World Chess Championship 2014: Viswanathan Anand commits hara-kiri in game 11 to hand Magnus Carlsen the title
The 23 year old World Champion from Norway, Magnus Carlsen successfully defended his title by winning game 11 of the twelve game World Chess Championship match that was held in the Olympic Media Center in Sochi, Russia. The score is 6.5 -4.5 in favor of the World Champion which means there will be no game 12.
Anand seemed on course for a draw
Viswanathan Anand played the solid Berlin defense again in reply to Magnus Carlsen’s king pawn opening. The Indian seemed content to play solid chess and earn a draw in game 11. However, that didn’t happen as he chose a wrong plan in the middle-game by going for a dubious exchange sacrifice in a position which was good for him. Magnus Carlsen pounced on the opportunity and won the game with some precise endgame play, thereby retaining his title by winning the match 6.5 – 4.5 in eleven games.
Strong opening for Anand
Exciting, with the setup Anand chose, the chances of the match ending today double, but so do his slim winning chances.. #CarlsenAnand— Anish Giri (@anishgiri) November 23, 2014
Anand has appeared shaky with the Black pieces before, but today he got a dream position out of the opening. Once again it was the Berlin variation of the Ruy Lopez opening, but the Indian went for a sharper line with 9... Bd7. The position after the opening was pretty equal, but very complex. Magnus Carlsen as always chose logical moves and didn’t look to be in any danger until Anand played the courageous 23... b5.
The position all of a sudden looked good for Black and required precise moves from White. Magnus didn’t disappoint as he chose the best plan for White by getting his King to the center.
Ticking clock put Anand under pressure
Although Anand’s position looked pleasant he had to choose the right plan to stabilize his position before he could mount pressure on White. Time was ticking away for Black and he was under time pressure in a crucial position. On move 26 Black had two main continuations 26... Be7 or 26... Rdd8, and the Indian went for the active 24... Rdb8 with the plan of invading White’s queen-side.
Anand suddenly loses the plot
Then came the real shocker which left the commentators and the whole chess world confused, the Indian went for a speculative exchange sacrifice with 27... Rb4 hoping to complicate the position or confuse his opponent and put him under time pressure. Unfortunately it was like feeding a hungry crocodile and the World Champion accepted the sacrifice without any hesitation and soon wrapped up the game and the championship.
Before the event started, Magnus Carlsen was the favorite to win, however the ‘Aging Tiger’ from Madras showed why he still has the potential to be a world champion by giving a tough fight, a much better one than he did in the previous world championship. The Indian replied with a resounding no when asked about retirement in the press conference.
Magnus Carlsen with this victory has underlined the fact that he is one of the best if not the best chess player in the history of the game, and as the former world champion Boris Spassky put it “Magnus was born for chess!”
The entire game with annotations can be reviewed here.
Press Conference of Magnus Carlsen: