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.

50411 reads 251 comments
17 votes


  • 3 years ago


    this draw is carlsen's fault- he was too scared son

  • 3 years ago


    #lucky_guy2 this is how Carlsen wins his games. He wants his opponents to make a mistake and then pounce on it. The games I have seen Carlsen win mostly are of this nature. At least in the games I have watched, it is not by his brilliant strategy. Anand should not fall into the traps as suggested by you.

  • 3 years ago


    Well said, Mr. Oort. My sentiments exactly.

  • 3 years ago


    A very good start for Anand - an effortless short draw with black. Carlsen didn't even get to try to grind the older man down and now only has 5 more whites left.

  • 3 years ago


    Either Carlsen is underprepared or he wants to catch Anand off guard in the games to come.

  • 3 years ago


     I can't understand why Carlsen played such an unenterprising opening. Anand diffused the first-move advantage so fast. There are only 12 games, so I think this is a mistake by Magnus. He should have displayed his best weapons immediately.

  • 3 years ago


    Am1n3 i have to agree.I think Carlesen did well to draw.There was the threat of Anand maneuvering the Knight to c2

  • 3 years ago


    After Vishy moved his knight to d4, I don't think there is much else Magnus could've done w/o make himself signifcantly worse than black. This draw is completely on black. And I think Anand is quite okay with that. Although, I think he could have advanced the b pawn and kept the game afloat.  

  • 3 years ago


    great! I did not wasted a sleep for this.

  • 3 years ago


    Anands play was excellent, this game is a masterpiece (from a tactical point of view)

  • 3 years ago


    My chess engine also said a draw.

  • 3 years ago


    First of all They were playing for WC not for any bloody comparison with Fischer -Spassky game
    2nd, maximum of people is pointing out ANAND for the draw. But place yourself in the position.. in last two games magnus did well against ANAND with White. so it was better to choose a draw.

    and my honest opinion for those ,who are already very keen to fight and make jokes of anand,carlsen,please shut up. try to learn atleast something from these greats.. Otherwise qualify for the FWCM and then teach ANAND-CARLSEN a lesson.. 

  • 3 years ago


    @chessplayer6003: one reason could be that your question is wrong, "why didn't they play Qb2?" You expect either could have played this move? Or do you think they are only pretending to be opponents but actually it is all fixed?

  • 3 years ago


    This match will be a huge draw fest, 12 draws in a row ...

  • 3 years ago


    no one answered my question why didn't they play Qb2? did carlsen just want a draw?

  • 3 years ago


    @ChessPlayer: Still a draw by repetition after 14... Nc4.

  • 3 years ago


    People complaining about this result are incredibly selfish. These two mighty players have worked so hard their entire lives to reach this point, they are not here to entertain you, they are here to win the WCC. Do you honestly expect either one to make an inferior move just to please a bunch of snotty nosed self absorbed "fans"?

  • 3 years ago


    @Am 1n3 Nice.

  • 3 years ago


    Mr Doggers can you explain me why this match broadcast is so poor comparing with other events (like the candidates). Is Mr Paulsen out of this match ?


  • 3 years ago


    @ CM PeterDoggers

    Please provide Anand's and Carlsen's team members.

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