The sixth game of the World Chess Championship between champion Magnus Carlsen and challenger Viswanathan Anand at Sochi, in Russia, will begin today, Saturday with Carlsen starting with white pieces after the fifth game ended in the 39th move on Friday.
Though the Indian chess ace Anand displayed good form and pushed the reigning champion on to the back foot, Carlsen got out of the bind exchanging pieces. At the end of the fifth round, both players have 2.5 points each in the 12-game match.
Speaking about the game, World No.7 and Grandmaster Anish Giri said that after the opening phase, which showed the defending champion’s good preparation, he thought the game would end in a draw.
“But then Anand managed to get a long-term pull. So at some point, a quick draw seemed very unlikely,” Giri told IANS. Anand started the game with white pieces, moving his queen pawn to which Carlsen replied bringing out his knight to f3 square.
Both the players played their initial moves very fast and the challenger paused a bit for his eighth move consuming six minutes. After his loss in the third round playing black, Carlsen decided to play it simple.
Replying to Anand’s move faster than in his defeat in the third round, Carlsen showed that he was better prepared this time around. The challaneger’s 20th move of putting his knight on the d5 square made the game interesting but Carlsen was unruffled.
The Norwegian also decided to hunt for Anand’s pawn on b2 square instead of going for an exchange of queens which he normally prefers to do. Anand’s foray to the seventh rank with his rook did not yield much results.
Anand decided not to prolong the game and settled for a draw.
According to Giri, the Indian challenger should have tried further and white pieces still had a pull and letting Carlsen go so quickly wasn’t necessary.
“But we can’t get into Vishy’s mind. Maybe he wanted to preserve energy and thought of winning was extremely unlikely,” Giri said.
“Had it been colours reversed, the game would have still been going on… Carlsen always plays till the last resource,” Giri said.