Shake-mate after 16 moves and 90 minutes
By R Srinivasa Raghavan | Published: 10th November 2013 02:36 AM |
Looking confident and showing no signs of home pressure, Viswanathan Anand equalised comfortably with the black pieces to settle for a draw against Magnus Carlsen in the first game of the 2013 World Championship match at the Hyatt Regency here.
It was a good start for the World Champion on Saturday considering his loss to the Norwegian in his previous game in Moscow before the big battle. There was plenty of activity before the start of the match. Fans waited with bated breath and photographers jostled with one another to get the best shot of the first move. When Carlsen made his first move (1. Nf3) it was a bit of relief for players and chess lovers that the biggest match in recent times was finally on.
Even though Carlsen's opening salvo was a bit of surprise it was not a completely unexpected move. The opening moves were played out quickly with Carlsen doing a double fianchetto on his bishops. Anand's 11th move (Nc4) forced Carlsen to look into the position more deeply.Anand happy to draw with black
After another solid move from the Indian (12. Nd5), Carlsen went for a three-fold repetition after weighing the options. Anand probed into the position but couldn't find any clear advantage and agreed for a draw after 16 moves.
The first of the 12 battles producing little fireworks was a bit of a let-down for the chess aficionados. However, when one looks at the perspective of players and consider the tension and stress the World Championship matches can produce in comparison to the regular tournaments it was a start both players didn't feel unhappy about.
After months of preparation from both the camps, Carlsen's Reti opening with the white hardly troubled the Indian.
The world's highest rated player has to come up with better ideas in the opening to put Anand under pressure. It was a moral victory for Anand, who had lost without much a fight against Carlsen in the Tal Memorial in June.
Anand's all six victories against Carlsen have come with the white pieces. Playing white in chess is somewhat akin to having the advantage of serving first in tennis. The second game on Sunday will give the world's most experienced match player an opportunity to test Carlsen fully. Switching to queen pawn opening played a part in his two match victories against Vladimir Kramnik and Veselin Topalov.
It will be interesting to see the Indian's strategy with the white against Carlsen. He is likely to go for a two-pronged approach, essaying both (1.e4) and (1.d4) according to the need of the hour.
The live streaming on the web and live telecast of the match on DD Sports has created more interest and excitement in the match.
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