Carlsen-Anand 2014 – Game 3

Anand won today in the only way I could have imagined: he got all of his preparation in and followed it up with precise play so as not to allow any chances.

A first win in classical chess for Anand since 2010 and repeating the feat from his match with Gelfand when he stroke back immediately after a loss – these two factors cannot be overestimated. Anand was glowing at the press conference, barely managing to conceal his smile, Carlsen looked dejected.

In fact the game was pretty one-sided and simple to explain. Anand was better prepared and Carlsen didn’t manage to find a way out of his troubles. What surprises me is that the line he chose is rather forced and it is a must to check it thoroughly before playing it, something Anand did and Carlsen didn’t. Now, why he didn’t I can only guess. After his choice of 7…c6 white is forced to go in for this line if he’s to achieve anything, so it’s really unclear to me why Carlsen wasn’t prepared. Additionally, this line was played in the recent game Aronian-Adams from Bilbao last year and Anand’s improvement was simply the first line of the engine – nothing too difficult there. A baffing opening disaster for Carlsen.

But sometimes losing a game without a chance after a bad opening is a good thing. You realise that you didn’t play, you weren’t given a chance to play, so you can just dismiss it as an odd occurrence and this can help focus on the games ahead. I’m sure Carlsen will do that.

And as for Anand, he’s riding high now, but he mustn’t forget who he’s playing against.

Here is the game with detailed notes:

The Petrosian Memorial finished today and it was a glorious triumph for Grischuk. Kramnik was solid second with a very good performance, Gelfand managed to come back to +1 with a last round win against Leko (a heroic feat, both beating Leko and achieving a great result with a last-round win after playing non-stop for a whole month) and sharing 3rd with Aronian, who continues to be overshadowed by other players’ incredible performances. As for the others, they are very likely to forget this event as soon as possible and Inarkiev will most probably sack his team.

Alex Colovic
A professional player, coach and blogger. Grandmaster since 2013.
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  • Nov 12,2014 at 6:28 pm

    Thanks to all.

    As for the Bd3/h3 difference, if white already has h3 then on move 17 if black plays 17…Bg5 (instead of 17…Ndf6) then after 18 Bg5 b3 19 Be7 Re8 20 Bb4 Ra8 white doesn't have the f3 ideas to chase away the knight from e4 from where it defends d6 because it can jump to g3. Like I said, deep preparation. 🙂

  • Anonymous
    Nov 12,2014 at 11:23 am

    I do not understand the difference between 8.Bd3 and 8.h3. In which line does the weakened square g3 plays a role at all? Too deep for me.

    The improvements for Black are rather obvious: In yesterday's game (with 8.Bd3): 18.-dxe4 and in the Tomashevsky move order (8.h3 and later on with Nd2 instead of Ng5) there are options for Black on move 17/18 with Nc3.

  • Anonymous
    Nov 12,2014 at 10:02 am

    I agree. Keep going Alex.

  • Anonymous
    Nov 12,2014 at 12:24 am

    Everthing you write is very much to the point. Congratulations. Will continute to read your blog. Thank you.

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