Magnus Carlsen Wins Game 2 In Sochi World Championship
Magnus Carlsen defeated Viswanathan Anand in the second game of the World Championship match in Sochi, Russia. The world champion leads 1.5-0.5 after two games.
In a quiet Ruy Lopez (Berlin Defense) the Norwegian started an attack on the enemy king, and Anand had to make some concessions setting up a defense. In what was a very difficult position, the Indian blundered.
Somewhat later than on the first day, in fact just a few minutes before three, it was Magnus Carlsen who appeared on stage first, carrying a water bottle filled with his trademark fruit juice with him. Almost immediately Viswanathan Anand joined him to spend another afternoon in the spotlight of world chess.
Whereas 1.e4 had been the ceremonial first move by a non-chess player on Saturday — quickly changed to 1.d4 by Anand — this time the move was the actual choice of Carlsen.
It was once famously described “best by test” by Bobby Fischer, but the deceased world champion no longer holds that opinion, if we may believe another world champion: Boris Spassky, Fischer's opponent in the Match of the Century in 1972.
Spassky has been in Sochi since Friday, and today he spent some time in the playing hall, at the start of the game.
Bound to his wheelchair, the 77-year-old chess legend stole the show during a press conference that was organized because of the launch of a new book titled Winning Record Against World Champions, co-authored by him and FIDE Vice President Israel Gelfer.
Memorable moment in Sochi: Boris Spassky, at a press conference, talking about Paul Keres — and saying "I feel I will see him again soon."— ChessVibes ( @ChessVibes) November 9, 2014
One of the anecdotes told by Spassky is featured in the video below:
One quote begs to be included: “I sometimes talk with Bobby in my dreams, and we talk about chess. For example, recently I asked him what he thinks is the best first move. ‘1.d4,’ he said to me, ‘because the queen's pawn is protected on that square.’”
Anand probably had another reason for playing 1.d4 in the first game: his failed attempts to get an advantage against Carlsen's Berlin Wall. However, the Norwegian still felt he could achieve something in that territory, and moved his king's pawn. “It wasn't too bad. We get a more or less equal but playable position and that's OK by me,” he said afterward.
It would have been most thematic to see the infamous ending on the board, 25 years after the real Berlin Wall fell, but that didn't happen: without hesitation Carlsen played 4.d3. In any case, we chess players have our own connections with the date of 9 November anyway!
Not only a wall came down... On 9 November 1985, At age 22, Garry Kasparov became the youngest ever undisputed World Chess Champion.— Chess in Tweets ( @ChessClassic) November 9, 2014
Mikhail Tal, VIII World Chess Champion, would have turned 78 today... He is still with us thanks to his masterpieces pic.twitter.com/GshEFuCV8q— Natalia Pogonina ( @Pogonina) November 9, 2014
Obviously the little pawn move didn't come as a surprise to Anand, who quickly developed his king's bishop “outside the chain” before playing his queen's pawn. He then stood up, put off his jacket and gave it to one of the deputy arbiters.
And there it came: a new concept, a different kind of piece setup, prepared by Carlsen. He voluntarily gave up his king's bishop for a knight on c6, without waiting for the move a7-a6, and then developed his queen's knight to d2.
Sad necessity of modern chess. Back in the days a6 Bxc6 was considered nothing, now Magnus tries it even without a6. #justtogetagame— Anish Giri ( @anishgiri) November 9, 2014
It was quite a very modest little concept from the Norwegian, one that was answered with sensible moves by Anand. Black was absolutely fine after thirteen moves.
However, in what could be described as the first critical moment of the game, Carlsen found the strong maneuver Ra1-a3-g3. An excellent plan that proved that there was still life in the position.
Carlsen's manager, FM Espen Agdestein, was spending his time in the press room and said: “I didn't see a way yet for Magnus to put pressure on his opponent.” At that point Carlsen put his knight on f5, stood up, walked around his chair and started leaning on it.
“There wasn't too much going on to be honest. I felt I might have a slight initiative and [after Rg3] I was getting a bit more optimistic,” said Carlsen afterward.
@EnthusiastChess) November 9, 2014
Whether it was that, or the fact that a rook on g3 and a knight on f5 is always a bit of a menacing combination, who knows, but from that moment things started to go downhill for Anand.
The 44-year-old Indian player hesitated for a long time between moving his queen to the kingside or developing his queen's bishop, and he chose the latter. After the game the players agreed that 18...Qf7 would have been fine for Black, whereas top GM Hikaru Nakamura made another suggestion:
Strange moves by Anand in the middlegame. In particular, the knight almost always belongs on e6 in these exchange Ruy structures. 18...Ne6!— Hikaru Nakamura ( @GMHikaru) November 9, 2014
The clock situation was almost identical for the players, but now things were going Magnus' way on the board. Anand made a slightly nervous impression, and on Twitter some top players started to worry for him.
Starting to get a little unpleasant for Anand. He is under some pressure. #CarlsenAnand— Nigel Short ( @nigelshortchess) November 9, 2014
@RFed1) November 9, 2014
Anand had to block the g-file by putting his knight on g6, but according to Carlsen that was a sign things had gone wrong. “If Black has to go for [this] it's clear that something has gone pretty seriously wrong.”
And it showed: an operation that removed all the minor pieces from the board left Anand with a difficult position. His f-pawn would almost certainly drop, and White also controled the e-file, with a possible infiltration on the seventh rank hanging in the air. Anand: “To be honest there aren't any easy choices.”
@iam_abhijeet) November 9, 2014
This is very nasty for black. And exactly the type of position where Carlsen is at his most ruthless. #CarlsenAnand— Fabiano Caruana ( @FabianoCaruana) November 9, 2014
Vishy has big problems to overcome. From the live feed he even looks a little sea sick. Good sea legs though & still paddling #CarlsenAnand— Jonathan Rowson ( @Jonathan_Rowson) November 9, 2014
Yes, Anand was still paddling since he had found the best practical chance on 28: a pawn break to open up the b-file. Was Black getting counterplay? Would he get back into the game?
But no. The computer evaluations had dropped somewhat in Anand's favor, but suddenly they peaked to +12. Anand had blundered, and it was game over instantly.
Game 2 annotated by GM Dejan Bojkov
Would Anand have been able to hold the position without the blunder? Carlsen said about that: “I think at that point it's anyway a dreadful position to defend.” Anand didn't object to that statement.
Carlsen is leading the match, but hasn't played his best chess yet. “Today I feel that I didn't play in the most precise way after I gained an advantage so I still need to improve,” he said at the end of the press conference. Anand has a full rest day to decide whether that's good or bad.
Carlsen-Anand 2014 | Score
Nice way to end the weekend... pic.twitter.com/cwpWgy69AQ— Magnus Carlsen ( @MagnusCarlsen) November 9, 2014
A tweet from the bus back to the hotel: Magnus and his sister Ingrid.
Chess.com Coverage of the World Championship
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IM Danny Rensch will be hosting the first highlights show with top GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave on Monday, Nov. 10!
Further shows will feature none other than top GM Hikaru Nakamura on Nov. 13 and 16.
- Game 1 Carlsen-Anand World Championship: Draw
- A preview from the 13th World Champion: Garry Kasparov On The World Championship
- Opening day: Anand To Start World Championship Match With White Pieces
- Preview with predictions from the experts: Carlsen-Anand: Prediction Time!
- Preview with the historical numbers: Carlsen-Anand By the Numbers
- General preview with the basis & schedule: Anand-Carlsen Match Only a Week Away