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


PircAlert's picture

Congratulations Magnus on winning the title! Good job.

Anand, we are proud of you. You are brave enough to play and your play was even better than your opponent for the most part. Hope you will get another shot to bring the title back.

Anonymous's picture

Thanks for the laugh.

Viva Magnus!

sdq's picture

Congrats to Magnus for his superb win.
I have one thought. Will Carlsen agree to abandon special previlages to champion and play candidates as he once asked for ???
Now that Anand is free from the burden of WCC title, let's hope that he finds his natural rhythm & come back to win the candidates.

Anonymous's picture

+1 sdq!

sdq's picture

what do u mean, Anonymous ????

MK's picture

Sdq, Anonymous means that he agrees with your post and wants people to know there is one more person who wishes to say the same thing that you did

sdq's picture

thanks MK

bob's picture

Congrats to Magnus!

KingTal's picture

Congrats to Magnus Carlsen, a new king is crowned!

Greco 's picture

MC WC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Giang's picture

A new era has begun. Anand's helped to close a page of Chess history. A BIG THANK TO ANAND.

The Bowman's picture

Nice to live a new chess era. Winds of change :)

Magnus, the false prophet's picture

Beating a guy who almost lost to Gelfand!!! (imagine that!) is no impressive accomplishment, anybody in the top 5 would have beaten the aging Indian.

Anonymous's picture

Magnus, the flase prophet = Magnus hater! Hahaha!

How does it feel? Are you enjoying it? :) Hahaha!

Magnus is the king of chess. Norway party time!

Andreas's picture

so MC shouldn't have played at all because of that?

Greco 's picture

Cry haters Cry!!!!!

Chris's picture

Kramnik has been beaten by Indian.

Ravindra's picture

There are some unfortunate guys here who want to undermine one person to praise the other. Here you have achieved demeaning of both (actually, three including Gelfand) the players with single line, kudos!

Magnus Carlsen is fantastic, just magnificent! And when you try to demean Anand by saying that he almost lost to Gelfand, you forget that Gelfand was the best amongst all others "at-that-time". And Anand won WC 5 times in all 3 formats beating likes of Kramnik as well. And you want to say that Magnus did not do anything great beating Anand. Thanks for sharing your wonderful thoughts.

Kevin's picture

YOURS is one of if not THE most discerning remark I have read here today..There is no need to demean anyone, especially ANYONE who has scaled the heights people like ANAND, GELFAND, and KRAMNIK has...

Obviously ANAND has been off form for a while now. His best years as a chess player may or may NOT be behind him but he contributed much and was a force for years with a dynamic, vibrant colorful style that was one of the most impressive seen since KASPAROV. How soon we forget...

HOW SOON WE FORGET the contributions of people like ANAND, who was a veritable Tiger in his day , AND many MANY talk pretty big sitting behind a keyboard, They talk in ways they would never even consider if they were sitting across the Chess board or in a boxing ring, let alone on the street.

We are clearly in the "CARLSEN era, but everyone said the same thing about Fischer, I know, I was there.We see what happened to him. As great as he was, as much as he contributed to opening theory, he never lived up to the expectations people had of him.

Its a bit early to bury ANAND and more than a bit early to herald any "second coming", so to speak in the form of CARLSEN.

Rather lets just enjoy the moment, congratulate Carlsen on a job well done and thank ANAND for all those wonderful games he played and what, hopefully we learned from both his reign, which was impressive and the quality of his play. When he was in his prime, he was clearly the best since KASPAROV, anyone disputing that is simply deluded., He deserves to be ranked exactly where he is along side the other Champions of this great Art that most people call a game

As someone else here wisely said, albeit in French, "The King is dead, long live the King"!

Adolfo's picture

And Magnus would have beaten any of those top 5 ( or 100 for that matter)! Not recognizing Magnus as the best is like not recognizing Messi as the best; they are way beyond having become the best

Christian Ronaldo's picture

Messi the best??? Ha ha ha, you've got a strange sense of humor!

Anonymous's picture

Easy to say.

LennartMeier's picture

You mean the Gelfand who (shared) won Alekhine Memorial, Tal Memorial and one Grand Prix this year? The Gelfand who was joint second at the WC 2007, who won world cup and candidate tournament to challenge Anand? There would have been perhaps 3 or 4 people who would have done better than Gelfand, but it would be ridiculous to call Gelfand a bad palyer...

ruby's picture

A new generation (Carlsen, Carauna, Nakamura, Karjakin, etc.) takes the stage to wage its battles.
The old one (Anand, Kramnik, Gelfand, etc) with-draws and fades into obscurity.

Pathetic end for Anand, he too was young and fast once....

“To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow; a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.”

Eadon's picture

"Pathetic end for Anand, he too was young and fast once...."
Anand was certainly as young as Carlsen once, but he was never as strong as Carlsen in terms of ELO, strength or dominance.
Indeed Anand was never even as influential as Carlsen, who has created a new way of playing and given rise to the "Carlsen Effect".

ruby's picture

I don't see any "new way of playing" now, nor do I expect in the near-future that his approach will be followed by others from his generation.It takes a specific personality to play Carlsen-style.

Petrosian over-prophylactic style indeed influenced his generation, "everybody" started playing like because of his successes, but even that lasted 3-4 years.

the real S3's picture

Of course Carlsen introduced a new way of playing.
Just look at this.

Question is. What will the next challenger do with his chair?

Zeblakop's picture

Nice one S3 !!!

the real S3's picture

Zeb, quite likely such behavior led to the many blunders that allowed Carlsen to win the match.
Perhaps Kirsan can fix this. He only needs to enforce the existing rule about distracting opponents (and perhaps it should be broadened to prevent tactics with disrespectful reporters ).

It will take the guts of someone like Kirsan to do that, considering the army of press behind Carlsens back. It would be best for chess if this evil was rooted out before it spreads amongst other players.

Imagine if we still had a Fischer or Korchnoi, they surely would have voiced complaints, press threats or not.

Zeblakop's picture

Right, Fischer could have already withdrawn.

Thomas Richter's picture

"The old [generation] with-draws and fades into obscurity"

Maybe Anand (the future will tell, he could also make a comeback like Kramnik after losing a WCh match against a certain Vishy Anand), maybe - slowly but surely - Ivanchuk. But Kramnik and Gelfand are currently as strong as ever and can keep up with the new generation (if not with Carlsen, then with everyone else), and Adams also made a comeback this year.

ruby's picture

well, we will see, I for one don't expect any "come-back" from Anand, the same with Kramnik and Gelfand.
Indeed Kramnik played wonderful in London but I believe that was "the swan-song".From here on there is only downhill.
I think, we will see.

Eadon's picture

Kramnik is stronger than Anand, but Carlsen has not lost a single game to Anand for years. OK Anand is not that strong, but it is hard to see a situation where anyone can beat Carlsen in the near future. Maybe some teenager will be the greatest threat but it's hard to see the current top 10 player, or any familiar face player, come to that, posing any threat to Carlsen.
That goes to show that Carlsen is the real WC.
If we're going to have super-gms, then carlsen would be a super-WC, inheriting that title from Fischer, Karpov and Kasparov.

Tyke's picture

Eadon what is your rating?

Anonymous's picture

Tyke, what is your rating?

Anonymous's picture

He is somewhere between 1300 and 1400

bondegnasker's picture

closer to 1300 today, it seems...

ruby's picture

Kramnik is stronger now than Anand but that's only because Anand's strenght has dropped significantly in the last 3 years.
Kramnik is also very creative, very intelligent, and that (creativity and "the force of ideas") may compensate for age (energy, endurance).
This, however, only means that Kramnik will still play now and then extraordinary games not that he will still be a major competitor at the top.

Carlsen is the leader of his generation, and he will stay so for another 3-4 years until one of his generation colleagues matures and grows enough to challange him.

Morley's picture

Gelfand recently won the Tal Memorial ahead of Carlsen, and is at his peak rating. I don't think he is going anywhere.

And Kramnik doesn't seem any less strong than other times in his career, and was as close as you can get to being the challenger.

Morley's picture

Great victory by Carlsen! He played almost completely without weaknesses, conducted himself in a professional, patient and confident manner, and made the most of his chances. A worthy champion.

Anand was very gracious in the press conference, admitting that Carlsen dominated the match and did a very good job at provoking weak moves and applying pressure. It was also hilarious to see Anand curse.

Carlsen was a gentleman in the press conference. I liked that he acknowledged Anand's legendary status, and that he hopes to see him in the Candidates.

Finally, it is interesting how accurate many pro-Carlsen fans were, who predicted he would win just by doing his normal thing. Carlsen admitted he felt nervous and vulnerable in the first few rounds, but once those jitters went away, he treated the match like any other event, only paying attention to what was going on over the board. He claims to have not felt the psychological warfare, and to not have done anything other than his normal preparation. The fact that Anand's match experience, team of seconds, and opening preparation that were so often cited as elements in his favor were of no use against Carlsen's normal approach is very interesting. Perhaps matches will be treated and talked about differently from now on?

Anonymous's picture

Who were Carlsen's seconds?

Morley's picture

He only admitted to GM Hammer. Looks like the rest of his team and they role will remain a mystery, at least for a little while.

Geir's picture

Then it's fair to call it the MC Hammer team.

cocoliso's picture

there are many great players in history but only Morphy Capablanca Fischer Karpov Kasparov and Carlsen had afected in a great way the people and had influence and revolutionaize chess as they did !!

Anonymous's picture

That's not true: think of Steinitz, Tarrasch, Nimzovich, Botvinnik. I don't see the revolutionary things Capa, Fischer, Karpov, and Carlsen have introduced into chess.

Mort's picture

I want a MC now

Chris's picture

J.L. Hammer. Hammer fo the Thor ;-)

cocoliso's picture

very good Morley

cocoliso's picture

Anonymous dont know nothing about chess !!

jimknopf's picture

Congratulations to a truly impressive 22 year old new chess world champion!
And respect to Anand, who has been a great champion, and who will continue to be a great chess player. He will stay in memory in a very positive way for many yewars to come.

I am glad that both played some really fascinating chess in most of the games, expecially from game 5 on. And I like the fact that the best tournament player and the world champion are one person again. The most impressive world champions have always been those, who during their best times dominated both tournament and match play.equally well.

I must admit that I also hope that the present FIDE leaders will have much less chances to stand in Carlsens way than before. In fact I wish them an end of their erratic and highly questionable way of trying to rule the chess world. In the near future, this would much more isolate themselves than Carlsen or others, and hopefully their era will come to an end as soon as possible.

Congrats to the Indian organisators as well:
the championship was a class act from their side.


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