Other Sports

Carlsen cashes in on Anand’s blunder in sixth game

GREAT ESCAPE: Magnus Carlsen benefited fromViswanathan Anand’s largesse — the challenger notonly failed to capitalise on an error from thechampion, but returned the favour too — to run upa 3.5-2.5 lead at the half-way stage.

GREAT ESCAPE: Magnus Carlsen benefited fromViswanathan Anand’s largesse — the challenger notonly failed to capitalise on an error from thechampion, but returned the favour too — to run upa 3.5-2.5 lead at the half-way stage.  

Carlsen, thanks to the lucky victory, surged ahead in the match for the second time and now leads by 3.5—2.5 at exactly the half way stage with six games still remaining.

Defeat hurts. Some defeats hurt even more. Potentially, the one suffered by Viswanathan Anand will haunt him forever.



Long after the fate of this World championship title-match in Sochi, Russia, is decided, the talking point among the chess lovers will be the 26th move of Game 6 when Magnus Carlsen inadvertently handed Anand a possible victory.



But what followed after 60 seconds was equally unbelievable: Anand returned the favour!



After mulling over various options, except, perhaps, the possible match-changing capture of a central pawn with his knight, Anand made a defensive pawn-move.



Both players realised their mistakes almost immediately after committing them. Carlsen went on to capitalise.



Anand suffered thereafter all the way to a devastating loss in 38 moves.



“Sometimes you are not expecting a gift, and you don’t accept it,” said Anand, attempting to describe what had happened.



Carlsen’s escape to victory gives him a 3.5-2.5 lead at the half-way stage of the 12-game match. With the Norwegian scheduled to play with white again in the seventh game on Monday, Anand will have more to worry about during the rest day on Sunday.



In effect, it was in 60 seconds that the game was won and lost.



When asked if the realisation of having let Carslen off the hook had any bearing on his concentration for the remainder the game, a distraught Anand said: “Given the way I played the rest of the game, probably.”



Carlsen said he was “extremely lucky” and “massively relieved” go have won. “It was complete panic. I did not keep my poker face at all (after making Move 26). I have made some similar blunders in the past. But let’s not focus too much on it. It’s not good,” he said.



Before the game took a decisive turn, the big names of the chess world were debating Anand’s choice of variation in Sicilian Defence.



Both players reeled off moves at a brisk pace and reached double digits in under four minutes of their allotted two hours for the first 40 moves.



After the exchange of queens that left Anand’s king dislodged, Carlsen attacked the vulnerable kingside pawns.



The Norwegian’s more mobile rook, the better-placed pair of bishops and the other rook waiting to get into action, all combined to worry Anand.



Even then, Anand’s king was not in any immediate danger and his queenside pawn-structure that provided a fortress to his king was clearly sturdy.



Then came Move 26.



Carlsen claimed one of the kingside pawns after exchanging his bishop for a knight. By the 30th move there was very little to suggest that Anand could salvage the fast collapsing position.



By the 36th move, Anand was three pawns down apart from the one that Carlsen could have taken at will. He continued to make moves, perhaps in the hope that Carlsen might blunder again.



That was not to be.



The Moves: Game 6



Carlsen (W)-Anand (B)



1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 a6 5.c4 Nf6 6.Nc3 Bb4 7.Qd3 Nc6 8.Nxc6 dxc6 9.Qxd8+ Kxd8 10.e5 Nd7 11.Bf4 Bxc3+ 12.bxc3 Kc7 13.h4 b6 14.h5 h6 15.O-O-O Bb7 16.Rd3 c5 17.Rg3 Rag8 18.Bd3 Nf8 19.Be3 g6 20.hxg6 Nxg6 21.Rh5 Bc6 22.Bc2 Kb7 23.Rg4 a524.Bd1 Rd8 25.Bc2 Rdg8 26.Kd2a4 27.Ke2 a3 28.f3 Rd8 29.Ke1 Rd7 30.Bc1 Ra8 31.Ke2 Ba4 32.Be4+ Bc6 33.Bxg6 fxg6 34.Rxg6 Ba4 35.Rxe6 Rd1 36.Bxa3 Ra1 37.Ke3 Bc2 38.Re7+ Black resigns

Why you should pay for quality journalism - Click to know more

Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Apr 6, 2020 2:11:54 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/world-chess-championship-2014-magnus-carlsen-versus-viswanathan-anand-game-6/article6603269.ece

Next Story