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

The lesson from the match is that there is no place for cowards anymore and there are plenty of them out there.

Anonymous's picture

Very true! Time to play some REAL chess!!

Huy's picture

Or time for some REAL men to play chess:)

cmling's picture

"I've been treated very well here in Norway." I doubt Carlsen said that

Amlen's picture

I agree with you.

Rafa's picture

Carlsen Lifetime Classical scores:

Anand 6-6, Kramnik 4-4, Caruana 2-2

Aronian 8-4, Nakamura 7-0, Karjakin 3-1, Topalov 8-3, Gelfand 3-1

Bottom line, prefer Anand/Kramnik in a for next world title match with Carlsen rather than any other
whipping boys esp Naka boy who can neither qualify for candidates nor win a classical game against Carlsen . How about Naka expert World championship commentator for next cycle.

Anonymous's picture

Carlsen can choose to call himself world champion if he wants it so much, but this match wasn't on any account a serious one. Anand was failing completely at any attempt. It surely can't be fair because he was a weak opponent. Surely not the best of ways to become world champion for Carlsen and clearly not a special championship. At least not one that would pass into history as a big one. I for one would like to see other style of champion, instead of the dry, unimaginative play of the so called new world champion. I’m sure very soon there will be a reaction among the talented younger players like Caruana, Wei Yi or Giri. And people tends to forget Kramnik and Gelfand but one of them may be the next true world champion. Kramnik especially has all the qualities to regain the title and become even more legendary. Something that Carlsen is still in dire need to prove.

Anonymous's picture

As much as I admire Carlsen I have to admit he needs to prove he is the real champion by confronting a strong opponent with real chances to win. In this sense Carlsen is champion, but only in paper, not in facts. It doesn't matter how many plunges he takes in the pool the match wasn't anything special.

Anonymous's picture

For many people this carnival match is invalid. Right now there is a player with the highest rating, Carlsen, if that means something, and no one in possession of the title, i.e. there are 15 rightful world champions.
Carlsen should have the decency to admit this as soon as possible and help organize a valid match for the title.

Anonymous's picture

I very much doubt the Carlsen's camp would take any step in that direction. They simply seem so confortable taking everything from chess for free. It is a strange situation since Carlsen has all the hype and retarded fans but his title is a shallow one. The only hope is the coming of a strong enough opponent. I think Carlsen is afraid of this.

leo's picture

These four posts have to be the most pathetic attempts at discrediting the new Champion I've seen yet. There's just no pleasing you haters, is there? When Carlsen dropped out of the last cycle, he was called a coward, not up for the challenge etc. And now when he did go through all the proper steps and faced the reigning Champ, you still somehow find fault with the process. What on Earth is he expected to do? It really is humorous to see you grasp at any straw to keep your "argument" going. (I don't know if you are also pro-Anand, but it's really funny how before the match Anand was going to win easily, and now suddenly he is weak and "not a real test" for Carlsen. I'm sure Anand, and chess in general, can get by just fine without "fans" like that.)

leo's picture

Well, three of these posts, anyway.

Anonymous's picture

Most probably all posted by the same person, trying to pretend there was some consent on this ridiculous nonsense. Most people don't really get that and why Carlsen is currently a class of his own, though only very few (i.e. mediocre and unbalanced minds) actually cowardly and anonymously try to attack the new world champion's reputation with this unfounded crap.

As many posters said before, Carlsen has the ability to force his peers into long, demanding endgame struggles and only very few are able or willing to outlast him. He is demanding quite something from his opponents, like:
'I'm not overly interested in your computer-based opening preparation, but hey let's play some real chess, show if you can outplay me in middle- and endgames. Who can calculate more precisely and further ahead even after 60 moves? Are you able to see an idea and get it working while I did not see it?'

Can't wait to see if one or two of his peers will be able/ready to muster what it takes to beat the new world champion. That would be great for chess. Until then Carlsen is the prototype of the truly undisputed, deserved world champion.

Anonymous's picture

A valid match? Against who? There is no opposition to Carlsen!

Anonymous's picture

Funnily enough you're talking of yourself as "many people". Are you just mixing up with your several nicknames or are you suffering from multiple personalities? Well, sadly I guess it's just the way it goes when hatred and the desperate seek for attention take the better of yourself. I'd like to wish you a speedy recovery, but honestly I don't believe there is much hope for you.

If you actually wanted to fantasize about lesser "undisputed" world title holders (excluding those slightly questionable 'FIFE only' titles), only Kramnik immediately springs to my mind. He never qualified outright, nor was he otherwise really dominating as per his tournament results. Hardly has he ever been as dominating a player as some true legends of the game, including the new world champion Magnus Carlsen. Kramnik's preference for hearing himself talk a lot doesnt' really change this assessment.

Anonymous's picture

Looks like nobody told you that Kramnik defeated Garry Kasparov, arguably the best chess player ever, number one and World Champion at the time. If that's not enough to place anyone at the pinnacle of chess history, I wonder what is. Now you know.

Anonymous's picture

And Euwe defeated Alekhine in 1935, but as with Kramnik beating Kasparov you don't have to be particularly knowledgeable to understand that this doesn't rank Euwe as the greatest player ever either. Such discussions aren't based on handpicking one event and ignoring all others, but rather on an evaluation of their whole careers, which in Kramnik's cae includes the lost matches against Shirov, Anand, Gelfand, Kamsky, Grischuk and so on. And his never having even one point down to number 2 on the rating list.

Anonymous's picture

You shouldn't read the article "The youngest and the greatest" that was published on Chessbase this week-end. You'd find that Kramnik is right there with the very best. Not good for your little theory. Better ignore it.

Anonymous's picture

Huh? Kramnik is there and so is Tal and they are both great players, but that doesn't mean there is something wrong with my "little theory" that Kasparov and Lasker et al achieved more than Kramnik did.

Anonymous's picture

Well, Anne, this theory of yours seems to have hit the nail on the head. Thank you for coming along to the studio.

observer's picture

Dead right you are.
The whole career must be evaluated, not just selective one-off statistics.
This other Anonymous knows this and is trolling. Hard to understand why such people don't have better things to do with their time.

 chess now's picture

Anonymous@.....Are you silly Anonymous or just an anonymous clown?

Huy's picture

Magnus IS the real champion; he won the candidates and the WCC. What else do you want? You can't blame Carlsen, can you?

cmling's picture

He won the only World Championship presently available. You can't fault him for that.

Anonymous's picture

You can't punch and beat an inanimate bag (Anand) and then claim that you are champion. Carlsen is being highly unethical.

Friedel's picture


Huy's picture

Again: you can't blame Carlsen for Anand's lack of resistance.

leo's picture

"Unethical"? I usually don't take these baits, but this one has to be the most spineless, bottom-feeding, intellectually dishonest troll I've come across yet. Congratulations, Sir.

Huy's picture

How, exactly, do you define a "serious" match?

Anonymous's picture

"Kramnik does not count as he may have won a private match vs. Kasparov"

Someone who can babble something like that is just an empty headed bozo.
Kramnik is the 14th world champion, period.

 chess now's picture

@Anonimous Are you kidding?

Anonymous's picture

>Carlsen can choose to call himself world champion if he wants it so much

>It surely can't be fair

>the so called new world champion

Does it hurt very much back there?

Anonymous's picture

Sounds like our dear friend horsey aka S3 aka a_dark_horse incessantly raving some of his mildly amusing fantasies :-) It's going to be all good in the end. Sure horsey, Gelfand and Kramnik are simply the best ;-) Yes they are! :-)
Oh dear, witnessing Carlsen outclass every single top 10 player by such a huge(!) margin must truly hurt him.

Anonymous's picture

I'm sorry bur Vladimir Kramnik is an artist and a true chess player. Carlsen is just a sort of boring wood pusher who wins a lot with the help of his opponents, who cares? Real chess connoisseurs agree that Kramnik has played one of the best examples of perfection and beauty in the history of chess.

Anonymous's picture

Just because you can understand what Kramnik is doing over the board it doesn't mean he is a real legend of the game. He sure also likes to talk and explain a lot at press conferences and in interviews. Fair enough if you like him because you get the illusion of being able to grasp his ideas. So then the folks who like the comfortable feel of understanding tend to call themselves 'connoisseurs' ?

Carlsen is so much stronger than Kramnik, I guess we all don't even have the slightest clue how much. Magnus surely wouldn't mind spanking him a bit, if only for the amusement of teaching him a lesson or two on what to talk about in interviews (or perhaps rather not). LOL. In order to qualify for Magnus, your hero would also have to accomplish something he never did before: qualifying outright by winning a candidates tournament.

Anonymous's picture

"He sure also likes to talk and explain a lot at press conferences and in interviews"
Could you be more specific? I mean, press conferences and in interviews are supposed to be about talking... LOL

Anonymous's picture

"Could you be more specific?" Why on earth would I have to eloborate that to a real connoisseur? ;-)

Anonymous's picture

I'm sorry it was a valid question since you seemed to express something else. It's alright if you are a chicken. BTW, what's your rating 1300? just asking

Anonymous's picture

It's easy to check out A... rating, but of course, who cares anyway, right?

Dirk's picture

Carlsen is the first "true" world champion since Kasparov. By "true" WC I mean all of the following three: 1) having won the title match 2) winning almost every tournament 3) having the highest ELO rating by a significant margin.

Anonymous's picture

O sh... that means all the poor guys before 1970 were not "true" champions...

observer's picture

Gawd, Chessbase using Chessmetrics again.

One can have little faith in a system that has Lasker as 12th best in the world going into St Petersburg 1914; Euwe 69th in the world in January 1946; and Bogoyubov as 1st in the world in January 1927!!

 chess now's picture

@PeterDoggers: Thank you for everything in this fine site,nice coverage and a well done work.

Dirk Ernst's picture

I would like to have a match Carlsen vs Kramnik
And Kramnik regains his title.
The return of the king.
The goodbye of the boring cromagnon chess and
the goodbye of silly modeling

Greco 's picture

Hahahaha nice one. May remind you that the guy you worship played the berlin to "steal" the WC and then kept playing it for a while. Now thats cromagnon chess. Even Leko had better attitude with black:)


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