- The Washington Times - Saturday, November 16, 2013

With a brilliantly played rook-and-pawn ending, challenger Magnus Carlsen seized a commanding two-game lead over Indian world chess champion Viswanathan Anand in Game 6 of their scheduled 12-game title match in Chennai, India Saturday. The 67-move loss, which puts Anand in a 4-2 hole, was even more devastating because the champion had the benefit of the White pieces.

The 22-year-old Carlsen had scored the first win of the match after four draws with a lengthy endgame win in Game 5, and the blueprint served him again in Saturday’s contest. Playing the Black side of a Ruy Lopez Opening, Carlsen used some delicate middlegame positional play to saddle his opponent with weak, doubled pawns in the center, forcing Anand’s queen and rook into defensive stations.

Just at the first 40-move time control, White sacrificed a pawn to reach a rook ending where Black had five pawns to his opponent’s four, with what looked like good drawing chances for the Indian. But the Norwegian, famed for his ability to wrest points out of the most seemingly innocuous positions, kept pressing and succeeded in bottling up the White king on the side of the board. Black eventually gave back his extra pawn and then sacrificed a second to allow his kingside pawns to race down the board. A final inaccuracy by White (experts said that 60. b4, instead of the game’s 60. Ra4?, may have held the draw) after six hours of grueling struggle allowed the Black pawns to break through, with White on the verge of having to give up his rook to stop the f-pawn from queening in the final position when Anand resigned.


SEE ALSO: Challenger Carlsen breaks through with first win in chess title match


The champion, who will again have White as the second half of the match resumes Monday, has just six games to make up the deficit. Carlsen also scored a major psychological victory with his Game 6 win — Anand had fallen behind in each of his previous three world title defenses, only to bounce back with a win in the very next game. He had never before lost two consecutive games in a title defense match.

Anand-Carlsen, Game 6, World Championship Match, Chennai, India, November 2013

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. d3 Bc5 5. c3 O-O 6. O-O Re8 7. Re1 a6 8. Ba4 b5 9. Bb3 d6 10. Bg5 Be6 11. Nbd2 h6 12. Bh4 Bxb3 13. axb3 Nb8 14. h3 Nbd7 15. Nh2 Qe7 16. Ndf1 Bb6 17. Ne3 Qe6 18. b4 a5 19. bxa5 Bxa5 20. Nhg4 Bb6 21. Bxf6 Nxf6 22. Nxf6+ Qxf6 23. Qg4 Bxe3 24. fxe3 Qe7 25. Rf1 c5 26. Kh2 c4 27. d4 Rxa1 28. Rxa1 Qb7 29. Rd1 Qc6 30. Qf5 exd4 31. Rxd4 Re5 32. Qf3 Qc7 33. Kh1 Qe7 34. Qg4 Kh7 35. Qf4 g6 36. Kh2 Kg7 37. Qf3 Re6 38. Qg3 Rxe4 39. Qxd6 Rxe3 40. Qxe7 Rxe7 41. Rd5 Rb7 42. Rd6 f6 43. h4 Kf7 44. h5 gxh5 45. Rd5 Kg6 46. Kg3 Rb6 47. Rc5 f5 48. Kh4 Re6 49. Rxb5 Re4+ 50. Kh3 Kg5 51. Rb8 h4 52. Rg8+ Kh5 53. Rf8 Rf4 54. Rc8 Rg4 55. Rf8 Rg3+ 56. Kh2 Kg5 57. Rg8+ Kf4 58. Rc8 Ke3 59. Rxc4 f4 60. Ra4 h3 61. gxh3 Rg6 62. c4 f3 63. Ra3+ Ke2 64. b4 f2 65. Ra2+ Kf3 66. Ra3+ Kf4 67. Ra8 Rg1 White resigns