- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 23, 2014

With a dramatic win in Sunday’s Game 11, Norwegian chess world champion Magnus Carlsen has successfully defended his crown against challenger Viswanathan Anand of India in their title match in Sochi, Russia.

In a back-and-forth struggle, Mr. Carlsen finally broke through Mr. Anand’s tough Ruy Lopez Berlin Defense to secure a 6 1/2- 4 1/2 triumph, successfully retaining the title that he took from the Indian grandmaster just one year ago. The rematch was tight throughout, with Mr. Carlsen winning Games 2, 6 and 11, while Mr. Anand won Game 3. All the rest of the games were drawn. The turning point was the blunder-filled Game 6, where the challenger missed a near-winning move and suffered a psychologically devastating defeat instead.

In Game 11, again the 44-year-old challenger had some strong early chances based on the unexpected pawn break after 23. Nef6 b5!!, when any pawn capture allows the Black rooks to invade White’s position. But Mr. Anand followed up his strike with a questionable exchange sacrifice on 27. Ke4 Rb4?! 28. Bxb4 cxb4, never obtaining the freedom for his bishops or the liberation of his passed queenside pawns that Black was apparently counting on.

Mr. Carlsen, 23, for his part, defended superbly, whittling down the pieces until his material advantage became decisive. Key to White’s win was the alert 35. Rxf7 Bc5 (allowing the following tactic by putting both bishops on the same file with the Black king) 36. Rxc7+! Rxc7 37. Nxc7, when 37…Kxc7 38. Rc1 recovers the sacrificed material with a bid edge.

In the final position, Black’s a- and b-pawns are stymied, and Mr. Anand’s bishop will soon have to give up the blockade of the e-pawn to deal with the Norwegian’s advancing g-pawn. Black resigned, giving the game and the match to Mr. Carlsen.

Here are the moves to the decisive Game 11:

White: Carlsen

Black: Anand

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. Nc3 h6 11. b3 Kc8 12. Bb2 c5 13. Rad1 b6
14. Rfe1 Be6 15. Nd5 g5 16. c4 Kb7 17. Kh2 a5 18. a4 Ne7 19. g4 Ng6 20. Kg3
Be7 21. Nd2 Rhd8 22. Ne4 Bf8 23. Nef6 b5 24. Bc3 bxa4 25. bxa4 Kc6 26. Kf3
Rdb8 27. Ke4 Rb4 28. Bxb4 cxb4 29. Nh5 Kb7 30. f4 gxf4 31. Nhxf4 Nxf4 32.
Nxf4 Bxc4 33. Rd7 Ra6 34. Nd5 Rc6 35. Rxf7 Bc5 36. Rxc7+ Rxc7 37. Nxc7 Kc6
38. Nb5 Bxb5 39. axb5+ Kxb5 40. e6 b3 41. Kd3 Be7 42. h4 a4 43. g5 hxg5 44.
hxg5 a3 45. Kc3 Black resigns

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