For Those Wishing to Improve Their Defensive Skills: Free Lesson by Anand

Время публикации: 18.11.2014 00:59 | Последнее обновление: 18.11.2014 06:45

The 7th game of the World Championship match between Magnus Carlsen and Viswanathan Anand ended in a draw in 122 moves and has become one of the longest game (if not the longest) for the World Championship matches. The last 45 moves weren't totally necessary though, as one doesn't need to be a super-GM to hold the R vs R+N endgame without any difficulties. In fact, it was probably Magnus who was looking a bit more tired during the press conference.

The defence by Anand has been very instructive. His explanations on the press conference are actually just a free lesson for those who would like to improve their defensive skills:

The critical moment of the game, or why it's worth to spend around 30 minites for a move (28...Ne5):

'I wasn't sure the position was so nice at all, so I decided to go for this. Then, in the rook endgame after 31...Rf8 (instead of 31...Bxg4! which was the essence of 28...Ne5 - CN) 32.Ke3 Bd5 33.Ne4 Bxe4 34.Kxe4, it seems to me my pawns are slower. Of course, we can check this on a computer, but I think his connected passed pawns are quite fast.'

Tactical finesses:

'Somehow with my rook I was able to keep stopping the knight coming to d5 (the only possible plan for White to make progress, according to both opponents - CN). But after 57.c4 I understood that I could no longer sit and wait, and I went for this thing with c7-c6, b6-b5 and the king coming to a5.

I was very happy to find 60...Rg5!, because if 60...Rf5 instead then 61.Re7+ Kb6 61.Nd7+ Ka5 62.Ne5 Rf2+ 63.Kd1, and there is no 63...Kb4? 64.Nd3+'.

'70...bxc4 was very accurate too: I have to drag his king to e1 and only then make this move. You're really dying to play Ka5-b4, but the problem is that Black doesn't get what he wants - the king gets dragged back (by cxb5+ and then Re8 - CN). 70...bxc4 is not the move you want to make, but once you see the idea you see the way to resolve it, so it wasn't that difficult to find'.

General strategy of handling a position like this one:

'Once I went for the piece sacrifice, then it was straightforward and tough at the same time, because at every moment you have to choose some specific setup. You can't just keep wandering back and forth - you have to choose some very specific setup and stick to it.
The good thing is that once I've settled on a setup I would get about 10 moves of peace and quiet, till the next decision by Magnus came along'.


'It was a tough ending, for sure. I didn't know the exact mechanism, but I had seen similar endgames. With one or two finesses, I thought Black held, and I didn't see an obvious way for him to win', Vishy concluded.

Anand added that he wasn't annoyed at all by his opponent's persistence in the end, although he admitted that the last hour of the game was 'maybe superfluous'.

(This review was prepared by GM Andrey Deviatkin, see the 7th game annotated in details by GM Mikhail Golubev).

[Event "WCh 2014"] [Site "Sochi RUS"] [Date "2014.11.17"] [Round "7"] [White "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Black "Anand, Viswanathan"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C67"] [WhiteElo "2863"] [BlackElo "2792"] [PlyCount "243"] [EventDate "2014.11.08"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. O-O Nxe4 5. d4 Nd6 6. Bxc6 dxc6 7. dxe5 Nf5 8. Qxd8+ Kxd8 9. h3 Ke8 10. Nc3 h5 11. Bf4 Be7 12. Rad1 Be6 13. Ng5 Rh6 14. g3 Bxg5 15. Bxg5 Rg6 16. h4 f6 17. exf6 gxf6 18. Bf4 Nxh4 19. f3 Rd8 20. Kf2 Rxd1 21. Nxd1 Nf5 22. Rh1 Bxa2 23. Rxh5 Be6 24. g4 Nd6 25. Rh7 Nf7 26. Ne3 Kd8 27. Nf5 c5 28. Ng3 Ne5 29. Rh8+ Rg8 30. Bxe5 fxe5 31. Rh5 Bxg4 32. fxg4 Rxg4 33. Rxe5 b6 34. Ne4 Rh4 35. Ke2 Rh6 36. b3 Kd7 37. Kd2 Kc6 38. Nc3 a6 39. Re4 Rh2+ 40. Kc1 Rh1+ 41. Kb2 Rh6 42. Nd1 Rg6 43. Ne3 Rh6 44. Re7 Rh2 45. Re6+ Kb7 46. Kc3 Rh4 47. Kb2 Rh2 48. Nd5 Rd2 49. Nf6 Rf2 50. Kc3 Rf4 51. Ne4 Rh4 52. Nf2 Rh2 53. Rf6 Rh7 54. Nd3 Rh3 55. Kd2 Rh2+ 56. Rf2 Rh4 57. c4 Rh3 58. Kc2 Rh7 59. Nb2 Rh5 60. Re2 Rg5 61. Nd1 b5 62. Nc3 c6 63. Ne4 Rh5 64. Nf6 Rg5 65. Re7+ Kb6 66. Nd7+ Ka5 67. Re4 Rg2+ 68. Kc1 Rg1+ 69. Kd2 Rg2+ 70. Ke1 bxc4 71. Rxc4 Rg3 72. Nxc5 Kb5 73. Rc2 a5 74. Kf2 Rh3 75. Rc1 Kb4 76. Ke2 Rc3 77. Nd3+ Kxb3 78. Ra1 Kc4 79. Nf2 Kb5 80. Rb1+ Kc4 81. Ne4 Ra3 82. Nd2+ Kd5 83. Rh1 a4 84. Rh5+ Kd4 85. Rh4+ Kc5 86. Kd1 Kb5 87. Kc2 Rg3 88. Ne4 Rg2+ 89. Kd3 a3 90. Nc3+ Kb6 91. Ra4 a2 92. Nxa2 Rg3+ 93. Kc2 Rg2+ 94. Kb3 Rg3+ 95. Nc3 Rh3 96. Rb4+ Kc7 97. Rg4 Rh7 98. Kc4 Rf7 99. Rg5 Kb6 100. Na4+ Kc7 101. Kc5 Kd7 102. Kb6 Rf1 103. Nc5+ Ke7 104. Kxc6 Rd1 105. Rg6 Kf7 106. Rh6 Rg1 107. Kd5 Rg5+ 108. Kd4 Rg6 109. Rh1 Rg2 110. Ne4 Ra2 111. Rf1+ Ke7 112. Nc3 Rh2 113. Nd5+ Kd6 114. Rf6+ Kd7 115. Nf4 Rh1 116. Rg6 Rd1+ 117. Nd3 Ke7 118. Ra6 Kd7 119. Ke4 Ke7 120. Rc6 Kd7 121. Rc1 Rxc1 122. Nxc1 1/2-1/2


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