Carlsen vs Anand World Chess Championship 2014: Game 11 Analysis

Timing is critical whether you are playing in a poker tournament at your kitchen table or in the World Chess Championship match. Often times, chess players wait until they are too far behind to play ambitiously enough to win the game.  In game 11 of the 2014 FIDE World Chess Championship Match, Viswanathan Anand decided to “go for it” on move 27. Down a point with only one more game to go, Vishy took a calculated gamble on move 27 and unfortunately followed it up with an inaccuracy on move 28. Magnus Carlsen steered through the remaining pitfalls in the position with ease and emerged victorious in the game and match.


Norway's Magnus Carlsen shows his trophy at the award ceremony of the FIDE World Chess Championship Match  in Sochi, Russia, Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014.   Magnus Carlsen won against India's former World Champion Vishwanathan Anand, left. At right is FIDE president Kirsan Ilyumzhinov. AP/PTI(AP11_26_2014_000006A)
Norway’s Magnus Carlsen shows his trophy at the award ceremony of the FIDE World Chess Championship Match in Sochi, Russia, Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014. Magnus Carlsen won against India’s former World Champion Vishwanathan Anand, left. At right is FIDE president Kirsan Ilyumzhinov. AP/PTI(AP11_26_2014_000006A)
Below are my thoughts on game 11 of the 2014 FIDE World Chess Championship Match. It has been my goal during this match to break down the though processes of Magnus Carlsen and Viswanathan Anand to a level where it is accessible to the school age chess stars and weekend chess warriors. I hope you have enjoyed the effort.
[Event “FIDE World Chess Chamopionship 2014”]
[Site “Sochi, Russia”]
[Date “2014.11.23”]
[Round “11”]
[White “Carlsen, Magnus (NOR)”]
[Black “Anand, Viswanathan (IND)”]
[Result “1-0”]
[Eco “C67”]
[Annotator “Chris Torres”]

{[ RUY LOPEZ. BERLIN def.,C67]}

1.e4 e5
2.Nf3 Nc6
3.Bb5 Nf6
4.O-O {For 4. d3, see Game 2 from the Carlsen-Anand World Championship Match of 2014 or Game 6 and Game 7 from their 2013 World Championship Match.}
4… Nxe4
5.d4 Nd6 {5… Be7 was Lasker’s favorite:
5… Be7 6.Qe2 Nd6 7.Bxc6 bxc6 8.dxe5 Nb7 9.Nd4 O-O 10.Nc3 Nc5 11.Re1 Ne6
12.Nf5 f6 13.Nxe7+ Qxe7 14.exf6 Qxf6 15.Ne4 Qg6 16.c3 d6 17.Ng3 Bd7 18.Be3 Rae8
19.Qc4 Kh8 20.Rad1 c5 21.Qh4 Bc6 22.Qb4 {1/2-1/2, Mason, James (ENG) Lasker, Emanuel (GER), London 1892 Match)}
6.Bxc6 dxc6 {It is best for black to take back with the queen’diagonals’s pawn to open up lines for his pieces.}
7.dxe5 Nf5
8.Qxd8+ Kxd8
9.h3 {Of course, Nc3 is also very playable as demonstrated by Tal:
{( 9.Nc3 Ke8 10.Ne2 Be7 11.Re1 Nh4 12.Ng5 Ng6 13.Ng3 h6 14.Nf3 c5 15.h3 h5
16.Ne4 Be6 17.Nfg5 Bxg5 18.Bxg5 b6 19.Rad1 Ne7 20.Rd3 Rd8 21.Bf6 Rxd3 22.Bxg7
Rd4 23.Bxh8 h4 24.Bf6 Ng6 25.f3 Kd7 26.Kf2 Kc6 27.Ke3 Ra4 28.a3 Rd4 29.Re2 Rd1
30.Nc3 Rg1 31.Kf2 Rh1 32.Rd2 Bf5 33.Ne2 Ra1 34.Ke3 a5 35.Nf4 c4 36.Nxg6 fxg6
37.c3 Bd3 38.Bxh4 Kd5 39.Kf4 b5 40.Bd8 Kc6 41.e6 Re1 42.e7 Kd7 43.b4 {1-0, Tal, Mikhail N (LAT) 2660  Shamkovich, Leonid (USA) 2540 , Dubna 1973}
10.Nc3 {In game 4 from 2013, Magnus played Rd1 here.}
10… h6
11.b3 Kc8 {Both Carlsen and Anand are playing straight out of “the book.”}
12.Bb2 c5 {Anand is choosing a rare line in order to test Carlsen’s preparations.}
13.Rad1 b6
14.Rfe1 {Magnus took a long think and played Rfe1 rather than the usual Nd5.}
( 14.Nd5 a5 15.Rd2 a4 16.Rfd1 Bc6 17.c4 axb3 18.axb3 Kb7 19.g4
Ne7 20.Kg2 Ra2 21.Kg3 b5 22.Nc3 Ra5 23.cxb5 Bxb5 24.Rc2 Bc6 25.Nd2 Ng6 26.Nc4 Ra8 27.Nd5 h5 28.Rcd2 hxg4 29.hxg4 Bb5 30.f4 Be7 31.Nxe7 Nxe7 32.f5 Rhe8 33.Na3 Bc6 {…1-0, Zhigalko Andrey (BLR) 2554 – Podolchenko Evgeniy (BLR) 2460 , Minsk 1/17/2007 Ch Belarus})
( 14.Rd3 Bc6 15.Re1 Be7 16.Nd5 Kb7 17.e6 Bxd5 18.Rxd5 Nd6 19.exf7 Bf6 20.Bxf6 gxf6 21.Re6 Nxf7 22.Rxf6 Nd6 23.Rh5 Rhe8 24.Re5 Rxe5 25.Nxe5 Ne4 26.Rxh6 Rd8 27.Nd3 c4 28.bxc4 Rd4 29.Rh4 {1-0, Carlsson Pontus (SWE) 2502 – Aboudi M (JOR) 2192 , Dubai 4/12/2011 It (open)})
14… Be6 ( 14…Ne7 15.Ne2 Ng6 16.h4 Be7 17.e6 Bxe6 18.h5 Nh4 19.Nf4 Nxf3+ 20.gxf3 Bd6 21.Nxe6 fxe6 22.Rxe6 Rf8 23.Bxg7 Rf5 24.Re8+ Kb7 25.Rxa8 Kxa8 26.Bxh6 Rxh5 27.Be3 Kb7 28.c4 Kc6 29.Kg2 Rh2+ 30.Kf1 Rh1+ 31.Ke2 Rxd1 32.Kxd1 Kd7 33.Bg5 Ke6 34.a4 {…1/2-1/2, Anand Viswanathan (IND) 2800 – Nakamura Hikaru (USA) 2733 , London 12/ 8/2010 It (cat.19)})
( 14…a5 15.a4 Ne7 16.Ne2 Ng6 17.h4 h5 18.g3 Be7 19.c4 Bf5
20.Nc3 Kb7 21.Nd2 c6 22.Nf1 Bg4 23.Rc1 Rad8 24.Nd1 Rhe8 25.Nde3
Rd3 26.Bc3 Bc8 27.Nd1 Nf8 28.f4 Ne6 29.Nf2 Rdd8 30.Ne4 Nd4 31.Nfd2
Bf5 32.Kf2 Rd7 33.Nf6 Bxf6 34.exf6 {…1/2-1/2, Motylev Alexander (RUS) 2710 – Ponomariov Ruslan (UKR) 2727 , Khanty Mansyisk 11/28/2009 Cup World})
15.Nd5 g5 {A rare and interesting idea developed by the Russian chess player Yuri N Vitoshinskiy. With this move, Anand is allowing Carlsen’s knight an outpost on f6 but is stopping white from mobilizing his four on three pawn majority. Allowing your opponent a knight on the sixth is usually a disastrous mistake
which is why this idea has only been tried once before.}
Position after Viswanathan Anand played 15... g5.
Position after Viswanathan Anand played 15… g5.
16.c4 {Even in the heavily analyzed Berlin Defense to the Ruy Lopez, our players are “out of book” by move 16!}
( 16.Nh2 Kb7 17.f4 Nd4 18.Bxd4 cxd4 19.Nf6 gxf4 20.Nf3 Bb4 21.Rf1 c5 22.Nd2 a5 23.Rxf4 a4 24.Nde4 axb3 25.axb3 Ra2 26.Rf2 Rha8 27.g4 Ra1 28.Rxa1 Rxa1+ 29.Kh2 b5 30.h4 c4 31.bxc4 bxc4 32.g5 hxg5 33.h5 Bf8 34.Nxg5 Bh6 35.Nxe6 fxe6 36.Ng8 Re1 37.Nxh6 Rxe5 38.Ng4 Rxh5+ 39.Kg3 Rd5 40.Kf4 d3 {1/2-1/2, Zhidkov – Vitoshinskiy Yuriy N (RUS) 2165, Dubna (Russia) 2001})
16… Kb7 {This is a fine place for the king in order to move closer towards giving the rooks free access to the back rank.}
17.Kh2 {Carlsen responds by moving his king out the back rank as well. I imagine Magnus is waiting to discover Anand’s intentions before commiting to a more concrete plan.}
17… a5 {Anand grabs more space for his rook and could postentially open up the file if Carlsen falls asleep behind the wheel.}
18.a4 {Magnus shuts down all the activity on the queen-side for now.}
18… Ne7 {Anand makes a nice move that adds an extra attacker to Carlsen d5 knight as well as keeps the options open as to where Anand’s knight will transfer to.}
19.g4 {Carlsen blocks Anand off on the king-side as well. For the moment, Carlsen’s rook is the only rook in an open file.}
19… Ng6 {Capturing Carlsen’s knight here would be disastrous for black:} ( 19…Nxd5 20.cxd5 Bc8 )
20.Kg3 Be7 {Finally, Anand’s rooks are unified. Both players have navigated the opening well.}
Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 20... Be7.
Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 20… Be7.
21.Nd2 {Magnus prepares his advance of a knight to the f6 outpost.}
21… Rhd8 {Anand places a rook into the open file as well.}
22.Ne4 Bf8 {Anand gives his bishop the option of moving to the a1-h8 diagonal.}
23.Nef6 {Magnus’ pieces are placed beautifully.}
23… b5 {!} {This is an aggressive and somewhat unexpected response from Anand. A more tempered approach would be:}
( 23…c6 24.Ne3 Nf4 25.Nf5 )
Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 23... b5.
Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 23… b5.
24.Bc3 {Magnus avoids playing axb5 immediately as it would give Anand the upper hand.}( 24.axb5 a4 25.bxa4 Rxa4 26.Rc1 Ra2 27.Bc3 Be7 )
24… bxa4 {Anand had several other paths to consider:}
( 24…bxc4 25.bxc4 Kc6 26.Rd3 ( 26.Kf3 Be7 ) Bg7 {and black looks good in either of these.})
( 24…b4 25.Ba1 Bxd5 26.Nxd5 Bg7 27.f4 gxf4+ 28.Nxf4 Rxd1
29.Rxd1 Bxe5 30.Bxe5 Nxe5 31.Nd3 Nxd3 32.Rxd3 Re8 {Would draw.} )
25.bxa4 Kc6
26.Kf3 Rdb8 {!?} {Better would have been Be7, but Anand has an interesting gamble in mind.}
27.Ke4 Rb4 {?!} {Anand takes a dangerous gamble based on his overall situation in the match rather.Vishy’s idea is to create mega imbalances by sacking the exchange for a strong passed pawn while retaining his bishop pair.}
Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 27... Rb4.
Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 27… Rb4.
28.Bxb4 {Carlsen accepts Anand’s rook and moves closer to retaining his World Championship title.}
28… cxb4 {?} {Better would have been recapturing with the a-pawn in part because it would create a semi-open file for the rook on a8 to enjoy. It’s unfortunate that Anand followed his gamble with a mistake.}
Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 28... cxb4.
Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 28… cxb4.
29.Nh5 {Magnus is preparing f4 in order to open the position and trade pieces.}
29… Kb7
30.f4 gxf4
31.Nhxf4 Nxf4 {With every trade of the pieces, Carlsen is that much closer to victory in the game and match.}
32.Nxf4 Bxc4
33.Rd7 {At this point it is very clear that Anand’s gamble just did not pay off.}
33… Ra6
34.Nd5 {Magnus is making sure that Vishy feels the pressure of his material advantage.}
Position after Magnus Carlsen plays 34. Nd5.
Position after Magnus Carlsen plays 34. Nd5.
34… Rc6 {Anand is clinging to life by a thread.} 35.Rxf7 Bc5
36.Rxc7+{!} {This move pretty much seals the deal.}
Position after Magnus Carlsen plays 36. Rxc7+.
Position after Magnus Carlsen plays 36. Rxc7+.
36… Rxc7 {Even with perfect play from black, white wins.}
37.Nxc7 Kc6 {The obvious recapture leads to an even more obvious loss.}
( 37…Kxc7 38.Rc1 b3 39.Rxc4 b2 40.Rxc5+ Kd8 41.Rb5 )
38.Nb5 Bxb5
39.axb5+ Kxb5
40.e6 b3 {I think Anand could have made Carlsen work a little harder by playing:}
( 40…a4 41.Kd3 Be7 42.h4 b3 43.g5 {ends up the same as in the game.})
41.Kd3 Be7
42.h4 a4
43.g5 hxg5 ( 43…a3 44.g6 a2 45.Kc3 Bb4+
46.Kxb3 Bxe1 47.Kxa2 Bxh4 48.g7 {is a more eventful way to lose.})
44.hxg5 a3
45.Kc3 {and Viswanathan Anand resigns in what will likely be his last World Championship game.}
The final position from the 2014 FIDE World Chess Championship Match between Magnus Carlsen and Viswanathan Anand.
The final position from the 2014 FIDE World Chess Championship Match between Magnus Carlsen and Viswanathan Anand.


I hope you enjoyed the series of lessons I posted from this epic match. Feel free to look through the other games in this series by clicking the links below:

Game 1

Game 2

Game 3

Game 4

Game 5

Game 6

Game 7

Game 8

Game 9

Game 10

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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