By Arvind Aaron
Challenger Magnus Carlsen of Norway was in the upperhand for most of game four but champion Viswanathan Anand put a stupendous defence to draw in 64 moves after full six hours of play.
The scores are level at 2-2 and the match is evenly poised. The longest game in time and moves have just been played. The players have fully warmed up.
Carlsen played the Ruy Lopez in game four with the black pieces. He did not want to run into Anand’s preparation against the Caro-Kann. As white Anand repeated 1.e4 and must have come with his special bone depth preparation against the Caro-Kann defence.
The Norwegian went for the Berlin variation of the Ruy Lopez. This variation, a quiet line gained popularity after Kramnik used it successfully in 2000 at London against Kasparov. It was later named the Berlin wall in chess circles after Kramnik drew all his black games with it.
Since 2000, many leading players are utilizing the variation as black to neutralize white’s powerful 1.e4 move. Anand sacrificed a pawn to clamp the black queen side. There was risk involved. If black defends well black’s three to one pawn advantage on the queenside would pose white awesome danger.
After move 34, white appeared to have good compensation for the pawn. Anand’s 35th move left Carlsen thinking. Lack of development put the young Norwegian challenger in all sorts of trouble. At move 40 white was well place with active pieces. The central passed pawn for white ensured that black had to be careful.
After white’s 41st move, black activated his pieces and the baton of advantage moved to black. Enjoying an extra pawn in the rooks ending, Carlsen faced stiff opposition from Anand and the game was drawn after 64 moves.
“The first three and a half hours was dominated by black, later it was level,” said commentator Grand Master R.B. Ramesh.
Anand had to make accurate moves in the ending. “It is not always that I am down to the last minute,” said Anand. The four rooks ending was ‘scary’ ceded Anand.
This match is excitingly poised after this fighting draw. Strangely white has never had the upperhand in the games! Perhaps the players prepared more with the black pieces.
“Tomorrow I will get some rest after this tough game,” said Anand. Something went horribly wrong in the opening,” said Anand who showed great character and fought back to draw the game.
“I got winning chances, always had some obstacles, I could not deal with,” said Carlsen. “This match will be decided on the board and not off the board,” said Carlsen when a question came on Garry Kasparov.
Anand said he did not know about his team’s request not to allow Kasparov in the first few rows among the audience. “I focus on chess,” said Anand.
Eight games remain to be played. Carlsen will play white in the fifth game. This Rs.14 Crore event is sponsored by the Tamil Nadu Government. Thursday is a free day. Play resumes of Friday after a day’s rest.
White : Viswanathan Anand
Black : Magnus Carlsen
Match Game 4
Opening : Ruy Lopez, Berlin variation, C67
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. O-O Nxe4 5. d4 Nd6 6. Bxc6 dxc6 7. dxe5
Nf5 8. Qxd8+ Kxd8 9. h3 Bd7 10. Rd1 Be7 11. Nc3 Kc8 12. Bg5 h6 13. Bxe7
Nxe7 14. Rd2 c5 15. Rad1 Be6 16. Ne1 Ng6 17. Nd3 b6 18. Ne2 Bxa2 19. b3 c4
20. Ndc1 cxb3 21. cxb3 Bb1 22. f4 Kb7 23. Nc3 Bf5 24. g4 Bc8 25. Nd3 h5 26.
f5 Ne7 27. Nb5 hxg4 28. hxg4 Rh4 29. Nf2 Nc6 30. Rc2 a5 31. Rc4 g6 32. Rdc1
Bd7 33. e6 fxe6 34. fxe6 Be8 35. Ne4 Rxg4+ 36. Kf2 Rf4+ 37. Ke3 Rf8 38. Nd4
Nxd4 39. Rxc7+ Ka6 40. Kxd4 Rd8+ 41. Kc3 Rf3+ 42. Kb2 Re3 43. Rc8 Rdd3 44.
Ra8+ Kb7 45. Rxe8 Rxe4 46. e7 Rg3 47. Rc3 Re2+ 48. Rc2 Ree3 49. Ka2 g5 50.
Rd2 Re5 51. Rd7+ Kc6 52. Red8 Rge3 53. Rd6+ Kb7 54. R8d7+ Ka6 55. Rd5 Re2+
56. Ka3 Re6 57. Rd8 g4 58. Rg5 Rxe7 59. Ra8+ Kb7 60. Rag8 a4 61. Rxg4 axb3
62. R8g7 Ka6 63. Rxe7 Rxe7 64. Kxb3 Draw.
In the chess solving contest held on Wednesday, International Master Ramnath Bhuvanesh of Chennai won the first prize. Fifty-five solvers participated in the lobby of Hyatt Regency Hotel. This Chess Solving is held on all match days at 4 p.m.
Photos by Mr.Magesh.J