Viswanathan Anand struck a lightening blow with white pieces in the third game of the World Chess Championship match at Sochi yesterday to bounce back and level scores at 1.5 points each. Anand and his team proved that they had put the rest day (Monday) to good use as he caught Carlsen unawares in the opening.
Magnus Carlsen and Viswanathan Anand. Pics/Getty Images
Anand improved upon what World No 2 Levon Aronian had played last year in the same opening. In the Queen's Gambit opening, Anand stormed through World Champion Carlsen's Queen quite early in the game.
Anand advanced his pawn to the seventh rank which would have felt like a like a thorn deep into the flesh for Carlsen. The Lightening Kid as Anand is known, demonstrated fine speed too as he rattled Magnus with his fast play. The 23-year-old world champion failed to make the best defence coming under pressure on time as well as over the board.
With his Rook stuck permanently to prevent Anand's advanced pawn from queening, Magnus made some desperate pawn moves which weakened his King and accelerated his fall. As a last resort, he tried to confuse Anand by giving his rook for Anand's Bishop. But Anand played confidently not giving Magnus any undue opportunities.
Magnus resigned on the 34th move when it became evident that he was only losing further material over the board. The body language of both players looked visibly changed after the game. Anand looked relieved and confident having scored his first victory against Carlsen in a World Championship match as he went down to the Norwegian in Chennai last year without a win.
Carlsen, on the other hand, was taken aback by Anand's opening preparation and change of strategy in this round and later admitted that he made a wrong choice of opening in this game.
It was a typical Anand victory — a superior opening preparation, active play, good calculation and smooth technique. Anand will be playing Black next up in the fourth game today. It will be interesting to see Carlsen's strategy now that he has lost so convincingly.
Anand has given hope to millions of fans today that if his strategies in the match continue to work like they did today, he can win his sixth World Championship.
The author, a former India women's chess champion, is the youngest Padma Shri awardee at 16