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's coverage of the match here.

50416 reads 251 comments
17 votes


  • 3 years ago


    Wow, so many comments! Just one point that occurred to me, as well as to others, probably:

    Anand showed a lack of faith in his own middlegame/endgame ability relative to Carlsen's by taking a draw in an equal position. Sure he was black, but once you've equalized that's no longer a factor. If Anand is really afraid to get into an even endgame with Carlsen, what are his chances of winning the match?

  • 3 years ago


    can anyone tell me why it is draw. whats the tactics behind why they play repeated move there is no choices or what.

  • 3 years ago


    I believe that Anand has an advantage by having the great Peter Leko in his team, who I believe has the greatest knowledge of opening theory of all GM.

    Lets remember that Leko tied 7-7 the WCC vs Kramnik, who was then at the top of his game.

  • 3 years ago


  • 3 years ago


    I think Anand is in top shape at least physically. If his game is like it was when he destroyed Kramnik in 2008 he has really got a good chance. He's much better than the betting odds.

  • 3 years ago


    Magnus got scared, he will win this starting 0-2 like Fischer!

  • 3 years ago


    Not a bad start for a WC match, consider everything is at stake for both the players.

    All those who make comments on Super GMs, shut down all your computers, try to sit inforont of a chess board and think of a move..

  • 3 years ago


    It seems like this game is getting ripped apart by people anylizing it !

  • 3 years ago


    I have a feeling that Carlsen's distaste for draws will become an apparent weakness as the match continues. He is itching for blood, and very likely this will drive him to do something rash. I think that Anand intentionally pushed for the draw to provoke this weakness.

    what do you guys think? Am I just too optomistic?

  • 3 years ago


    Seeing it from another angle, those who are criticising Anand for the draw are actually paying him a big compliment. They have more confidence in Anand's skills than Anand himself.

  • 3 years ago


    love the mic!

  • 3 years ago


    Shameful draw in clearly better position for black.Chess anti-propaganda.

  • 3 years ago


    It's just the first game!? Judas Priest! Why are so many people flippin' out and whining 'boring', and 'disappointing'? Oh, I know: they thought it was the WWF or the Indy 500, with a guaranteed slam-bang finale, even in the first game. Sure,I would have liked a real wild, knock-down drag out contest, but we got this thing. Now, it's on to game two.

    But if they do this again........ Well, I don't know..................

  • 3 years ago

    P_G_M (and other places) reported Anand's naming of team members in the opening press conference as Sasikiran, Chanda, Wojtaszek, and Leko. Carlsen declined to name his team members.

    I believe that Anand has an advantage by having the great Peter Leko, who I believe has the greatest knowledge of opening theory of all GM. Lets remember that Leko tied 7-7 the WCC vs Kramnik, who was then at the top of his game.

  • 3 years ago


    @Am1n3, I have two points:

    1. Tournament and Match play have different compulsions

    2. Even within a tournament or a match, how you would play will depend on what the current status is. In this example, I do not know what Fischer and other players relative position was in the tournament. 

    I bet if Anand was desperate to win the last round of the tournament, he would have continued to play here as black. Or if he was already 3 clear points ahead of others, he might have continued to play. Hence without a full picture, it is incorrect to come to a conclusion.

    Here, in the opener of a match, where the onus of gaining full point is on white, a comfortable draw by black is itself a big plus.

    We really do not know if Fischer was defending his title for 3rd consecutive time against a player who was 100 ELO points ahead of him and 20 years behind, how his brain would have worked.

  • 3 years ago


    W T Hell

    Why do players in my range (< NM) tend to present analogies when berating World Champion/any other Super GM while commenting about a game?

    cause you(me included) do not understand chess.

    if you really want to find out whether you have a better line than the players post it !

  • 3 years ago


      It's nice to be comfortable when you want to be in control,. but after awhile some steam builds up and you start to get ideas. I'm betting there will be lots more excitement to come in this event,.. good luck!

  • 3 years ago


    Modern tennis racquettes are so good that they have added about 20-30 km/hour of speed to serves. Which forces the striker to stand behind the base line even for the second serve, most of the times. This leads to a baseline to baseline rallies most of the times.

    Some of us who grew up on McEnroe/Connors serve and volley game, may find modern tennis boring. They may even conclude that Federer is 'coward' for not moving to the net after serving. They forget how technology has changed the game and it would be foolish for Federer to rush to the net if a Nadal or a Djokovich or a Murray or for that matter any top 20 player is on the other side. To such watchers of the game I say, times have changed, deal with it.

  • 3 years ago


    awsome game

  • 3 years ago


    Yeah Anand! Show him what you've got!!

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