WCC R5: Carlsen Wins Game 5 with White

11.15.13 From a position that gave Carlsen the ever-so-slightest positional advantage in the middlegame, he managed to squeeze blood from a stone as he is often credited with doing. Playing a pawn up in the endgame and reaching a position having passed pawns on a7 and h4, he forced Anand's resignation on black's fifty-eighth move. Game 5 was an incredibly complicated contest worthy of the two greatest players in the world.

Magnus Carlsen, looking comfortable during Game 5, managed to nurse a minute positional advantage and bring home the full point to take the lead in the World Chess Championship Match 3-2.

01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 Total
Vishy Anand 2775 1/2 1/2 1/2 1/2 0 2.0
Magnus Carlsen 2870 1/2 1/2 1/2 1/2 1 3.0

Each game in this match is critical of course but this one in particular was pivotal. Since Carlsen had white in Game 1 and will again have white in Game 12, Anand will have two whites in a row for Games 6 and 7. A win for Anand in this game would have put him in a very comfortable position entering the second half of the match looking forward to back-to-back whites.

Carlsen played 1. c4 varying from his previous first move (1. Nf3) with white in Games 1 and 3. A Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav resulted in which black actually seemed more at ease. Interestingly, it has been the player with the black pieces in the first four games of this match who has been dictating the tempo. Carlsen played 10. Qd3 which got Anand thinking for nearly 13 minutes. After white castled queenside and black played 13...Bc7 most commentators felt white had an edge if he went directly into the endgame with a queen exchange which is what occurred on the board.

Susan Polgar shared lots of interesting commentary during the live broadcast. She was discussing move selection and the needs of the position and explained many players will give preference to a move which will produce a position in which they feel most comfortable with rather than making a move that conforms to the needs of the position. The best players, she said, are able to make a move that meets the requirements of the position not only one that keeps the position in the player's comfort zone. The first world champion of correspondence chess, Australian International Master and prolific chess author C. J. S. Purdy, had something to say about this topic as well. Purdy wrote, "And it is well to remember that the vast majority of plans made in chess are crazy by master standard. They are evolved from a player's inner consciousness rather than from the position on the board." Because of Carlsen's stratospheric natural talent and encyclopedic positional knowledge, he is, at most times, able to make a move that meets the needs of the position while at the same time keeps him in a game that suits his temperament and style.

After 19. c5 attacking black's bishop on the b5 square, the position was minutely in white's favor as black had four pawn islands to white's three with each side having two rooks, a white-squared bishops and five pawns. The game continued with near even evaluation until Carlsen played 45. Bh7, this was followed by 45...Rc1+, a move American GM Hikaru Nakamura gave a "??" commenting on Twitter. A few moves later Carlsen's a-pawn started marching up the board. The blog-o-sphere exploded when the following moves occurred: 57. a7 Kc5 58. h4 Kd5 black resigns.

In the press conference immediately following the game, Anand indicated that he thought 34...Rd4 was his decisive mistake. When questioned about the move GM Nakamura disapproved of (45...Rc1+), Anand responded that the rook endgame was so complicated he thought he could have created counter chances but they didn't work out. Carlsen was obviously happy with the result but added, the first one to win a game is not the match winner and that Anand will have good chances in the next two games playing the white pieces.

Game 6 is scheduled for Saturday, November 16th at 4:30 a.m. eastern time.

Game 5 underway in Chennai, India.

The commentators for the live broadcast on the official FIDE site (left to right): GM Susan Polgar, IM Lawrence Trent, IM Tania Sachdev and GM Ramachandran Ramesh.

All the games of the Match can be found here.

Official Match Website

Official Schedule

Time control is 40 moves in 2 hours followed by 20 moves in 1 hour then 15 minutes for the remainder of the game with a 30 second increment beginning on move 61.

Times are on the east coast of the U.S.

11.07.2013 Opening Ceremony 5:30 A.M.
11.09.2013 Game 1 4:30 A.M.
11.10.2013 Game 2 4:30 A.M.
11.11.2013 Rest Day
11.12.2013 Game 3 4:30 A.M.
11.13.2013 Game 4 4:30 A.M.
11.14.2013 Rest Day
11.15.2013 Game 5 4:30 A.M.
11.16.2013 Game 6 4:30 A.M.
11.17.2013 Rest Day
11.18.2013 Game 7 4:30 A.M.
11.19.2013 Game 8 4:30 A.M.
11.20.2013 Rest Day
11.21.2013 Game 9 4:30 A.M.
11.22.2013 Game 10 4:30 A.M.
11.23.2013 Rest Day
11.24.2013 Game 11 4:30 A.M.
11.25.2013 Rest Day
11.26.2013 Game 12 4:30 A.M.
11.27.2013 Rest Day
11.28.2013 Tie Break Games To be decided
11.29.2013 Closing Ceremony To be decided

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