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

42270 reads 205 comments
10 votes


  • 3 years ago


    A bit dissapointed in Carlsen for playing for a draw in this game

  • 3 years ago


    neither of both players have the category of all his predecessores from morphy...

  • 3 years ago


    and soon ' The Kid ' will be King and those that hate for the sake of hating will fall silent......

  • 3 years ago


    Chess is a competitive game. If you are not going to fight and try to win, why play at all.

    Lol this guy Naka trolling the WC

  • 3 years ago


    Anand tears people apart in a complex game, I don't know what hes doing, but he really needs to get his act together.

  • 3 years ago


    I really hope Anand goes for broke and wins at least one game, even if it is too late. This championship doesn't exactly resemble a battle so far...

  • 3 years ago


    lol Anand's fans still think Carsen is a kidLaughing

  • 3 years ago


    Finally Carlsen play something worth while, 1.e4!!  Anand did the right thing, draw this game and regain his confidence; he will be white and can play for a win. Anand needs to play 1.d4 and avoid the Berlin Wall of the Ruy Lopez, with this Anand will score a point. I still hope Anand can tie the match and win on the blitz play that Anand is famous for. Anand is great in the opening and his endgame is incredible, one must look at the first four games to see how really good is his endgame technique is. Even his loses Anand is amazing in the endgame, one has to be blind not to see that.

  • 3 years ago


    Mr Anand sir, you gotta go for it plain and simple. Even if you get smoked in front of your people you still gotta try dude.  Saving face by not losing big is foolish when youre going for the world championship.

  • 3 years ago


    I wonder if Anand is hiding his secret opening prep for the last 2 games, and maybe we will see a shocking tie in the last game??? We can dream. ;)

  • 3 years ago


    Anand had more chances playing black in the first game, than in the 8th. Pity. The king is "dead". Long live the king!

  • 3 years ago


    I agree it should be 16 games

  • 3 years ago


    Both are gm chess level , good chess ,and 12 games is long enough to decide a winner.

    Good fortune to both.

  • 3 years ago


    Lol Carlsen double dare Anand by playing e4!


    Carlsen: “Try your Sicilian that your fans speak wonders and you will meet my true power >)”

    And Anand reply “no thanks I will play the berlin…”



    So funny.

  • 3 years ago


    Any extended WCC match suggestion should face the reality; sponsors are not all too eager to come by.

  • 3 years ago


    There has been a lot of talk about Anand playing the Sicilian this game. Perhaps he was remembering Bilbao 2012: 

  • 3 years ago


    12 games is way too few for a title match. At a minimum it should be 16. The current format is extremely unfair to the person who falls behind and only encourages the person who's ahead to play it safe.

  • 3 years ago


    Carlsen gave Anand the opportunity to play a Sicilian Defense and he cowardly decided to play the Berlin Wall.

  • 3 years ago


    24 games match is the correct format for the WCC. needs to make a survey on this topic.

  • 3 years ago


    I would think the doping tests would look for ritalin-type drugs that enhance concentration and other executive brain functions. 

    And yeah, Magnus is going to take it to the house.

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