Chennai: It’s almost over for Viswanathan Anand in the World Chess Championship 2013. The defending champion trails Magnus Carlsen 3-6 after losing the crucial Round Nine here on Thursday from an advantageous position.
Anand now needs a miracle to win the remaining three games to take the match into the tie-breaker.
The Indian lost the plot in the now-or-never round following a blunder. Both players didn’t react to British GM Nigel Short’s tweet that the result represented the end of an era.
What is, however, undeniable is the Norwegian is just half a point away from his maiden world title.
Carlsen pounced on the gift from his opponent who has been ruling the world for the last six years. Anand’s one mistake on the 28th move, moving his knight instead of bishop, turned the game on its head.
Only a collapse of epic proportions can now prevent the Mozart of Chess from scaling the peak.
Later, Anand almost threw in the towel. “I will try for a hat-trick of wins, but the situation doesn’t look very good,” he said.
On the day, Anand was close to checkmating his opponent for the first time in the series. The Indian held the initiative right from the beginning and Carlsen accepted that he had no other options but to keep replying to Anand’s moves.
With the situation demanding aggression, Anand acted accordingly by opening with a queen pawn for the first time in the series.
Carlsen responded with the Nimzo Indian and the world no. 8 made his intentions of playing attacking chess clear by advancing his king side knight pawn early in the game.
Even though Team Carlsen kept saying that the Norwegian was aware of this opening and could manage it well, the challenger faltered when he moved his knight to the enemy’s territory and exchanged it for a bishop that did not make even a single move. The situation turned intense from that moment.
The Indian GM took more than 40 minutes to make his 23rd move. While some commented on Anand’s poor body language, the official commentators pointed to a positive result for Anand.
But it was not to be. The world no. 1 was not sleeping. He went ahead in queening his b-pawn with confidence, while Anand in a moment of urgency committed hara-kiri by moving his knight instead of the bishop.