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Edward Scimia

World Chess Championship, Game 5: A Breakthrough for Carlsen

By November 15, 2013

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The match has officially been opened. Magnus Carlsen won today to take a 3-2 lead over defending champion Viswanathan Anand in the World Chess Championship in Chennai, marking the first decisive result of the match after four draws to start the match. As I said yesterday, it certainly felt like a win was in the making, as every game had been more interesting and closer to a win than the one before it. The breakthrough finally came as Carlsen switched from 1. Nf3 to 1. c4. Technically, it was an English Opening at that point, but after Carlsen played 2. d4, it transposed into a Semi-Slav position.

In true Carlsen fashion, the young Norwegian pushed through in positions that were technically equal, but in which he had all of the practical chances. He made few - if any - mistakes, and Anand finally cracked in the endgame. Once he had a winning advantage, Carlsen finished the game off without giving Anand a chance to get back in the game. I'll have a complete report on the game up on the site tonight.

The onus is now on Anand to find a way to win a game and get back into the match. And this is the time to do it: Anand will have two consecutive White games in Game 6 and Game 7, as the order of colors will switch at the halfway point in the match. That's a great opportunity to put pressure on Carlsen -- but if Anand lets this opportunity slip, he'll be down to just two games with the white pieces in the final five games of the match, making his task even harder.

White: Magnus Carlsen

Black: Viswanathan Anand

1.c4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 c6 4. e4 dxe4 5. Nxe4 Bb4+ 6. Nc3 c5 7. a3 Ba5 8. Nf3 Nf6 9. Be3 Nc6 10. Qd3 cxd4 11. Nxd4 Ng4 12. O-O-O Nxe3 13. fxe3 Bc7 14. Nxc6 bxc6 15. Qxd8+ Bxd8 16. Be2 Ke7 17. Bf3 Bd7 18. Ne4 Bb6 19. c5 f5 20. cxb6 fxe4 21. b7 Rab8 22. Bxe4 Rxb7 23. Rhf1 Rb5 24. Rf4 g5 25. Rf3 h5 26. Rdf1 Be8 27. Bc2 Rc5 28. Rf6 h4 29. e4 a5 30. Kd2 Rb5 31. b3 Bh5 32. Kc3 Rc5+ 33. Kb2 Rd8 34. R1f2 Rd4 35. Rh6 Bd1 36. Bb1 Rb5 37. Kc3 c5 38. Rb2 e5 39. Rg6 a4 40. Rxg5 Rxb3+ 41. Rxb3 Bxb3 42. Rxe5+ Kd6 43. Rh5 Rd1 44. e5+ Kd5 45. Bh7 Rc1+ 46. Kb2 Rg1 47. Bg8+ Kc6 48. Rh6+ Kd7 49. Bxb3 axb3 50. Kxb3 Rxg2 51. Rxh4 Ke6 52. a4 Kxe5 53. a5 Kd6 54. Rh7 Kd5 55. a6 c4+ 56. Kc3 Ra2 57. a7 Kc5 58. h4 1-0

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