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

Dude, times change. People get old.
Get over it! The 90s Vishy will never come back. That was 25 years ago!

armtwister's picture

I dont want vishy of the 90's, i want 2007-08 vishy who won the WCC in mexico and crushed Kramnik.

jimknopf's picture

Vishy Anand has done more than enough for chess and especially for chess in India.

The rest should be fun and love for the game, not pressure and feelings of duty, or of too demanding expectations expectations from followers.

He will play some more good chess and stay in good memory. What more could one ask for?

Greco 's picture

If indeed MC is the new Capablanca/Kaprov then the man who will eventually dethrone him must be the new Alekhine/Kasparov(at least the younger Kasparov who played a lot like alekhine) no? Well i guess we will see..until then...Cry haters Cry hahahahhaha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

BentLarsen's picture

It is good for chess that someone arises, who shows us the disadvantages of a certain way to play top level chess (excessive opening preparation with computers). Only a few years ago you could read in chess media, that nowadays playing top level chess is a combination of opening preparation and technique (for the rest of the game). I think, we all remember this. That's why i welcome the new star - although i don't like his modeling ambitions and his sponsor shirt and all that. But his impact on chess is the main thing. May be some day people will be bored from this post-petrosjan style (even without the sacrifice of one rook for a dominant knight!). But here and now it's the right thing.
P.S.: Next week: Great chess publishers conference. Agenda: Stopping opening books, creating middlegame series.

ll's picture

Now India has to brew another chess star...I think that Anand could view this as an achievement of this create enthusiam for bringing a new generation to the top of chess and avenge the defeated champion. With 1.2 bln people it should be possible...

Bas1191's picture

Peter, just one correction on your Carlsen quote, starting "In games 3 and 4 I could sense". If I heard Magnus correctly he said he stopped worrying about the occasion instead of "started worrying about the occasion"

Peter Doggers's picture

Thx, corrected!

paltok's picture

Congratulations to Magnus

paltok's picture

Congratulations to the champion

observer's picture

Funny how Arne Moll never answered my assessment in regard to his statement that this match would be "Carlsen's first real test".
I said that, to the contrary, this match would be a breeze for Carlsen compared with the Candidates that qualified him for it.

It is clear now that this has turned out to be the case.
Carlsen fundamentally won the World Championship at the Candidates; this match was just a formality that confirmed it. Kramnik knew this too.

Septimus's picture

This is what happens when you hide your preparation till the very last game. You run out of time.

chessfan's picture

Carlsen is the 20th World Chess Champion (not the 16th)! How shameful for chessvibess is to write "If we include FIDE World Champions Alexander Khalifman, Ruslam Ponomariov, Rustam Kasimdzhanov and Veselin Topalov, Carlsen is the 20th Champion of the game." What, you not respect these four champions!?? The won the title and deserve it on that time so we should respect that!! Even that Topalov is very attractive player who destroyed all his oponents when he won the title. He was over 2800 elo grandmaster and he is in top 10 players for decades, so let we don't delete these names from the chess history please!

Greco 's picture

Kasparov was the WC at the time...sadly none of the above beat him to take the title...thats all really!!

Anonymous's picture

No, only during Khalifmans FIDE WCh. Then Kramnik was the classical Wch.

Anonymous's picture

Topalov will deserve something from history the day he apologizes to Kramnik. I doubt it will ever happen.

Regardless, in chess, one becomes World Champion by defeating a reigning World Champion in a match. It's that simple. Topalov had his chance, but failed miserably on all accounts. The point is that the title does not belong to FIDE. It never did, and it never will. So, they can decide to call the winner of a tournament any way they want (WC, demi-god, bozo), it is totally irrelevant for chess history. So, Carlsen is indeed the 16th World Champion, not the 20th.

Anonymous's picture

"in chess, one becomes World Champion by defeating a reigning World Champion in a match. It's that simple."

Not Botvinnik, Karpov and Anand.

Bartleby's picture

And Steinitz :)

Ernst Walle's picture

Morphy should be the first champion!

Greco 's picture

Botvinik and Karpov couldnt cause Alekhine had died and Fisher withdrew from professional chess. As for Anand he won against Kramnik didnt he??

Anonymous's picture

Also Botvinnik won matches against reigning WCs Tal and Smyslov. Karpov defended the title in matches, as has Anand.

Anonymous's picture

Carlsen is the 16th "real" world champion!
No need to count winners of ridiculous KO tournaments like Ponomariov and Khalifman. Where is this Khalifman anyway?!? You never saw him play before and after! The real lineage of World Champions is ...Karpow-Kasparow-Karmnik-Anand-Carlsen !

Anonymous's picture

Well, only if you don't follow chess. Khalifman played a lot (for example in the german Bundesliga) and was consistently Top 20, around rank 14-15 most of the time, with people like Polgar, Svidler, Grishuk, Gelfand etc.

jimknopf's picture

These guys from a funny time of so called "worldchampionships", are all nice chessplayers, but none of them deserves the title "world champion", for various reasons which have all been discussed long ago.

So Carlsen is the 16th legitimate chess world champion, and as far as I know none of the present best players has any other view on that.

FIDE then, by the way, was a similarly ugly problem for chess as the present FIDE leaders are.

observer's picture

FIDE lost any legitimacy as custodian of the WC Title by stopping the first Karpov-Kasparov match in 1985. They then compounded this by, contrary to the rules, not consulting Kasparov and Short as to the venue for the 1993 match.
Kasparov defeated his legitimate challenger Short, then played the two strongest players available in his next two title defenses.
Kasparov was the legitimate Champion until 2000. These mickey-mouse "FIDE Champions" are not.

Huy's picture

Wrong! The 15th. Kramnik does not count as he may have won a private match vs. Kasparov, but a WCC it never was as Kramnik was not the legitimate challenger, Shirov was.

Get your facts straight.

Anonymous's picture

Stuff it man, that's ridiculous! Of course Kramnik was a legitimate WCh. And he was most definitively deserving.

Nickelbach's picture

Not many would accept this statement.

Nickelbach's picture

And congrats to Carlsen's seconds, they did a magnific job.

Anonymous's picture

OK, Anand can now gain his weight back. Time for dinner!

Anonymous's picture

Is there any official statement from Aruna or Anand?
How disrespectful!

leo's picture

Official statement? About what?

Anonymous's picture

Botvinnik and Karpov are easy to understand exceptions. Anand defeated Kramnik, who was World Champion.

Anonymous's picture

No, Anand, who was World Champion, played the challenger Kramnik in 2008, and no one questioned that, certainly not Kramnik himself.

Anonymous's picture

Kramnik was the 14th World Champion and Anand became the 15th by defeating him. Kramnik implicitly protested against the what he was forced to accept for the greater good of chess when he said he had "lent" the title to Anand.

Anonymous's picture

"Kramnik was the 14th World Champion and Anand became the 15th by defeating him"

No, Anand became World Champion by winning the World Championship 2007, as not even Kramnik disagreed with. Then it's another thing that FIDE for some reason gave Kramnik a free title match after that, but if you want a history book where Anand didn't become the undisputed and only World Champion in 2007 you will have to write it yourself.

Anonymous's picture

Funny story. So, when did Kramnik lost his title exactly?

observer's picture

Kramnik lost his title when he didn't win the World Championship Tournament in Mexico City 2007. This was accepted at the time as the case by everybody who mattered, including Kramnik himself who acknowledged it in some statement he made.
Kramnik was the challenger in the 2008 match.

Wouldn't it pay you to do a minimum of historical research before spouting off?

Anonymous's picture

I'm not the one coming with extraordinary claims. In case you haven't noticed, Carlsen is named in this very article the 16th World Champion, which is exactly my point. As you can see, it really doesn't matter for history how Ilyumzhinov was calling a specific tournament in 2007, and it doesn't matter either if Kramnik was then forced to make some accommodating statement to avoid that the chess world would be split again (or rather Kramnik should be praised for his selflessness at the time). What matters and will matter for history is that Kramnik defeated Kasparov the 13th World Champion in 2000, and was defeated by Anand in 2008 (who by the way understood this line of thinking very well when it suited him in 1995).

Anonymous's picture

Kramnik >> Anand

Anonymous's picture

Carlsen >> Anand

Huy's picture

"Kramnik was the 14th World Champion"

Kramnik never was WC. Shirov was the legitimate challenger. However, Kasparov's democratic instincts kicked in, and due to him saying a match against Shirov did not have any commerical interest, Kasparov-Shirov did not materialise.

Anonymous's picture

It is funny how FIDE said after the match was over that the closing ceremony on the 25th op November would be at a yet to be announced location! LOL
So they would probably hired that big stadium again, and fill it with schoolchildren, waving the president's picture if Anand won! LOL
Now it will be a modest venue and congrats Magnus, thxkbai...this joke cost us already more than enough! LOL hahahahah

jimknopf's picture

Believe me, the FIDE guys will be all smiles at the closing ceremony, and behave as if they personally welcomed and helped Carlsen to develop towards possible future world champion, all the way there. ;-)

Anonymous's picture

s3 and TO should go swimming sometimes ! Good for cramps good for the back and goody for the. Brain

Anonymous's picture

Right, but don't leave Eadon behind.

celso (future anonymous)'s picture

Wouldn't be a great idea if everyone start using "anonymous" as nickname here!

Anonymous's picture

Anonymous is a handle as good and telling as every other one here, except for the official "Chessvibes" handles, which can at least not be impersonated.

Mr. Z.'s picture

Let us recapitulate and observe what were the lessons learned from the match. First, as Carlsen himself explained it, he played the first three games unorthodoxically. He was nervous. Someone must have made him realize that he didn't need to play those criptic openings. To all my chess students the first lesson taught is: control the center of the board and play standard openings (known for their positive attacking possibilities), specially against stronger players! Carlsen realized this and stopped playing inane openings. Second, I don't allow unnecessary draws. You must play your strenght to the end. Magnus incarnated this fighting spirit. This must be applauded. In my opinion, this lesson will influence all future amatuer and professional playing fields. Long live the New King!

Anonymous's picture

Look! The "number 8" now became "number 9"


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