Anand Gets Nothing From Opening, Short Draw In Game 8

Anand Gets Nothing From Opening, Short Draw In Game 8

| 97 | Chess Event Coverage

GM Viswanathan Anand produced only a modicum of pressure in game eight of the 2014 FIDE World Championship on Tuesday. He could not net the full point as White against the champion GM Magnus Carlsen.

White got nothing from his pressure on the b1-h7 diagonal; otherwise the pawns were symmetrical and not much happened. The game ended in a draw after Anand stopped trying in a bishop ending. 

Carlsen spent much less time than Anand and was seen with his eyes closed for part of the first 15 minutes of the match. He alternately slumped to his left and then right while not on move. The Norwegian used barely more than 40 minutes for the entire game (Anand used an hour more on his clock).

"The Queen's Gambit is looming ever larger in the problems Vishy is facing here," was commentator GM Peter Svidler's take. He added that Carlsen's easy draw was a "serious blow" to the challenger's preparation and wondered if he will switch to allowing the Nimzo-Indian in his two remaining turns with White.

Carlsen has trotted out a little bit of everything against 1. d4. Asked if he would repeat today's variation, he quickly said, "We'll see."

The score is now 4.5/8 for Carlsen and 3.5/8 for Anand with four games remaining. Tomorrow is a rest day — play resumes Thursday at noon GMT.

"I didn't get a huge amount," Anand conceded. "Unfortunately he has [...b4] and after this ...[ending] probably it's only symbolic. There's nothing really I can do." He called 17...Rad8 "very accurate."

White got slightly more activity early but Carlsen essentially agreed with Anand's assessment.

"Yeah, sure, it looks risky for Black but I agree with Vishy that once I get this ..R[a]d8 I'm in time with ...b4 and everything and there's just very little for White to do."

Carlsen explained in the press conference that his posture was a result of not being "in the best shape at the start." He added that he became "fresher" as the game continued.

The world champion is famous for choosing to sleep past noon, but reporter Tarjei Svensen tweeted that Carlsen was up much earlier than usual today for preparation.

That study material was lauded by Svidler, especially what he presumed to be the work of Carlsen second GM Peter Heine Nielsen.

For his part, when asked to elaborate on why he was tired Carlsen did not wish to explain. When asked how his preparation was different, he deflected the question by saying that "I played a different line" and smiling.

"Obviously now as the match progresses the free days are becoming more and more valuable," Carlsen said later. 

It would be improper for him to call them "rest days" so far, for the simple reason that his love for sport usually takes hold every third day (including scoring many points against this reporter in basketball).

Not much can be said about Anand -- has been coy about his recent free day activities.

Later, however, Carlsen switched terms and did refer to them as "rest" days. Judging by his energy level today, that may be more than a semantic difference.

"The rest days become more and more about exactly that: rest."

Analysis by GM Dejan Bojkov:

The endgame was trivial for these players, but not for everyone associated with the match. Carlsen's other second, fellow countryman GM Jon Ludvig Hammer, tweeted that he once won nearly the exact same ending (no exaggeration -- the pieces are barely different from today's game!). He was referring to this game from 2012:

"Of course Magnus Carlsen studies all my games, and knows this one very well!" Hammer joked.

Game 8 video

Both players had to submit to a drug test following the game. According to Carlsen's team doctor, this is in the contract and also occurred last year at the match in Chennai. Anand claimed that this was his fifth career test.

"It's always a nice surprise, isn't it?" Carlsen said.

Espen Agdestein, Carlsen's manager, told that his player does not have a problem with doping control measures: "As a professional, you have to expect to do it," he said, but also admitted that it is a "bit of a hassle."

Longtime Carlsen Manager FM Espen Agdestein

"His energy level was a bit down today. During a match it will vary a little bit from day to day...Today he wasn't that inspired at the press conference...He's in very good physical shape."

Agdestein said Carlsen's tiredness at the beginning of the game was not worrisome to him. "I've seen that before." Although Carlsen has a team doctor with him from Norway, Agdestein said that that part of the entourage is only for more catastrophic illnesses and he doesn't assist with matters like energy levels.

We'll close by saying that, without any research, we are fairly certain that this is the first world championship press conference to include a certain word. Scroll down the tweets list to see which one a Norwegian reporter asked about following the game.

Carlsen-Anand 2014 | Score

# Name Rtg Perf G01 G02 G03 G04 G05 G06 G07 G08 G09 G10 G11 G12 Pts
1 Carlsen 2863 2812 ½ 1 0 ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 4.5/8
2 Anand 2792 2820 ½ 0 1 ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ 3.5/8 Coverage of the World Championship is providing daily “recap” shows after each round! This is the ONLY place (that we know of) offering in-depth, SportsCenter-style breakdowns of what happened in the games. 

Not able to watch the games live? Don't worry, you won't miss anything with's highlights showsStay tuned to the calendar page for updates as we assign many of our great broadcasters to daily shows. is also hosting highlights shows on the rest days from Sochi, with top GMs such as GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and GM Hikaru Nakamura.

Look for more updates on the calendar or follow @chesscomtv on Twitter!

FM Mike Klein

Company Contact and News Accreditation: 

  • Email:
  • Phone: 1 (800) 318-2827
  • Address: PO Box 60400 Palo Alto, CA 94306

Mike Klein began playing chess at the age of four in Charlotte, NC. In 1986, he lost to Josh Waitzkin at the National Championship featured in the movie "Searching for Bobby Fischer." A year later, Mike became the youngest member of the very first All-America Chess Team, and was on the team a total of eight times. In 1988, he won the K-3 National Championship, and eventually became North Carolina's youngest-ever master. In 1996, he won clear first for under-2250 players in the top section of the World Open. Mike has taught chess full-time for a dozen years in New York City and Charlotte, with his students and teams winning many national championships. He now works at as a Senior Journalist and at as the Chief Chess Officer. In 2012, 2015, and 2018, he was awarded Chess Journalist of the Year by the Chess Journalists of America. He has also previously won other awards from the CJA such as Best Tournament Report, and also several writing awards for mainstream newspapers. His chess writing and personal travels have now brought him to more than 85 countries.

More from FM MikeKlein
Ian Nepomniachtchi On The World Chess Championship

Ian Nepomniachtchi On The World Chess Championship

New ChessKid Adventure App Released

New ChessKid Adventure App Released