Reports | May 10, 2010 3:24

WCh G11: Anand starts with 1.c4, game drawn after 65 moves

WCh G11 drawn after 60 movesThe 11th game of the World Championship match in Sofia ended also in a draw today. Anand, who had started the game with 1.c4, could give perpetual check in a rook ending and instead offered a draw, which was accepted by Topalov. Video added.

For all the match details, rules and regulations we refer to our large overview article here. Here's a summary:

The match will take place April 21 - May 12 in Sofia, Bulgaria. Venue is the Central Military Club in Sofia, Bulgaria. The match will consist of 12 games, and if necessary, a 4-game rapid tiebreak, if necessary 5 2-game blitz matches and if necessary 1 sudden death game. The classical games will be played in pairs of 2, so there will be a rest day after every 2 games. No postponements are allowed. Topalov has White in games 1,3,5,8, 10 and 12.


April 24 – 17.00 EEST (16:00 CET) - Game 1
April 25 – 15:00 EEST (14:00 CET) - Game 2
April 26 – Rest Day
April 27 – 15:00 EEST (14:00 CET) - Game 3
April 28 – 15:00 EEST (14:00 CET) - Game 4
April 29 – Rest Day
April 30 – 15:00 EEST (14:00 CET) - Game 5
May 1 – 15:00 EEST (14:00 CET) - Game 6
May 2 – Rest Day
May 3 – 15:00 EEST (14:00 CET) - Game 7
May 4 – 15.00 EEST (12.00 UTC) - Game 8
May 5 – Rest Day
May 6 – 15:00 EEST (14:00 CET) - Game 9
May 7 – 15:00 EEST (14:00 CET) - Game 10
May 8 – Rest Day
May 9 – 15:00 EEST (14:00 CET) - Game 11
May 10 – Rest Day
May 11 – 15:00 EEST (14:00 CET) - Game 12
May 12 – Rest Day
May 13 – Tie breaks

The time control for each game is 120 minutes for the first 40 moves, 60 minutes for the next 20 moves and then 15 minutes for the rest of the game with an increment of 30 seconds per move starting after move 61. The Chief Arbiter is Panaqiotis Nikolopoulos (Greece). The Deputy Chief Arbiter is Werner Stubenvoll (Austria). The total prize fund is 3 million Euros: 2 million for the players, 400,000 for FIDE taxes and 600,000 for organizational costs. The winner will receive 1,2 million Euros while the loser receives 800.000 Euros.


 Anand, V


If you can't see all videos in the player above: this is a cache problem of the browser. We've contacted about the problem. Please remove your cache files and try again. Here's the game 11 video separately:

Game 11

Today's 11th match game started with another 1-minute silence, this time for Andor Lilienthal. Last night I emailed a FIDE delegate, and he would ask the arbiters. I have no idea if it was a because of this, but Chief Arbiter Nikolopoulos did pay attention to it, which is good.

The game started with 1.c4 - a move Anand had never played in a classical game, to the knowledge of Topalov. However, we think we've found one: Anand-Christiansen, Munich 1991. But this was a last-round game in which Christiansen needed a draw to secure clear first, and the game ended in a quick draw indeed. Exactly the kind of draw that's being avoided by the Sofia rule...

Today Anand showed that it's actually a good opening when you don't want to take risks, but still like to keep slight, very slight winning chances.

WCh G11

Topalov answers Anand's surprising 1.c4 quickly with 1...e5

Although Topalov was surprised by the move, he played fast in the opening. And indeed Black had no problems whatsoever. The resulting ending was quite drawish, but suddenly Anand took some risks by sacrificing his last pawn on the queenside in return for active play. However, in the game the world champ proved that his counterplay was sufficient.

At the press conference Topalov didn't want to answer the question whether he agrees that Anand should be considered the favourite for the tiebreak. "First we have another game, then we'll see."

Game viewer by ChessTempo

WCh G11

What started as a very quiet game, turned into an interesting ending...

WCh G11

...with many hidden tactics

WCh G11

The view from the person handling the webcam

Links (we keep updating this!)

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Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers

Founder and editor-in-chief of, Peter is responsible for most of the chess news and tournament reports. Often visiting top events, he also provides photos and videos for the site. He's a 1.e4 player himself, likes Thai food and the Stones.


Henk Schmitz's picture

Hulde voor de snelle berichtgeving.
Kleine opmerking:
de variant bij zet 62 klopt niet: 62. Ne6+ Nxe6 63. Rc7+?? Nxc7!

Henk Schmitz

Suneet's picture


I wouldn't have played another opening if the current one almost gave me 3+ though, the first two came early so its understandable... so very different from e4 to Kramnik last time...

Castro's picture

"Both players seem to underestimate 46... Ne7! 47. Kg3 Nd5 48. f5 Ne3 and White will have to lose a pawn, e.g. 49. Nh2 Nc4 50. Rb3 Ra3! 51. Rf3 Ra5 52. Rb3 Nd6"

Shouldn't it be the plain: "... and white will have to lose the game"??
It looks like one of the great misses of this championship.

Henk Schmitz's picture

Wacht, dan staat het pat! Dus toch '= '....

Suneet's picture

Tomorrow Topalov may try harder to win than he has... He knows odds in a rapid playoff are against him.

Anand must prepare to counter inaccurate aggressive moves...

Dr. Wolfgang Berghorn, Germany's picture

The 12th game of the WCC match 2010 on next Tuesday could be the climax of this titanic battle, but as we have seen today a "secure" draw is most likely the result to come - and so an exciting Tie break is going to follow on Thursday, May 13th 2010!

Cant_be_more_crazy_mp's picture


In the 11th game we saw a little surprise by Anand playing 1.c4. The key position of opening was at move 11. Black played strong 11... Qe8! allowing Rd8 and Qf7 or in some lines even possibly Qh5.

After this black gets liberated, The fact that white has weak light squares in his queen-side comes quite handy for black who disturbs whites plans of putting him under pressure from there.

At move 20 according to my slow computer white has 20.Nd2!? , which plans to play f4 and preparing for some intense fights. Black has both counter in the center and play on queen-side by b5 which would maintain balance in some messy lines. Example:

20. Nd2 b5!? (20. .. Be6) 21. f4 a5 22. fxe5 b4 23. exf6 bxc3
24. Qxc3 Nd4 25. Rf2 Nef5 26. Bh3 Be6 27. Ne4 Qh5 28. fxg7 Nxe2+ 29. Rxe2
Qxe2 30. Nf6+ Kf7 31. g8=Q+ Rxg8 32. Bxf5 Bxf5 33. Nxd7 Qe3+ 34. Kg2 Qe2+
35. Kg1 Qe3+ with equality

(You need to recheck these with a stronger computer, there are much more lines to investigate too)

But basically Topalov emerges with active play after the opening, as suits his style, so it is a question whether these ideas in the middle-game are attractive or just muddying the waters.

Afterwords we reach the endgame with dynamic balance, black has some initiative but game is basically even. At move 49 Anand plays risky 49. Rd2?! scarifying a pawn for a king-side attack. According to the computer however black has already equalized and is quite active for some time. So this decision is dubious as it is way late. Topalov did not take full advantage of it though and the game ended in a draw.

So the game was equal from opening and after some play, the plan of Anand squeezing a win anyway might have caused him some troubles consequently, at it contained too much risk.

For the rest of match, we might see that each try to put some tough pressure on the other all game(s) long, so that the decisive mistakes get in.

chess's picture

46...Ne7 47.Rd2 ! you can play draw

unknown's picture


On Tuesday I hope Topa will play for win!

h.'s picture

i'm surprised no one in the chess press has yet said anand has now employed the fischer tactic (opening with c4) used against spassky in 1972.

Castro's picture

I think after 46. ...Ne7 47.Rd2 Rb4 48.Nd4 Nd5, you indeed can play, but almost certainly you can't draw :-)

Radical Caveman's picture

These journalists sure ask some dopey questions...

pete's picture

interesting game ... I think Anand wanted exactly smth with small winning chances and little or no risk at all. He knows that if the match goes to a tie-break he would have the advantage. I believe Topalov will do everything possible to win the last game as he too knows a tie-break will not be very optimistic for him.

paul's picture

I wonder why nobody complains about the rapid-games. This is WC-match. In a tie-break the winner only proves he is a better rapid player and not a world champion of chess! If you don't beat a world champion as a challenger you missed your goal..a pitty... but this is the privelige of the WC. A tie means he remains his title. Besides i look forward to the tie-break but only because of the exitement not as a chessloving amateur!

Castro's picture


Can't speak for others, but my reason is that sometimes I'm just TIRED of complaining about anti-chess things, and so I don't.
But you're completely right!
The champion keeping the title in case of a tie makes a million times more sense, and of course more classic-time games should be played, not just these 12. (But the poor lads are tired! Imagine Lasker or Alekhine...)
Oh well, many wrong things in the chess realm!

Vovo's picture

I disagree that the cahmpion keeps his title in a tie match. This will strongly stimulate passive strategies from the champions.

VB's picture

I don't have any doubts that Topalov will play play for a win in Tuesday. This game could decide the title.

Peter Doggers's picture

Nobody has doubts about that. The question is how much risk he will take.

Vesco's picture

Topalov, the whole chess community is supporting you and hoping that you win! Go do it for all of us!

Garnoth's picture

Haha, speak for yourself Vesco, I dont think Topalov is such a bad guy but keeping Danailov as a manager is just bad judgement, I am still rooting for Anand.

Would it be unlikely that Topalov will take too much risk in fear of a rapid tie-break against a rapid specialist as Anand?

Thomas's picture

Apparently Vesco doesn't follow Internet forums, or ignores the "minority" (roughly 70%!?) that is rather rooting for Anand or maybe against Topalov ... . In any case, how can a single person speak on behalf of the whole chess community?

h.'s picture

vesco, sorry. but i've been cheering for visvanathan anand since the early 1990's and won't be changing my position any time soon. vishy is here to stay!

chess's picture

i dont know why it should not be draw:

46. …Ne7 47.Rd2 Rb4
48.Nd4 Nd5 49.Kf3 Ra4 50.Rd3 Nb4 51.Rd1 Nd5 52.Rd2 Nc3 53.Rd3
Rc4 54.Ke3 Rc5 55.Kf2 Nxb5 56.Nxb5 Rxb5 57.Rd7+ Ke6 58.Rxa7 Rb3
59.Ra6 Kf7 60.Ra8 b5 61.Ra7+ Ke6 62.Ra6+ Kf7 63.Rb6 b4 64.Ke2
Ke7 65.Kd2 Rg3 66.Rb7+ Kd6 67.Rxb4 Rxg4 68.Rb6+ Ke7 69.Ke3 Rg3+
70.Ke4 [= (+0.05)] d=28}

Sergio's picture

@Vesco the only moment i will cheer for Topalov is when he dumps his manager.

I hope Topalov is taking huge risks tomorrow and we gonna see the first black win of the match.

Estragon's picture

What a match!

Deep Mikey's picture

Not very important, but I counted 65 and not 60 moves ...

h.'s picture

tomorrow it will go down as the “match of the millenium" when anand wins with black!!

KingTal's picture

@paul Vovo and Castro:
A good compromise would be just to set a World Champion titlematch for 5 wins, with the champion start with white. Then there would be no rapid games and no passive play. :)
Maybe it will result in a lot of games because of draws, but hey its about the biggest title a chess player can achieve and its sponsored with a lot of money too, so why not do the effort.
It has already worked in Karpovs era. The game against Kasparov was the most intense champion match and everybody remembered this unforgettable epic match!
A real fight.

Mejnour's picture

Speaking about WC classical format,

I agree with paul and castro.

Also I don't like the match format to determine the WC anymore, it's been a real joke over last decade. I don't wan' t to shock the purist but welcome to the 21st century.

I would rather see a Grand Slam tournaments (4 majors) for the top10 (or top8) rated player (ELO rating of last year determine the candidats for the next year) in a double-round robin format.

At the end we crown the player who perform the better during this 4 majors. We crown a player who perform well againts differents types of players on a regular basic (not a player who did a specific prep. for a specific opponent).

My 2 cents

Nutos's picture

WCCh matches is what sets our sports' world championship apart - there is already a way of determining the number 1 tournament all-rounder in the world and that's the rating list. Topalov is the number one player in thay regard (or is it Carlsen? - seems to change all the time...) but Vishy is the player who...

beat the player who beat the player who beat the player who won the title by default when Fischer refused to play who beat the player who beat the player who beat the player that despite being beaten a few times regained his title in re-matches who won the title in a match-tournament when the champion died holding the title who himself lost and regained the title after beating the player who beat the player who beat Wilhelm Steinitz.

That's the history of this beautiful conception. Don't mess with it!

KingTal's picture

Yeah keep the classical line, having a world champion each year would cost chess lots of its mystery and honour about the chess crown. There are only 15 world champions in over 100 years! Thats unique and kinda fits to the image of chess even in the 21st century.
Chess don´t need 4 grand slam tournaments, this is no
But im for the system as it was in the end of the sixties and at start of seventies...candidate tournaments, then quarter finals and so on to determine the challenger. :P

Emil's picture

@I would rather see a Grand Slam tournaments (4 majors) for the top10 (or top8) rated player (ELO rating of last year determine the candidats for the next year) in a double-round robin format.

Almost the same dream here! :) But more like 1 tournament only of the top4 (or top6) with 6 (4) games each other. Top4 most suits the current situation in the chess world I think. Just imagine - Anand, Kramnik, Topalov and Carlsen... ah, daydreaming :)

Mejnour's picture


Make it on 4 years if it bother too much. :o)

Some poeple prefers to live in the past, others prefer the present moment, seeking at the future of chess.

But one think is sure, dinosaurs stubbornness make them disappear...evolution is the meaning of life

This aristocraty system is obsolete, and when the heads are so so, history shown that they must fall. It is a question of time.

"Le roi est mort, vive le roi"

Meppie's picture

Why is today a restday?
I always thought that switching color at the half of the match is because of having white after a restday. Topalov has white at the start, Anand after the restday. But now Topalov has white after a restdag again?!

jussu's picture

Exactly same question as Meppie from me. Nothing against rest-day before the last game, but doesn't this render the midway switch of colours just completely pointless?

Mejnour's picture


It was part of the signed contract before tthe match begin.

jussu's picture


I don't see anything wrong with the series of competitions you are describing (except that tournaments with only four participants suck). However, neither do I see a reason to take the title of the winner of another competition (i.e. WC) and give it to the winner of such series.

The slow pace of WC cycle, tha hard-to-getness of the title is, i.m.o, a major part of its value. This is why Olympic Games are held every four years: we could easily make it twice a year but nobody would care about the winners then.

Mejnour's picture


4 years cycle seem fair to me. A agree with the participants number (Linares was a joke) ; what about match concept (only 2 participants suck too ;o))

I don't respect Kasparov because he was good in match format (WC), but because he did dominate the field on regular basis in strong tournaments.

With today strong computer analysis, match format is less appealing for me.

This feeling began with Deep Blue 1997 version who was designed to beat Kasparov. Match= too much specific prep. for specific opponent, in my criteria that don't make the winner a WC. Too much off-board strategy, not enough on-board tactics.

Also what's remain unclear (controversial!?) for me is the way that candidates are selected.

Too much politics and personnality conflicts spoil what can be a nice cycle.

Mejnour's picture

Nice article about candidates cycle

My first thought is this mess need a good cleaning.

KingTal's picture

Match between 2 persons, the reigning champion and the candidate every 3 or 4 years thats what the chess fan needs. :)

Mejnours idea is good for finding the candidate but not for the champion, hehehe. :D

You can´t avoid players from preparing games with analysis of computer..even if there are 8 opponents. Also there is such a big amount of possibilities in chess you can´t can never predict how your opponent will react.

Mejnour's picture


At least we are in the right direction lol

Who gonna get the wild card for the candidates?

Been a WC is not always good for you. The WC syndrome strike Kramnik giving him a uninspired period. It is funny that now that he his not anymore WC, his play is more inspired. I would not says that Anand suffered as much of this syndrome, lets says that the secondary effect where less visible.

suneet's picture

okay... I didn't know today is rest day :I ...
rescheduled a few things and ran to my PC, just to discover that I need to reschedule again tomorrow! oh man I feel so chess-tipsy at the moment!

KingTal's picture

Kramnik suffered from an illness or something like that i don´t think it was because he was WC.

Everybody reach his prime someday and then its over. Although Tal and Smyslov had their reborn and even had a chance to win the candidate matches at late ages or past their primes. It depens on a lot of factors but i don´t think Kramnik is this type of being fed up. :0

Anand will soon reach his peak or maybe he´s already passed it as Topalov has. Carlsen is the new WC-beef.. :D

Mejnour's picture


I agree with you about Carlsen but candidates cycle been so long, I would'nt be suprise if Carslen pass is prime :)

Ak's picture

Topalov was surprised by Anand's 1. c4...since he admitted that he hadnt seen Anand play that in major tournaments

I wonder if Anand will surprise Topalov again with black? Most likely not but i wonder what the possibilities are...

KingTal's picture


Hahaha, you don´t have to worry about Carlsen he will win the next candidates cycle in (2011?) and then he will be champion for long time until a better player will come. ;)

obs's picture

i hope Aronian will play the candidates, we dont want that Carlsen will have it to easy way without Aronian.

h.'s picture

i feel you! a “beautiful conception" it is. watching chess history evolve.

NBC's picture

The press conferences are really a royal bore.

S's picture

obs, didn't he already win the GP cycle thus qualifying for the candidates?
And even without Aronian there are several players who are no worse and have excellent chances -no way this will be easy - not for anyone.


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