Carlsen-Anand, Game 8, Drawn In 33 Moves - UPDATE: VIDEO

  • PeterDoggers
  • on 19-11-13 03:44.

The eighth match game between Magnus Carlsen, playing white, and Viswanathan Anand ended in a draw after 33 moves. The Norwegian challenger switched to 1.e4 and the World Champion defended with the same line that his opponent has been using: the Berlin variation of the Ruy Lopez. Not much happened in this game and the players even played a few more moves after a dead drawn pawn ending had been reached. The score in the World Championship match in Chennai is 5-3 in favor of Carlsen.


More and more journalists have arrived in Chennai — several chess media as well as Norwegian mainstream media had apparently decided to cover the second half of the match. Unfortunately for them, that second half might not be all too exciting. Both games 7 and 8 were drawn without any fireworks, today's game being the most insipid so far. Carlsen's two-point lead is still there. The gap with the desired 6.5 points, however, is getting smaller and smaller.

On Tuesday the game did start with a surprise: after trying 1.Nf3 (twice) and 1.c4 (once), Carlsen switched to a third opening move: 1.e4. Taken aback, Anand spent 1.5 minutes pondering his reply. “In general in the match you shouldn't be surprised... well, I had not prioritized 1.e4,” said the World Champion at the press conference.

The Indian chose 1...e5, and before we knew it yet another Berlin variation of the Ruy Lopez had appeared on the board, but this time with the challenger behind the white pieces. Less of a surprise was Carlsen's 5.Re1, which suited him perfectly in this match situation: White has a tiny edge and can try increasing it without running any risk.

From a historical perspective this was interesting because the last time the position after 5.Re1 had appeared on the board in a World Championship was during the very first: it was played in six games between Wilhelm Steinitz and Johannes Zukertort, in the USA back in 1886. From a chess perpective, today's game wasn't very interesting though.

Anand played what is known as the theoretically most solid way to play for Black; a setup with which many grandmasters managed to draw without much effort. On move 25 Carlsen liquidated to a pawn ending and there the players played five more insignificant moves, before they agreed to a draw.

After the game ended, the journalists and photographers needed to wait for almost twenty minutes for the press conference to start, because the players first had to attend a doping control.

Based on Carlsen's casual remarks at the press conference (e.g. summarizing the game as  “He played the Berlin, I played the most solid line, yadayadayada, let's go to the doping control”) some journalists were speculating that the Norwegian might have needed a drink to perform the test.

Commentators Lawrence Trent and Tania Sachdev saw a conspiracy by the organizers: Anand could still keep his title after Carlsen would be prosecuted for underage drinking! However, this wouldn't work as the legal drinking age in Tamil Nadu is 21.

About thinking for a while on his first move, Anand said: “I didn't really know what his intentions were. I mean, even the Sicilian, if you want to play a dry system, they're available. It's not like there were clear options there. I thought a little bit and I decided to go for this. Of course the match situation speaks for itself and it's my job to liven it up. I guess I'll try in the next game.”
Whereas many of his colleague grandmasters criticised his opening today on Twitter, Anand said: “I'm quite happy with my opening preparation.” What is clear is that he'll need to give whatever it takes to try and play for a win on Thursday. “I get a kind of a bonus evening before the rest day so I'll try and prepare something for the next one.”

Carlsen had no reason to complain. “I didn't particularly mind a draw, as was evident from my play. I was just hoping to set him one or two traps and if not then just to shut it down.” And that's what he did.

World Championship 2013

Name Rtg G1 G2 G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 G8 G9 G10 G11 G12 Pts Perf
Carlsen 2870 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 1 ½ ½ 5.0 2864
Anand 2775 ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 0 ½ ½ 3.0 2781

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  • 3 jaar geleden



    thank you so much for all of these articles you wrote on the world championship match.  I found them, along with the annotations after particular moves, to be very clearly presented, and super helpful.   thanks!

  • 3 jaar geleden



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  • 3 jaar geleden



    I agree with you about Anand.  There were two occasions where a writer asked a rational question where Anand was just plain snotty.  The first was when he was asked what he would do to counteract his 2 point deficit.  He said "I will do my best!".  The writer said, basically, but HOW will you do your best?  Anand: "My best is my best, why don't you understand English?"  The writer was simply trying to find out whether Anand would change opening strategy or his psychological orientation in the opening (quiet to noisy positions, for example).  I found Anand to be minimally sporting in this event and it was sad to see.

  • 3 jaar geleden



    Because basically chess computers of today gave birth to Magnus Carlsen. I am 99.9% sure Carlsen studied that position more ways than you can do the macerana. Anand had no chance, he is a new era of chess.

  • 3 jaar geleden


    As it turns out, whoever watched the match on Internet TV (I watched EVERY game) saw that it was exceedingly rare for Anand even to get a quarter of a pawn edge (Game 3) and 95% of the time in the match Carlsen was assessed as being better by the computers whether it be a quarter of a pawn or, like game 10, more than a whole pawn, ahead.  Carlsen has the positional sense of a great GM like Karpov but he's developed that sense a decade ahead of schedule.  Anything can happen in chess and in life but Carlsen has a real chance to retain his title for a decade with little resistance.  

  • 3 jaar geleden

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  • 3 jaar geleden


    bbb1@ No, I don't agree at all. The position in game 9 demanded a lot of time. Magnus used a lot of time too there. Anand just forgot about Qe1 when playing Nf1?? 

  • 3 jaar geleden


    I don't whether you chaps agree with me but I thought Anand's biggest blunder was taking too much time on move 23

  • 3 jaar geleden


    Hows this for a comment from Anand when asked during interview: After a long time to make a move what were you thinking? I was thinking of what to eat for dinner - Anand. Lost respect for him as a champ. He blundered a move and he acted rude. Carlsen is king! 

  • 3 jaar geleden


    Carlson wins game 9. The torch has been passed.

  • 3 jaar geleden


    Yes!....d4 played and after move 12 the position looks very interesting.

    A good game of chess ahead....

  • 3 jaar geleden




  • 3 jaar geleden


    Vishy should today:

    • open with 1.d4...
    • not use any non-mathematical gambit play
    • castle after the opponent having castled, and that on the other side: e.g. if Carlsen plays 0-0, then Anand 0-0-0
    • If the pawn structure demands, or some special game plan arises in Anand's mind...he may not even castle.
    • focus on the middlegame, as it's perhaps the middle ground between Anand's strength & Carlsen's strength. If Vishy succeeds here, he may then go without fear in the endgame.
    • avoid exchanges as far as possible, keeping some suspense aliveCool...thus trying to put the opponent under subtle time pressure (that can gradually manifest). 
    • if both players fall into time scramble — in such process — then Anand should somehow gather mental strength       
  • 3 jaar geleden


    If anand plays as white in 3 out of the 4 games he can succeed because white is suppose to always win! If you play a specific opening such as when laser did and he memoried all of blacks replies, you cannot beat him.

  • 3 jaar geleden


    Anand will have to play some unbalanced chess, which is his only hope get an advantage or win. The problem is that Carlsen is good in those too, and it may have him looking for another win. I'd like to see Carlsen take another win.

  • 3 jaar geleden


    I was thinking Anand has accomplished all he wanted with chess and is ready to move on to the next stage of his life. His play in recent tournaments would also seem to affirm this in my eyes.

  • 3 jaar geleden


    Well, I think the Anand-Gelfand match was bad for chess. Anand playing to get to the rapid chess and win it there was not good news at all for the chess world. It was a match played by nr 4 and nr 20 in the worldTrue Gelfand won the candidates but it was boycotted by Carlsen and Aronian. Whatever happens in this match it will still be better then Anand-Gelfand match. Carlsen, unexperienced in match play, has focused on not being hasty :-) not being overoptimistic. He has focused on mental balance and done well. It's boring chess but from Carlsen it is understandable, less so from Anand. Still, I hope for 1.d4 tomorrow and more dynamic games to conclude the championship!

  • 3 jaar geleden


    Any reasonable person who takes a look at any random photo of Carlsen should realize there is no "psychological advantage" of any sort against him. He is like a machine. (I guess his heart rate barely goes above 30 per minute.)

    On the other hand, Anand's snapping at Anastasiya Karlovich at the press conference seems to suggest the opposite for him.

  • 3 jaar geleden


    Anand needs to use every psychological advantage that he can possibly think of at this point. Starting with shaving his head and wearing garish shirts and shoes. After each move, he should emit a high pitched sqeak, blink and twitch. It's unorthodox but perfectly legal. It is not different than using less extreme psychological influences. It may just be enough for Magnus to make a slight mistake. If Anand would go a step further and mumble to himself in a real sounding mixture of Chinese and Hebrew during pregame interviews, he will remain the world champion and get more hits on his name in Google. I have other good ideas if they hire me.

  • 3 jaar geleden


    LMAO, fatigue... Cool

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