White a poor show!

Anand plays out tame draw with white pieces against Carlsen

Chennai: Defending champion Viswanathan Anand was caught off guard by a surprise opening from Magnus Carlsen of Norway as he played out a tame draw against his challenger with white pieces in the second game of the World Chess Championship here on Sunday.

White a poor show!

World number one Carlsen showed that he was made of sterner stuff and pulled back the attention on himself with an easiest of draws against Anand, who played with his first white in the match. The first game, in which Anand played with black pieces, was also a drawn affair on Saturday.

The scores are now tied 1-1 after two games and there are 10 more games to go under Classical time control in this Rs 14 crore prize money championship. Just like Anand’s mesmerising work in the opening game on Saturday, it was Carlsen all the way as Anand could not do anything.

The local hero agreed that the opening was a surprise for him and even more the variation chosen by Carlsen.  It was a repetition of a game played by Anand against Chinese Ding Liren some time back and Anand spent a lot of time thinking about various complicated variations but could not be sure of himself.

The easier way out was to play solid, as Carlsen did when posed with slightest difficulty and the draw was up for grabs for the Norwegian. While the first game lasted just 16 moves, this one went on till the 25th but the result of the game had been forecasted by many much before that.

Carlsen’s surprise opening apparently took Anand completely off guard and the world champion will now have to look at some new options to figure out the Caro Kann. The variation that Carlsen chose has tendencies to go for wild-play which is a major shift from the Carlsen camp according to general perception that the Norwegian plays well in dry positions.

The two players followed played games till move 17 and on his 18th turn Anand came up with a ‘Novelty’ by going for the trade of queens. However, the new idea was probably an over the board preparation rather than home work as white got nothing.

Anand found all natural and forcing moves thereafter and with his 21st move, the writing was already on the wall as the repetition of moves was quite evident. Just four moves later, the position had repeated thrice for a well-deserved draw for the Norwegian.

In the post match chat, Carlsen said white could have avoided the queen exchange to have a game on, but his later analysis proved that there was not much hope for white even though it looks optically it looked like a decent option. Like in the first game, white spent more time on the clock.

Carlsen ended up spending just 25 minutes on the clock while Anand took 42 minutes to make his moves. If the deadlock continues and the scores are still tied after 12 games, games of shorter duration will be played to determine the winner.

Anand apologetic

Chennai: Defending champion Viswanathan Anand on Sunday tendered apology after he played out a tame draw with white pieces in the second game of World Chess Championship clash against Magnus Carlsen of Norway here.

 “Today it’s my turn to tender a slight apology,” said Anand. “The position we got after move 12 is a very sharp one. I have studied it in the past, it’s very very complicated and I had not really expected it. That’s clear,” he said at the post-game conference at the Hyatt Regencey hotel.

The opening move of the second game on Sunday was a big success for Carlsen and it was a great pull back by the Norwegian after Anand had got an easy draw as black in the first game on Saturday. “I will not talk too much about the opening move. I think the critical point was on move 18 when Vishy could have tried but black seemed to be doing fine,” world number one Carlsen said.

Anand said things might have become risky for him after Carlsen’s opening surprise coming in the form of a Caro Kann defense. “I had to decide whether to fly blind because it’s clear that he would have been into more details. I decided to go for a slightly solid line, a slightly prudent decision today, essentially after the queen exchange there is nothing much happening,” said the five-time champion Anand.

Carlsen said the start thus far was similar to his Candidates’ Tournament victory that earned him the right to challenge Anand. “I did not know what to expect really. I feel it is a little bit similar to my start in the Candidates Tournament where I got an easy draw as black in the first and conceded an easy draw with white in the second game. Then things really took off,” he said adding, “like Vishy said, we are both settling in.”

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