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

42280 reads 205 comments
10 votes


  • 3 years ago


    Anand can't play so defensive ...


    Carlse show how play chess putting creativity in this wonderfull game...



  • 3 years ago


    Hands off the 2 GMs competing for the ultimate chess crown. I guess few people who do not have chess titles (FM,IM,WGM & GM) find this boring. This is war, its a test of nerves, its brains at work... Stop persecuting the players and allow them the benefit of the doubt. There will only be 1 winner whether you love it or not its either Carlsen or Anand.

    The best man will win!!! They deserve respect because they are the last men standing. This negative publicity comes from some players and fans alike who could not rise to the challenge to play in this game.

    Remember that when you critisise them! All critics have failed at some point in time. Ask yourself if your weaknesses were exposed for the whole world to see and judge...


    Let the players play!! 

  • 3 years ago


    What a bore! One can understand Magnus with a 2 points lead but Anand?

  • 3 years ago


    I expect that, when two players meet for the World Championship, there won't be much swashbuckling. This is chess, not fencing.

  • 3 years ago


    totally agree...with those lines he won´t get Carlsen into troubles...I wanna see some nice gambits...or like c6 nimzo-defence - transponding into f5 coloradogambit or something like that...otherwise this match is already over. He HAS to take risks and Carlsen out of his comfortzone (if that´s possible at all)
    Carlsen is only playing for a tie - without risktaking it´s pretty much over...I mean - what is better - losing 6,5 to 4,5 or having a chance to catch up - losing 7 to 3?

  • 3 years ago


    I liked the game. Very nice.

  • 3 years ago


    This is not the golden era of chess

  • 3 years ago


    I hope Nakamura.... gets a chance to challenge for the world championship.... at least in my mind.... he will bring back fighting chess.... I do believe that this format in the world chess championship should be changed... it should be the first to 10 wins and after so many games have been played ( 20-30 games )... I think they should play blitz games to decide the champion....

  • 3 years ago


    I dont beleive that Anand will give up without a fight. He is still the world champion ( maybe not for long!) and will not spinelessly give his title away.

    Why should you retire if you lose, you will alway be one of the greats. Kramnick is still playing and very successfully.

    Vishy is White in the next game, hope he  will go all out for a win "Better to have fought and lost" Go Vishy give the fans a treat. instead of this boring, grinding, snail race to the finish.

  • 3 years ago


    @vill0236 Yes, there were 17 draws in a row, but that doesn't mean they were all dull draws. Draws aren't a bad thing as long as they're well fought games.

  • 3 years ago


    3 wins draws not counting would be better rules.

  • 3 years ago


    WestofHollywood wrote

    I agree that a first to win X number of games would be a better format. The present world championship format is not amenable to fighting chess - it produces cautious chess. Carlsen has done what he needed to do so far.

    Have you heard about the Karpov Kasparov match in 1984? They played first to six wins and the match was Cancelled after 48 games with only 8 decisive games. It was not fighting chess, just draws and draws. At one point there was 17 draws in a row! Is it that wcc you want?

  • 3 years ago


    Happy birthday Capablanca! Tha only genius  of the chess world.

  • 3 years ago


    I can't figure out comments like "Compare how Capablanca, Kasparov, Fischer, Tal ... got the world championship title to Carlsen!"

    He is the only one in this match that even went for the win and actually got 2. Anand is the one that should start playing risky but chooses not to. Why would Carlsen need to go out swinging? He already did that. 

    Just for example: If a soccer team leads 2-0, why would they suddenly change their formation to the one with 5 strikers? It's on the opposing team to start being creative and attacking if they even want to win the match.

    Seems like Anand is not that motivated to win.

  • 3 years ago


    No entiendo porqué Anand entró a este duelo sobre la española berlinesa. Tiene que arriesgar. Creo que Carlsen está haciendo lo que le toca, su prioridad es conquistar el campeonato del mundo, no entretenernos. Su especialidad es ganar en el final y así lo hizo en dos ocasiones y eso le es suficiente ante un jugador de la categoría del 15 campeón del mundo. Ya podemos llamar a Carlsen 16 campeón desde Steiniz.

  • 3 years ago


    I agree that a first to win X number of games would be a better format. The present world championship format is not amenable to fighting chess - it produces cautious chess. Carlsen has done what he needed to do so far.

  • 3 years ago


    I believe in what Fischer suggested  in that during championship matches there must be no draws!a sure fire way of sorting the men out from the boys!!

  • 3 years ago


    I can't fault Carlsen for this. +2, hasn't lost a game, and is only 1.5 points away from the world championship. He plays more ambitiously in tournaments. The onus is on Anand, but he didn't grab his chance to play the Sicilian today.

  • 3 years ago


    It seems to me that Carlsen has completely gotten inside Vishy's head. For Magnus the heavy lifting is over, he just has to not lose. For Anand, I think he's humiliated and will settle for -2. I believe he's too concerned about his legacy and doesn't want this to be a bigger blow out than it already is,

  • 3 years ago


    Either Anand has something up his sleeve which he is trying to hold off until what he thinks would be the right time to reveal it or he is trying to save himself from further losses with the intention of retiring from the chess world with less humiliation.

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