Carlsen-Anand 2014 – Game 8

The QGD returned today and it gave Carlsen an easy draw. An easy draw that was earned with a lot of hard work before the game – Carlsen demonstrated deep preparation in a sideline of the popular line with 5 Bf4 that brought Anand his only win in the match so far.

After yesterday’s marathon it was difficult for Anand to apply pressure, especially in view of Carlsen’s surprise on move 9. He decided not to go for the sharper lines with long castling and went for a more solid approach, but this was heavily prepared by Carlsen. The clock showed the difference – by move 30 Carlsen had spent only around 30 minutes!
The attempt to dry out the game by heavily analysing openings is not something new. Kasparov was the first to analyse openings deeply, but his aim was primarily to win directly from the opening. Kramnik’s approach was different, when playing black he used this method of extremely deep analysis to analyse to a draw (hence the Petroff, Berlin, QGD…). Many followed, as making a draw with black is always a good result in the tournaments these guys play. Carlsen wasn’t one of them, but he now has Peter Heine Nielsen on his team, an exceptional analyst who for many years worked for Anand (one of the best prepared players in the world) and who is very well versed in digging deep. Today we saw some results of this kind of work.
I don’t think Carlsen will stay on this path of trying to draw without playing, but in a match for the title everything is allowed as long as it brings results. And it does bring results, so no wonder the players spend so much time preparing, mainly to try to avoid this kind of “traps”. Anand will have a rest day in order to prepare better for his next white game, as it seems that the QGD is Carlsen’s main defence for this match. Should be interesting!
Here’s today’s game with detailed analysis and a download link for all the commented games:

Alex Colovic
A professional player, coach and blogger. Grandmaster since 2013.
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