Carlsen-Anand, Game 8, Drawn In 33 Moves - UPDATE: VIDEO

  • PeterDoggers
  • on 11/19/13, 3:44 AM.

The eighth match game between Magnus Carlsen, playing white, and Viswanathan Anand ended in a draw after 33 moves. The Norwegian challenger switched to 1.e4 and the World Champion defended with the same line that his opponent has been using: the Berlin variation of the Ruy Lopez. Not much happened in this game and the players even played a few more moves after a dead drawn pawn ending had been reached. The score in the World Championship match in Chennai is 5-3 in favor of Carlsen.


More and more journalists have arrived in Chennai — several chess media as well as Norwegian mainstream media had apparently decided to cover the second half of the match. Unfortunately for them, that second half might not be all too exciting. Both games 7 and 8 were drawn without any fireworks, today's game being the most insipid so far. Carlsen's two-point lead is still there. The gap with the desired 6.5 points, however, is getting smaller and smaller.

On Tuesday the game did start with a surprise: after trying 1.Nf3 (twice) and 1.c4 (once), Carlsen switched to a third opening move: 1.e4. Taken aback, Anand spent 1.5 minutes pondering his reply. “In general in the match you shouldn't be surprised... well, I had not prioritized 1.e4,” said the World Champion at the press conference.

The Indian chose 1...e5, and before we knew it yet another Berlin variation of the Ruy Lopez had appeared on the board, but this time with the challenger behind the white pieces. Less of a surprise was Carlsen's 5.Re1, which suited him perfectly in this match situation: White has a tiny edge and can try increasing it without running any risk.

From a historical perspective this was interesting because the last time the position after 5.Re1 had appeared on the board in a World Championship was during the very first: it was played in six games between Wilhelm Steinitz and Johannes Zukertort, in the USA back in 1886. From a chess perpective, today's game wasn't very interesting though.

Anand played what is known as the theoretically most solid way to play for Black; a setup with which many grandmasters managed to draw without much effort. On move 25 Carlsen liquidated to a pawn ending and there the players played five more insignificant moves, before they agreed to a draw.

After the game ended, the journalists and photographers needed to wait for almost twenty minutes for the press conference to start, because the players first had to attend a doping control.

Based on Carlsen's casual remarks at the press conference (e.g. summarizing the game as  “He played the Berlin, I played the most solid line, yadayadayada, let's go to the doping control”) some journalists were speculating that the Norwegian might have needed a drink to perform the test.

Commentators Lawrence Trent and Tania Sachdev saw a conspiracy by the organizers: Anand could still keep his title after Carlsen would be prosecuted for underage drinking! However, this wouldn't work as the legal drinking age in Tamil Nadu is 21.

About thinking for a while on his first move, Anand said: “I didn't really know what his intentions were. I mean, even the Sicilian, if you want to play a dry system, they're available. It's not like there were clear options there. I thought a little bit and I decided to go for this. Of course the match situation speaks for itself and it's my job to liven it up. I guess I'll try in the next game.”
Whereas many of his colleague grandmasters criticised his opening today on Twitter, Anand said: “I'm quite happy with my opening preparation.” What is clear is that he'll need to give whatever it takes to try and play for a win on Thursday. “I get a kind of a bonus evening before the rest day so I'll try and prepare something for the next one.”

Carlsen had no reason to complain. “I didn't particularly mind a draw, as was evident from my play. I was just hoping to set him one or two traps and if not then just to shut it down.” And that's what he did.

World Championship 2013

Name Rtg G1 G2 G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 G8 G9 G10 G11 G12 Pts Perf
Carlsen 2870 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 1 ½ ½ 5.0 2864
Anand 2775 ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 0 ½ ½ 3.0 2781

42278 reads 205 comments
10 votes


  • 3 years ago


    Why does white not play 6.Qe2 against berlin? It cannot be so bad if Tarrasch succeeded beating Lasker with it:

  • 3 years ago


    This is what happen, Carlsen strategy was to play some random openings that he barely studied, to get Anand in a comfort zone, overestimating his own endgame mastery, thinking he could get away from those silly lines, then for some miracle Anand feel that he was superior after testing waters and a draw was enough for the moment, first big mistake, however even so, is not that easy to win the game vs Carlsen, Ivanchuck took almost all his time and a superhuman effort to win vs him until the very end.


    Then Anand try hard to put pressure to Carlsen, confident that he could crush him base on the previous games, and play to win, then move by move, he feel Carlsen strength, until he got scared! Why?

    Well he begun to understand the greatness of Carlsen and realized to beat this young guy you have to get some kind of advantage for the very beginning, so he try his nice and neat Ruy Lopez weapon, and then Carlsen rendered useless months and I repeat lots of months of preparation like nothing... Carlsen is in Anand head now.


    Basically Anand already show what he has, while Carlsen only show one thing, which is the berlin, since the endgame mastery we already knew about it. That’s why he is trying to minimize the damage, he and his seconds didn’t prepare well vs Carlsen or at least the present Carlsen, not the kid those seconds were able to beat, and now is all about saving face, while you may want him to go all out, the thing is he already went all out! And lose... there is no secret weapon, nothing, 0, is over…



    8th was the final test, Carlsen dare and double dare Anand, by playing e4, Anand reply with the berlin, some master was saying maybe to see the refutation from Carlsen, but then Carlsen smile and play the most drawish effortless line and called the day off, he barely took 30 secs avg after move 21, he even stated he didn’t feel or bother to think at all… and just for pure logic and respect he will allow Anand get more draws, he doesn’t need to show anything else, that extra will be only be used if he is forced next year.

  • 3 years ago


    If Anand STILL waits for the opponent to go wrong, instead of playing to win himself, question may then arise even about his CHARACTER (as a player).

    On the other hand: bringing your opponent into the realm of endgame, does NOT necessarily mean that you are waiting for a time trouble win or a careless mistake by the rival out of a mental fatigue in the long run. Raising the chess into the endgame may instead mean that you are just increasing a microscopic advantage obtained somehow earlier. And that too on your own. Because the advantage was tiny, it could not have been a so-called mistake on your opponent's part.

    So, winning on your own can also happen in the Endgame.  


  • 3 years ago



    Wow, your comment is almost like a haiku...

  • 3 years ago


    i think better Anand is retire in chess fields like Sachin

    he have no fighting spirit

    2 game lose now already do or die stuation

    but always he play to draw very shame to world champion

  • 3 years ago


    its sad to see Anand's weary beaten humble face (

  • 3 years ago


    Without Ruy López, there would be no Fischer!Wink

  • 3 years ago


    @Queenless ...  Waiting for Carlsen to go wrong shows that the younger man is more psychologically sophisticated than the older man.  Wearing down a person's will in long, tactical endgames is Carlsen's game, not Anand's.  Anand is about opening prep and not grinding out 6-hour wins.  

  • 3 years ago


    I don't think Anand will win any games and these 2-hour wonders like yesterday are allowing Carlsen a virtual holiday.  It's not rational to play a line as black in a 2 point deficit when it's clear that your opponent knows it like the back of his hand.  Carlsen put it well:  "I didn't feel like thinking today so ...".  You get the point.

    If Anand doesn't deviate from the Lopez tomorrow then we'll know that he's merely trying for a "respectable" deficit and not a fighting chance.  That's not really worthy of a World Champion.  When he played e5 last night and added insult to injury by playing the Berlin, it was like a tacit early resignation of his title.  The Sicilian, the Cordel Lopez, the French ... anything would have been a sign of life.  We got no such.

  • 3 years ago


    anand said "I guess I will try in next game,".  i don't think he really wants it.  strap on a pair vishy, give us some real chess.   

  • 3 years ago


    It has so far SEEMED that —

    Anand is just waiting for his opponent to go wrong, instead of playing to win himself.

    This attitude, if it's true, needs to be immediately changed. There is not much time left. 


    He should at least win (or try to win) ONE game. 

  • 3 years ago


    Just remember, people, they are both GM's !!  And they are both human, subject to the frailties of humankind.  On any given day, any GM can lose and on any given day, any GM can win !  Give them their due, as no one has ever lost a match by committing a good mistake.

  • 3 years ago


    I am very angry from anand.. after loosing 2 games, he is not playing to win still... and see he is so happy after draw the games.. what happened to him..!

  • 3 years ago


    I don't like people that won't look you in the eye when shaking hands or wears a toupee. It shows lack of honesty.

  • 3 years ago



    "it took a thousand years to have a player like will take a thousand years to have a player like kasparov"

    yeah, and it will take thousand years to have a player like me :-)

  • 3 years ago


    Did the Toupee Anand is wearing could have affected his playing? His restless. I've been noticing this.Foot in Mouth

  • 3 years ago


    @Qwwq: When GMs find a move like h4 in response to Qg5, they stop their calculations right there and don't bother to find a move like f4 that makes Qg5 even worse.

    So for Anand, there was no need to calculate f4, because he wasn't going to play Qg5 anyway.

  • 3 years ago


    Poopdeck..................simply use the search bar at top right of the page.

    e.g.......Carlsen-Anand Game 3 etc

  • 3 years ago



    I assume you mean 6...Nxb5

    He did not play this due to:

  • 3 years ago


    It would be cool if I could click on the games at the bottom to see those games. How do I find them anyway?

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