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

42290 reads 205 comments
10 votes


  • 3 years ago


    How can you dope in chess?

  • 3 years ago


    It's more than a little ironic that Carlsen will win the WCC and lose rating points in doing so.

  • 3 years ago


    @danheisman, @JamesTKirk2261: Thanks.

  • 3 years ago


    hey all draws man, then magnus will win. 3 draws left. vishy wins twice he has a fighting chance. these 12 games we are short change in terms of thrilling action.

  • 3 years ago


    wow lots of Super GM's   commented on this article,Winkthey know everything about chessSealed

  • 3 years ago

    NM danheisman

    C1:53 - I believe that is the clock ("C") times. White has an hour and 53 minutes and Black an hour 30, meaning once Anand decided on his line, he played the remaining book moves rather quickly.

  • 3 years ago


    There should be an option for Anand to resign before Carlsen gets 6,5 points. He looks lost already.

  • 3 years ago


    carlsen is not boring by playing e4. It was a good move.

    anand could have played the sicilian - he played it before - got a win or two against kasparov with the sicilian. he only prepared e5 for the world ch it seems.

  • 3 years ago


    Could somebody please inform me as to what the "C1:53" notation (as inserted in move 19 of the annotated game in the article) means? Google yields tons of false positives.

  • 3 years ago


    @Paul: Game 9 is a must-win-game for Anand, because he needs two wins and has two white games left. He can't wait for the score to be 6-4 and then try to win with black.

  • 3 years ago


    still 3 draws or 1win and 1 draw is gud 4 carlsen 2 win the title

  • 3 years ago


    Minttunator .. ok, thanks.  :)

  • 3 years ago


    Anand doesn't want to take any risks. He wants to compete against Carlsen with no risk of losing. If the score is 6-4 in favor of Magnus after 10 rounds, expect Vishy to play some nasty stuff in the last 2 rounds. But before that "must-win" situation, Anand simply tries not to make the score any worse and maybe hope for a Carlsen blunder. This is highly understandable and I understand Anand, but there's one thing in my opinion that he's doing wrong. And that's the opening choice. No 1.d4 as white or some more active defense against e4. Well, 4 rounds left so lets see what happens...

  • 3 years ago


    You guys are focusing too much on the winner, maybe because you think you'll then be part of him. But what we are watching is two of the utmost players of chess. One of those is going to win, and that is not humiliating for the opponent.
    If Anand looses, of course he will not be out of the chess world.
    The champion always needs to have opponents to play against, otherwise he'll not be able to confirm himself as the best.


  • 3 years ago


    Anand main contribution to chess is going to be his retirement.

  • 3 years ago


    A reminder: In the Capablanca-Alekhine World Championship match of 1927, something like 31 of 32 games were Queen's Gambit Declined!

  • 3 years ago


    D_Ostwald, I believe he said "doping controls". Smile

  • 3 years ago


    I dont think Anand has still recovered from Game 6. At this level it is easier to get a Draw than a Win and Carlsen is having it easy. Anand may just already be focusing on the 2014 Candidates or maybe he knows that its over.

    I'll be hoping against hope for him to retain the crown. But what if he does.....!!!!

  • 3 years ago


    I did not understand Anand's answer as to why the post-game press conference was so slow to start ... something about 'stop controls'?  Anyone know what was going on there?

  • 3 years ago


    hbtvec@ They are allowed to play boring chess and I am allowed to think they do! 

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