Viswanathan Anand loses after failing to capitalise on golden opportunity to win the match after an uncharacteristic blunder from the World Champ
A dramatic Game Six saw Viswanathan Anand miss a Godsend opportunity and in the shocking realisation of this over the board, the Challenger played badly afterwards to lose against World Champion Magnus Carlsen. With this lucky win, Carlsen leads with 3.5 points against Anand's 2.5 points.
Viswanathan Anand during the FIDE World Rapid & Blitz Chess Championships 2014. Pic/Getty Images
The game started with the Kan variation of Sicilian Defence with Magnus playing White and going for very early exchange of Queens. In the resulting endgame, Anand was defending passively but his supporters were hoping for a long game where the Indian maestro had every chance to hold the balance.
Suddenly the World Championship match tension got better of the World Champion and he made a horrible blunder on the 26th move after which he was forcefully losing two pawns. Then it would have been child's play to win the game for Anand.
To the utter dismay of millions of chess lovers watching the game live all over the world, Anand overlooked such a simple move and did not capture the pawn. The worst was not yet over as his disappointed face showed that he has realised the missed opportunity just after playing the incorrect move.
Former World Champion Vladimir Kramnik commented that if you realise during the game that you have just missed a golden opportunity to win, then it's very difficult to bounce back. His premonitions became reality as a dejected Anand could not adjust psychologically to defend his position.
His lacklustre game afterwards resulted in Carlsen's victory after 38 moves. At halfway, this game has served as a big blow to Anand's confidence and psychological make-up. To Carlsen's credit, he remained poker-faced even after realising that he has made a blunder.
After today's rest day, the Game Seven will be played on Monday with Carlsen playing White again as the last half of the Championship match begins. Anand is too experienced and is expected to fight back although the match is clearly in Carlsen's favour now.
The author, a former India women's chess champion, is the youngest Padma Shri awardee at 16