    It's very funny to see comments that, only "Anand" is responsible for Draw.

    Come on give me a break.

    If you understand the basic rules of Chess- Draw is something that comes from both the players -not just one.

    Some say:

    //When Anand made the move x, it is a forced draw. Carlsen has no other choice//

    Now, explain me why did Carsen's x-1 move is not responsible for the draw. He could have played some other move which preented Anand from playing the x move right?

    BTW, DRAW is part of chess- what is the problem even if it is forced as some say.

  • 19 months ago


    carlsen is too good.

  • 19 months ago


    Anand took the rumble out of Carlsen's thunder with this 16 move draw, which Carlsen admitted he was forced to allow.

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