Carlsen-Anand World Championship Game 5: Another Draw

Carlsen-Anand World Championship Game 5: Another Draw

| 58 | Chess Event Coverage

The fifth game of the world championship match in Sochi, Russia between Viswanathan Anand and Magnus Carlsen ended in a draw.

The score is 2.5-2.5; game six will be played tomorrow at 3 p.m. Sochi time (noon GMT, 7 a.m. EST).

Carlsen played a different opening yet again as Black: the Queen's Indian. Although he used more time in the opening, Anand reached a better ending, but as soon as the last queenside pawns had left the board, the position was not difficult to hold for the world champion.

On their second rest day, the players probably alternated relaxing, preparing a bit and following the action of the Tal Memorial blitz.

Carlsen also spent some time outside in the sun; he played football with members of his team and Norwegian media, and afterward changed roles with a journalist for a moment!

About half an hour after Shakhriyar Mamedyarov received the $20,000 first prize from Arkadij Dvorkovich, the Deputy Chairman of the Russian Federation's Government, the fifth game of the world championship match started.

Game 5 video with comments by Shakhriyar Mamedyarov

And while he was there, Dvorkovich — who is also the chairman of the organizing committee of the match — took the opportunity to execute the first ceremonial move for Anand. His choice was approved by the Indian GM: 1.d4.

Arkadij Dvorkovich playing 1.d4 for Vishy Anand.

It was the first interesting moment of the game. Carlsen's team surely had repaired the black hole in his repertoire that was ruthlessly exploited by Anand, so he could try the Queen's Gambit Declined again? Or would he return to his Grünfeld, as played in the first game?

None of the above. Carlsen went for the Queen's Indian this time, thus emphasizing that he also has a strength as it comes to openings: he plays lots of them. The Norwegian played this solid defense a few years back, but only went for it in one blitz game in 2013, and another blitz game in 2014.

Carlsen playes 3...b6 in game 3.

It's even longer ago that Carlsen gave the bishop check on move four. It's a move that's also seen in lines of the Catalan, and the idea of 5.Bd2 Be7 is to play the same position but arguing that White's queen's bishop is worse on d2 than on c1.

Not all grandmasters in the world seem to agree with this concept though!

Not much impressed, Anand continued making his moves quickly, until his opponent played 7...c6. This move is less popular than castling, and Anand spent six minutes on the clock before choosing the most principled reply: e2-e4, occupying the center.

However, the speed of his next couple of moves strongly suggested that he wasn't “out of book” yet.

At the press conference Anand confirmed this. “We got to this position [after 13.d6 — the novelty in the game - PD]. I'd looked at this line long back and I thought that this should be better for White.” He also said: “You have to expect everything.”

It was the start of a sequence of moves that resulted in a slight but enduring advantage for White: a nice, centralized bishop versus a knight on the rim.

Online commentator GM Peter Svidler, who was joined by GM Ian Nepomniachtchi this time, said: “This is what a correct game sometimes looks like.” 

“A great game of chess should be boring,” added Nepomniachtchi, “mistakes bring some tension in the game.”

After playing 11 rounds of blitz in the morning, there was probably still some adrenaline left between those two!

But, as said, everyone agreed that White was better. One well-known GM on Twitter reminded everyone of some famous games of the 11th world champion, who was particularly good in playing bishop vs. knight positions.

And so one could say that Anand was having the kind of position Carlsen likes to play so much: a tiny edge, with no risk of losing. A game where one can “play for two results,” as they say. The roles had reversed, for a moment!

And yet again it became clear that, besides the countless chess amateurs, the world's best players are also closely following this match.

The new number two, who didn't participate in the Tal Memorial blitz by the way, is impressed with Anand's play so far:

At move 22 Carlsen took a slightly risky decision after spending only 11 minutes on the clock. He took a pawn on b2, which wasn't the computer's first choice.

However, in the game it worked out well: soon Black managed to trade all the queenside pawns, and then it was not difficult anymore.

Still, the general feeling was that Anand could have put his opponent to the test a bit more in this game.

Game 5 annotations by GM Dejan Bojkov

At the press conference Anand said: “It was close, then I thought I'll just take the pawn... and get a better bishop versus knight thing. But then it hit me that it will be very hard to do anything with the knight on b4. After 27.Rb7 it's basically just a draw. (...) The ending looked pleasant to me but maybe Black has just enough resources.”

Carlsen agreed that this time he was well prepared. “OK I guess. But he was also well prepared and knew the most critical way. Maybe I could have played more accurately, I don't know. (...) I think in general White is a bit better but it should be holdable. It turned out to be pretty complicated. At least none of us could find anything real after the queen swap. Maybe Black is holding.”

The world champ was asked if after a loss he is “in a state of emergency,” as previously quoted.

His reply: “No, I think in the match it's a little bit different since, well, I'm on 50 percent. In a tournament that would be pretty bad but in a match it's OK. I'm only competing against one player. The situation is not too bad.”

So what is left is a seven-game match with four white games for Carlsen (two in a row now!) and three for Anand. That must be a nice starting point for the Norwegian, right? 

“It's a lot nicer making a draw with Black than with White. I'm quite optimistic on the future of the match. But it's not going to be easy. Since I have two White games now this is the moment to try and pull ahead.”

Carlsen-Anand 2014 | Score

# Name Rtg Perf G01 G02 G03 G04 G05 G06 G07 G08 G09 G10 G11 G12 Pts
1 Carlsen 2863 2792 ½ 1 0 ½ ½ 2.5/5
2 Anand 2792 2863 ½ 0 1 ½ ½ 2.5/5 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!

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