Sochi, Game 10: Carlsen Extricates Himself

Время публикации: 22.11.2014 07:11 | Последнее обновление: 22.11.2014 19:34

Magnus is leading by a narrow margin two steps before the finish

In the 10th game of the World Championship match, Anand's opening preparation proved to be superior and allowed him to seize the initiative from the beginning, but the strong 19th move found by Carlsen in the critical moment has saved the champion from serious troubles. Even though Anand was still keeping some winning chances, he lacked either the confidence or the energy (or both), and failed to organize any serious siege to the Black's position. Anyway, Vishy has scored the 'moral victory' in the opening, as the way chosen by Carlsen today is hardly going to find any deliberate followers.

The photo report by Evgeny Surov and Mikhail Sholudko

The Grunfeld Defence
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.Qb3 dxc4 6.Qxc4 0–0 7.e4 Na6. A specific and extremely sharp line of the Grunfeld Defence.
8.Be2 c5 9.d5 e6 10.0–0 exd5 11.exd5.

11...Re8. This is less studied than 11...Bf5 played more than once by Kasparov in his matches against Karpov. However, the text move was also practiced by the 13th World Champion, as well as by many other top GMs.
12.Bg5 (this idea had been seen in a game by one of the Anand's seconds, Polish GM Radoslaw Wojtaszek) 12...h6 13.Be3!? The point is that White has provoked h7-h6 in order to attack the h6-pawn later on a good occasion.
13...Bf5 14.Rad1!

14...Ne4!? (14...Qb6, Wojtaszek - Ponomariov, Poikovsky 2012) 15.Nxe4 Bxe4. According to Peter Svidler, 15...Rxe4 is more ambitious, or 'critical'. If we continue the line by 16.Qc1 Nb4 17.d6, we get a puzzling position typical for the opening variation chosen by the opponents, in which the engines recommend 17...Rc8. The first question (even though not the 'first line') is now 18.d7!? - the idea is to get the black bishop unpleasantly pinned.

16.Qc1. 16.Qb3 would have been quite inconsistent (as the h7-h6 has already been provoked) and could have been met with 16...Qd6!?, and Black isn't afraid of 17.Qxb7 because of 17...Nb4!. However, 16.d6!? looks like the more serious alternative; after 16...Qd7 17.Qc1 Kh7 White is slightly better, although the play is double-edged, for example: 18.Rfe1 (or maybe 18.Nd2 Bc6 19.Nc4) 18...Rac8 19.a4!? with the idea of Bb5.
16...Qf6. The other options are 16...Nb4 17.Qxc5 Nc2 18.d6! (with certain difficulties for Black), and 16...Nc7!? which is harder to refute: 17.Bxh6 (with the black knight on c7, 17.Qxc5 isn't already looking dangerous for Black, but 17.d6 Nd5 deserves attention) 17...Nxd5 18.Bxg7 Kxg7 19.Qxc5 (19.Ng5?! Bxg2!) 19...Qf6! - this line should be checked

17...Qxb2?! Perhaps my evaluation can be disputed, but it seems to me that Black could have been closer to a draw than in the game had he played 17...Bxd5 18.Rxd5 Rxe2 19.Rd7 (if 19.Bxg7 Kxg7 20.Rd7 then 20...Re7!) 19...Qxb2 (19...Re7 20.Bg5) 20.Bxg7 (20.Qf4 Qf6! shouldn't be too dangerous) 20...Qxc1 21.Rxc1 Kxg7 22.Rxb7 Rae8. Now if 23.Rxa7 then 23...Nb4 with good drawing chances for Black, despite his slight material deficit.
18.Qxb2 Bxb2 19.Ng5. At the press conference, Carlsen admitted that he hadn't foreseen any problems after the queens' exchange but had underestimated this knight move. However, 19.d6!? could also have been quite unpleasant for Black.

19...Bd4! Even though the queens have gone off the board, the position remains very tangled. The expert of the Grunfeld Defence Peter Svidler was experiencing difficulties trying to evaluate the position and suggest the best moves during his live commentary. The computer support gives us a hint that the Black's position is actually hard, and the move chosen by Magnus was his best chance: 19...Bc2? 20.Rd2 Nb4 is weak due to 21.d6! Bc3 22.Rxc2 Nxc2 23.Bc4; 19...Bxg2?! (which had been accidentally shown in the live relay and had confused the audience) leads to an ending hardly holdable by Black after 20.Bxa6 Bxf1 21.Bxf1 Bg7 22.Bxg7 Kxg7. If 19...Bf5 then 20.Bb5! (20.Bc4?! Bg7) 20...Red8 21.d6! is very unpleasant, 19...Nb4 20.Bb5! is similar.

20.Nxe4!? After 20.Bb5 Black could have sacrificed an exchange for a pawn: 20...Bxd5! (worse is 20...Re5 21.Rfe1 Bc2 22.Rxe5 Bxe5 23.Re1 f6 24.d6 Bxd6 25.Bc4+ Kh8 26.Nf7+ Kh7 27.Re6 Bf8 28.Bxf8 Rxf8 29.Re7!) 21.Bxe8 Rxe8 22.Rfe1, and here Black can hope even to seize the initiative if he keeps the rooks by 22..Rd8 or 22...Rc8. From the practical point of view, the Anand's choise is more reliable, as White isn't risking to lose while keeping the winning chances.
20...Rxe4 21.Bf3! Re7! 22.d6 Rd7 23.Bf4 Nb4

24.Rd2?! This is a waste of time which allows Black to establish control over the open file. The critical line is 24.Rfe1! Rad8 (24...Nxa2?! 25.Re7), etc.
24...Re8! (for the first time in the game, Carlsen is able to take his breath) 25.Rc1. Black is only slightly worse, and the range of good choices is already wide.
25...Re6!? 26.h4. More fighting is 26.Bg4 trying to trigger the exchange sacrifice, although Black can reply 26...f5, and White has to retreat 27.Bf3. Another option is 26.g3!? with the idea of 26...Be5 27.Bxe5 Rxe5 28.Bg4 Rd8?! (28...f5) 29.a3 Nc6 30.f4!, and White wins the c5-pawn while his own f4-pawn is protected.
26...Be5! 27.Bxe5 Rxe5

The White's advantage is already microscopical and can't be converted into a win, so Anand decided to force the simplifications and accept the draw.
28.Bxb7 Rxb7 29.d7 Nc6 30.d8Q+ Nxd8 31.Rxd8+ Kg7 32.Rd2 1/2 (Annotated by GM Mikhail Golubev, translated from Russian by GM Andrey Deviatkin).

The score after 10 games is 5.5-4.5 to Carlsen; if he wins the next game (which will be played tomorrow, on November 23th) he will win the match as well. If the 11th game ends in any other way then the moment of truth will happen on November 25th which is the day of the final game.

World Championship match in Sochi: all the information

[Event "WCh 2014"] [Site "Sochi RUS"] [Date "2014.11.21"] [Round "10"] [White "Anand, Viswanathan"] [Black "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [WhiteElo "2792"] [BlackElo "2863"] [ECO "D97"] [Opening "Gruenfeld"] [Variation "Russian, Prins variation"] [EventDate "2014.11.04"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. Nf3 Bg7 5. Qb3 dxc4 6. Qxc4 O-O 7. e4 Na6 8. Be2 c5 9. d5 e6 10. O-O exd5 11. exd5 Re8 12. Bg5 h6 13. Be3 Bf5 14. Rad1 Ne4 15. Nxe4 Bxe4 16. Qc1 Qf6 17. Bxh6 Qxb2 18. Qxb2 Bxb2 19. Ng5 Bd4 20. Nxe4 Rxe4 21. Bf3 Re7 22. d6 Rd7 23. Bf4 Nb4 24. Rd2 Re8 25. Rc1 Re6 26. h4 Be5 27. Bxe5 Rxe5 28. Bxb7 Rxb7 29. d7 Nc6 30. d8=Q+ Nxd8 31. Rxd8+ Kg7 32. Rd2 1/2-1/2


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