Carlsen-Anand 2014 – Game 7
It was an interesting decision to go down along one of the main lines in the Berlin, at first I thought it should favour Anand who would just bang out his theory and make a draw, but it turned out to be more complicated than that. Carlsen came out with an interesting plan of Ne3-f5-g3-h5 and Anand’s decision to enter a difficult, but drawable endgame is one that shows confidence.
Carlsen put pressure for 122 moves and I’m sure he enjoyed it, as well as knowing that torturing Anand like this also saps his energy for tomorrow’s game when he’ll be white. (As a sidenote: the reason for having 2 whites in a row in the middle of the match is to change the player who has white after the rest day – the victim of having black after the rest day for the duration of the whole match was none other than Kasparov, who in 2000 was suffering as black against Kramnik and then didn’t have the energy to put pressure in his white game the next day. Since then they’ve decided to have this double-white in the middle of the match so as to give the players equal opportunity).
I don’t think Anand will follow this strategy in the second half of the match. His energy will be needed for putting pressure in his white games and I don’t think he can afford playing long games like this one. I expect the return of 1…c5 and more dynamic games when he’s black.
Here’s today’s game with detailed comments: