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Monday, November 17, 2014

World Chess Match Game 6: Knight's Betrayal hits Anand, Carlsen wins to Lead

Hello chess blog friends, Round 6 will go down at the World Chess Championship 2014 will go down in chess history for possibly the wrong reason! Five-time world chess champion Viswanathan Anand failed to accept 'the gift' of a blunder from reigning champion Magnus Carlsen!

“When you don't expect a gift you don't look for it,” said a disappointed Anand at the press conference after the sixth game. The pressure of the world title match took it's toll and that is why, also, chess will forever remain human no matter how much computers come into play in training. 

There have been blunders at World Championship matches before for example, Garry Kasparov in his 11th game of the 1985 match against Anatoly Karpov.

For Magnus Carlsen, one other upside of the game was that Anand chose a passive line in the Sicilian, but it was a solid and tricky setup. Carlsen was rattled by his own error, but his only feeling was relief when Anand returned the favour. 

Peter Svidler, in his commentary said, " Many people think the main problem of the 4…а6 Sicilian is 5.Bd3. However, in that line White often must play for mate in order to get any advantage. Unfortunately (I played this position as Black a lot, so I am obviously biased), White indeed gives mate fairly often. However, this is not Carlsen's way of playing chess, so he went for 5.с4, and the endgame that occurred at the board is one of the main lines."

"After the 25th move there was a short break in the broadcasting. Sopiko and I turned the microphones off, and suddenly 26.Kd2 appeared on the monitors. I didn't even cover it in the analysis, because this was obviously a huge mistake – White loses two pawns with checks! Okay, he will pick up the h6 pawn, but his position will be ruined. I began to wave hands to the directors to turn off the ads and let us back on air, but in less than 20 seconds Black replied with 26…a4. At that moment I didn't understand anything at all."

Naturally, after playing 26.Kd2 Magnus immediately realized the problem. In general allowing the pawn to a3 is not a good idea for White, so he is supposed to meet a4 with a3. However, Magnus knew he cannot gamble anymore, and immediately moved the king from d2 to e2. Vishy played 27…а3 and probably asked himself why Magnus did not block his pawn. The answer popped up instantly, and after that continuing the game for Vishy was incredibly hard. What a terrible situation – you barely holding an inferior position and suddenly miss a chance to win! If Vishy responded correctly, White had no real resources to defend. The game would move to a technical stage of converting a huge advantage, and Vishy is very good at it, too, writes Vladimir Barsky in his report at the official website.

Magnus Carlsen leads the match 3.5 - 2.5 after six games. You can continue to watch the very exciting world chess championship match live on the official website. Replay Game 6 with Chess King.

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