Magnus Carlsen must raise his game today!
What a thrilling draw Game 3 of the World Chess Championship was! The game went on for 50 moves and over 4 hours but no spectator moved from his seat during the match. The millions watching the game on TV or internet were regaled to a highly exciting battle in English opening!
The game between challenger Magnus Carlsen and World Champion Viswanathan Anand took everybody through many emotions generally felt while watching a suspense drama.
The Norwegian is famous for taking his pieces to obscure positions. He likes to scatter his pieces. When time comes, Carlsen coordinates these apparently-dispersed pieces like a ringmaster and they feast on helpless opposing pieces.
Today, however, it was like a master trapeze artist performing under tension! After Carlsen got into his pet position, he played a few indifferent moves and let Anand back in the game. The World Champion maintained his cool and played a classical brand of chess. He just kept his pieces in the center, ready for action.
Carlsen, under pressure to perform from the White pieces, started playing desperately. His manoeuvre of taking his queen to the corner raised eyebrows both from the observing masters and amateurs.
It reminded many of former World Champion Tigran Petrosian’s move against Yugoslav Grandmaster Svetozar Gligoric. Interestingly, Petrosian had lost that game.
On his 28th turn, Carlsen gave up one pawn! This offer was laced with some poisonous ideas. Anand deliberated for few minutes and decided not to touch it. It became a moment of debate among the millions watching over the net. However, to Anand’s credit, he did not lose his grip.
When the battle raged in the center of the board, Carlsen’s queen was like a helpless spectator. Anand went on winning a pawn here and pawn there. The late entrance by her majesty saved the World No 1 from a humiliating defeat.
Carlsen’s queen took charge of the proceedings and let the game back into safety of a draw after 50 moves. The drama continued well after the position was a dead draw.
“A child can draw this position against a grandmaster,” opined one spectator. In fact, Anand had offered a truce after 40 moves but Carlsen, irritated with himself, went on playing until only the kings remained on the board with just a bishop in tow.
Let us see what the World Champion does with his firebrand style and the White pieces today! Carlsen must raise his game to survive from Black side.
The author is a chess mentor and a Dronacharya award winner.