November 22, 2013 15:16

Magnus Carlsen World Champion of Chess- UPDATE: VIDEO

Magnus Carlsen won the 2013 World Chess Championship in Chennai, India on Friday. The 10th and last game of the match ended in a draw, and so the final score is 6.5-3.5 in favour of the Norwegian, who will celebrate his 23rd birthday in eight days from now.

Carlsen celebrated his victory in the hotel's swimming pool | Photo courtesy of the Magnus Carlsen Facebook page

Le roi est mort, vive le roi! Magnus Carlsen is the new World Champion of chess, and follows Viswanathan Anand's reign as undisputed world champion between 2007 and 2013. From the traditional lineage of chess players who won or defended the crown in a match, Carlsen is the 16th champion after Wilhelm Steinitz, Emanuel Lasker, José Capablanca, Alexander Alekhine, Max Euwe, Mikhail Botvinnik, Vassily Smyslov, Mikhail Tal, Tigran Petrosjan, Boris Spassky, Robert Fischer, Anatoly Karpov, Garry Kasparov, Vladimir Kramnik and Viswanathan Anand. If we include FIDE World Champions Alexander Khalifman, Ruslam Ponomariov, Rustam Kasimdzhanov and Veselin Topalov, Carlsen is the 20th Champion of the game.


Although Anand still had a theoretical chance to level the match by winning three games in a row, most fans and pundits agreed that the match was basically over after game 9, and most journalists in the press room expected a short draw. Instead, the last game would be one of the longest in the match.

Photo: Paul Truong

Carlsen again started with 1.e4, and this time Anand replied with 1...c5, the move many expected him to play in his previous black game. White's 3.Bb5+ was also to be expected, as it's arguably the best way to get a solid edge against the Sicilian. "I was just trying to play solidly in the opening. I'm pretty happy with what I got; a very solid position, no weaknesses," said Carlsen at the press conference.

On move 21, when Anand repeated moves once, the game seemed to be ending soon but then it became clear that even in this situation, where he needed just a draw to win the highest title, Carlsen stayed true to his style and fighting spirit: he didn't repeat moves, but played on. Carlsen, with a big smile: "As the game went on he started to drift a bit and then I thought, as long is there is no risk I should try and win it."

And then Anand suddenly made a big mistake. He played a strange queen move, and the computer enginges were blinking: White had a big advantage! Would Carlsen win even this game?

But no, the Norwegian was human after all, missed his chance, and although he kept an advantage in a knight ending, he eventually had to settle for a draw. Carlsen: "When I took on d6 I missed something simple. I thought I was just winning. If I had known that this move wasn't so good I would have taken some more time perhaps found a better move and put even more pressure so... I mean that wasn't terribly impressive but anyway, it doesn't feel very important now."

"At some point after the time control the variations were simply getting too complicated so I decidede to shut it down and force a draw. I think it was a nice fight and a worthy end to the match."

The spectators immediately started applauding both players, and Anand also congratulated Carlsen with the title. Right after they signed the score sheets, they got a different pen and also signed the chess board. Anand left the stage first, and Carlsen, after looking at the audience briefly, also walked away, with his notation form in his hands and a big grin on his face.

At the press conference, Anand was given the microphone first. Some questions would be directed to him and then he was allowed to leave. About the last game, he said: "I think today was a kind of microcosm of the match. I was just trying to keep playing and then at some point started to make mistakes. I simply blundered ...Qg5. I saw the same tactic for ...Qc5 and I just put the queen on g5 instead and the same e5 happened."

Anand reflected on the match as follows: "It's clear that he dominated. At the start of the match I thought my chances depended on my ability to last long games without making a lot of mistakes. This year I had a lot of problems with mistakes creeping into my play. I kind of tried to pay some attention to that. In the end it was in vain because the way I lost the fifth game is exactly the way I thought I could not afford to lose. I mean, just a fine position in the opening, then slowly slip and so on. The fifth game was a heavy blow because I really hoped to not be afraid of him in long games but simply to try and match him, but this was not to be. After that it just got kind of worse and worse. Yesterday at least was nice game, today again... I guess when it rains, it pours."

"Anyway, I think it's fair enough to just congratulate him. My mistakes didn't happen by themselves, clearly he managed to provoke them, and full credit to him."

"At the end of the day my play in the match was a big disappointment. I didn't manage to achieve any of the things I tried to aim for."

The author of these lines asked: Is there anything you regret off the board, in terms of opening choices, or otherwise? Anand replied:

"I had a feeling this match would really be about execution. I could have any strategy I wanted but executing it actually... holding at the board, seeing it through was really what it's about. I tried to pay a lot of attention to that. This year really in tournaments so many things have gone wrong that I felt that would be the crucial area. There's no point having a plan and... But as you can see in the end, that's what I started to do anyway. Of course game 5 was the real low point for me. After that at least you can say I was depressed but before game 5 nothing had really happened yet. So I would say I managed not to either understand him or understand me, I'm not sure even which. I was simply not able to execute my strategy."

Anand addressed the question whether he will be playing in the 2014 Candidates Tournament as follows: "I assume I'll play the Candidates but you're going much too fast. I'll first take some rest and then I'll take it from there."

Carlsen started on the same topic: "Vishy has been the world champion for so long, one of the greatest of all time. I'm honored to have played the match with him and of course very, very happy to have gotten the better of him. I really hope he'll be back in the Candidates."

Anand then left the press conference, and Magnus applauded for him, together with the journalists. (It was nice to see Hans-Walter Schmitt, long-time team member of Anand, grabbing his chance to congratulate Magnus with a firm handshake and it was easy to see that Magnus appreciated that very much.)

Carlsen was then asked the sports question of all sports questions: How does it feel? "It feels good. It's been tough, both here and in London. I've been treated very well here in Norway. I've been made feel very comfortable and in general at some point I started to settle in and got the match into playing to my strength, towards the end. I think it's been a great event and I'm really honored and happy to have won it."

Interestingly, Carlsen still did not want to reveal who were his seconds. He mentioned Jon Ludvig Hammer, and thanked him and others ("very grateful") but he didn't give more details.

Looking back at the match, Carlsen added: "As he explained himself he knew there were going to be fighting games. Basically game 4 gave me a very good feeling. I thought it was a really good fighting game and although I didn't manage to win it I felt that I seized the initiative in the match and that he was just as nervous and vulnerable as I was." (Smile)

"In games 3 and 4 I could sense that he was vulnerable as well. From that moment on I settled in and I just stopped worrying about the occasion and just started playing chess as I usually do and that worked out pretty well."

"In the first and third games I was a little bit too nervous and perhaps not quite ready for this big occasion. After games 3 and 4 I realized I don't really have to do things differently from what I used to do and that was the turning point."

To Carlsen, yours truly asked: It seems Vishy was not at his very best; he was nervous, he made one big blunder and some other big mistakes in the endings. To what extent do you think you were responsible for it, for bringing him into those situations?

Carlsen: "I would like to take some responsibility for his mistakes (smile), that's for sure. It's been that way for me for a long time, I just play and... People just crack under pressure, even in World Championships. That's what the history shows, you just have to keep on pushing and eventually usually things go right. Obviously the blunders that he made, each of them are of course unusual in the sense that those aren't mistakes he usually makes but I think it really has to do with being put under pressure. That's really all I wanted to do in this match, make him sit at the board and play for a long time."

Not long after the press conference, Carlsen and is team went to the hotel's swimming pool, closely followed many Norwegian journalists, photographers and other friends. Members of his team threw Magnus in the water, with his clothes on. As he stood up, and the drops of water fell down his face, Carlsen looked happier than ever.

Carlsen won the match 6.5-3.5, with seven draws, three wins and no losses, in the best of 12-series held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Chennai, India. The Norwegian won his biggest prize purse of 1.53 million dollars while Anand will receive 1.02 million dollars for this match. The match was organised by the Tamil Nadu State Chess Association and sponsored by the Tamil Nadu Government with a budget of Rs.29 Crores. A closing ceremony will most likely be held on Monday.

World Championship 2013


Photographers taking photos of the players who are still in the rest area
And just before the game, Carlsen looks observes...
...another scrimmage on the other side of the glass
Carlsen opens 1.e4 again...
...and Anand replies with the Sicilian
Another long game - the press waits impatiently...
...and so do the mics
A dive in the pool for Carlsen... | Photo courtesy of the Magnus Carlsen Facebook page
...celebrating his "last big title" | Photo: Mads Nyborg Stostad/NRK


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Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers


Tyche's picture

Congratulations to Magnus! A well deserved title. I do hope that this ushers in a new era of chess where deep opening preparations fades into oblivion. Chess is more fun when people stop memorizing huge lines of moves and just play intuitively. That's the way it is meant to be played. It is a big disservice that the Russian school (e.g., Botvinnik, Karpov, Kasparov) did to chess - to emphasize deep opening preparations over intuitive, over the board play.

I would also like to acknowledge Vishy Anand for the great and graceful champion that he has been and will always be. Anand has inspired and will continue to inspire millions of children in India and Asia to take up chess. One thing that people do not realize is that Anand was entirely self-taught in his formative years, unlike most other champions (like Srinivasa Ramanujan, the mathematical genius from Tamil Nadu). This, I feel, played a role in his debacle against Carlsen. Anand has never been considered one of the best endgame players - he never learnt it formally from a capable chess guru. On the other hand, he always had a natural intuitive feel for the positions and could calculate well. However, these faculties decline as one ages. Therefore, it is not surprising that a 43-year old, self-taught genius, was no match for a 22-year old, well-trained genius.

the real S3's picture

Are the doping results out already ?

Tyche's picture

@jimknopf. I completely agree with everything you had said. In particular, I would like to add my appreciation to the Chennai organizers for a wonderfully conducted event. You have done India and Indian chess proud!

the real S3's picture

They should also test the tea of Anand for sedatives and tranqualizers. Something vishy about all this.

conspirator's picture

Congratulations to Magnus Carlsen for winning this fixed match.

TM's picture

The 16 Gods: Steinitz - Lasker - Capablanca - Alekhine - Euwe - Botvinnik - Smyslov - Tal - Petrosjan - Spassky - Fischer - Karpov - Kasparov - Kramnik - Anand - Carlsen.

What a lineage !! I am proud to be a chess player; proud of our unique a long history.

blundering Champ's picture

Great, the new world champion lost a clear win at least two times today, he is really the greatest ever, without a shadow of doubt.

PeterV's picture

P.F. Magnus Carlsen

Bronkenstein's picture

Finally, the torture is over.

As a possible positive effect, we might finally see old Vishy, now that the burden of the crown is gone.

jimknopf's picture

You mean the torture of reading some kinds of silly comments about Carslen?
I hope so ;-)

Bronkenstein's picture

That´s not torture, but entertainment...and it will last as long as he has fans ;)

Anonymous's picture

I am soooooooooo haaaaappppppyyyyyyy! :)))

The Golden Knight's picture

WOW! Greatest player EVER!!!

Anonymous's picture

"The win means that Carlsen achieves the record of having the highest new rating of all time. But he just misses out on being the youngest player ever to win the title. That honour goes to the Russian Anatoly Karpov, who remained undefeated for 13 years."

The BBC report gets some facts a bit wrong :)

Tyke's picture

No idea why some of you guys need to put down Anand to praise Carlsen.

Kraken's picture

Wow, Anand admitted that Carlsen "dominated" the match. Classy of Anand to say, and indicative of just how strong Magnus is, to elicit such a comment from the former Champ.

the real S3's picture

Either that, or indicative of the crisis in Anands own play. Or both. Can't criticize Carlsen play this match but Anand played not like the supergrandmaster he can be.
btw, congrats fanboys!

the real S3's picture

Is this the first wch where not a single succesful attacking game was played?

Anonymous's picture

Are you ok? Do you need a doctor?

Anonymous's picture

It's a bad day for the S3, bronken and T.O. trio.

jimknopf's picture

Yes, good old days, when they used to play the King's gambit and went for each others throat, without any disturbing super-GM knowledge and 2800+ skills. Poor S3, you gotta get aware it's 2013, not the late 19th century or 1960. :-))

Septimus's picture

S3 is smoking crack again.

Anonymous's picture

+3 ... not for your comment S3 ... for MAGNUS 44

Anonymous's picture

Norway -Wikipedia the free encyclopedia
- 2013 census 5,063,709
- Density 15.5/km2
35/sq mi

India - Wikipedia, the fee encyclopedia
- 2011 census 1,210,193,422
- Density 375.7/km2
973.2/sq mi

Brandy's picture

Congratulation MC, today you totally ruined all my efforts to do work. Was so nervous before that ending, but you got it rigth again. As amazed at thos calculating skills as i was after game 9.
Shock & awe.

Anonymous's picture

Anand was so relieved his beating was over.

filiusdextris's picture

Ok, give me a Norway soccer jersey with Magnus's name on it and #1. These would sell like hotcakes.

BentLarsen's picture

It's so much fun to hear people talk about "the social competence" chess teaches us. All this highly ideological nonsense. (Chess as a tool that makes you fit for the world of capitalistic competition.) Just read some of the statements here and "learn" how chess-players can behave.

the real S3's picture

Or take a look at Carlsen.

+1 for Bent

Greco 's picture

Still crying?? Get over it already!!!!

Alvaro Frota's picture

They are the hooligans-chessplayers! And they fit very perfectly with the world of capitalistic competition.

Anonymous's picture

Alvaro Frota - never done a thing wrong in his entire life, he's the perfect human being. BS!!

Alvaro Frota's picture

My whole life is as perfect as a game of Magnus Carlsen!


jimknopf's picture

Why exchange one clichee with another even more dumb one? ;-)

For most of the many chess players chess teaches them a lot about live: that others always have a move after you had yours, that you have to learn a minimum of realistic awareness and discipline etc.

Yes, these are secondary virutes dependant on main values and goals. But even secondary virtues have potential to be better than no virtues at all.

As for Carlsen, I see NOTHING wrong with the behavior of this 22 year old guy, and I am just amused about people who try to find something just to harm his reputation. Poor lost soulds so far. ;-)

BentLarsen's picture

Chess is chess. At the end od the day it's not the best thing in the world and not the worst. Sorry, but your "life" is an absolut simplicistic construct. And your highly speculative transfer from "chess" to "life" uses chess as a kind of esoteric source for the "good life". Chess makes angry and makes happy. Chess is one-sided and complex. Chess is stupid and highly intelligent. Both! Did you forget?
P.S.: You completely misunderstood my point. It was clear, that i did not refer to all chessplayers and all kinds of behavior. That's the least you could have understood.

jimknopf's picture

Chess is chess and still a part of everyday life (btw, what is hard to understand about the general term "life" in context???)

And there are numerous experiences and reports about chess, music, arts and sport in education, which show that all these skills have a high potential to add to welcome human strenghts and virtues.

It is all very simple: the overall effect of all these parts of education hepls to be better at not just chess, mussic, art or sports. They have positive effects on the general level of understanding, they help to develop self-awareness and discipline, and despite inviting some morons to become egoistic and overconfident, the overall effect is much more positive than negative.

So from my view it doesn't make much sense to mock efforts of describing positive effects of chess playing and chess education.

BentLarsen's picture

"It is all very simple" ...

Anonymous's picture

you're so self righteous Bent, and you're faultless??


BentLarsen's picture

O K. You understand not the most simple sentences. I have to accept that. But I learned something from you: Better not to write in such a "forum". Good bye.

Pozzi's picture

Thank you to Anand for the last 20 years playing great chess and being a really friendly man.
Thank you to Magnus to start a new era in chess.

I read a lot of remarks about this WM, but I really want to thank both for these wonderful games.

Here my understanding why these are wonderful games and it starts a new era: Magnus is the first world champion since Capablanca I have the feeling he has a similar chess understanding like me only +700 Elo. There was a study about all world champions chess games, comparing each move with the best Computer moves. Capablance had the lowest rate of failure and I think Magnus will beat this low failure rate in future.

Here also my chess understanding:
1. in the opening do not get a disadvantage. this means avoid complicated and long theoretical lines - there is always someone having newer information.
2. in the middle game avoid complicated positions, because in these positions the 3rd best move means you loose.
3. in the endgame get a small but sustainable advantage and play it out.
In this way you play all the game for 2 results.

I am looking forward to read in some years strategy books about the playing style of Magnus to get a better understanding of chess.

Peace with all who have a different opinion.

Eadon's picture

"I really want to thank both for these wonderful games."
Were you watching the same boring match as everyone else, where Anand tried to draw every game but for the penultimate one?
The chess of this match was, let's be honest, boring, dry and lifeless. Anand is mostly to blame for this by refusing to play actively.
I can't imagine how the chess of this match could have been LESS interesting. Chess is dead, I think. The great days of chess are long gone, though Carlsen is, ironically, the only modern chess genius.
No one else since Kasparov can play chess except Carlsen. The rest are technicians but not geniuses of the game.

Pozzi's picture

I was watching all the games and want to analyse them in the next days.

For me the most interesting games of past world champions have been played by Capablanca. Carlsen is the successor in this style. For me nothing is more interesting and complicated in chess than playing positions in which there seems nothing to happen, but when I spend a lot of time sometimes I find the hidden tension - like all the games played in this world championship.

I know a lot of people who disagree with my opinion. Fine for me, but I prefer a Capablanca rook ending compared with Kasparov/Fisher/Tal king attack win. These Capablanca and now Carlsen games are really genius for me, because nothing seems to happen/draw confirmed by all engines and suddenly a 2700+ player looses this position. There is a great rapid game Carlsen vs. Ivanchuk. Magnus won a rook ending with 4 vs. 3 pawns on the same wing. Draw confirmed by all engines, long time boring and nothing happened, but so much hidden threats - I really enjoyed.

Anonymous's picture

"There is a great rapid game Carlsen vs. Ivanchuk. Magnus won a rook ending with 4 vs. 3 pawns on the same wing"

That's nothing, look at this from move 42 onwards :)

BentLarsen's picture

Incredible. A dead position became the starting point of a thrilling game. Feels a bit like Petrosjan.

Thomas Richter's picture

Interesting comment Pozzi - I would say Carlsen's style, often called revolutionary, is quite widely adapted at amateur level, at least elements of it (if the rating gap between you and Carlsen is about 700 points, you are a pretty strong amateur). The elements would be:

- neglecting the opening, which for amateurs may also be lack of time and/or energy/motivation between games. Some complicated lines have become a matter of memorization and always staying up-to-date. But - repeating myself - advanced opening preparation isn't just a matter of using engines and memorizing, it's also middle- or even endgame study. I came across a GM quote (unfortunately I don't remember where and by whom and my quote won't be exact): "Yes, for me it's 90% opening preparation - but that's OK because I also learn a lot about middle- and endgames". Opening study can or should also include playing through _entire_ games played in the given variation.

- playing every game till the end. Between amateurs, it can be some sort of lottery because either player can still make one or several to many mistakes. Carlsen is reasonably confident that he won't make mistakes.

Somehow I don't think that too many average amateurs (say, up to Elo 2000 i.e. stopping around my own level) specialize in endgames. Some may have a 'pragmatic' approach: "Why should I study endgames, they rarely occur in my own practice".

Can you reveal your 'secret'? How do you (it seems regularly) get a small but sustainable endgame advantage while avoiding or trying to avoid middlegame complications?

Anonymous's picture

"Carlsen's style, often called revolutionary, is quite widely adapted at amateur level"

Yes, Carlsen plays like an amateur

Thomas Richter's picture

No, amateurs (try to) play like Carlsen - and did so long before Carlsen even existed.

Anonymous's picture

I don´t buy it. I have the impression that most amateurs don´t care for endings, you said that yourself. And if amateurs study chess at all, they study mostly openings. Just look at the market for chess books, it seems opening manuals sell quite well.

Both of these assumptions seem to contradict your statement, since Carlsen doesn´t study openings much (at least compared to his peers) und excels in the ending.

The same goes in my opinion for fighting spirit. I think that that isn´t a matter of style. Nakamura or Topalov have arguably just as much fighting spirit as MC but both play a completely different style.

Thomas Richter's picture

I was referring to those amateurs - probably the majority - who do NOT buy chess books and hardly if ever study chess as opposed to playing chess. Again I can refer to my own chess club: when I suggested to devote part of the next club evening to studying/discussing/analyzing games from the previous team competition, there was little interest.

What exactly is "fighting spirit"? It can involve taking risks to unbalance a position, or it can mean just playing on and on and on waiting for a mistake by the opponent. The first type of player is a fighter, the second type a grinder?

Anonymous's picture

Nice job insinuating that the World Champion plays like a patzer, only a strong one. You're not fooling anyone, you know.


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