Carlsen vs Anand 2014 World Chess Championship: Game 10 Analysis


The tenth game of the 2014 FIDE World Championship Match between two of most talented chess players ever was a study in adaptation. Anand opened, as I expected he would, with “1.d4″ and Magnus Carlsen chose to play the Grunfeld Defense. A brilliant strategist, Viswanathan Anand knew that he could not play against the Grunfeld as he did in round one, so he changed up his game plan and aggressively went after “The Mozart of Chess” with the double edged Russian Variation. Anand’s new strategy was met with Kasparov’s old line and the fight that ensued had Garry’s influence all over it.

The key point in this game occurred when Magnus played an inaccuracy on move sixteen. After Carlsen’s mistake, Anand was able to masterfully apply pressure to the young Norwegian right up until he let Magnus off the hook with his own inaccuracy on move twenty-four. After Vishy’s unfortunate mistake, all of his hard fought gains evaporated and the players quickly traded down to a draw.

Please enjoy my analysis of Game 10 from the 2014 FIDE World Chess Championship Match between Magnus Carlsen and Viswanathan Anand.


[Event “FIDE World Chess Chamopionship 2014”]
[Site “Sochi, Russia”]
[Date “2014.11.21”]
[Round “10”]
[White “Anand, Viswanathan (IND)”]
[Black “Carlsen, Magnus (NOR)”]
[Result “1/2-1/2”]
[Eco “D97”]
[Annotator “Chris Torres”]

{[ GRUNFELD def.,D97]}

1.d4 Nf6

2.c4 g6

3.Nc3 d5

4.Nf3 Bg7 {Magnus Carlsen has returned to the Grunfeld Defense which he used successfully all the way back in Game 1.}

5.Qb3 {After 5. Qb3, no one will rightfully be able to claim that Anand played passively in Game 10.}


Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 5. Qb3.
Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 5. Qb3.


5… dxc4

6.Qxc4 O-O

7.e4 Na6 {It’s no secret that Carlsen trained with Kasparov in the past and this
“Kasparovesque” line demonstrates the effect of the training.}


Position after Magnus Carlsen plays 7... Na6.
Position after Magnus Carlsen plays 7… Na6.


8.Be2 {This move is the best by test(over 800 high-level games worth.)}

8… c5 {The reason behind the knight being on a6.}

9.d5 e6 {The idea is for black to leave white with an isolated d-pawn. If white can
promote this passed pawn, he/she will likely win. On the other hand, if black
can capture it, then he/she will be playing for a win.}


Position after Magnus Carlsen plays 9... e6.
Position after Magnus Carlsen plays 9… e6.



10.O-O exd5

11.exd5 Re8 {Carlsen chooses a line that Kasparov used twice against Anand. The first of
those occasions ended in a loss for Vishy and the second a draw.}
( 11…Bf5 12.Rd1 Qb6 13.d6 Rad8 14.Na4 Qc6 15.Be3 Ne4 16.Qb5
Bd7 17.Qxc6 Bxc6 18.Bxa6 Bxa4 19.Bxb7 Bxd1 20.Bxe4 Bxf3 21.Bxf3
Bxb2 22.Rd1 Bd4 23.Bxd4 cxd4 24.Rxd4 Rd7 25.h4 Rfd8 26.Ra4 Rb8
{0-1, Anand Viswanathan (IND) 2771 – Kasparov Garry (RUS) 2851 , Frankfurt 1999 It (active) (cat.21})

12.Bg5 {Anand responded with a move that Piket employed to defeat Kasparov.}
( 12.Rd1 Bf5 13.d6 h6 14.Bf4 Nd7 15.Rd2 Nb4 16.Qb3 Be6 17.Bc4
Nb6 18.Bxe6 Rxe6 19.Na4 Re4 20.Bg3 Nc4 21.Nxc5 Nxd2 22.Nxd2 Re2
23.Qxb4 a5 24.Qxb7 Rxd2 25.d7 Rxb2 26.Qd5 Rb5 27.Rd1 Bf8 28.Bd6
Bxd6 29.Qxd6 Rab8 30.h3 Rb1 31.Rxb1 Rxb1+ {…1-0, Piket Jeroen (NED) 2625 – Kasparov Garry (RUS) 2795 , Amsterdam 1995 Memorial M.Euwe (cat.18)})

( 12.Be3 Bf5 13.Rad1 Qb6 14.b3 Ng4 15.Bd2 Ne5 16.Nxe5 Bxe5
17.Be3 Qa5 18.Rc1 Rac8 19.Rfd1 Nb4 20.d6 Red8 21.Bf4 Bd4 22.a3
Nc6 23.Nb5 Bb2 24.Bg5 Rd7 25.Qxc5 Re8 26.b4 Qa4 27.Bf1 Bxc1 28.Qxc1
Qc2 29.Qa1 h5 30.Nc7 Re4 31.Bd3 Qxd1+ {…1/2-1/2, Van Der Sterren Paul (NED) 2555 – Timman Jan H (NED) 2625 , Rotterdam 1997 Ch Netherlands})

( 12.Bf4 Bf5 13.Rad1 Ne4 14.Nb5 Bd7 15.Bd3 Bxb5 16.Qxb5 Nd6
17.Qb3 c4 18.Bxc4 Nc5 19.Qc2 Rc8 20.Bd3 Nxd3 21.Qxd3 Bxb2 22.Rb1
Bf6 23.Bxd6 Qxd6 24.Rxb7 Red8 25.Rxa7 Qxd5 26.Qxd5 Rxd5 27.Re1
Rc2 28.g3 g5 29.h3 h5 30.Kg2 Kg7 31.Ra6 Rf5 {…1/2-1/2, Kramnik Vladimir (RUS) 2780 – Ivanchuk Vassily (UKR) 2754 , Khanty Mansyisk 9/29/2010 Olympiad})


Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 12. Bg5.
Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 12. Bg5.



12… h6

13.Be3 {This move is regarded as the strongest continuation. However, the alternatives are very interesting as well.}
( 13.Bh4 Qb6 14.a3 Bf5 15.Bd3 Bxd3 16.Qxd3 Qxb2 17.Ra2 Qb6 18.Rb1
c4 19.Qxc4 Rac8 20.Qf1 Qc5 21.Bxf6 Bxf6 22.Nb5 Nb8 23.d6 Red8
24.Rd2 a6 25.Nbd4 Rxd6 26.Rxb7 Qxa3 27.Rd1 Bxd4 28.Nxd4 Qa4 29.Nb3
Rxd1 30.Qxd1 Qc6 31.Re7 Qc4 32.h3 Nc6 {…1/2-1/2, Szczechowicz Bartosz (POL) 2200 – Miton Kamil (POL) 2415 , Trzebinia 1998 Ch Poland (juniors) (under 20)})

( 13.Bf4 Bf5 14.Ne5 Qb6 15.d6 Be6 16.Qd3 Qb4 17.Qd2 g5 18.Bg3
c4 19.f4 gxf4 20.Bxf4 Nd5 21.Bxh6 Nxc3 22.Bxg7 Nxe2+ 23.Qxe2
Kxg7 24.Qh5 Qxd6 25.Rxf7+ Bxf7 26.Qxf7+ Kh6 27.Ng4+ Kg5 28.Qg7+
{1-0, Antoshin Vladimir S (RUS) 2250 – Kozma Julius (CSR) 2380 , Sochi 1963 It})

13… Bf5

14.Rad1 Ne4 {Magnus plays a strong novelty. The question begging to be answered is if it was shown to him by Kasparov in their historic training sessions.}
( 14…Qb6 15.b3 Rad8 16.Rd2 Ng4 17.Bf4 Qa5 18.Rc1 g5 19.Bg3
Bxc3 20.Qxc3 Qxc3 21.Rxc3 Nf6 22.Bb5 Ne4 23.Re3 Nxd2 24.Rxe8+
Rxe8 25.Bxe8 Ne4 26.Ne5 f6 27.Nc4 Kf8 28.Bb5 Nxg3 29.Bxa6 bxa6
30.hxg3 Ke7 31.f3 Bb1 32.a3 Bc2 33.Na5 Kd6 34.Nc4+ {…0-1, Wojtaszek Radoslaw (POL) 2733 – Ponomariov Ruslan (UKR) 2735 , Poikovsky 9/29/2012 It (cat.18)})


Position after Magnus Carlsen plays 14... Ne4.
Position after Magnus Carlsen plays 14… Ne4.



15.Nxe4 Bxe4 {Also possible was Rxe4 with play likely to continue with:}
( 15…Rxe4 16.Qc1 Nb4 17.d6 Rc8 18.Qd2 Be6 )

16.Qc1 Qf6 {?}
{Carlsen plays the first innacuracy of the game. Better was:}
( 16…Nb4 17.d6 Nd5 18.Qxc5 Rc8 {and black is developing a dangerous initiative.})

17.Bxh6 {!} {The most direct punishment for Carlsen’s mistake.}


The position after Viswanathan Anand plays 17. Bxh6.
The position after Viswanathan Anand plays 17. Bxh6.


17.. Qxb2

18.Qxb2 Bxb2

19.Ng5 Bd4

20.Nxe4 {Given the situation, this is a somewhat automatic capture but Bb5 should also be considered.}
( 20.Bb5 Bxd5 21.Bxe8 Rxe8 22.Rfe1 Rc8 {is a peculiar position with a very interesting set of imbalances.})


The position after Viswanathan Anand plays 20. Nxe4.
The position after Viswanathan Anand plays 20. Nxe4.



20… Rxe4

21.Bf3 {White still has the initiative and the passed pawn.}

21… Re7

22.d6 Rd7

23.Bf4 Nb4

24.Rd2 {?} {This is where Anand loses his opportunity for a victory. Better was:}
( 24.a3 {!} Nc6 25.Rfe1 Rad8 26.Rb1 {and only Caissa knows if Anand could have converted this into a victory in route to taking back the world championship title.})


The position after Viswanathan Anand played 24. Rd2.
The position after Viswanathan Anand played 24. Rd2.


24… Re8 {Carlsen manages to escape from the tiger’s claws again.}

25.Rc1 Re6

26.h4 {Anand shows that he has some resources left in pushing his kingside pawns.}
Be5 {Now Anand must trade bishops or Carlsen will trade for him.}

27.Bxe5 Rxe5

28.Bxb7 {Vishy throws in the towel with this move. At this point in the match, he needs
to keep the complexity in whichever advantageous positions he has left. To try
and claw his way back into the match he needed to play something like:}
( 28.g3 Nc6 29.Bg4 f5 30.f4 {and give Carlsen more opportunities to lose.})


The position after Viswanathan Anand plays 28. Bxb7.
The position after Viswanathan Anand plays 28. Bxb7.



28… Rxb7

29.d7 {The pawn looks threatening if you don’t notice that Carlsen has an extra knight within striking distance.}

29… Nc6



The position after Viswanathan Anand plays 30. d8=Q+
The position after Viswanathan Anand plays 30. d8=Q+


30… Nxd8

31.Rxd8+ Kg7

32.Rd2 {and the players agreed to a draw. Anand is still a point down in the match and is running out of opportunities to equalize.}


If you enjoyed this lesson, please check out my posts on the previous rounds:

Game 1

Game 2

Game 3

Game 4

Game 5

Game 6

Game 7

Game 8

Game 9

and the official site for the 2014 FIDE World Championship Match in Sochi, Russia.

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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