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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.

37924 reads 251 comments
17 votes


  • 10 months ago


    carlsen is too good.

  • 10 months ago


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

  • 10 months ago


    @ilgambittoo : That lady is chief minister of Tamil Nadu, how she looked around 30 years back. Tamil Nadu is one of the states of India. Chennai is the capital of Tamil Nadu.

  • 10 months ago


    Good start for Anand. Carlsen has only 5 openings with white left.  If Carlsen wanted, he could have played on but he got nervous and decided enough.

  • 10 months ago


    thou are not playing chess, thou are playing joke,wahahahahahaLaughing

  • 10 months ago


    //Who is that lady in the background banner?//

    Chief Minister of Tamilnadu State in India. If it was other govt function, only her face would be on the entire wall/banner. Be glad that some space was allocated to give details of the match and chess :)

    This is how it works here in Tamilnadu. But then, she was the one who took interest to sponsor the event( & get the WCM to Chennai) though it is govt's money. So, as a Chennaite, I am not complaining. She want's the world to see her face.

    Please excuse us!

    BTW, did you see the opening ceremony - It was all about her achievements and less about Chess!

  • 10 months ago


    Seems carlsen strategy is to play positional chess which is his strength and Anand strategy to take game into tactical battle where his strength . Anand outplayed 100 percent in this game.

  • 10 months ago


    yep, so the whole game, sad that it ended too soon , but was happy to see anand back in form again.

  • 10 months ago


    "How I drew Carlsen in Game 1 of the WC to take the upperhand in the match of the century"  =, VC ANAND  , Vedanta Press, Chennai, IND 2014.

  • 10 months ago


    Small typo in the article: I think when you say "emergency break" you mean "emergency brake"

  • 10 months ago


    Who is that lady in the background banner?

  • 10 months ago


    how many did carlsen gain or lose rating points?

  • 10 months ago


    While I agree that they are not playing the match to entertain the fans ... this is why some chess experts worry about "draw death". A highly anticipated world championship match, and game 1 ends in draw in 16 moves.

    We will see how it continues, but it's hard for people that don't enjoy chess to get excited about the game with these short draws.

  • 10 months ago


    Probably the comparisons to Fischer - Spassky have more to do with the storylines around the match then the actual games.  The glamour of Carlsen's meteoric rise is highly marketable and has the possibility to capture the attention of potential audiences not otherwise interested or engaged in chess.  Fischer's ascension from super prodigy to the world stage and his idiosyncrasies as an uninhibitedly reluctant cold warrior likewise enthralled the imagination of the US population.

    By the way, I wonder if chess players outside of the USA (perhaps also the former USSR) ascribe the same sense of uniqueness and magnitude to the Fischer Spassky match?  Or are Tal-Botvinnik 1960 or Karpov-Kasparov 1984 just as compelling?

  • 10 months ago


    Very cheap type of broadcast on tv. They showed the full face of the players and audience but only half of the current board. Very cheap show.Only Peter Swilder's interview was intresting.

  • 10 months ago



  • 10 months ago


    (About Skand´s comments)

  • 10 months ago


    Nice photos thanks for the event coverage.

  • 10 months ago


    This occurs in underdeveloped countries like ours.

  • 10 months ago


    Not unexpected to get a draw in the first round, it's length not withstanding. I think Carlsen needed to get his nerves settled this game, his opening approach is typical Carlsen so far, usually unambitious openings set on getting a playable middle game and hopefully avoid any home prep by his opponent and then play " chess". Anand seemed to take it in stride and easily settle down to a quick draw with the black pieces. As he said, a satisfactory draw and good start to the match for him. I'm interested to see next round for Anand, if it is true he is bringing back his sharp tactical style this match or not. We'll see!

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