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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.

43016 reads 251 comments
17 votes


  • 17 months ago


    Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. It's just that some are totally stupid.Wink

  • 17 months ago


    This was a good game. Both players must have impressed each other; i think so.Tongue Out

  • 17 months ago


    Fact is carlsen fooled himself !!!!!!!!!! opening is piece of crap>>>>>>>>

    Don't worry guys, great battle awaits cheers !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • 17 months ago


    I think this game indicates that the players--perhaps chiefly Carlsen--was battling their nerves more than anything else. On the FIDE site, the commentator mentioned that they had never seen Carlsen look as nervous as he did. Anand come on a little later, perhaps on purpose perhaps not, but in the interim Carlsen seemed clearly troubled. Anand appeared relatively cool--but it did not appear he was taking any chances on the board.

    It's only the first round--I got the feeling from this game the two were taking stock of each other.

  • 17 months ago


  • 17 months ago


    Chess_uncertain.... you make a great point.... which many people are missing.... this was a huge victory for anand..... he's expected to lose and is not the favorite.... with drawing so easily with black I would have to say the edge is now in his favor

  • 17 months ago


    how to get pgn of this game?  initially there was a direct link for gettign pgn. Now with new interface its not showing up :(

  • 17 months ago


    whoever would have avoided the draw would have been in a worse position, so its obvious why it ended as it did. everyone complaining can shut up, you have no idea...

  • 17 months ago


    this draw is carlsen's fault- he was too scared son

  • 17 months ago


    #lucky_guy2 this is how Carlsen wins his games. He wants his opponents to make a mistake and then pounce on it. The games I have seen Carlsen win mostly are of this nature. At least in the games I have watched, it is not by his brilliant strategy. Anand should not fall into the traps as suggested by you.

  • 17 months ago


    Well said, Mr. Oort. My sentiments exactly.

  • 17 months ago


    A very good start for Anand - an effortless short draw with black. Carlsen didn't even get to try to grind the older man down and now only has 5 more whites left.

  • 17 months ago


    Either Carlsen is underprepared or he wants to catch Anand off guard in the games to come.

  • 17 months ago


     I can't understand why Carlsen played such an unenterprising opening. Anand diffused the first-move advantage so fast. There are only 12 games, so I think this is a mistake by Magnus. He should have displayed his best weapons immediately.

  • 17 months ago


    Am1n3 i have to agree.I think Carlesen did well to draw.There was the threat of Anand maneuvering the Knight to c2

  • 17 months ago


    After Vishy moved his knight to d4, I don't think there is much else Magnus could've done w/o make himself signifcantly worse than black. This draw is completely on black. And I think Anand is quite okay with that. Although, I think he could have advanced the b pawn and kept the game afloat.  

  • 17 months ago


    great! I did not wasted a sleep for this.

  • 17 months ago


    Anands play was excellent, this game is a masterpiece (from a tactical point of view)

  • 17 months ago


    There is nothing Anand can do. If Carlsen needs to win WCC he needs to play sharp or else he needs to face the Anand in rapid. Anand need not to take any risk he just need to defense his title.

  • 17 months ago


    My chess engine also said a draw.

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