November 09, 2013 13:01

It's on! First game, Carlsen-Anand, drawn quickly - UPDATE: VIDEO

The first game of the World Championship match in Chennai was a short one: after 16 moves and less than 1.5 hours Magnus Carlsen, playing white, and Viswanathan Anand agreed to a draw. The game was watched by about 400 spectators and officials in the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Chennai and many millions of fans around the globe via Indian and Norwegian TV as well as the Internet.

The game started as a Réti opening but then transposed into a Fianchetto Grunfeld. After White's 13th move, there was an opportunity for Black to repeat the moves, and Anand took it even though computer engines suggested a slight advantage for Black. A quick draw in the first game of the match, however, can mean a nice psychological advantage!

PGN string

"I have had a few such embarrassing draws in the Candidates Matches," was Carlsen's answer to the question whether he was surprised. He was "not too thrilled about the way the game went" and called the tactics that started after 10...Nb6 "an immediate crisis". He felt right away that he needed to force a draw when he suiddenly noticed 13.Qe1?! Nb4!.

"I just had to pull the emergency brake and go for a draw," said Carlsen. "Hopefully in the next few days, we can give you some more than 1,5 hours." To the question whether he would have played on with the black pieces, Carlsen said: "I didn't see anything for Black and I think White's long term prospects are fine."

"We exchanged information in game one. It was almost a relief to finally get the chance to play," said a relaxed World Champion, who was in full control in the opening phase. As the famous Russian online commentator GM Sergey Shipov put it, "Carlsen failed to get Vishy into unknown territory." Anand called 10...Nb6 "a rather sharp idea" that "forced play right away".

A huge crowd and about 150 journalists showed up for the start of this much awaited match. The 400 tickets were sold out.

The symbolic first move, 1.Nf3, was executed by FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov and on the other side of the sound-proof glass, about fifty photographers (including the author of these lines) were literally fighting to get a good shot of the action.

FULL VIDEO FEED BY THE ORGANIZERS

The organizers were struggling a little on the first day of the match. The internet in the press room was rather slow, and commentators had the same problem. Even worse, the transmission of the games on the official site by Chessbomb "exploded", as Lennart Ootes put it, and so during the first fifteen minutes or so it was difficult to be sure about which moves were played.

On Sunday Anand will play with the white pieces and then Monday will be the first rest day. 11 games remain to be played in this best of 12-series. The first player to reach 6.5 points will emerge as champion.

Inside, the lobby of the Hyatt Regency hotel is clearly chess-themed...
...while outside hundreds of people are gathering
Photographers have to step outside as well and undergo a security scan...
...while inside they are kept from the sound-proof glass...
...with a simple rope.
The waiting has begun.
First to arrive are the arbiters: Chief Arbiter Ashot Vardapetyan
of Armenia and Deputy Arbiter Almog Burstein of Israel
We suddenly notice a funny bra-like logo and are trying to find out what it is (Update: it's this!)
17 minutes before the game, Anand arrives in the rest area
About four minutes before the start, Carlsen arrives and sits at the board
Anand joins him and the players shake hands...
...and fill out their notation form
Carlsen then leaves again, and Anand sites at the board, highly concentrated, for about two minutes
Anand leaves again, and Carlsen gets back to the board
As he looks through the glass and sees all the photographers fighting to get a good pic...
...he can't prevent a smile!

Anand returns to the board, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov makes the first move, and the match has finally begun.

 

The players at the press conference, exchanging variations

You can find all info on Chess.com's coverage of the match here.

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Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers
Chess.com

Comments

Anonymous's picture

Magnus looked extremely nervous before Anand arrived at the chessboard. It won't be easy.

Pastikel's picture

right!!
Anand seem very happy with his short draw achievement. Look at that smile, how dear you anand a very sweet boy even with that advantage he keep gracious

Vítor Almeida's picture

The photo of the woman who is the chief of the place should be scared Carlsen! Her big photo is so strange!

NoEngine's picture

Lol ok. I thought it was Anand's mother! weird.

Chess Vibes's picture

Peter, the analysis of the game here is very good and useful.
The mention of the tidbits in this article of happenings outside of the chess game is also interesting and a nice value addition for me.
Thank you.

Chess Vibes's picture

Chess FAN(!) ;-)

Chess Fan's picture

I always laugh when I hear that Vishy is soft and nervous OTB (against MC and GK for example). That only speaks to how good GK and MC are.
I have always found him to be very intimidating with his self-assured confidence OTB. He is intimidating like a Chess Tiger, without even trying. I have played him long back. There was extraordinary charisma. I am not exaggerating. You have to experience it to understand what I am saying. But then MC and GK are in totally different class in chess than I.

Vítor Almeida's picture

A surprise ... but before the game Carlsen seemed nervous

charles's picture

The press conference was important: Carlsen was dissapointed with the game and Anand said it was "satisfactory" for him. I think that statements reveal a lot about who has the psicological advantage, and it's for Carlsen. Anand is just happy to draw, a bad sign for him, and a bad message to his opponent

Michael Lubin's picture

Anand's reasonably happy to draw because he was BLACK. Really, this press conference contained no notable admissions.

charles's picture

Yeah, he was black. But, where is the satisfaction after getting a better position, with your rival having spent 50 min after 12 moves, and clearly dissapointed whith de developing position? I insist: it would appear a good draw for Anand, but it is not. The press conferece reveals much about the state of mind of both players, and about who is looking for more in the upcoming days

Anonymous's picture

Watch the video of the game, you'll see that Anand was super cool, And carlsen nervous as hell

Ruben 's picture

Anand reach a easy draw with the black pieces.
So white did not get any avantage out of the first move. So thats why it is nice for Anand.
Black is allready allright after Nb6.
Nc3 not the best move I think. Maybe even b3 not best.

Thomas Oliver's picture

Spin doctors at work? Both players may have the same approach: press and (try to) win with white, play solidly with black and a draw is a fine result. In this respect, matches are different from tournaments where you might also need some wins with black.

Carlsen spent lots of time because he didn't reach his aim: a better position out of the opening or at least a playable one (where he can sensibly avoid a repetition). This doesn't mean that black was already better.

Chess Vibes's picture

TO, I do think that both the players will play sharp and try to win with black also, especially in the beginning when the score is even.
But then I predicted MC to play 1.d4 today, and so you could be right.
I have predicted Vishy to play 1.d4 tomorrow, but both Susan Polgar and GM Ramesh (who was a British Commonwealth Champion) have predicted Vishy to play 1.e4.

Huy's picture

What!? Magnus still playing?! You must be devastated?

anonymous's picture

I'd agree. Anand neutralized Carlsen's white and compelled a repetition (else Carlsen would have been worse) in only 16 moves. That is a very "satisfactory" outcome for Anand at this level.

RS 's picture

I would not draw any conclusions from what Anand says. He is known to be nice and polite all the time and was being just that.

Anonymous's picture

You shouldn't believe everything Anand says ! Did you watch the video ? Carlsen was extremely nervous, whereas Anand looked like Buddha ...

David's picture

ROFL..Yeah that!!

Bronkenstein's picture

Somewhat strange attempt to re-interpret clear psychological victory by Vishy.

RS 's picture

To all those who were predicting an 'Easy Win" for Carlsen i present a nervous Magnus. His first move itself indicated that he acknoledges Anand's opening preparation superiority got into some weaknesses early on and seemed releived to get a quick draw.

choufleur's picture

Hard to say why Carlsen choose such an innocuous opening.

Chris's picture

I have foreseen that 1. Nf3 - in previous thread. It is very flexible move. You can transpose from here to many systems. That keeps MC preparations in a smog. Anand got promising position but declined to play on. Magnus noticed that he has to slow down.
Opening for Ananad but not continuing middlegame for Carlsen from psychology point of view.

Chess Fan's picture

Interesting comment. You make sense to me Chris.

Ruben 's picture

Anand could play on Qa3 and then b6
Or Qb3 b5 !?
first line the best I think.
Any case clear that Nc3 was not the move.

Zeblakop's picture

Dynamic manoeuvres by Anand (Nb6 and Nc4). MC wanted to keep the game safe and slow.
+1 for Anand. I guess that Anand wuld play for a win wiz Black as he did vs Kramnik in 2008. But he knew himself better.

Chess Fan's picture

Yes, I was surprised that he did not continue on, on what I thought was an advantage. But as the press conference revealed, he understood lot of things about the position and the moves. Who is to second guess a World Champion in this very important match!

Webbimio's picture

As Timman pointed out, Carlsen's opening play is mostly concerned anout avoiding an early crisis. Anand pointed out twice, in the press conference, that today he actually WANTED an early crisis, avoiding to "fall asleep" in a long manoeuvring game.
Imo, all this is psychologically in Anand's favour.

charles's picture

The best new for Carlsen is to have avoided de "first game sindrom", which affected Fiscer in 1972, Petrosian in 1963 and Spassky in 1969. They were like Carlsen today, extremely nervous facing his first game. Not a bad draw for Magnus given the circumstances: 50 min after 12 moves, inferior position and the extreme tension wich surroundes a world championship

Chess Fan's picture

You make perfect sense. MC's nervousness was surprising (as we have come to know MC), but being so human in this situation is very understandable. Interesting to note from your comment that even such legends were nervous and even dropped their first game.

Anonymous's picture

Anand boiled Carlsen in the beginning, showing up only in the last minute. Never seen Carlsen so anxious. Well, WC match play IS something different than tournament play after all, isn't it, Mr. Agdestein? http://www.livemint.com/Consumer/9D577dgMWbKBELrBOClEWM/What-Anand-match...

Chess Fan's picture

Not that you mention all this, I realize that. Astute observation, Anonymous.
Thanks for the interesting link too.

voyteck's picture

I'm not going to blame players in any way but I feel fortunate it starts so early I won't have chance to waste time on this. Main reason I didn't watch football when I still watched sports: you never know if it's going to be worth your time. Let alone chess... And it can be only worse unless Fischer variant becomes the main one on the professional level.

Anonymous's picture

you're wrong ! it was fantastic to see Carlsen face looking for Anand who arrived at the last minute.

Chess Fan's picture

Voyteck, sorry but your comment is difficult to understand. I don't understand what you are saying.
Maybe that is your objective!

Huy's picture

HIs comment is perfectly understandable.

Mindhunter's picture

Advantage Anand for sure. Carlsen was way too nervous and needs to settle. Speaking about pulling "the emergency brake" is not good psychologically, but it is only Game 1 and not too surprising that Carlsen would have been nervous. Having said that, the nerves got to him at the end of the Candidates, so I thought this would have been an area that he and his team would have prepared better for. Surely Anand will take the fight to him tomorrow and try to press for an early win with white. Then this match will really take off! I certainly did not think it would start like this! May the best man win!

Chris's picture

Anand will not take the fight tommorrow.

Chess Fan's picture

I think Vishy will continue to play sharp. Let us see.

Chris's picture

if will be a fight Carlsen will take it

Ruben 's picture

I think we will get a fight too, because if the maths becomes even then more game with less time will follow. This seem to be an avantage for Carlsen do I think Anand will play sharp all ( most of the ) games.
Also he needed to win.

abhi's picture

Did you guys Observe that Magnus was much more cordial in the Press Conference today. Someone told him to at least smile and be warm :)

Thomas Oliver's picture

I second this - Carlsen surprised me in the press conference in a positive way (maybe also because I didn't expect too much from him?). He even talked about 'butterflies', is he aware of Rowson's take on the first press conference?

Either "someone told him", or - more likely IMO - he feels more comfortable now that the match has started. Both players said in the press conference something like "good that we are finally playing" - are months of anticipation and preparation as tough or even tougher than the match itself?

abhi's picture

Well he he even apologizes for the short game :) in an answer to one question, even though it was Anand who could have played on and not Magnus. Bet his siblings (3 sisters) told him how awful he was at the first PC. :)
Anand on the other hand seems a lot more assured to my surprise, coz he was pretty nervous in sofia I clearly remember. Home atmosphere has cheered him up.

abhi's picture

plus at 44 he feels he has achieved everything and is playing without pressure (at least at the moment) which is a good sign. Hope we have some good matches.

RS's picture

maybe Carlsen's sisters told him to be nice or he got humbled by his game :)

Bronkenstein's picture

But OFC, he is reading Chessvibes =)

Chess Fan's picture

That is an astute observation abhi. This also distinctly stuck me. Maybe he has a good PR team (even his wise parents are with him) who rightly tell him that he has to behave some worthy of a a potential world champion. Diplomacy is part of the package and attractive to lucrative sponsors.

bbb's picture

It's over for Carlsen, the beginning of his collapse.

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