Carlsen vs Anand 2014 Word Chess Championship: Game 3 Analysis

Viswanathan Anand was in a desperate search for a victory in Round 3 and he found it! A large portion of today’s game followed established Queen’s Gambit Declined Theory. On move seventeen, it was obvious by Magnus Carlsen’s agonized expression and long pause that he was unprepared for Anand’s Ng5. What followed was a brilliant display of Vishy combining his incredible memory with the killer instinct that earned him the nickname, “Tiger from Madras.”


The "Tiger from Madras" has returned!
The “Tiger from Madras” has returned!
An area of great interest in round three occurred on move twenty-six when Carlsen played pawn to g5 threatening Anand’s Bishop. Anand retreated his bishop to g3 rather than punishing the Norwegian’s inaccurate play with Be5. The limited success achieved by Vishy’s retreat was short lived however. Carlsen, who was under extreme pressure from the clock, employed a misguided plan from move 27… Bb4 until 29… Bxc7. It was this failed idea that allowed Anand to gain a decisive advantage and equalize the match heading into game four.
Below is my analysis of Game 3 from the 2014 FIDE World Chess Championship:
[Event “FIDE World Chess Championship 2014”]
[Site “Sochi, Russia”]
[Date “2014.11.11”]
[Round “”]
[White “Anand, Viswanathan (IND)”]
[Black “Carlsen, Magnus (NOR)”]
[Result “1-0”]
[Eco “D37”]
[Annotator “Chris Torres”]

{[ QUEEN’S gam. var. WITH 5.BF4,D37]}

1.d4 Nf6
2.c4 e6
3.Nf3 d5 {Magnus Carlsen has chosen the reliable Queen’s Gambit Declined this time around.}
4.Nc3 Be7
Position after Magnus Carlsen played 4... Be7.
Position after Magnus Carlsen played 4… Be7.
5.Bf4 {Historically, this is white’s second most popular placement for the bishop with Bg5 being the most frequently played move.}
5… O-O
6.e3 Nbd7
7.c5 {This move has been in fashion following some nice successes by Levon Aronian. However, the match commentator, Peter Svidler preferred 7. Qc2 in an interesting game from 2008.}
( 7.Qc2 c5 8.dxc5 Nxc5 9.Be2 dxc4 10.Bxc4 Bd7 11.O-O Qb6 12.Rfd1
Rfd8 13.Be2 Be8 14.Nd2 Nd5 15.Nc4 Nb4 16.Nxb6 Nxc2 17.Nxa8 Nxa1
18.Rxd8 Bxd8 19.Bd6 Na4 20.Nd1 Bf6 21.b3 Nc3 22.Nxc3 Bxc3 23.Bf3
Bc6 24.Bxc6 bxc6 25.Bc5 a6 26.Nc7 a5 {…1-0, Svidler Peter (RUS) 2727 – Jakovenko Dmitry (RUS) 2737 , Sochi 8/13/2008 It (cat.19)})
Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 7. c5.
Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 7. c5.
7… c6 {Carlsen chooses the c6 line. A nice alternative is Nh5.}
( 7…Nh5 8.Bd3 Nxf4 9.exf4 b6 10.b4 a5 11.a3 c6 12.O-O Qc7 13.g3
Ba6 14.Kg2 Bf6 15.Bxa6 Rxa6 16.Qc2 Rfa8 17.Rab1 axb4 18.axb4
Ra3 19.Rb3 Rxb3 20.Qxb3 Qb7 21.Rb1 h6 22.h4 h5 23.Ne5 {1/2-1/2, Radjabov Teimour (AZE) 2752 – Kramnik Vladimir (RUS) 2791 , Kazan 5/ 9/2011 Ch World (candidates) (active)})
8.Bd3 b6
9.b4 a5
10.a3 Ba6 {This has all been played hundreds of times at the highest levels of chess.}
11.Bxa6 {Viswanathan Anand chooses a relatively rare line that creates a dangerous passed pawn for white.}
( 11.O-O Qc8 12.Qc2 Bxd3 13.Qxd3 Nh5 14.Be5 Qb7 15.Rfc1 Rfc8
16.h3 Nxe5 17.Nxe5 b5 18.Rcb1 Qc7 19.a4 axb4 20.axb5 bxc3 21.Nxc6
Nf6 22.Qxc3 Bf8 23.Rxa8 Rxa8 24.Ra1 Ne4 25.Qb2 Re8 26.Ne5 Nxc5
27.b6 Qb7 28.Qb5 Ra8 29.Rxa8 Qxa8 30.dxc5 Qa1+ {…1-0, Nyback Tomi (FIN) 2639 – Carlsen Magnus (NOR) 2786 , Dresden 11/19/2008 Olympiad})
Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 11. Bxa6.
Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 11. Bxa6.
11… Rxa6
12.b5 cxb5
13.c6 {A passed pawn is born.}
13… Qc8 {Magnus Carlsen defends his knight with a pin.}
( 13…b4 14.Nb5 bxa3 15.cxd7 Bb4+ 16.Ke2 Qxd7 17.Qd3 Ne4 18.Rhc1
f6 19.Rc7 Qd8 20.Na7 b5 21.Nxb5 Rb6 22.Rc2 Qe8 23.Nxa3 Qa4 24.Raa2
Rc6 25.Nb1 Rfc8 26.Rcb2 Qxa2 27.Rxa2 Rc1 28.Rb2 g5 29.Nfd2 Bxd2
30.Nxd2 Nc3+ 31.Kf3 gxf4 32.Rb7 f5 33.Qa6 {…1-0, Olafsson Helgi (ISL) 2270 – Al-Tamimi Hamad (QAT) 2302 , Turin 6/ 4/2006 Olympiad})
14.c7 {A lot of extra tactical possibilities exist for the player whose pawn is but one step away from promotion.}
( 14.Nxb5 Qxc6 15.Nc7 Ra7 16.Rc1 Qb7 17.a4 Bb4+ 18.Ke2 Rc8 19.Qd3
Nh5 20.Nb5 Nxf4+ 21.exf4 Raa8 22.f5 Nf8 23.Ne5 Rxc1 24.Rxc1 Rc8
25.Rc2 f6 26.Ng4 exf5 27.Ne3 f4 28.Qf5 Rxc2+ 29.Nxc2 Qc6 30.Kd1
Bd6 31.Nc3 Be5 32.Kd2 g6 33.Qh3 Bd6 {…1-0, Efimov Igor (MNC) 2467 – Costantini Roberto (ITA) 2314 , Reggio Emilia 2001 It (cat.8)})
Position after Viswanathan  Anand plays 14. c7.
Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 14. c7.
14… b4 {Both Viswanathan Anand and Magnus Carlsen are deep within their memorized territory.}
15.Nb5 a4 {Carlsen’s other choice were:} ( 15…Ne4 16.O-O bxa3
17.Qa4 g5 18.Bg3 g4 19.Ne1 Nd2 20.Qd1 Nxf1 21.Qxg4+ Kh8 22.Kxf1
Ra8 23.Nc2 Qa6 24.Qe2 Rg8 25.Ncxa3 Rac8 26.Bf4 f6 27.Rc1 Nc5
28.dxc5 bxc5 29.e4 dxe4 30.Nd6 Qxe2+ 31.Kxe2 Rxc7 32.Nf7+ Kg7
33.Bxc7 Kxf7 34.g3 a4 35.Nc4 {…1-0, Karpov Anatoly (RUS) 2688 – Georgiev Kiril (MKD) 2654 , Dubai 2002 Cup World (active)}
) ( 15…bxa3 16.O-O Nh5 17.Qc2 Nxf4 18.exf4 Qb7 19.Ne5 Nc5 20.dxc5
bxc5 21.Rfb1 c4 22.Nd7 Rfa8 23.Qa4 h6 24.h3 Qc8 25.Nb8 Rb6 26.Kh2
Bb4 27.g3 Raxb8 28.cxb8=Q Qxb8 29.Nd4 Bc5 30.Nb5 Bb4 31.Nd4 Bc5
32.Nb5 {1/2-1/2, Sedlak Nikola (SRB) 2550 – Pavlovic Milos (SRB) 2531 , Vrnjacka Banja 8/29/2010 Ch Serbia (team) (1 liga)})
16.Rc1 Ne4
17.Ng5 {Watching the live broadcast, I couldn’t help but notice that this move made Carlsen very uncomfortable.}
( 17.Nd2 e5 18.Nxe4 dxe4 19.Bxe5 Nxe5 20.dxe5 Bc5 21.Qd5 bxa3
22.O-O Qa8 23.Qd7 Qc8 24.Rfd1 Qxd7 25.Rxd7 Raa8 26.Nd6 h6 27.Nxe4
Rfc8 28.Nd6 Bxd6 29.exd6 b5 30.Re7 b4 31.d7 b3 32.dxc8=Q+ Rxc8
33.Rd7 b2 34.Rd8+ Kh7 35.Rf1 Rxc7 36.Rb8 Rc1 {…0-1, Jendrichovsky Peter (SVK) 2147 – Goumas Georgios (GRE) 2315 , Fermo 9/ 3/2009 Ch Europe (juniors) (under 18)})
Magnus Carlsen's expression after Anand played 17. Ng5(photo from: http://susanpolgar.blogspot.com/)
Magnus Carlsen’s expression after Anand played 17. Ng5(photo from: http://susanpolgar.blogspot.com/)
17… Ndf6 {Magnus thought for about half-an-hour before choosing Ndf6. A more aggressive response would have been:}
( 17…Bxg5 18.Bxg5 Ra5 19.Be7 Rxb5 20.Bxf8 Kxf8 21.Qxa4 Ra5
22.Qxb4+ Ke8 23.f3 Nef6 )
18.Nxe4 Nxe4
19.f3 Ra5 {Another idea worth considering is:}
( 19…Nc3 20.Nxc3 bxc3 21.Rxc3 b5 )
20.fxe4 {I really like Anand’s innovation here. Levon Aronian chose to play 20. Qe2 in 2013:}
{ [20. Qe2 Qd7 21. fxe4 Rc8 22. exd5 exd5 23. axb4 Rxb5 24. O-O Rxb4 25. Qa6 h6
26. Rc6 Bg5 27. Bxg5 hxg5 28. Rfc1 Rc4 29. R1xc4 dxc4 30. Qxb6 a3 31. Rxc4 a2
32. Qa5 Qe6 33. Qxa2 Rxc7 34. Qa8+ Kh7 35. Rxc7 Qxe3+ 36. Kf1 Qf4+ 37. Qf3 Qxc7
38. Qh5+ Kg8 39. Qxg5 Qc4+ 40. Kf2 Qxd4+ 1/2-1/2 Levon Aronian 2795 – Michael Adams 2753 Bilbao 10/07/2013 Bilbao Masters]}
Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 20. fxe4.
Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 20. fxe4.
20… Rxb5
21.Qxa4 Ra5
22.Qc6 {From watching the live broadcast it is clear that Anand is still playing moves from
his memory while Carlsen has really been having to work.}
22… bxa3
23.exd5 {This was a key moment in the game for Magnus Carlsen with his options being: 1)Bb4+, 2)Rxd5 and 3)exd5}
23… Rxd5 {Some analysis of the other two options:} ( 23…Bb4+ 24.Kf2
Rxd5 25.Qxb6 Be7 26.Rhf1 {and white looks good.} )
( 23…exd5 24.O-O Ra8 25.Qxd5 Qe6 26.Qb7 {Here, white also looks good.})
Position after Magnus Carlsen plays 23... Rxd5.
Position after Magnus Carlsen plays 23… Rxd5.
24.Qxb6 Qd7 {Unfortunately for Magnus, white also looks good here.}
25.O-O {This was likely Anand’s first move that wasn’t preconceived and he missed the best attacking possibility of Qa6.}
( 25.Qa6 Qc8 26.Qc4 Rf5 27.Rb1 a2 28.Qxa2 Rxf4 29.exf4 Qxc7 30.O-O )
25… Rc8 {Magnus Carlsen is actually doing quite well when one considers that he played
against Anand’s preparation so deeply into this game.}
Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 26. Rc6.
Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 26. Rc6.
26… g5 {?} {The first in a series of inaccuracies for Magnus.}
( 26…Bb4 27.Ra1 h6 )
27.Bg3 {?} {Anand responds with an inaccuracy of his own.}
( 27.Be5 Ra5 28.Rxe6 {!} Qxe6 29.Qxa5 )
27… Bb4 {?} ( 27…g4 28.Be5 Bg5 29.Rc3 Be7 {is likely good enough for a draw.} )
28.Ra1 Ba5{?} {And this mistake gave Anand a decisive advantage.}
29.Qa6{!} {When the smoke clears, Carlsen will be down material with no compensation.}
Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 29. Qa6.
Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 29. Qa6.
29… Bxc7 {?} {This whole plan by Carlsen was ill-conceived.}
30.Qc4 {!} {The Tiger from Madras has returned!}
30… e5
31.Bxe5 Rxe5
32.dxe5 Qe7
33.e6 Kf8
34.Rc1 {And Carlsen resigned without looking Anand in the eyes.}


In round 3, Viswanathan Anand returned to vintage form.
In round 3, Viswanathan Anand returned to vintage form.


2014 FIDE World Chess Championship Game 1 Analysis


2014 FIDE World Chess Championship Game 2 Analysis

Published by chessmusings

Chris Torres is a nationally renowned scholastic chess coach working in the San Francisco Bay Area. His classes have attracted players of strengths ranging from rank beginners to world champions. A chess professional since 1998, Chris is widely recognized as one of the main driving forces behind the explosion in popularity and sudden rise in quality of scholastic chess in California. Chris Torres served as the President of the Torres Chess and Music Academy from 2005-2020 and currently is recognized as a correspondence chess master with the United States Chess Federation. Since 1998 Chris Torres has taught 6 individual national champions as well as led multiple school teams to win national championship titles. In addition, Chris Torres has directed and taught at 10 different schools which have been California State Champions at chess. In 2011 and 2012, several former and current students of Chris Torres have been selected to represent the United States at the World Youth Chess Championships. Mr. Torres’ hobbies include playing classical guitar and getting his students to appear on the national top 100 chess rating lists.

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