Sochi, Game 7: The Wall That Has Stood Up

Время публикации: 18.11.2014 06:02 | Последнее обновление: 19.11.2014 06:24

The gap remains minimum due to Anand's heroic defence

The 7th game of the World Championship match in Sochi was the real marathon. Compared to the previous one, there were no mutual blunders or even blunders at all; both the opening and the ending of the game 7 were interesting. Curiously enough, there was no middlegame as such, but we are still looking forward to see this stage in the further encounters.

The Ruy Lopez
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.0–0. 4.d3 had been played by Carlsen in the 2nd game, but this time he chose the trendy Berlin Wall, even though he 'doesn't follow the trends set by Giri and Radjabov', as he ironically pointed out on the press conference.
4...Nxe4 5.d4 Nd6 6.Bxc6 dxc6 7.dxe5 Nf5 8.Qxd8+ Kxd8 9.h3 Ke8 10.Nc3 h5. As Black, Magnus had played 10...b6 several times (for instance, against Topalov in Saint Louis, 2014).
11.Bf4 Be7 (11...Bb4!?, Radjabov - Caruana, Tashkent 2014). 12.Rad1 Be6 13.Ng5 Rh6!
This position has been quite topical lately.

14.g3 (a few top level games played in 2014 had seen 14.Rfe1!?) 14...Bxg5 15.Bxg5 Rg6 16.h4! A draw by repetition occurs in case of 16.Bf4 Nh4! 17.Kh1 (or 17.Kh2) 17...Nf3 18.Kg2 Nh4+, as in Grischuk - Anand (Monaco 2011, blindfold) and several subsequent encounters.
16...f6! 17.exf6 gxf6 18.Bf4 Nxh4 19.f3

White's setup is much more active and harmonious, which compensates fully for the sacrificed pawn. Black has to struggle for equalify, although his position is, most probably, solid enough.
19...Rd8 20.Kf2. The games Anand - Nakamura, Sao Paulo/Bilbao 2011 and Karjakin - Naiditsch, Dortmund 2012, went 20.Rxd8+ Kxd8 21.Kf2 Nf5 22.Rh1 Ng7, while 20.Rde1 Kf7 (20...Kd7!?) 21.Kf2 Nf5 22.Rh1 was played in Motylev - Bacrot, Poikovsky 2014.
20...Rxd1 21.Nxd1 Nf5 22.Rh1 Bxa2 23.Rxh5 Be6 24.g4! This is a little more unpleasant for Black than 24.Bxc7 Rh6 25.Rxh6 Nxh6 26.g4 Nf7 (Solak - Bacrot, Yerevan 2014).
24...Nd6 25.Rh7

25...Nf7!? An attempt to improve over 25...f5?! played in Giri - Radjabov (Tashkent Grand Prix, 2014), after which Giri could just have taken the c7-pawn.
26.Ne3 Kd8 (26...b6!? 27.Nf5 [or 27.Bxc7 Rh6] 27...Bxf5 28.gxf5 Rg8 might be more accurate) 27.Nf5 c5!? (Black has protected the d4-square, but now the knight heads towards the other tempting ones, namely h5 or e4) 28.Ng3! Ne5. I would make a guess that not many GMs are going to repeat Vishy's heroic defence, so Black needs an improvement; for example, 28...Bd5!? intending to meet 29.Nh5 with 29...Ng5!.

29.Rh8+! 'If I take immediately and then play 30.Rh5, then I think Black can get some counterplay with 30...Ba2 and ...Rb6' - Carlsen. Still, after 31.Rxe5 Rb6 32.Rxc5 Rxb2 33.Ke3 it's White who is playing for a win.
29...Rg8 30.Bxe5! fxe5 (30...Rxh8?? 31.Bxf6+) 31.Rh5!

31...Bxg4! A very difficult decision by Anand: 'In the rook endgame (31...Rf8 32.Ke3 Bd5 33.Ne4 Bxe4 34.Kxe4 Rf4+) I thought his connected passed pawns are quite fast...'. Carlsen: 'If there's a path to a draw it's very, very narrow. Practically, 31...Bxg4 is the best choise.' A possible continuation of this line is 35.Ke3 Rb4 36.b3 c4 37.Rxe5 cxb3 38.cxb3, and now if 38...Rxb3+ then 39.Kf4.
32.fxg4 Rxg4 33.Rxe5 ('It was a bit annoying that neither 33...Rc4 nor 33...Rb4 work, so I had to play 33...b6' - Anand) 33...b6.

'I have to admit that initially I was convinced that there should be a way to win this ending, but I couldn't see how to really make progress without playing c2-c4. Basically, I need to get the knight to d5 and the rook to the 7th rank, but with the pawn on c4 he can get counterplay... ' - Carlsen.
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 (after the long maneuvering supposed to exhaust Black, White finally pushes the pawn) Rh3 58.Kc2 Rh7 59.Nb2 Rh5 60.Re2 Rg5 61.Nd1. Everything is now ready for the White's main plan (Nc3-d5, Re7). 'Somehow with my rook I was able to keep stopping the N coming to d5. But after c4 I understood that I could no longer sit and wait' - Anand.
62.Nc3 c6! Black has built a kind of fortress which however can't be held without using dynamical resources (the whole instructive method of Anand's defence is described in the separate article based on his own explanations - CN).

63.Ne4 Rh5 64.Nf6 Rg5! ('I was very happy when I saw it' - Anand) 65.Re7+ (White is switching to concrete play, as there is no clear way to make progress) 65...Kb6 66.Nd7+ Ka5! 67.Re4. If 67.Ne5 then the simplest is 67...Rg2+, and White has nothing better than 68.Kc3 Rg3+ 69.Nd3, but 67...Kb4!? is probably also enough, with the idea of 68.Nxc6+ Ka3 69.cxb5 Rg2+ 70.Kc3 Rg3+ 71.Kc4 axb5+.

68.Kc1. 68.Kc3?! leads to stalemate after 68...b4+! 69.Kd3 Rd2+ 70.Kxd2; in case of 68.Kd1 Rg1+ 69.Ke2 Rg2+ 70.Kf3 Rc2 71.Nxc5 Kb4 72.Nxa6+ Kxb3 73.c5 Ka3! Black also slips away.
68...Rg1+!? 68...Kb4!? rejected by Anand was in fact also possible: 69.cxb5+ Kc3! 70.Re3+ Kd4 71.b6 (или 71.Re5 cxb5! 72.Rxc5 a5! 73.Rxb5 Kc3!) 71...Kxe3 72.b7 Rg8, and Black is in time to eliminate the remaining white pawn.
69.Kd2 Rg2+ 70.Ke1. 70.Kd1 Rg1+ transposes to the line analysed above.

70...bxc4!? '70...Kb4 is not very good because of 71.cxb5 Kxb5 72.Re8! and his king is in some trouble' (Carlsen), but 70...Rg1+ 71.Kf2 Rb1 72.Nxc5 Kb4 73.Nxa6+ Kxb3 74.c5 Ra1 seems to be sufficient for a draw as well as Anand's move.
71.Rxc4 (71.bxc4!? Kb4 is also drawish, but maybe it would have been a better chance for Magnus) 71...Rg3! 72.Nxc5 Kb5!
Now 73..Rxb3 is the threat.

73.Rc2 (the only sensible move) 73...a5!? (after 73...Kb4 or 73...Rh3 the position is also drawn) 74.Kf2 Rh3 75.Rc1 Kb4 76.Ke2 Rc3 77.Nd3+. In case of 77.Rxc3 Kxc3 78.Ke3 the peace treaty would have been signed much quicker: 78...Kb4 79.Kd4 Kb5! 80.Nd3 a4 (or even 80...c5+ 81.Nxc5 Kb4 82.Kd5 Kb5 83.Kd6 Kb6) 81.b4 a3 82.Kc3 a2 83.Kb2 Kc4.

A draw is now inevitable, but Magnus decided to torture Anand for one hour more : 'In general, there was no harm in playing on. There's always a very slight chance that something could happen. When he went to this ending by 31...Bxg4, I thought he already signed for suffering'.
The game has become only two moves shorter than the World Championship matches record (Korchnoi - Karpov, Bagio 1978, game 5, 124 moves).
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 (Annotated by GM Mikhail Golubev, translated from Russian by GM Andrey Deviatkin)

The match score is 4-3 to Carlsen. The 8th game will start today at 12:00 GMT, Anand will have the white pieces.

All the information about the World Championship match in Sochi

[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 "2014.11.04"] 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 [Event "World Championship 29th"] [Site "Baguio City"] [Date "1978.07.27"] [Round "5"] [White "Korchnoi, Viktor"] [Black "Karpov, Anatoly"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "E42"] [WhiteElo "2665"] [BlackElo "2725"] [PlyCount "247"] [EventDate "1978.07.18"] [EventRounds "32"] [EventCountry "PHI"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "1999.07.01"] 1. c4 Nf6 2. d4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e3 c5 5. Nge2 d5 6. a3 Bxc3+ 7. Nxc3 cxd4 8. exd4 dxc4 9. Bxc4 Nc6 10. Be3 O-O 11. O-O b6 12. Qd3 Bb7 13. Rad1 h6 14. f3 Ne7 15. Bf2 Nfd5 16. Ba2 Nf4 17. Qd2 Nfg6 18. Bb1 Qd7 19. h4 Rfd8 20. h5 Nf8 21. Bh4 f6 22. Ne4 Nd5 23. g4 Rac8 24. Bg3 Ba6 25. Rfe1 Rc6 26. Rc1 Ne7 27. Rxc6 Qxc6 28. Ba2 Qd7 29. Nd6 Bb7 30. Nxb7 Qxb7 31. Qe3 Kh8 32. Rc1 Nd5 33. Qe4 Qd7 34. Bb1 Qb5 35. b4 Qd7 36. Qd3 Qe7 37. Kf2 f5 38. gxf5 exf5 39. Re1 Qf6 40. Be5 Qh4+ 41. Bg3 Qf6 42. Rh1 Nh7 43. Be5 Qg5 44. Qxf5 Qd2+ 45. Kg3 Nhf6 46. Rg1 Re8 47. Be4 Ne7 48. Qh3 Rc8 49. Kh4 Rc1 50. Qg3 Rxg1 51. Qxg1 Kg8 52. Qg3 Kf7 53. Bg6+ Ke6 54. Qh3+ Kd5 55. Be4+ Nxe4 56. fxe4+ Kxe4 57. Qg4+ Kd3 58. Qf3+ Qe3 59. Kg4 Qxf3+ 60. Kxf3 g6 61. Bd6 Nf5 62. Kf4 Nh4 63. Kg4 gxh5+ 64. Kxh4 Kxd4 65. Bb8 a5 66. Bd6 Kc4 67. Kxh5 a4 68. Kxh6 Kb3 69. b5 Kc4 70. Kg5 Kxb5 71. Kf5 Ka6 72. Ke6 Ka7 73. Kd7 Kb7 74. Be7 Ka7 75. Kc7 Ka8 76. Bd6 Ka7 77. Kc8 Ka6 78. Kb8 b5 79. Bb4 Kb6 80. Kc8 Kc6 81. Kd8 Kd5 82. Ke7 Ke5 83. Kf7 Kd5 84. Kf6 Kd4 85. Ke6 Ke4 86. Bf8 Kd4 87. Kd6 Ke4 88. Bg7 Kf4 89. Ke6 Kf3 90. Ke5 Kg4 91. Bf6 Kh5 92. Kf5 Kh6 93. Bd4 Kh7 94. Kf6 Kh6 95. Be3+ Kh5 96. Kf5 Kh4 97. Bd2 Kg3 98. Bg5 Kf3 99. Bf4 Kg2 100. Bd6 Kf3 101. Bh2 Kg2 102. Bc7 Kf3 103. Bd6 Ke3 104. Ke5 Kf3 105. Kd5 Kg4 106. Kc5 Kf5 107. Kxb5 Ke6 108. Kc6 Kf6 109. Kd7 Kg7 110. Be7 Kg8 111. Ke6 Kg7 112. Bc5 Kg8 113. Kf6 Kh7 114. Kf7 Kh8 115. Bd4+ Kh7 116. Bb2 Kh6 117. Kg8 Kg6 118. Bg7 Kf5 119. Kf7 Kg5 120. Bb2 Kh6 121. Bc1+ Kh7 122. Bd2 Kh8 123. Bc3+ Kh7 124. Bg7 1/2-1/2 


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