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


Anonymous's picture

I wonder how long would take for FIDE to find out Carlsen's hidden, implanted in his body engine and take away his title.

celso's picture

Thus, and by far this is the biggest compliment for Carlsen. Does anyone noticed the Anand's wig extremely well combed? How neat!!

Anonymous's picture

Monokroussos writes about "the vicious and nasty pro-Carlsen comments on sites like Chess Vibes" and about "desperately humor-impaired" Carlsen fans after Carlsen won the title, now there's another guy that is unhappy about Carlsen winning to the usual cockroaches here. :)

Anonymous's picture

I find the anti-Carlsen comments more nasty and vicious, but then Mono has of course always been, let's say, not one of Carlsen's biggest fans. "It's a real shame that Carlsen won the tournament" and stuff like that are not unusual in his blog, but it's still a fun read.

BentLarsen's picture

Can you tell me the source?

Anonymous's picture

I think Magnus will retain this title many years.
I would say 20.

Mindhunter's picture

Beginning to really seriously think the comments section should be permanently shut down.

Louis's picture

I had a great time following the match with Chessvibes, Lawrence, Tania(!), Susan(?).

Many congrats to Magnus for formally demonstrating he is by far the best GM of this moment.

Finally some time again to do some actual work in the mornings !

Anonymous's picture

Susan is a nice Lady!

Anonymous's picture

Not really. She's just in chess for the commerce.

Roberto's picture

Magnus is the new king and i am very happy for that. He really deserved that.

But it was a pity that Anand couldn't make this match a real test to Carlsen. The king was tired, nervous and weak, He was a good king but couldn't manage anymore.

Now we have a great and shinning new king. We know that he is great and he was tested, but there is a lot of more tests to come. The real challenges starts now! Now he is the person to be hunted down! Will the crown be heavy? Will the crown cause him fear? Or will the crown be seen far away when himself (Carlsen) is comming and cause fear and respect in everyone else?

How will be the next championship matches? Caruana, Kramnik, Nakamura, Svlider will not blunder like Anand. They will be a pain. Will Magnus relax to much??

The excitement isn't gone. I wan't to see the next chapters! That's a great thing. There's nothing over.

leo's picture


Jeffrey's picture

The next challenger won't be Caruana or Nakamura. They didn't qualify for the candidates tournament.

Huy's picture

Carlsens' next challenger will be Kramnik.

The next great talent is born in 2020.

Zaraking's picture link, has not improved chessvibes. Still slow producing videos, and frankly speaking, behind

Why doesn't chessvibes grow with more staff? Doggers should have another role.

Anonymous's picture

I think the next champion maybe today is 15 years old.

Anonymous's picture

Awonder Liang.

Anónimo's picture

He is (just) one of a pletora of terrific young players; I would still be curious to meet the still hidden Russian, Chinese and Ucranian juniors. (And I do not find any reason why Germany should not produce a handful of brilliant players with the kind of chess instruction they are getting there now).

nakafan's picture

I am a nakafan but must admit that at the moment Caru would be his best match opponent

KingTal's picture

I think Kramnik is the one who could pose some problems, he mostly got very good positions in the openings. Caruana still needs some time, while Aronian and Nakamura have problems against Carlsen.

Btw: What does "last big title" mean in the last picture, or do you mean his "latest big title"?

Martin Matthiesen's picture

It was the last big title he hadn't won before.

KingTal's picture

He never won the European Championship or a World Cup.. so still doesn´t make sense... but whatever.

nakafan's picture

Carlsen's best opponent I mean

RG13's picture

Viswanathan Anand Qualifies For The Candidates; Carlsen Fails To Do So

jimknopf's picture

A world championship each year is real nonsense from my view. Soocer continental and World championships come alternating every two years, and that gives them the necessary attention and value. Doing it every year just downgrades this title by inflation. "Haven't got the title? Ok, just try again next year" does'nt sound serious to me. And if one player seriously dominates over a loger period, he can call himself 12 times or 20 times world champion (as opposed to Kasparov's or Anand's 5 times)?
Add the fact that it forces the actual world champion to use half of each year for the preparation of the next title fight, instead of playing interesting tournaments.

This all sounds like a load of nonsense to me. The fight for the crown should happen every two years, but if possible with more than 12 games (16 or 24) then IMHO.

KingTal's picture

Not only that also what sponsors would invest millions in an annual WC match, there is already trouble to find any. So if it will be every year, the prize money will decrease together with the value of the WC title.

I like a cycle of every 2,5 years, like 2015-2017-2020-2022-2025 and so on... and yeah 16-18 games would be nice, but won´t happen. ;(

Mindhunter's picture

+1 @ jim

Tarjei's picture

It IS going to happen every two years, from 2014 and on. The reason they have it in consecutive years is that they want it in paired years, so 2014, 2016, 2018 etc.

Anonymous's picture


Cbbishop's picture

And the match winner was, after Carlsen .... Dr Arpad Elo!

Kamalakanta's picture

Well, anybody can have a bad match. They say that, in any sport, you learn more from your losses than from your wins, so Anand has time now to reflect and analyze what went wrong, not just in this match, but this whole year, and adjust his training accordingly. It's not the end of the world. Once his feelings heal a little, he can take an objective look at the whole picture and decide how to improve. One more challenge, that's all.

Serious's picture

Of course that anybody could. But we are not talking about anybody. Anand was the former World Champion. He is not _anybody_. This is not just one more chanllenge: It was the match for the World Championship. It will be harder for him to recover. I would have liked that he could win the match. But he was not prepared enough or his preparation did not function. He is now in the forties. I am too.. It requires a lot of energy to reach a top level in that decade. It will not sot easy as you painted it.

Dirk's picture

Anand is never going to play a WC match again.
He can retire like Kasparov or keep playing for fun and slowly move out of the 2700 list like Karpov.

Nothing to be ashamed of.

Dirk's picture

Great match, great games, but for connoisseurs only. Fine wine is not for Coors lite drinkers. If you found it boring watch blitz tournaments instead, or lower class tournaments.

I find the move in game 9 22...b3!! the move of the century. White is trying to mate you, your queen can't come the rescue, what to do? Simple, promote your b pawn to get a better placed queen, scarifice it to open the b1-h7 diagonal, then finally develop your bishop while covering h7. He must have seen all that.

Mike's picture

Carlsen idea followed the steps of the famous Avro's Botvinnik/Capablanca game, the difference is that Carlsen played better than Capa and Anand Played worst than Botvinnik..! The a.m. forced sequence was just the logical outcome of the great plan (now we know.!!) of Capa: 8....c4!? and 11...Na5 followed by 12...Nb3 and then ...a5, ...b5, ...b4!, ....b3!! Capa lives...!!

Anonymous's picture

Of course he has seen it. It is a string of only moves. Every GM could do that and even better amateurs.

Dirk's picture

I stand corrected. I should have said "Carlsen and Anonymous" must have seen all that when playing 22...b3. We can look forward to next years WC match between the favourite Anonymous and the defender Carlsen.

Andreas's picture

what a big difference in discussions (and opinions) it would be if there were noch chess engines at all

Mike's picture

It seems Carlsen joins abnormal calculation ability with even more abnormal positional judgment, both supported by an abnormal psychological resilience...To break this, it would be necessary to play like Tal, but using the "computer era" style, which means, to erect great combinations based mainly on far fetched positional plans...Maybe only Nakamura or Caruana can do that...

Mike's picture

I mean: Carlsen stands as the rehabilitation of Capablanca, and I just do not see at horizon any reincarnation of Alekhine...!

Paul's picture

The mess Fide made with the WC lets me only one phrase,,Magnus is the best player in the world because we all have seen the World Champion after Kasparov never existed and Magnus at 22 is even stronger than Garry was aged 30. WOW

isolatedpawn's picture

Congrats! Nice to hear from Carlsen that he was responsible for Anand's mistakes!!!. Nice Strategy! Although I admit that I bet on Anand based on his history of being in matches for a long time, You deserve it! Long live the King of Chess. I am happy that the best (based on rating) is the Champion!

AljechinsCat's picture

First all congrats to the completely deserved New World Champ!
I think Carlsen's win fixes a certain change for the 'leading' chess style. But style is a bit like fashion - there will be other high-class players striving for attacking play in the future to come, though the attacking tools must be reinvented. What to do against a Petroff, Berlin, Marshall? Has 2.Nf3 really become harmless?
Personally I'm very happy for my lord. He is happily looking forward to meet all would-like Capas and Laskers on the board -- again:)

Dr. Thilak's picture

We have got our new Fisher !!

Mike's picture

The same way Fisher was at the time the new Capablanca....

armtwister's picture

Although i did not like the way Anand had to handover the Title. Anand deserves a better quality match.Hope he wins candidates and challenges carlsen again.

Its not the end of the road for Anand.He should take some time out and take stalk of things and he can have a great second innings without the title,like Lasker,Karpov had and Kramnik is having now.
Will Anand have second innings going strong after being relieved from the pressure of holding onto WCC Title? Time will tell

He needs to re-invent the motivation, play more events for more practical touch and gain some ELO and confidence back, win the candidates, challenge Carlsen and give a shout at the WCC Title one more time,maybe like in the Rocky series portrayed by Silvster Stallone and then maybe calls it a retirement!

Anonymous's picture

That would make it "completely" ridiculous!

armtwister's picture

How so ?

Bronkenstein's picture

Nice (maby just bit too optimistic?) counterpunkt to all these obituaries =)

armtwister's picture

Vishy Anand ,Tiger of India

We like You, the way You inspired all of us all along
We respect You, for the Genius You are
We are honored to be Your contemporaries
We simply Love You, for the nicest Human You are, showing a great character & attitude all along
We as Indians are proud of You for winning every possible title in chess & the honor You brought in.
We are with you at this time of difficulty
We want you to wake up from hibernation
We want to see the old Vishy once again!


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