Bouncing back from a painful loss in Game 2, Indian challenger Viswanathan Anand defeated defending champion Magnus Carlsen of Norway in just 34 moves in Tuesday’s Game 3 to even their scheduled 12-game match at 1 1/2 points apiece.
The victory was the first for the 44-year-old Indian challenger in two world title matches with Carlsen. The Norwegian won the crown from Anand a year ago without dropping a single game.
Deviating from his Grunfeld Defense in Game 1, Carlsen as Black adopted the Queen’s Gambit against White’s 1. d4. Anand adopted a well-known theoretical idea to push his c-pawn aggressively down the board using a pawn sacrifice: 12. b5 cxb5 13. c6 Qc8 14. c7.
Much of the middle-game play revolved around whether the advanced pawn would prove a strength or weakness. Black managed to get an advanced passed pawn of his own on a3, but the champ appeared to misplay the defense as the 40-move time control neared.
Black’s 28. Ra1 Ba5? appears to have been the decisive mistake, with commentators and chess computers saying Black still had a difficult but defensible game after 29…h5, trying to evict the powerful White bishop on g3. After 29. Qa6 Bxc7 30. Qxc4, White establishes a devastating pin on the bishop that Black can’t break.
The challenger’s 33. e6! opened up fresh holes in the Black defense, and after 33…Kf8 34. Rc1, Black resigns in a hopeless position as his bishop is lost.
Game 4 of the match, being played in Sochi, Russia, will be Wednesday, with Carlsen having the advantage of the White pieces.
Here are the moves to Game 3:
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 Be7 5. Bf4 O-O 6. e3 Nbd7 7. c5 c6 8.Bd3 b6 9. b4 a5 10. a3 Ba6 11. Bxa6 Rxa6 12. b5 cxb5 13. c6 Qc8 14. c7 b4 15. Nb5 a4 16. Rc1 Ne4 17. Ng5 Ndf6 18. Nxe4 Nxe4 19. f3 Ra5 20. fxe4 Rxb5 21. Qxa4 Ra5 22. Qc6 bxa3 23. exd5 Rxd5 24. Qxb6 Qd7 25. O-O Rc8 26. Rc6 g5 27. Bg3 Bb4 28. Ra1 Ba5 29. Qa6 Bxc7 30. Qc4 e5 31. Bxe5 Rxe5 32. dxe5 Qe7 33. e6 Kf8 34. Rc1 Black resigns