Magnus Carlsen almost there
World Champion Magnus Carlsen exhibited a rock-solid defence to draw the 10th game of the World Chess Championship match against challenger Viswanathan Anand in Sochi yesterday.
With this fourth consecutive draw Magnus (5.5 points) is now just one point away from successfully defending his world chess title. Carlsen, playing black repeated the Grunfeld Defence, but Anand varied from 1st game, employing the famous Russian System, a coincidence, given the match is being played in Russia.
Magnus Carlsen vs Viswanathan Anand
Carlsen played a Knight move made popular by one of the best players of all time, former World Champion Garry Kasparov. Anand may have been expecting this move given Carlsen’s chess alliance with Kasparov is well known. Anand looked all set to pressurise Carlsen with a passed pawn on the central file. After the Queen exchange, the world champion exhibited excellent defensive technique.
He steadily exchanged pieces and forced Anand to exchange even his precious passed pawn to reach a clearly drawn game. With no progress possible, Anand offered a draw on 32nd move and that was immediately accepted by Carlsen.
The game was so interesting that even after it was over both the players were seen discussing the possibilities sitting across the board. It is heartening to see that Anand and Carlsen share a cordial relationship off the board unlike some of their predecessors like Anatoli Karpov and Viktor Korchnoi or Alexander Alekhine and Jose Raul Capablanca.
After today’s rest day, Carlsen will play with white pieces in the 11th game on Sunday and is expected to press for win to finish the match. Anand will have to rise to the occasion, which will require a tremendous effort because even a single mistake now, will cost him the match.
The author, a former India women’s chess champion, is the youngest Padma Shri awardee at 16