Saturday, November 15, 2014

Carlsen-Anand: Let the draws begin

The FIDE World Championship is taking place in Sochi from November 7 to 27. World Champion Carlsen is challenged by former champion Anand.

Both games four and five were drawn without much of a fight.

In game five last night, Russian GM Ian Nepomniachtchi replaced Sopiko as co-commentator. And what a difference it made. The very strong grandmaster could rattle off analysis like a bullet train (in constrast with Sopiko who 90% of the time would keep agreeing with Svidler), punctuating it with humorous banter. Both Nepomniachtchi and Svidler seems to be fans of the Lord of the Rings movie as at one point both started making quotes from the movie! Very entertaining and I hope more such guest commentators will be forthcoming.

Carlsen appeared to know his openings very well, rattling off moves at blitz speed. Anand whowever got a slightly better position with a superior bishop against a knight although the position was too simple to cause any problems for Carlsen. However Carlsen's strange decision to capture a pawn on move 22 was baffling. Carlsen could have ended in a slightly worse ending. However Anand did not play the better 27 Ra4, which would have kept the queen-side pawns and maintain a nagging edge. Instead he quickly went into mass exchanges and ended in a drawn rook ending. Disappointing  decision from Anand.

Game six continues today.


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