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


The Anticipation's picture

Congratulations Magnus Carlsen!!

slymnlts's picture

We have witnessed the history written: the best chess player all-time has just become the world chess champion. 100 years later, people will look at this match and study it as we have done so for Capa-Alekhine, Lasker-Steinitz, or Fischer-Spassky etc...

Congratulations to Magnus not only for the dtruly deserved crown but also for giving the rest of us the hope that chess is beyond deep opening preparations, short and dry draws as well as huge egos. You go there and you play to the end because there is always something to play for! This should be the lesson Magnus has taught each of us.

Anonymous's picture

I will not wast a single cent for a book about this awful match. Anand-Gelfand was more interesting, at least there were opening ideas also for amateurs and a convincing victory of the challenger vs. a well playing Anand. This just was bullying a broken guy.

Boybawang's picture

Why? because you are Indian? Dude, you better wake up and accept the reality that Anand is now the new X-world champion LOL!

Anonymous's picture

Magnus Carlsen the king of chess now and forever......

calvin amari's picture

I can sympathize with you. In pure chess terms this may not make a great tournament/match book. (The back-stories, however, would be most interesting.) Of course one cannot – and, as I read your post, you do not – blame Magnus for this or criticize his play at all. Rather, this match had the makings of a lopsided battle and it turned out to be such. As I have said all along, the rating differential obviously reflects real playing strength. (Matters are equally lopsided if you look at the practical history of Carlsen-Anand encounters going back more than 20 games.) If Anand were to play a match with an opponent who had the same rating deficit that Anand himself faced, he would be playing #65 in the world rankings. Were that to occur, we could expect a similar result.

I look forward to further achievements from Magnus. It is a privilege to follow such a phenomenon who is advancing the game in pure chessic terms as well as in popularity.

For Vishy, I hope he enjoys a career without the championship. I suspect that he will realize that the crown has at times been burden. And from his present disappointment I hope some relief (and a lot more fun) will grow. Shirov’s path generally seems for him a good one to emulate.

Anonymous's picture

Yes, of course it is not Carlsen's fault. I don't really think that the elo was so much the deciding thing. Anand didn't present himself even as a 2775 elo player. It's a pity, this match could have been a fantastic thing. But it just seems as if Anand never really believed in his chances and completely broke down after game 5. It seems that Carlsen vs. "any GM > 2600 and eager to play" wóuld have been more exciting...

Anonymous's picture

Don't get me wrong, I have a very high opinion of Anand and I have seen many great games from him. That's the very reason I am so unhappy with the chess part of the match.

Jean-Michel's picture

It's strange to say that Anand didn't even present himself as a 2775 Elo player, when the match result is pretty much exactly the one we would have expected between a plater with Carlsen's rating and one with Anand's rating. Instead, as Anand said in the final press conference, his problem didn't lie in his strategy, but in its execution against a formidably strong opponent.

Anonymous's picture

That is because you all just look at the numbers, which is a pity and one of the annoying things around that Carlsen hype. The games 1,2,7,8 didn't really happen and the games 5,6, and 9 were (although partly decently played) decided by mistakes not worthy of a great WCC match. I mean, it is not one game decided by blunder, but ALL three games! This points to a catastrophic psychological situation and let me conclude that although the numbers say something else, we didn't see more than a shadow of the true Anand.

nomorechess's picture

so you think Anand made those blunders all by himself in the sense he had no pressure - and had not been forced to calculate moves for hours on end just to keep afloat ?

Brecht's picture

lol ;)

Anonymous's picture

He should be used to playing chess, shouldn't he? And in particular he should be used to WCC chess more than Carlsen, agreed? And he hasn't blundered so often (also in the tournaments this year) in past years (if you follow games at all and not only results). So pressure yes - but no excuses.

the real S3's picture

Anonymous is right. Anand played far below his level, probably because of psychological reasons.
The pressure of playing in India, combined with the Carlsen hype, may have played a part. But you'd also think Anand to be stronger than that. Perhaps nerves get weak with age.
Looking at tpr is meaningless, the games show that Anand didn't play like a top GM.

Brecht's picture

bla bla bla bla anonymous....bla bla bla the real S3...bla bla etc;...

Anonymous's picture

"Anonymous is right."
No, Anonymous, in the post you refer to, is you.

calvin amari's picture

Perhaps the old Amanda, but even he would succumb.
I reckon that the players know best. Amanda said the errors of course were "provoked" by Magnus, who agreed that he "takes credit" or them.

Wow!'s picture

Wow! you havent a clue about chess. Please take up some other game like candy crush.

Im hoping that Vishy will play with freedom the old Vishy we know and love...

Anonymous's picture

u can open - not finish

Michael Lubin's picture

What are you talking about? This match had six good hard fights between great players, plus four short, dull draws. Games 4 and 9 were particularly thrilling. Anand-Gelfand was much blander all the way through, albeit much closer. Winning fair and square at the highest level of sport is not "bullying." If you are not as good as your opponent, you lose. That's tough. That's chess--or any other sport.

Labelle Jacques (Ph.D. Math(MIT 75))'s picture

Anand-Carlsen match was more interesting and "justified" then Anand-Gelfand.

calvin amari's picture

Again. No argument that you can pair two weaker but evenly matached players in order to get a more competative battle, but that is hardly the point of a wolrd championship. Magnus Carlsen's 65% winning percentage is the greatest in FIDE history:
Rank Players Year Win %
1 Anand-Carlsen 2013 65%
2 Kasparov-Short 1993 62.5%
3 Botvinnik-Tal 1961 61.9%
4 Karpov-Korchnoi 1981 61.1%
5 Fischer-Spassky 1972 59.5%
6 Anand-Kramnik 2008 59.1%

Eadon's picture

"Capa-Alekhine, Lasker-Steinitz, or Fischer-Spassky"

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha Yeah right.

Eadon's picture

To explain my own sarcastic laughter - this match was just awful. It was fun watching Carlsen dismantle a weaker opponent in his inimitable way, but the chess games of this match were hardly fun, let us face facts, Anand practically refused to come out and play.
The match is a curiosity in terms of being Carlsen's ascent to put some validity back into the title of WC, but as for the games, they sucked about as much as possible for a match with three wins, let us face facts.
Anand will not be legendary outside India, certainly not in the way that Capa, Alekhine and the greats are and Carlsen already is. Kramnik, Anand and a thousand players like them are are consigned to the second division of chess history.

leo's picture

On my personal "top list", Kasparov, and Carlsen, are ahead of Anand, but to call Anand a "second division" player is much too harsh. Is that really what you think, or are you just going out of your way to insult the ex-Champion? I mean, you seem to attach a great deal of significance to Elo, which makes it weird to dismiss one of the very few players who made 2800+.

leo's picture

Or two, rather, as you wrote off Kramnik as well.

Thomas Richter's picture

How many people have really studied Capa-Alekhine, Lasker-Steinitz and Fischer-Spassky? As far as I am concerned, the first two not at all, the last one (also before my time) a little bit - I don't claim to be a typical chess fan, but I am certainly not unique either.

A bit early to make predictions for 2113 - for the time being, at least all the K-K Matches (Karpov, Korchnoi, Kasparov, Kramnik) seem more memorable.

Anonymous's picture


dave p's picture

Best player of all time? Nah, not yet. Let's give it time. He is impressive though.

Jim's picture

Your 100 years comment is particularly apt, in that this is the most one-sided match in over a century. You have to go back to the early matches of Lasker to find the last time anyone scored 65% or better in a world championship match.

Eadon's picture

The match lacked fun chess, but any other result than Carlsen winning to become WC would have been bizarre.
Carlsen is WC however and he takes over where Kasparov left off, as the dominant Number One.

torpedo's picture

I wonder, what is fun chess? When one, or both of the players are inaccurate, and make lots of smaller mistakes leading so that the "computer evaluation" constantly changes? It's a serious question.

Eadon's picture

"I wonder, what is fun chess?" -
One of the players, Anand, needless to say, tried to draw every game except one. Just like the Gelfand match before this one, the chess was tedious and often insipid and that was entirely Anand's fault.
If Anand had been a tiger and not a sloth, then the games would have been a lot of fun.
Carlsen also deserves some blame for choosing a computer-solid style over his older, more entertaining style. But where as Anand tried to draw every game, Carlsen, at least once he got used to the environment, was trying to win every game. However, with Anand refusing to play confrontational chess, it was all as dull as it possibly could have been for such an important match.

AngeloPardi's picture

That's not even remotely true.
Did you see the fourth game ?
Did you see the third game ?
Did you see the sixth game ?

harami's picture

Anand's biggest rival was his age. A younger Anand would have beaten this Carlsen, though it has to be noted that Carlsen was very very impressive in this match.

Eduardo's picture

And how exactly do you know that?
Carlsen is number 1 at 22... how about Anand?

Anonymous's picture

too true- anand is of a different time- actually i think carsen would do better 10- 15 years ago when computers weren't so dominant

Anonymous's picture

also don't anand have the perfect head of fake hair?!?

Anonymous's picture

yep ur right weak hair weak mind

Anonymous's picture

or fake hair weak mind

Paul Newman's picture

5 times WC champion and a week mind? I think you are a mentally retarded person.

Anil Philip's picture

Paulnewman, people like anonymous is a cheap look in this site. It is our bad luck to see these type of idiots comments.Atleast, this site can control this mad dog.

harami's picture

weak mind.. lol @ you i d i o t. Anand beat everyone out there in match play and faced a young Carlsen at the age of 43. This is the age when people retire, not fight and you think he has a weak mind? I think you are retarded.

Anonymous's picture

your absolutely right anand does not have a weak or fake mind - he is a true chess genius who likes magnus too much

Bert de Bruut's picture

The matches Petrosian-Spassky lacked fun chess too, like the 48 game first match Karpov-Kasparov, (over 30 boring games in one match alone) nor was there any fun in Kasparov-Kramnik. But who cared and cares? It is their importance that gives the games of these matches relevance, it is not always Spassky-Fischer or Karpov-Kasparov, second match...

the real S3's picture

Nonsense. Petrosian-Spassky was, on the contrary, very exciting. Apart from the more strategical/quiet games there were games with exchange sacrifices, great combinational explosions and last but not least a variety of theoretical and off beat openings was played.

The first 9 games of the Karpov-Kasparov match saw no less than 4 decisive results and some games of the highest quality. The later short draws (a consequence of the match format) didn't change that.

Kasparov Kramnik was indeed less "fun" but at least it showed new and original stuff like the introduction at top level of the Berlin wall, and Kramnik's emphasis on less forcing opening lines, a trend that now often is falsely ascribed to Carlsen alone.

No surprise, but there have been very few wch matches with a mediocre chess content but this match defenitely fits the description.

Greco 's picture


Anonymous's picture

+1 ! :)

Septimus's picture

Congrats Magnus! A completely crushing victory. Now there is complete harmony, best chess player, highest rated player and the world champion are all the same person, Magnus Carlsen.

I suppose this result was a forgone conclusion among pragmatic chess fans.

Anonymous's picture

this is why kaspy wanted to help magnus because kramnit wouldn't give him a rematch


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