Carlsen-Anand 2014 – Game 4

It seemed today that Carlsen was still under the impression of yesterday’s blow. He said he played badly, but objectively that isn’t quite correct. In fact he played decent chess, only to be met by equally decent chess by Anand.

Loss of objectivity is a dangerous thing. Luckily he has a day off tomorrow to pull himself together.

Kasparov would have been appalled to see 3 g3 in a World Championship match. He only considered the most principled lines, where you can pose the most problems to your opponent, to be worthy of a match of this caliber. But things have changed. The Anti-Sicilians are equally important today thanks to Carlsen (remember he gave 3 Bb5+ in the last game in Chennai after 1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 d6) and he poses different kinds of problems – he poses practical problems, unlike the theoretical problems Kasparov posed from the get go (who also went on later in the game to pose practical problems as well).

Anand was well-prepared today for the practical problems Carlsen posed. He achieved a position with an IQP and active piece play. Even though the engines suggest white may have had some chances on move 24, I still consider this to be a good game by Anand who drew rather comfortably. Carlsen’s statement that he played badly seems to confirm this.

It will be interesting to see how Carlsen will try to pose problems to Anand in the next games. Today’s game showed that he probably needs a bit more than slightly better technical positions to beat a confident Anand.

Here’s the game with detailed comments:

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