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.

50398 reads 251 comments
17 votes


  • 3 years ago


    Guys lets look on the bright side... it can't get worse than this!  

  • 3 years ago


    Shut up!

  • 3 years ago


    The mazority of Fischer's games were drawn?? Won 419, lost 86 drawn 246 (

  • 3 years ago


    I think Carlsen didn't expect 9...dxc4, and I think that 11.c5 allowed Anand to force the draw, which has been good for him playing with black, and playing against a much stronger player than him (based on the ratings).

  • 3 years ago


    The two of them are not obliged to entertain us. They are here to win the world crown. In the process if we get enterteined, be happy. If either of them feels there is nothing to be gained from a position he will not foolishly try to force the issue - just to please the crowd.

  • 3 years ago

    NM Petrosianic

    very disappointing but after 11.c5 this seemed the inevitable outcome as both parties would find the result satisfactory

  • 3 years ago


    Carlsen under real pressure now for getting a short draw with white...not good for carlsen

  • 3 years ago


    @ghombau60 why blame Anand alone for a draw? Calsen could have played diff and won it right?

  • 3 years ago


    this is bull####!!?

  • 3 years ago


    Ok just a question what is wrong with 14 Qb2? of course Qa3 gets a draw but...

  • 3 years ago


    "Or Magnus could have played Qa4." And lose a piece? Yeah, good advice, sir.

  • 3 years ago


    Bloody Boring game...Anand's favourite...a draw..which avoidable. Can imagine the next game.

  • 3 years ago


    Well, since Anand is supposed to be weaker, a short draw with black is a good result. 
    Carlsen tried to avoid preparation by playing a rather innocuitous opening, and found that he could not hope for more.
    Besides, you cannot ask those players to play a weak move to avoid a repetition. If they think their best move leads to a repetition, it's normal that they play it. 

  • 3 years ago


    carlsen also under perssure he do'nt want to take more chances to win 1st match of wc series

  • 3 years ago


  • 3 years ago


    It's just the first game guys , a nerve settler to get the players into the match, how many WCC matches have started with exciting games? True, we could do with more Fischer-type mentality but the majority of games he played were drawn also. I think the best is definitely yet to come from this match.

  • 3 years ago


    Two excellent world class players are playing each other-I wouldn't at all be surprised that their first match resulted in a draw...there are many more to go!

  • 3 years ago


    excellent start for anand; he played very aggressively and I'm sure this took carlsen completely by surprise. a real disappointment to and for carlsen's white game kicking off the match. I question carlsen's 11. c5?! and really would have enjoyed seeing the game continue after 12. ...Qa5!? from anand. but anand's 12. ...Nd5 was effective enough leaving carlsen's Ra1 looking pretty silly due to the forced Bc1. very well prepared by vishy.

  • 3 years ago


    They should agree for straight 6 draws right now. So to save us from the dissappointment. I have been egerly waiting for this match and What I saw? Draw by repitiion. You are allready at world championship. What are you trying to achieve? There's not going to be seprate final this is the final. At Anand Vs. Gelfand World Championship, Dinnel King said "Players should not be allowed to offer draws" I agree. But this is worst. Anad could have pushed b pawn forward, Or Magnus could have played Qa4. This is huge disappointment!

  • 3 years ago


    This is the art of war! Small tactical victories, this one for Anand...

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