Welcome to Carlsen – Anand Sochi World Championship game 10 LIVE Commentary
Thanks for joining me. After 9 games, the score is 5 – 4 in favor of Magnus. Anand will have two white games in the last three battles.
Here are the rules of the match:
The Match is played over a maximum of twelve games and the winner of the match shall be the first player to score 6.5 points or more. If the scores are level after the twelve games, after a new drawing of colors, four tie-break games shall be played. The games shall be played using the electronic clock starting with 25 minutes for each player with an increment of 10 seconds after each move. In case the match is still drawn, a match of 2 games shall be played with a time control of 5 minutes plus 3 seconds increment after each move. In case of a level score, another 2-game match will be played to determine a winner. If still there is no winner after 5 such matches (total 10 games), one sudden-death game will be played.
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. Nf3 Bg7 We have another Grunfeld.
5. Qb3 dxc4 6. Qxc4 O-O 7. e4 Na6 8. Be2 c5 9. d5 e6 10. O-O exd5 11. exd5 Re8 The players are banging out moves very rapidly. In this position, 12. Rd1 has been played by Anand before. It is also the most popular line. The question is does Anand have a surprise?
12. Bg5 Anand spent a bit of time for this move. It deviated from what Anand played in the past. The battle will be the d pawn. This is not a new move but it is not as popular.
12…h6 Magnus is still in his preparation and he is playing quite fast. We are following the Wojtaszek – Ponomariov game.
13. Be3 We are lucky to witness an aggressive game as Magnus chose not to go for a more tame line.
13…Bf5 Will Anand follow Wojtaszek’s idea of Rad1. It is interesting to note that Wojtaszek is in Anand’s camp. So we can expect to see some of his idea in play.
14. Rad1 Previous popular move is Qb6.
14…Ne4 is a move recommended by GM Ramesh.
15. Nxe4 Two choices to recapture. Rxe4 is a little stronger but both playable. The reason is black would gain a tempo attacking the Queen. In such an important match, it becomes an important guessing game by both camps as to what the other side prepares for. And even if they know the lines, they need to take time to make sure they do not mix up move order.
15…Bxe4 Magnus spent a lot of time for this move. This is not as strong as 15…Rxe4. Magnus is known to sometimes play inferior lines just to throw his opponents off track. 16. d6 is the best response. But Rd2 is also playable. I think the Indian fans should be happy that Anand has a more dynamic position to try to play for a win. Anand clearly understands the importance of this game. This is why he is taking his time and checking everything very carefully.
16. Qc1 Both Ramesh and I prefer 16. d6. But this move clears the diagonal for the e3 Bishop while attacking the h6 pawn. Black can try Qf6 to attack the b2 pawn.
16…Qf6 Two main options for Anand is either 17. Bxh6 or 17. d6. Many journalists wrote off Anand after the Chennai match. Now that Anand won the candidates tournament and still in this match, the media is excited again.
17. Bxh6 Qxb2 If 18. Qxb2 Bxb2 19. Ng5 Bd4 20. Nxe4 Rxe4 21. Bf3 Re7 22. d6 Rd7 23. Bf4 is something Anand is looking at. 18. Bc4 is another option. Anand can’t avoid trading Queens. Magnus is a strong endgame player in spite of his young age. But this is a potential endgame Anand can push.
18. Qxb2 Bxb2 Anand has a few options: Ng5, d6, or Bc4 all playable.
19. Ng5 the strongest option. Anand in the driver seat with a better endgame. Magnus has to work to hold this game. There are some problems on the board he needs to solve. Magnus knows that this is a critical position so he is taking his time evaluating all options.
19…Bd4 There was a slight transmission error and the move 19…Bxg2 was shown. It caused an uproar because 20. Bxa6 Bxf1 21. Bxf1 and white is much better. Thankfully for Magnus’ fans, it was not the move and Magnus played the correct 19…Bd4.
Now if Anand chooses 20. Nxe4 Rxe4 21. Bf3 Ree8 22. Bg5 f6 23. Bf4 Rad8 24. d6 g5 25. Bg3 f5 26. Bxb7 f4 27. Bxf4 gxf4 28. Bxa6 Rxd6 Even though white is a pawn up, the Bishops are on opposite colors.
20. Nxe4 Rxe4 21. Bf3 If 21…Re7 22. d6 Rd7 23. Bf4 Anand with Bishop pair and dangerous d pawn.
21…Re7 Even with a pleasant position, unless Magnus makes a mistake, it is not enough for Anand to win.
22. d6 Rd7 23. Bf4 A possibility is Nb4 going after the a2 pawn or back to c6. Knight on a6 not in play.
23…Nb4 What to do. Defend a2 pawn with Rd2 or push the knight back with a3?
24. Rd2 Re8 White’s initiative is shrinking. Anand is still better but not very much. I still believe Magnus will hold with accurate play.
25. Rc1 Re6 26. h4 Be5 27. Bxe5 Rxe5 28. Bxb7 Rxb7 29. d7 Nc6 30. d8=Q+ Nxd8 31. Rxd8+ Kg7 32. Rd2 And the players agreed to a draw.
You need to think about Anand’s state of mind. He is down by 1 pt with just a few games left. He has to decide how much risks to take. If he risks too much and loses, the match is basically over. Not an easy position or decision to make. The fans need to consider this before criticizing Anand for not going “nuts” during the game. It is a calculated by him.
Sign up for my free email chess course for Beginners and Club Players. In this free course, I focus on helping beginner chess players see the entire board. You will learn how to attack your opponent from move 1 and create a new threat with every single move! I’ve created this series of lessons designed to help beginner and club level players understand the game at a deeper level so that you can start beating higher rated players immediately. Start getting free tips from me directly to your inbox!
– GM Susan Polgar