Anand scares Carlsen; third game drawn
Chennai: Defending champion Viswanathan Anand today gave his Norwegian challenger Magnus Carlsen a scare despite playing with black pieces even though the third game of the World Chess Championship clash ended in a long-grinding draw here.
The third game today turned out to be a hard fought affair lasting 51 moves after a rather sedate start that had seen the first two games ending in draws without any real excitement.
Midway into the third game today, Anand appeared to have seized the initiative with some 'spot on' manoeuvres, but world number one Carlsen saved the situation with his counter play.
Later at the post-game conference, Carlsen conceded that he felt "scary" though he averted the danger.
"I was worse, and then I probably made it more worse. I missed some simple things in the middle game, may be I had enough play and it was not a disaster but it was scary," Carlsen said.
After the third draw on the trot, the deadlock continues with none of the two rivals refusing to blink so far, but what happened at the Hyatt today was probably a clear indication that a rough battle is now shaping up.
The scores stand at 1.5 points for both players and the five-time champion Anand will have the advantage of playing with white pieces in the fourth game tomorrow.
Carlsen showed his intentions of a bloody battle when, contrary to the popular belief, repeated the Reti opening.
"I was expecting that Carlsen would jump from one opening to another," said Grandmaster R B Ramesh, who is a part of the live commentary team here.
As is typical of the Reti opening, the changes to several set ups is possible. Carlsen went for a position akin to the English opening that was more of a Sicilian Dragon with colours reversed.The Middle game took a major turn when Carlsen deviated his attention to the King side by a queen sortie but Anand was alert enough.
With some 'spot on' manoeuvres, the Indian ace then seized the initiative pushing the white queen to the edge of the board only to see Carlsen avert the danger with his counter play.
As the game progressed, Carlsen got back in his groove and got his counter play in form of a thematic central break through. Thereafter, the Norwegian was pretty much at ease as the game quickly changed shape once again.
Anand knew there was sufficient play for both sides when he allowed liquidation to a position that had Bishops of opposite colours. The Indian had a small weakness on the king side that could be easily covered.
"Obviously for black what he is getting is the two Bishops, if I can role my queen side pawns down I would be better," Anand noted in the post-game chat.
Anand won a pawn in the small tactical battle that ensued but it was not enough. Carlsen was quick to launch some threats and the Indian decided to go for further liquidation by trading the last pair of rooks on the 37th move.
Carlsen accepted the exchange offer and won the pawn with his next few precise moves and after that it was a completely drawn position on the board.
However, the players continued the battle almost till the last nail. It was just the two Bishops remaining on board when the players signed the truce after 51 moves.
In the fourth game tomorrow, Anand will get his second white in the 12-game match that has Rs 14 crore as the prize fund.
If it were tennis, it's advantage Anand for now.
It was scary but not a disaster: Carlsen
It was scary but not a disaster: Carlsen
Chennai: World number one Magnus Carlsen today termed the drawn third game of the World Championship match against Viswanathan Anand here as scary but insisted that it was not a disaster for him in any position.
Speaking at the post-game conference after drawing the third game as white, Carlsen though agreed that things did not go his way right from the start of the middle game.
"I think I made a couple of misjudgments in the middle game, my position was worse and then I made it even worse. I underestimated this plan with 'b5' giving up the Bishop. I did not have any idea what was happening next, just happy to survive," the 22-year-old Norwegian said.
Carlsen was not happy with the way things had turned out for him.
"I missed some simple things, early itself I misplayed something. Although it should be said that it was not a disaster. I mean if I had black here it's a fairly common kind of position, it looked scary," he said.
Anand, on his part, said that 'white' always had some play even though the analysis engines showed that he was marginally better with black piece.
"Obviously for black, what he is getting is the two Bishops, if I can role my queen side pawns down it could be unpleasant for white. Even though I have the two Bishops, white actually keeps control of the open file and he has enough counter play," the defending champion said.
Five-time world champion Anand gave further insight of the game, noting some fine prints.
"When the Queen was floating around and then went to the 'h1', I thought the best was what I went for. I felt if swept out light square Bishops white is just fine, In time pressure 'g6' is rather weaker than any other white pawn I thought it should be manageable. I might have been mistaken but I thought white had enough play," he said.Asked about the course of the third game, Carlsen said, "I think as per excitement it was good. There was lot of tension both on the board probably some nerves also, probably that's what it's all about. It's early in the match, my black game has been more of a success than my white games so far."
Anand showed his funny side when asked about how he felt Carlsen's preparation has been.
"Again I am flattered that you think I will answer that," he said with a big smile.
"We still got a match to play, I am also making some impressions, this is not the time to start analyzing the match," he added.
Asked about his former trainer Garry Kasparov who visited the venue for two days, Carlsen said he had not met him yet.
"I have not seen him here yet. I think it's good that one of the legends of the game is here.
"I do not to get in to politics. I think he deserves to be treated with respect. I mean regardless of whether he is opposing the Fide President," said Carlsen.
When the same question was put to Anand regarding Kasparov's presence here, the Indian said, "He (Kasparov) is now like always. It is good that he is here about. I did not see him anywhere."
On the hospitality accorded to him in India, Carlsen said, "I think it is better than what I expected. I am treated so well so far. I am grateful for that."
The fourth game will be played tomorrow with Anand having white pieces for the second time in the 12-game match.