Sochi, Game 11: Triumph of Objectivity

Время публикации: 24.11.2014 05:53 | Последнее обновление: 25.11.2014 16:18

Anand overpushes and loses the match repeating Topalov's mistake

The 11th game of the World Chess Championship match in Sochi has become the final one, bringing the overall victory to Magnus Carlsen. It was dramatic and tense; Viswanathan Anand, who was handling a very complicated position really well for a long time, carried out a spectacular pawn breakthrough which gave him some iniviative. However, in the critical moment he was unable to keep his nerves (and the position) under control.

On the opposite, Carlsen got very mobilized right after he had faced the problems, and his further play was in fact immaculate. To summarize, one can say that the Norwegian's victory was well deserved. There will hardly be too many people disputing the fact that Magnus was simply a bit better.

Anand has been let down by his desire to win - otherwise we would most probably see all the twelve games. A similar story had happened to Veselin Topalov in the match against Anand himself, when the Bulgarian took too many unnecessary risks and allowed Anand to win the game and the match at once.

Whatever happened, it happened - Carlsen has confirmed his status of the best player in the world. As for Anand, his 19-years series of participating in the World Championship finals is now under the threat of being interrupted; nevertheless, the Indian's phenomenal chess path is for a very few people to repeat.

The final score is: Carlsen 6.5 - Anand 4.5.

Photo report

All the information about the World Championship match

The Ruy Lopez
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.0–0 Nxe4 5.d4 Nd6 6.Bxc6 dxc6 7.dxe5 Nf5 8.Qxd8+ Kxd8 9.h3 Bd7. Anand chose the calmer 9...Ke8 10.Nc3 h5 in the games 7 and 9. For the decisive battle, he picked out another critical branch of the Berlin Defence.
10.Nc3 h6 11.b3 Kc8 12.Bb2 c5!? 13.Rad1 b6 14.Rfe1 (14.Nd5 is more common).

14...Be6. Leading the game away from the previous paths by top players; for example, 14...Ne7 15.Ne2 Ng6 was played in Anand - Nakamura, London 2010.
15.Nd5 g5!? (neutralizing Nf4 once and for all) 16.c4 Kb7 17.Kh2!? a5 18.a4. This is usual for the Berlin Wall: White has to accept the potential weakness on b3 if he wants to prevent a5-a4 and lock the queenside.
18...Ne7! 19.g4 Ng6 20.Kg3 Be7 21.Nd2 Rhd8 22.Ne4 (22.Nxe7 Nxe7 23.Ne4 Ng6 leads to mutual chances) 22...Bf8! 23.Nef6?!

23...b5! A brilliant positional sacrifice by Anand. Black tries to open up the queenside without c7-c6 (this square can be useful for the king). However, the problem is White is not obliged to accept the gift, and the position remains closed.
24.Bc3. After 24.axb5 a4! the a8-rook comes into the play, and Black's compensation for the pawn is at least sufficient in case of either 25.bxa4 or 25.Re3 a3!. Even worse is 24.cxb5? c6!, and White can't secure his d5-knight - see the annotation to the 18th move!
24...bxc4 25.bxc4 Kc6!

26.Kf3! Perhaps it was this interesting decision that has disordered Anand's analytical mechanism: with so many pieces present, the king calmly goes to the very center to protect the knight! An illustrative line is, for example, 26...Ne7?! 27.Ke4!.
26...Rdb8. Black was having a really difficult time trying to choose between many lines. The commentators' duet, Svidler and Nepomniachtchi, were also jumping from one move to another. Anand was considering 26...Bg7 in order to attack White's construction in the center, but in this case White has 27.Nh5 Bh8 28.Ke4! (again) with rough equality.
However, 26...Be7! would have posed definite problems for White. The position after 27.Ke4 Bxf6 28.exf6 is the one Vishy meant while thinking of 26...Bg7, although, as he admitted, he wasn't already 'thinking very clearly' (probably as well as many other journalists, commentators and translators at the end of the match - AD). Black is somewhat better after 28...Bxd5+ (28...Rd6!? - Anand) 29.cxd5+ Kd6, but the situation isn't looking fatal for White.

27.Ke4! Rb4?! 'I don't think his exchange sacrifice was justified' - Carlsen. 'I can't understand why I went for the exchange sacrifice... I saw that I could play 27...Rb3 and it's roughly equal: 28.Rb1 Rab8 29.Rxb3 Rxb3 30.Bxa5 Ra3 31.Bxc7 Rxa4' - Anand.
28.Bxb4 cxb4?! It's clear that Anand's idea was to bring the f8-bishop back to life, not only to create the protected passed pawn. However, his central fortification becomes much weaker once the c5-pawn goes aside. After 28...axb4 Black's compensation for the exchange could have been nearly sufficient.

29.Nh5 (the immediate 29.f4 is interesting too) 29...Kb7 (preparing c7-c6; the alternative was 29...Re8) 30.f4! gxf4. The irrational line 30...Bd7 31.f5 Bxa4 32.fxg6 fxg6 33.Nhf6 Bc2+!? 34.Kd4 Bxd1 35.Rxd1 c6 is an interesting chance but still doesn't work due to 36.Nd7! cxd5 37.cxd5 and the white pawns are far more dangerous.
31.Nhxf4 Nxf4?! 31...c6 is more persistent. Now Carlsen delivers a series of final blows.

32.Nxf4! (32.Kxf4? c6! would have led to a type of position desirable for Black) 32...Bxc4 33.Rd7! The only winning move! Black can't repel both threats (Nd5 and Rc1) at the same time.
33...Ra6. As Anand had said once: 'In a bad position, all moves are bad', and this is exactly the case. If 33...Kc6 then 34.Rd4 or 34.Rd2 are good enough, with the same follow-up: Rc1, Nd5, etc.
34.Nd5! (not 34.Rc1? Rc6) 34...Rc6 35.Rxf7 Bc5

36.Rxc7+! Rxc7 37.Nxc7 Kc6 (37...b3 38.Ne8 and Nd6 is also hopeless; 37...Kxc7 38.Rc1 is just resignable) 38.Nb5 Bxb5 39.axb5+ Kxb5. It might seem that there is some hope for Black due to his connected passed pawns, but in fact he is too short of time for anything real.

40.e6 (White can already choose from several ways) 40...b3 41.Kd3 Be7 42.h4! a4 43.g5 hxg5 44.hxg5 a3 45.Kc3. 1–0 (Annotated by GM Mikhail Golubev, translated from Russian by GM Andrey Deviatkin)

[Event "WCh 2014"] [Site "Sochi RUS"] [Date "2014.11.23"] [Round "11"] [White "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Black "Anand, Viswanathan"] [Result "1-0"] [WhiteElo "2863"] [BlackElo "2792"] [ECO "C67"] [Opening "Ruy Lopez"] [Variation "Berlin defence, open variation"] [EventDate "2014.11.04"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. O-O Nxe4 5. d4 Nd6 6. Bxc6 dxc6 7. dxe5 Nf5 8. Qxd8+ Kxd8 9. h3 Bd7 10. Nc3 h6 11. b3 Kc8 12. Bb2 c5 13. Rad1 b6 14. Rfe1 Be6 15. Nd5 g5 16. c4 Kb7 17. Kh2 a5 18. a4 Ne7 19. g4 Ng6 20. Kg3 Be7 21. Nd2 Rhd8 22. Ne4 Bf8 23. Nef6 b5 24. Bc3 bxa4 25. bxa4 Kc6 26. Kf3 Rdb8 27. Ke4 Rb4 28. Bxb4 cxb4 29. Nh5 Kb7 30. f4 gxf4 31. Nhxf4 Nxf4 32. Nxf4 Bxc4 33. Rd7 Ra6 34. Nd5 Rc6 35. Rxf7 Bc5 36. Rxc7+ Rxc7 37. Nxc7 Kc6 38. Nb5 Bxb5 39. axb5+ Kxb5 40. e6 b3 41. Kd3 Be7 42. h4 a4 43. g5 hxg5 44. hxg5 a3 45. Kc3 1-0


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