Carlsen-Anand 2014 – Game 9

Another short draw today and quite a surprising at that. Anand decided that it’s still early to sharpen things up with black and went for 1…e5 while Carlsen went for the Berlin endgame again, probably hoping for a pull like in game 7.

But Anand showed his excellent preparation and surprised Carlsen, even though what he played had already been played before. So instead of keeping the tension with 14 b3, Carlsen decided to force a draw.

This should be good news for Anand, getting an easy draw with black and now having 2 whites in the last 3 games. But in case he doesn’t win tomorrow I’m pretty sure he’ll try to sharpen up with black as well. Perhaps he’s trying to make the tension last longer, bearing in mind Carlsen’s breakdown in the London Candidates.

It is a dangerous to give short draws with white because it means you’re not trying and taking your chances and then naturally the trend shifts in your opponent’s favour who’s now given a chance to try and take his chances. It is all debatable if Carlsen is confident he won’t lose another game so he can be relaxed about taking draws, or perhaps he doesn’t believe Anand has the energy/quality to beat him. At this point all I can say is that it’s risky, but whether that risk will be justified we’ll see soon enough.

The game itself didn’t have too many interesting moments, and here’s a link to download all the games so far, including the one from today:

Alex Colovic
A professional player, coach and blogger. Grandmaster since 2013.
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  • Nov 21,2014 at 4:44 pm

    Who knows, possibly he'll explain that behaviour after the match. For now all we can do is guess.

  • Nov 20,2014 at 8:23 pm

    There are rumours that Carlsen has been a bit sick (his father may have caught a virus). It could explain why he was sleepy two days ago, and not pushing too much today.

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