Carlsen-Anand 2014 – Game 6

They say  in every match there are turning points and today we witnessed an obvious one. A huge mutual blunder meant that things went as if it didn’t happen, but that’s very far from the truth.

Anand’s opening choice was very much Chennai-like. A very passive endgame straight from the opening, even more strangely that the opening was an Open Sicilian (it reminded me of game 5 from Chennai, but there at least the position was objectively equal!) His team prepared it at great depth, undoubtedly, and he must have felt confident he can hold it even against Carlsen.

And in fact he even might have, had it not been for the turning point on move 26. It would be ridiculous to call Carlsen’s blunder the winning move, but in fact it did disturb Anand’s inner peace and he couldn’t go on defending like he decided he would when he chose the opening for this game. After his equilibrium was shaken Anand lost pretty quickly, being unable to get a grip of himself (as Kramnik said when asked how you recover from missed opportunities like this one – “you don’t”).

The only thing Carlsen can be happy about is the point he scored. Blunders always take away the confidence you have and doubts start to creep in about your own play. Both players are now disturbed by what happened, but it’s easier to recover with a point scored than with a point lost. A missed opportunity burns you inside and it takes a lot of self-control and discipline not to whip yourself. Anand should be able to do it.

Here’s the game with detailed notes:

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