Norway Chess: Anand defeats Carlsen at Armageddon
A strong mindset
Before the rest day, Vishy Anand ceded the lead in the Norwegian chess tournament to Stavanger. The Indian missed chances in both Recurve and Armageddon before losing to Black in the tiebreaker against Wesley So. Naturally, he was a little embarrassed after forgetting its preparation in the classic game.
Magnus Carlsen beat Anish Giri to catch Anand in the lead and, fortunately for the spectators, the contenders for the 2013 and 2014 World Championship matches met in the next round. Anand would get the white pieces after the rest day.
As seen in his interview after losing to So, Anand is not one to show strong emotions. A gentleman on and off the board, he tends to keep his status as the game‘s ambassador in mind. Nonetheless, we could see a bit of disappointment following his Armageddon win over Carlsen on Sunday. Anand had missed a huge chance to land the leaderboard favorite in their classic encounter. He says Jovanka Houska and Jan Gustafsson:
Well, I would normally have won a victory at Armageddon, but now it looks like a defeat. The first game was so winning. […] There must be so many ways [to win]but I managed to blow it up.
The multiple world champion quickly regained his composure and, sketching a smile here and there, he began to show the lines he had missed. The 52-year-old took his laptop to the venue in case he needed to prepare something ahead of Armageddon, but couldn’t bring himself to turn it on after the disappointing classic encounter:
I brought my computer, but I didn’t even bother to turn it on. I mean, I was going to quickly check something out for Armageddon, but after that game, I just sat there like a zombie.
Despite the disappointment, Anand is still leading the super-tournament in Norway. Olimpiu Di Luppi succinctly subtitled a photograph taken during the rest day.
In the much-awaited classic game, Anand got the better of Carlsen with his dangerous queenside setter, heavily supported by the white rooks. On move 32, however, the Indian failed to find a winning queen maneuver.
Anand played 32.Kc6 instead of 32.Qg4. He confessed that he realized what he missed later and noted, “After that, I’m amazed that I got to play Armageddon.”
The idea is that after 32.Qg4, White threatens the pawn on c4 and Nf5. Also, even if Black tries a tricky move like 32…Bc5, White has 33.Ne4 h5 34.Nf6+, winning.
This is just one of many potential lines, but it shows that even subsequent endgames are good for White – for example 34…Kh8 35.Qxc4 Bxf2+ 36.Kxf2 gxf6, and the passed pawns b and d decide .
Armageddon was more like a rollercoaster, but once the Indian got the upper hand in a streamlined position with queens still on the board, he showed quick reflexes and a pragmatic approach to claim victory. . The veteran put his 3-minute advantage on the clock to good use, as Carlsen only had seconds on his clock before he hit move 41 – when one-second increments start being added after each move .
Check out both games in the replayer below.
It wasn’t a great day at the office for Magnus Carlsen
Meanwhile, Anish Giri and Aryan Tari scored three points apiece in round 5. The former gained a huge advantage in the opener against Teimour Radjabov, earning him an extra pawn on the electronic roster. A tactical sequence ended the game.
Radjabov played 38…Nc3counting on 39.Rxc3 Qxd4, when capturing the queen fails at a fork by the knight of e2. However, the intermediate control 40.Nf7+ win on the spot. 1-0.
Tari beat Wang Hao, also with white, after the Chinese gaffed horribly at move 40.
40…d3+ is certainly a tempting discovered check – except that the bishop is suspended. After 41.Rxe5Wang played four more shots before throwing in the towel.
The two remaining encounters went to Armageddon. Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave got 1½ points after beating Wesley So and Veselin Topalov respectively, both with the white pieces.
Ranking after the 5th round