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


Share |
Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers


Anonymous's picture

Why does everybody assume that Carlsen doesn't care much about openings? That's simply ridiculous! He just avoids the theoretical discussions in the "main" lines. He could never be successful without seriously preparing these sidelines. You just have to look at his way to play. Part of his success is that he plays faster than the opponents and pushes them into time trouble. He can do this because he knows his positions thoroughly.

Anonymous's picture

Congrats to Magnus, really looking forward to great matches in the future! Happy to have a World Champion that is also going to dominate the tournaments that he is playing in!

Anonymous's picture

Why are chess enthusiasts so happy about? Now that Carlsen got the championship he will lose interest in the game and focus his attention on women, modelling or whatever else he likes. Another Fischer case of abandoning competitive chess once the goal has been achieved.

Anonymous's picture

Where is the analysis of the game? Peter, you must post game analysis faster

Anonymous's picture

It is true, the match wasn't that interesting. Maybe 2 or 3 interesting games and all the others lame. But it's great to see a new era for chess!

jimknopf's picture

To me this match was very interesting.
So you probably only stated your personal view, as oppsed to phrases like "It is true"? ;-)

Andreas's picture

if you really love chess you'll easily find games 3,4,5,6,9,10 at least interesting. So I certainly agree, jimknopf. There might have been more than during the previous match Vishy_Gelfand.

Morley's picture

I found games 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, and 10 to be really exciting and interesting, especially following with good commentary. They were great battles.

Anonymous's picture

Anand didn't even say thank you if someone brought him drinks. Not a pleasant or friendly guy at all!

Martin's picture

Being a Swede (living in Norway) I´m a Carlsenfan. Still I hope Anand will be around. He is a tremendous talent and I hope now that he after a well deserved rest will come back - mabye with renewed ideas just like Kramnik.

I really like watching the old heroes kicking butt, like Kochnoi did from time to time. Kasparov said that Karpov was just a shadow of his old slef when they played a few years ago. But do you believe he could be a threat to this young generation if he took up the game more seriously again? (if so only for a brief time)

Anonymous's picture

Karpov just recently kicked plenty of young butts in Cap d'Adge, losing only in the finals in blitz tiebreaks against Bacrot (from 2 winning positions due to time trouble). It was only rapid but still impressive! In particular, his save in the first final game an exchange down was more fascinating than most of this match!

Anonymous's picture

José Diaz, BRING IT ON!!!!!! :)

Septimus's picture

End of the Drawnand era.

Anonymous's picture

Yes, at last a real fighter again as worldchamp!!!

harami's picture

Congratulations !! to Magnus Carlsen- the 16th World Champion. Nice match.

Too bad Anand is post his prime. I hope he recovers some of his great play of the past.

Dinah-Moe's picture

Magnus still owns us a lot of great games the next 20 years before he will level up with Kasparov. This match was rather boring.

ron's picture

If he will play a "BonnFire" sting in the tail like Anand, he will be considered an as great legend as the Indian. He has the talent to do it. Magnus is a great player!

Aditya's picture

Wow some of the hate posts here are simply unbelievable! I strongly believe that evolution has not been fair to everyone.

Mindhunter's picture

+1 @ Aditya :)
Lots of unbelievably mindless rubbish!

Anonymous's picture

Maybe you missed the point of evolution? It's rather funny to put evolution and fair in one sentence...

Anil Philp's picture

Anonymous is the guy who make this site rubbish.

The Bowman's picture

Thomas and S3 and the rest are very narrow minded people. Let them express themselves, just don't take them seriously! :)

Anonymous's picture

The broadcast was pretty OK, but please FIDE, learn from past mistakes and NEVER EVER invite Polgar again for commentary, ok? Thanks in name of all the chessfans out there, including the beginners!

Paul's picture

Would you rather have Tiviakov?

Anonymous's picture

Unfortunately, that's true, her commentary was minor in many departments... but I am afraid that we will see her frequently also in the future - she is just too big a name... :-/

Anonymous's picture

Let's face it - this match was really boring because Anand played way too safe (Which backfired) and also Anand was not the best person to challenge Carlsen at this time. I would've much rather seen someone like Nakamura play Carlsen, even just for the entertainment value. Carlsen would've definitely won but I;m sure Naka would've won a match or two and kept things interesting. On a scale of 1-10 in terms of excitement, this match was about a 2.

the real S3's picture

Why is it Naka and Carlsen fans tend to be the least intelligent? I get why they tend to be rude -they are like their idols after all- but I don't get why they refuse to acknowledge facts:

Anand played more enterprisingly than Carlsen, obviously...And I dare say Anand didn't play it safe enough, considering his form.

Of the 3 games Anand lost, he lost 2 because of overattacking. That was one risk Carlsen didn't feel.
Practically speaking, in such a short match, we must prefer Carlsen's strategy, playing it safe, doing nothing from the start unless your opponent blunders or saddles himself with disadvantages.

Anonymous's picture

"but I don't get why they refuse to acknowledge facts."

Because what you present as facts are just interpretations. It would be easier for you to understand if you were not systematically clouding your own judgement by insulting everyone around.

leo's picture

A day of joy for me, and this is why.
My first years as a club player coincided with the rise of Kasparov and the excitement it created throughout the chess community (I was too young to have experienced the Fischer craze first hand); while I did have a great deal of respect for Karpov and his iron grip on the chess crown, it was natural to me and my friends to side with the young genius (and there was also the added dimension of "sticking it to the Man", i.e. the Soviet establishment). It would not be a huge over-statement to say he was the "hero" of our generation of players.
When Kasparov lost the title, I was disappointed. Who was this Kramnik, anyway? For years, Kasparov had been untouchable, and this was a tremendous anticlimax. In the following years, the chess world, and the title of World Champion itself, seemed to sink further into controversy and confusion, and at the same time, I became less active over the board - partly for other reasons, but also due to a fading interest, not in the game itself, but in competing and following top-level chess. I thought Shirov was a beacon of hope when he emerged, but he didn't make it all the way Ponomariov? Khalifman?! I didn't much care what was going on anymore.
One day, I think it must have been in 2002 (I could be wrong), when a small tournament was going on, a friend of mine who was more active than I said I had to come see this kid from Norway play, which I did. He was about 2300-something at the time; I watched him beat a local player. I believe he ended up 2nd behind the top-rated GM. It was obvious that he was a great talent, but no further conclusion could really be drawn from his performance there.
Then I started noticing his name again and again in tournaments - bigger and bigger tournaments - almost toppling Kasparov in a rapid in Iceland one day, making GM the next - and the real magnitude of his talent started to dawn on me. (I can't deny there was an extra appeal in that he was from near my little corner of the world, too.)
So, I started following tournaments again. It was way easier now too, of course, with live internet broadcasting being more and more available. And he delivered. It was the same feeling as back in the day, that something special was going on, something new.
But it wasn't just about cheering for Carlsen. There were other players around. I studied the games of Kramnik and came to appreciate what a genius he is - a worthy champion, even if I wouldn't see it at the time. Anand! Radjabov, Karjakin, Aronian, all these great names, and great games.
And so, now the day has really come. The kid made it. It remains to be seen how long his reign will last; with hard work I think it will be a while, but you never know; young talents keep popping up, most fade away, some turn out to be the real thing. Will it be Caruana next, or Wei Yi? Right now, though, Magnus is on top of the world, and very deservedly so - only a fool will deny that he is currently the world's strongest player.

So congratulations, Magnus Carlsen, World Chess Champion, and thank you for getting me excited about top-level chess again! Long live!

Anonymous's picture

Carlsen is not just "a young talent"
He is the best ever!

leo's picture

I want to be careful with that kind of statement, but ... he might well be, yes.

Anonymous's picture

A great post, I like it much!

Anonymous's picture

Very nice post, Leo.

Andreas's picture

thx Leo, this was nice and authentic; what a contrast to the mayority of the other posts here (even mine, of course! ;)

Anónimo's picture

A really refreshing post Leo, specially after all the background noise we always hear here.

leo's picture

Now I looked it up; the tournament I was referring to above was in 2003. Almost got it right, anyway :)

Kraken's picture

Final move length stats:

Anand-Kramnik: 35.36 avg. move per game
Anand-Topalov: 52.58 "
Anand-Gelfand: 29.25 "
Anand-Carlsen: 43.9 "

Anonymous's picture

I would like to see the median values, they would be much more significant here ;-)

bayde's picture

I notice they don't do the whole gigantic wreath-ceremony anymore, like they used to. I wonder who was the last WC to have that done, upon winning the title? GK did in 85, for sure, but I don't remember if they did that afterwards. Or for defending titlewinners. Does anybody know?

Quite possibly it was Fischer in 1992 with his life-preserver that had bits of green paper glued all over it.

leo's picture

They don't do that? What a shame, I was hoping to see Carlsen wrapped in an enormous piece of foliage! =)

bayde's picture

I know, it's a goofy thing to do but I kind of enjoyed it!

Leo's picture

Hooray, so he did get, well, some kind of shrubbery!

Frits Fritschy's picture

Do I correctly sense a Monty Python connection here...?

Leo's picture

Indeed, the Knights who say "Ni!" spring to mind :)

Frits Fritschy's picture

Then I'm afraid he wants another one!

leo's picture

I would imagine so :) Then he will perhaps need a larger team of seconds to inform him of variations in the Nimzo-indian, and how sheep's bladders may be employed to prevent earthquakes.

Martin Matthiesen's picture

I remember Anand getting a wreath in 2007.

Martin Matthiesen's picture

Appearently he got one in 2010 as well.

Anonymous's picture

Anand said that he was disappointed but the truth is that he is very pleased with the result, he was fearing that he would be beaten by a score like 5-0. So 3-0 is not bad. Plus he made the easiest money of his life without even giving a fight. A really clever guy.

Anonymous's picture

Anand is happy now, he can concentrate on eating.


Latest articles