World Championship 2014: Carlsen Remains Undefeated

World Championship 2014

After Carlsen was only one point ahead at half time on November 16, the head-to-head race between the current World Champion and challenger, the Indian predecessor Visvanathan Anand, remained suspenseful for another four rounds.

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Carlsen was not able to achieve another victory until the 11th round, which was his third victory in the entire tournament (while Anand prevailed once). He was therefore in favor at 6.5:4.5 and was announced victor ahead of schedule.

See summary of duels 1 to 6 here.
Summary of duels 7 to 11:

With almost six and a half hours, Duel No. 7 makes history as the longest match of the World Championship 2014. Vishy player, yet again, the Berlin Defense of the Spanish duel. Up to the 24th move it was an exact replica of Giri and Radjabov’s duel at the Grand Prix Series. Carlsen persistently aimed for victory but Anand was concentrated and his defense enduring. In the end game with Rook and Knight against Rook, Carlsen was still not ready to give up on his intention. Only in the 122nd move he agreed to a draw. If the two would have played three more moves, they would have achieved a new World Championship record.

In the beginning of the 8th Duel, Carlsen made very clear that he took Anand’s thorough preparation seriously. He opened with an aggressive Queen’s gambit variation. Carlsen thwarted the challenger’s plans with an unexpected 9th move.. Re8 that Anand knew no reasonable reaction to. After exchange of Queens and Rooks, the duel continued without further surprises and led to a balanced end game with no winning opportunities for either of the two players. They agreed to a draw after the 41st move.

The first ten moves of the 9th Duel were a repetition of the 7th match. Neither of the two chess talents seemed to be enthusiastic for another six and a half hour long duel. Carlsen decided to deviate from the previous match and made an unusual 11th move (Ke2) which left Anand unimpressed. He was obviously well prepared, responded with an attack engineered by Kramnik and disturbed Carlsen’s strategy. The Norwegian pressured Anand into a draw with a set of three positioning repetitions. After only 20 moves and one hour game time, this duel was over quickly.

Duel No. 10 was dominated by Anand’s attempts to make up for lost chances. With the Grunfeld-Indian variation he gave Carlsen a hard time and was in favorable positioning for a while. Carlsen once again proved that he is worth the honors of holding the World Championship title and kept a good track of the moves on the board which helped him find solid solutions to balance the duel again. After three hours, the match ended in a draw and Carlsen kept the lead at 5.5:4.5 points.

After four racking hours, Carlsen finally secured the third victory in the 11th Duel. The “prodigy” of chess enhanced his advantage to 2 points and took home the World Championship title for another year – preliminary to schedule. Anand was in an unusual risk-seeking mood during the entire duel but the optimism was his fatality that caused him yet another World Championship defeat. This year, however, he will certainly not become target of ridicule and mockery. Carlsen was, after all, the dominant player but Anand was in much better shape than last year and contributed to an extremely exciting World Championship on world-class level.

written by Sarah, translated by Birthe