Magnus Carlsen wins the World Championship Match Print
Sunday, 23 November 2014 16:48

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Magnus Carlsen won the 11th Game of the Match and secured the title with one game to spare.

The final score is 6.5-4.5 in Carlsen's favor.

The eleventh game of the World Chess Championship match between Magnus Carlsen (Norway) and Viswanathan Anand (India) was played on November 23rd in the Main Media Center in Sochi. Magnus Carlsen had White.

For the sixth time in this match the champion opened the game with е2-е4. The players continued the theoretical discussion in the Berlin variation, however, this time Anand chose a different 9th move, evacuating his king on the queenside and opting for a more aggressive game. In this line Black attempts to connect rooks as soon as possible, and sometimes can seize the initiative, if he neutralizes White's pressure in the center.

The former champion demonstrated a new and interesting idea – he carried out g7-g5 in order to stop White's pawn advance of the kingside, not worrying about the weakened square on f6. Black successfully solved his opening problems, and when the World Champion got somewhat carried away maneuvering his knights, Anand made a nice break b6-b5, sacrificing a pawn for the initiative. The champion declined the offer and switched to defending.

The critical moment occurred on the move 26. After a lengthy consideration Anand decided that quiet play does not give Black enough winning chances, and sacrificed an exchange, obtaining a dangerous passed pawn on the queenside in return. Generally this sacrifice is typical in similar positions, however in this position it was refuted tactically. Carlsen broke through in the center and invaded the 7th rank with his rook, forcing Black to defend. The World Champion was very precise during the technical stage, and on the move 45 Vishy Anand congratulated his opponent on winning the match.

The grandmasters agreed that the match was very tense. Vishy Anand said that “Magnus is very strong and I have to admit that he was better. My nerves gave up first, and psychologically Magnus was holding up well.”

Magnus Carlsen: “Anand played better than in previous match and this time he really pushed me.” He also said he is very happy with the way the match was organized, and his whole team was treated well.

Magnus Carlsen won the match 6.5-4.5 and held the title.

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Game 11: Carlsen 1 - Anand 0

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At the game present were Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, FIDE President, Arkady Dvorkovich, the Deputy Prime Minister of Russia, Chairman of the Championship Organizing Committee, Andrey Filatov, President of the Russian Chess Federation, Mark Gluhovsky, Executive Director of the Russian Chess Federation, Nikolai Nikiforov, Minister of Communications and Mass Media of Russia and others.



Game 10

The tenth game of the Carlsen-Anand Match ended in a draw.

The overall score after the tenth game is Carlsen 5.5 - Anand 4.5.

The tenth game of the World Chess Championship match between Magnus Carlsen (Norway) and Viswanathan Anand (India) was played on November 21st in the Main Media Center in Sochi. The Indian grandmaster had White.

As usual in his white games, Vishy Anand started with the d-pawn advance. Magnus Carlsen responded by returning to the roots – he already employed the Gruenfeld defense in the first game on November 8th. A distinguishing feature of this double-edged opening is that White has a variety of promising choices, but if he gets carried away and plays inaccurately, he may face problems. In order to play the Gruenfeld successfully as Black one needs to remember many complicated and lengthy variations against each White's plan.

Vishy Anand did not repeat the quiet maneuver Bc1-d2, as in the first game, and went for 5.Qb3 – a plan invented by the Soviet grandmaster Viacheslav Ragozin in the 30s of the previous century. The opening theory of this variation is now very broad and deep. The players followed a game played by Anand's coach grandmaster Wojtaszek until Carlsen demonstrated a novelty on the move 15.

In a complex ending that arose in a few moves White had an advantage due to the bishop pair and a strong passed pawn on d6. However, Carlsen solidified the center with his bishop, then seized an open file with his rook, and subsequently traded off the opponent's passer. The position became equal, and a draw was agreed on the move 32.

Vishy Anand said 19...Bd4 was very precise. He also mentioned that 24.Rfe1 instead of 24.Rd2 could be better, but he didn't like that black knight land on c6.

Magnus Carlsen: “With two bishops White had some pressure, but I am not certain if it was enough for anything more than a draw.”

The match score is now 5.5-4.5 in Carlsen's favor. The eleventh game is played on Sunday, November 23rd at 15:00 local time. Magnus Carlsen plays White. Admission is free of charge. The official website of the championship http://www.sochi2014.fide.com/ broadcasts live grandmaster commentary in Russian and English.

The World Chess Championship match consists of 12 games with a classical time control: 120 minutes for 40 moves, then 60 minutes for 20 moves, and then 15 minutes plus 30 second per move until the end of the game. If the match is tied, a tiebreak will be played on November 27th.


www.sochi2014.fide.com/



Game 9

The ninth game of the Carlsen-Anand Match ended in a draw.

The overall score after the ninth game is Carlsen 5 - Anand 4.

The ninth game of the World Chess Championship match between Magnus Carlsen (Norway) and Viswanathan Anand (India) was played on November 20th in the Main Media Center in Sochi. The World Champion had White.

The players went for the Berlin Variation of the Ruy Lopez, the same opening that occurred in the seventh game. That game ended in a draw on 122nd move, and Anand was on the ropes for the most part of it. This time the scenario was completely different.

The Norwegian deviated from the seventh game on the move 11. Apparently he was confident the opponent analyzed their previous game carefully and will make a draw with ease. However, his new move also did not surprise Anand, who demonstrated a paradoxical idea: he developed the light-squared bishop to a6 first, provoking an active centralizing move of the white knight, and modestly retreated the bishop from a6 to b7 on the next move.

At first glance such waste of a tempo looked like a complete ignorance to the opening principle of not moving the same piece twice. Black was still undeveloped and his king was stuck in the center. According to the same general principles White opened the central files immediately in order to get to the enemy king, however Anand turned out really well prepared for such course of events. His king was surprisingly secure, while the pieces quickly joined the action. Carlsen realized that White has no opening advantage, and if the game continues, Black can seize the initiative thanks to his bishop pair. Therefore White utilized an opportunity to force a draw by perpetual.

Magnus Carlsen acknowledged that his opponent was better prepared in the opening and added: “Always better to be able to press with White, but draw is okay with the current score in the match”.

Vishy Anand: “An easy draw with Black is good for confidence, I just have to press harder with White”.

The match score is now 5-4 in Carlsen's favor. The tenth game is played on Friday, November 21st at 15:00 local time. Viswanathan Anand plays White. Admission is free of charge. The official website of the championship www.sochi2014.fide.com broadcasts live grandmaster commentary in Russian and English.


Game 8

The eighth game of the Carlsen-Anand Match ended in a draw.

The overall score after the eighth game is Carlsen 4.5 - Anand 3.5.

round 8

The eighth game of the World Chess Championship match between Magnus Carlsen (Norway) and Viswanathan Anand (India) was played on November 18th in the Main Media Center in Sochi. The former champion had White.

So far the players demonstrate exceptional devotion to their first move – Magnus Carlsen begins all his games with the king's pawn advance, while Vishy Anand prefers to push the queen's pawn. This time the Norwegian grandmaster responded by the Queen's Gambit, but on the move 6 deviated from the variation that occurred in the third game. In that game Carlsen failed to solve his opening problems, and Anand eventually won.

The line played by Magnus is considered quite risky and did not occur at the highest level for a while. However, the World Champion prepared a strong novelty that will probably lead to a re-evaluation of the whole variation. Anand consumed a lot of time in the opening, but did not find obvious flaws in Black's setup, and rejected the most ambitious plan connected with castling long. In the subsequent game he also went for the safest options without creating too much trouble for his opponent. Naturally, Anand took for granted that his opponent carefully analyzed everything at home. During the early phase of the game Carlsen almost did not think on his moves. For most of the game White had an hour less on the clocks than Black.

Following mass exchanges, a minor piece opening with a symbolic advantage to White arose. Magnus Carlsen demonstrated a certain degree of accuracy, and a draw was agreed on the move 41.

Vishy Anand: “I didn't get much from this one, but there are still two games with white pieces.”

According to Magnus Carlsen, he was not in the best physical shape early in the game, but got some energy later. Answering about the doping test (that takes place today), the World Champion was sarcastic: “Doping control is always a nice surprise.”

A seniors rapid tournament funded by the Russian Chess Federation finished today in the V. Dvorkovich Saloon, which is open in the Main Media Center during the match. A well-known trainer Alexander Zakharov (Rostov-on-Don) took the first place with 8 out of 9.

The score of Carlsen-Anand is now 4.5-3.5 in the champion's favor. Tomorrow, November 19th, is a rest day. The ninth game is played on Thursday, November 20th, at 15:00 local time. Magnus Carlsen has White.

Admission is free of charge. The official website of the championship http://www.sochi2014.fide.com/ broadcasts live grandmaster commentary in Russian and English.

The World Chess Championship match consists of 12 games with a classical time control: 120 minutes for 40 moves, then 60 minutes for 20 moves, and then 15 minutes plus 30 second per move until the end of the game. If the match is tied, a tie-break will be played on November 27th.


Game 7

The seventh game of the Carlsen-Anand Match ended in a draw.

The overall score after the seventh game is Carlsen 4 - Anand 3.

round 7

The seventh game of the World Chess Championship match between Magnus Carlsen (Norway) and Viswanathan Anand (India) was played on November 17th in the Main Media Center in Sochi. This game started a second half of the match, and, according to the regulations, the players played with the same color as in the sixth game. Thus, the World Champion had White.

For the fourth time in this match Magnus opened the game with е2-е4. Vishy Anand rejected the Sicilian defence, in which he had suffered a loss two days before, and replied by 1…е5. The Ruy Lopez had already occurred in the Sochi match, but this time Carlsen did not avoid the principled theoretical discussion in the Berlin Variation. For the first 25 moves the players followed Giri-Radjabov game, played just two weeks before at the FIDE Grand Prix in Tashkent. That game ended in a draw, however, the computer shows that White's play could be improved. We did not have a chance to see what Carlsen prepared, because the ex-World champion was first to deviate.

However, the game tempo did not slow down even after Anand's novelty – clearly such course of events did not surprise Carlsen. White sacrificed a pawn, obtaining very active pieces in return – his rook was on the 7th rank, and the knight settled on f5. Anand thought for 35 minutes on his 31st move and made a very committal decision to sacrifice his bishop for two pawns, intending to set up a fortress. Later at the press conference the former World Champion said he found this plan at the board, although he had seen similar positions successfully defended before.

Carlsen's task was to trade the rooks and keep his two pawns from exchanges. However, it was hard to achieve, as the black rook was not allowing the white knight settling in the centre, while supporting с2-с4 would expose the white king. Eventually Carlsen was forced to put a pawn on c4, because he could not make progress otherwise, but Black advanced his pawn to b5 and activated the king, threatening to exchange all the pawns. Soon Anand managed to simplify the position, achieving a book draw with a rook against a rook and knight.

The World Champion kept playing, trying to utilize minimal practical chances for a win. However, Anand demonstrated the required accuracy, and the game ended in a draw on the 122nd move, just three moves short from breaking the record for the longest World Championship game. The fifth game of the match between Anatoly Karpov and Victor Korchnoi in Baguio, 1978, ended in a draw in the 124th move.

Magnus said at the press conference that he was convinced that there would be a way to win the endgame after black's sacrifice. However, soon he realized that he could not make progress without pushing c4, which gave Black counterplay.

Vishy Anand was asked if it was frustrating to defend for so long. “It is not frustrating if I get a draw in the end”, replied the ex-World Champion.

The score in Carlsen-Anand match is now 4-3 in Carlsen's favor. The eighth game is played on Tuesday, November 18th, at 15:00. Anand has White. Admission is free of charge. The official website of the championship http://www.sochi2014.fide.com/ broadcasts live grandmaster commentary in Russian and English.



Game 6: Carlsen — Anand   1 - 0

The overall score after the sixth game is Anand 2.5 - Carlsen 3.5

magnus round 6

The sixth game of the World Chess Championship match between Magnus Carlsen (Norway) and Viswanathan Anand (India) was played on November 15th in the Main Media Center in Sochi. The World Champion had White.

Carlsen was true to himself and opened the game with е2-е4. Anand went for the Sicilian defense with 2…е6, like in the game four. This time Carlsen did not deviate from the main theory, and soon the players arrived at the fashionable position of the Kan Sicilian. White can handle it in many different ways – either launch a direct attack, or use a more positional approach. The World Champion opted for the latter, allowing Black to develop his minor pieces quickly and create some pressure against White's center.

As it often happens in games with early tension, it continued with multiple exchanges, and transposed to an ending with a small advantage to White. Anand maneuvered skilfully and created a tricky defensive setup: White could win a pawn on almost every move, but Black would gain sufficient counterplay every time.

Carlsen continued to strengthen his position, but suddenly committed a blunder on the move 26, giving Anand a chance to deliver a simple tactical blow, collecting two pawns. Anand, however, did not notice this chance and made an indifferent move fairly quickly. The World Champion lifted his head, found that his blunder was forgiven, and lowered his head again for about 10 seconds. At this very moment Anand realized their mutual errors, and it was a tough mental blow for him.

The rest of the game was played very accurately by Magnus, while Anand did not defend perfectly, and his position was ruined even before the time control. The World Champion won the game and took the lead in the match.

Vishy Anand: “When you don't expect a gift, you don't look for it”.

According to Magnus Carlsen, if 26…Nxe5 was played, the World Championship match might have been lost for him. After the blunder Anand started to play less confidently – the missed chance clearly affected his morale. The ex-World Champion agreed with this assessment.

Thus, the score in Carlsen-Anand match is now 3.5-2.5 in Carlsen's favor. Sunday, November 16th is a day off. The seventh game is played on November 17th at 15.00. According to the regulations, the players don't change color of their pieces in the 7th game, so Magnus Carlsen once again plays White. Admission is free of charge. The official website of the championship http://www.sochi2014.fide.com/ broadcasts live grandmaster commentary in Russian and English.


www.sochi2014.fide.com/


Game 5

The Fifth Game of the Carlsen-Anand Match Ended in a Draw.

The Match Score Remains Tied – 2.5-2.5


The fifth game of the World Chess Championship match between Magnus Carlsen (Norway) and Viswanathan Anand (India) was played on November 14th in the Main Media Center in Sochi. The Indian grandmaster had White.

dvorkovich round 5

Arkady Dvorkovich, the Russian Deputy Prime Minister and the chairman of the organizing committee made a symbolic first move. Later during the press conference Mr. Dvorkovich expressed his gratitude towards those who prepared and carried out the match. “We are grateful to the Russian Chess Federation, the leadership of Krasnodar Krai, and our business partners – Summa Group, Gazprom, Fosagro company, Togliattiazot and others. We also thank our information sponsors and all media covering the match”, underscored the Deputy Prime Minister.

For the third time in this match Vishy Anand started the game with a queen's pawn advance. Magnus Carlsen changed his opening again, this time opting for the Queen's Indian defense. Interestingly, we are yet to see the same opening twice in this match.

The opening moves were played quickly – obviously, both players paid close attention to this line during the preparation. The first critical moment arose on the move 17, when Anand had a choice: to push his passed pawn forward or to exchange it. The former is riskier, because an advanced pawn can also turn into a weakness. The ex-World Champion decided to exchange it, aiming only at a minimal advantage. He indeed obtained a slight plus, because his bishop was superior to the opponent's knight. However, the material was very limited, so a draw looked very likely.

On the move 27 Anand could avoid further simplifications, maintaining slight pressure. However, after serious thought he decided that his winning chances are negligible in any case, and went for a quick draw.

The score of the Carlsen-Anand match remains tied – 2.5-2.5. The sixth game is played on Saturday, November 15th at 15:00 local time. Magnus Carlsen has White. Admission is free of charge. The official website of the championship http://www.sochi2014.fide.com/  broadcasts live grandmaster commentary in Russian and English.


Game 4

Magnus Carlsen 0.5  - 0.5 Viswanathan Anand

The match score is still even – 2-2

The fourth game of the FIDE World Chess Championship match between Magnus Carlsen and Viswanathan Anand was played in the Main Media Center in Sochi on November, 12th. The World Champion had White.

Carlsen started the game with 1.e4, same as in the second game of the Match. Anand deviated from the Ruy Lopez and went for an opening considered more aggressive – the Sicilian. Judging by the speed of White's play, Magnus was prepared for this course of events. On the move 3 he opted for a modest, but poisonous plan with the kingside fianchetto. With this move White does not claim an opening advantage, putting more emphasize on the middlegame. Such strategy often brought success to the World Champion, who is justly considered one of the best technicians of modern chess.

The opening choice of his opponent did not surprise Anand. Black had a wide choice of plans, but the former champion quickly made up his mind. A standard situation with an isolated pawn on d5 arose, in return Black obtained good piece play. In a few moves in a dynamically equal position Anand faced a choice: a more active move, trying to seize the initiative, or a more passive one, leading to a slightly worse position. He went for the latter.

After multiple exchanges Black was left with weak pawns on the queenside, but utilizing it was difficult for White, because his own king needed protection. As usual, the World Champion kept playing as long as he had the slightest chance, but Anand was accurate, and the players agreed to a draw on the move 47.

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At the press-conference Magnus Carlsen said that the last two games have been pretty bad and he has to improve. Answering about differences between this match and their first match in Chennai, he joked: “In Chennai after four games the score was 2-2, here also the score is 2-2, so there is no difference”.

Vishy Anand: “The position was very complex, but I was not worried at any particular moment, except when I had to find 41...Qd2”.

The match score remains even – 2-2. Thursday, November 13th is a day off. The fifth game is played on Friday, November 14th, Anand plays White. Admission is free of charge. The official website of the championship http://www.sochi2014.fide.com/ broadcasts live grandmaster commentary in Russian and English.

The World Chess Championship match consists of 12 games with a classical time control: 120 minutes for 40 moves, then 60 minutes for 20 moves, and then 15 minutes plus 30 second per move until the end of the game. If the match is tied, a tie-break will be played on November 27th.

Tomorrow the V. Dvorkovich Saloon in the Main Media Center in Sochi hosts the Tal Memorial blitz tournament. It is a two-day double round round-robin with $100,000 prize fund, attended by 12 super grandmasters: Vladimir Kramnik, Sergey Karjakin, Peter Svidler, Alexander Grischuk, Ian Nepomniachtchi, Evgeny Tomashevsky, Alexander Morozevich, Ernesto Inarkiev, Alexandra Kosteniuk (all – Russia), Boris Gelfand (Israel), Peter Leko (Hungary), and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Azerbaijan). The live broadcasting can be found at the official site http://www.sochi2014.fide.com/.



Game 3

The score is now tied 1.5-1.5

The third game of the World Chess Championship match between the World Champion Magnus Carlsen and former World Champion Vishwanathan Anand was played in the Main Media Center in Sochi on November, 11th. The Indian grandmaster had White.

Magnus Carlsen decided not to continue the opening discussion in the Gruenfeld defense and went for the classic Queen's Gambit. The players entered a fashionable line, in which White develops his bishop to f4 and advances a pawn to c5 rather early. The former World Champion Alexander Khalifman commented the opening stage as follows:

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– The 7…Nh5 is considered a safer continuation, planning to get rid of the dark-squared bishops. 7…с6, as Magnus played, allows a dangerous forced line: White sacrifices a pawn and creates a strong passed pawn on c7. I analyzed this variation extensively, and concluded that Black barely holds, often on various tactical tricks.

The first 16 or 17 moves were played very fast, but then the champion slowed down considerably. Clearly, he mixed up something and could not demonstrate his home analysis properly. The time on his clock was running out, and his position kept deteriorating. Anand played very precisely and obtained a significant advantage. His 26.Rc6! was particularly strong. After this move Carlsen started to worry about losing the game. He tried to complicate things, but Anand avoided all the traps and converted his advantage into a full point. This is a first victory of Anand against Carlsen in a classical game in the last four years.

Peter Svidler shared his thoughts about this game:

– Vishy got an advantage and very accurately turned it into a victory. It was noticeable that he tried hard not to rush things and not to look at the clock at all. A very important victory by Anand! The match basically starts over.

The match score is now tied – 1.5-1.5. The fourth game is played on Wednesday, November 12th, the World Champion has White. Admission is free of charge; spectators have an opportunity to follow a live grandmaster commentary or to play speed chess with a unique chess robot, developed by Konstantin Kosteniuk. The official website of the championship http://www.sochi2014.fide.com/ broadcasts live grandmaster commentary in Russian and English.

Official website


Game 2

Magnus Carlsen 1 - 0 Viswanathan Anand


The second game of the World Chess Championship match between the champion Magnus Carlsen and the former champion Vishwanathan Anand took place in the Main Media Center in Sochi on November 9th. The Norwegian grandmaster played White.

In the opening Magnus Carlsen showed a new idea aimed against the Berlin variation, which is currently the most dreadful line for those who like to start the game with е2-е4. Vishy Anand successfully rearranged his pieces and obtained a solid and safe position. However, such course of events apparently made Anand too relaxed, as later the Indian started making superficial and inaccurate moves. The World Champion found a very energetic plan – he transferred the queenside rook on the kingside and created a direct attack against the king.

White's strategy looked very straightforward and obvious, but it turned out difficult for Black to parry the threats. At the press-conference Anand blamed his 18th move and suggested 18…Qf7 instead, pushing the opponent's queen away from its strong position. Carlsen agreed with him, saying he did not obtain much out of the opening apart from slight initiative. However, after 19.Rg3 he already was quite optimistic.

The computer considers Black's 20th move a nearly decisive error, as after it Anand was forced to defend a hopeless position. However, the only defense (20…Kh8) looks very unnatural for a human player. During the subsequent game Anand could defend more tenaciously, but the problems he had to solve were severe in any case. The World Champion converted his advantage in a calm manner, without forcing the events.

The match score is currently 1.5-0.5 in Carlsen's favor. Monday, November 10th is a day off. Both players said they will relax and do some sport.

round 2 sochi

The third game is played on Tuesday, November 11th. Vishy Anand has White. Admission is free of charge; spectators have an opportunity to follow a live grandmaster commentary or to play speed chess with a unique chess robot, developed by Konstantin Kosteniuk. The official website of the championship http://www.sochi2014.fide.com/ broadcasts live grandmaster commentary in Russian and English.

The World Chess Championship match consists of 12 games with a classical time control: 120 minutes for 40 moves, then 60 minutes for 20 moves, and then 15 minutes plus 30 second per move until the end of the game. If the match is tied, a tie-break will be played on November 27th.

Official website


Game 1

Magnus Carlsen 1/2  - 1/2 Viswanathan Anand 

The first game of the World Chess Championship between the World Champion Magnus Carlsen and the contender and former World Champion Viswanathan Anand was played in the Main Media Center in Sochi on November 8th, 2014. The Indian grandmaster played White. Igor Levitin, the adviser of the Russian President, made a symbolic first move.

Facing the queen's pawn advance, Magnus Carlsen opted for the double-edged Gruenfeld defense, which often leads to very sharp positions with active piece play. Vishy Anand, however, preferred a quieter plan, playing a modest, but rather poisonous continuation, where he prepared a new idea. The World Champion consumed a lot of time, but was unable to completely equalize in the opening.

As usual, Carlsen defended very tenaciously and successfully rearranged his pieces. Trying to maintain the evaporating initiative, Anand rejected trading the queens with an equal ending, but overestimated his chances. Black managed to trade White's strong bishop and got an advantage – Carlsen had a better pawn structure, and his king was safer.

As Anand confessed at the press conference after the game, he even started to worry about losing. White's position was getting worse, and on the 42nd move Carlsen had a strong maneuver that could create White serious problems. However, the World Champion missed it. Anand secured his king, transferred the queen to the center and forced a draw with a perpetual check.

The second game is played on Sunday, November 9th. Magnus Carlsen has White. The admission is free of charge; spectators have an opportunity to follow a live grandmaster commentary or to play speed chess with a unique chess robot, developed by Konstantin Kosteniuk. The V. Dvorkovich Saloon is already open, too; today it hosted the first round of the junior Tournament of champion and a simul of the Olympiad champion Olga Girya.

The official website of the championship http://www.sochi2014.fide.com/  broadcasts live grandmaster commentary by Sergey Shipov and Alexandra Kosteniuk (in Russian) and Peter Svidler and Sopiko Guramishvili (in English).

The World Chess Championship match consists of 12 games with a classical time control: 120 minutes for 40 moves, then 60 minutes for 20 moves, and then 15 minutes plus 30 second per move until the end of the game. If the match is tied, a tie-break will be played on November 27th.

round 1

The 2014 FIDE World Championship Match between Magnus Carlsen and Vishy Anand started today at the Olympic Media Center in Sochi.
The ceremonial first move was made by the adviser of the Russian President Igor Levitin, in the presence of FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov.

Official website


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The official opening ceremony of the World Chess Championship match between the reigning champion Magnus Calsen (Norway) and the challenger and former World Champion Viswanathan Anand (India) took place at the Congress Hall of the Radisson Blu hotel in Sochi on November 7th, 2014.

The ceremony was attended by the International Chess Federation (FIDE) President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, the Russian Chess Federation President Andrey Filatov, the adviser of the Russian President Igor Levitin, former World Champions Boris Spassky, Nona Gaprindashvili, Anatoly Karpov, Alexander Khalifman, Zhu Chen, Antoaneta Stefanova, Alexandra Kosteniuk, Russian deputy minister of sports Pavel Kolobkov, and other officials and famous chess players. Russian People's Artist Sergey Makovetsky and Alexandra Kosteniuk were hosts of the ceremony.

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Igor Levitin read out the welcome address of the Russian President Vladimir Putin:

“Russia deserves the honour of holding this important and prestigious event. Our country has won wide recognition for its chess school and has extensive experience at holding events of this level, all the more so as this championship match is taking place in Sochi, which hosted the Winter Olympics earlier this year.

I am confident that Sochi’s developed sports, transport and tourism infrastructure and the traditional hospitality of its residents will ensure that this event takes place at the highest standard and will enable the competitors – Magnus Carlsen and Viswanathan Anand – to demonstrate the full measure of their skill and ability to find original solutions to the most complex tasks and show that they are worthy rivals in this battle for the chess world’s crown.” 

Read full welcome address of the Russian President Vladimir Putin (RUS)

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Kirsan Ilyumzhinov on behalf of the FIDE Presidential Board (the International Chess Federation unites 181 countries) sent greetings to the guests of the championship. He revealed a rich competitive and cultural agenda during the championship – the Tal Memorial grandmaster blitz tournament, junior Tournament of champions, master-classes, simultaneous displays, etc. In the end Mr. Ilyumzhinov wished good luck to the match participants and expressed hope for brilliant and exciting games.

Igor Levitin awarded the Russian players with state decorations. The order “For Merit to the Fatherland” of the 1st class was given to Alexandra Kosteniuk, Natalia Pogonina received this order of the 2nd class. Olga Girya and Sergey Rublevsky received Honorary Mentions of the Russian President. These players and the Russian women's team coach got their awards for winning the 2014 Chess Olympiad in Tromso, Norway as well as for their contribution to chess development in our country.

After the mime show “Dance of chess queens” the Chief Arbiter of the match Andrzej Filipowicz (Poland) called for the drawing of lots. Vishy Anand will have the white pieces in the first game. The first move of the World Chess Championship match will be played tomorrow, November 8th, at 3 pm local time.

 MG 6860

The grandmasters will play 12 games with classical time control: 120 minutes for 40 moves, then 60 minutes for 20 moves, and then 15 minutes plus 30 seconds per move for the rest of the game. If the match is tied, the tie-break with quick time controls will take place on November 27th.

The ceremony was concluded with the concert of a singer Tina Kuznetsova and the Jazz Quartet of People's Artist of Russia Igor Butman.

More photos from the opening ceremony

Official website

 
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