Round 6 – Moves and analysis

Following are the moves in the sixth round of the World Chess Championship match between Viswanathan Anand and Magnus Carlsen with analysis and quotes.

{Anand goes for what he has prepared for the match, apparently nothing is clear about the Berlin defense that Carlsen employed in the previous game as black.}

1. e4 e5 {So Carlsen does not change it once more. The Norwegian had gone for the Caro Kann in game one for the match and then employed Berlin defense with success in the second black game that he came close to winning.}

2. Nf3 Nc6

3. Bb5 Nf6 {Here it is, the Berlin defence again. Since 2000, white players have found it very hard to handle this opening variation.}

4. d3 {Team Anand probably did not find anything in the main line involving the exchange of queens and Carlsen’s treatment to it. This opening has found takers at all levels since 2000 when Kasparov failed to break it.} Bc5

5. c3 O-O

6. O-O Re8 {The beauty about Berlin is that white never gets an open Ruy Lopez or other main lines, its either the endgame or the middle game with a closed structure at least temporarily.}

7. Re1 a6

8. Ba4 b5 {Carlsen correctly goes for a system that transposes to main lines of a close position. Home work is perfect here for the Norwegian, especially knowning that Anand has not gone for the main line.}

9. Bb3 d6

10. Bg5 Be6 {It is important for black to seize control of the light squares with this move.}

11. Nbd2 h6

12. Bh4 Bxb3

13. axb3 Nb8 {A nice little move that gives black some flexibility.}

14. h3 Nbd7

15. Nh2 Qe7 {Black is fine, equalised and so is white. Anand continues to struggle to get himself rolling with white pieces.}  MORE PTI VS ATK

16. Ndf1 Bb6

17. Ne3 Qe6

18. b4 {White tries to get somethign rollling in his favour. Black remains fine.} a5

19. bxa5 Bxa5

20. Nhg4 {Anand has to look for the advantage, this has more to do with current match situation than anything else. The defending champion is down one with six to go after this, why not try to equalise?} Bb6

21. Bxf6 Nxf6

22.Nxf6+ Qxf6

23. Qg4 {The dye is now cast. The exchanges favour black in fact. There are no problems and Carlsen slowly gets what he wants in every game – a small pull.} Bxe3

24. fxe3 Qe7

25. Rf1 c5 {Almost nonchalantly. Black is doing some damage tot he pawn structure now.}

26. Kh2 c4

27. d4 Rxa1

28. Rxa1 Qb7

29. Rd1 {Anand tries to keep his position together. The pawn on ‘e4′ is weak.} Qc6

30. Qf5 exd4

31. Rxd4 Re5 {Now white is saddled with a double pawn in the center. Things are difficult for Anand given Carlsen’s ability to push forward in these positions.}

32. Qf3 Qc7

33. Kh1 Qe7

34. Qg4 Kh7 {All the work being done before black can take some decisive measures.}

35. Qf4 g6

36. Kh2 Kg7

37. Qf3 Re6

38. Qg3 {Anand finally decides its time to fight for a draw with one pawn less.} Rxe4

39. Qxd6 Rxe3

40. Qxe7 Rxe7

41. Rd5 {This is the rook endgame Anand wanted after he was sure he would play it a pawn less. Ideally, white should be able to draw from here.} Rb7.

42. Rd6 f6

43. h4 Kf7

44. h5 {Anand decides to give a second pawn cause anyway black cannot create passed pawn so easily on the king side while there are all sort of weaknesses to defend.} gxh5

45. Rd5 Kg6

46. Kg3 Rb6

47. Rc5 f5

48. Kh4 Re6

49. Rxb5 Re4+

50. Kh3 Kg5

51. Rb8 h4

52. Rg8+ Kh5

53. Rf8 Rf4

54. Rc8 Rg4

55. Rf8 Rg3+

56. Kh2 Kg5

57. Rg8+ {The decisive mistake? Not everyone in the pressroom was happy with this move though. Anand probably missed a trick coming int he next few moves. Instead the World champion himself said that Rc8 here should ahve been enough for the draw.} Kf4 {The postion retains the balance but like in the previous game, Carlsen has got dynamics working for him now.}

58. Rc8 Ke3 {Black’s king looks dominating but white is now going to equalise the pawn deficit. But What Anand missed in the entire calculation is a beautiful endgame trick.}

59. Rxc4 f4

60. Ra4 {This is the final blunder, although white’s position is difficult anyway.} h3

61. gxh3 Rg6 {Black’s ‘f’ pawn is far too advanced now.}

62. c4 f3

63. Ra3+ Ke2

64. b4 f2

65. Ra2+ Kf3

66. Ra3+ Kf4

67. Ra8 Rg1 {White resigned. This game probably announces the arrival of a new approach in Chess. Preparation takes a back seat and the practical elements take centerstage.}