3.5 – 2.5 for Carlsen

Bartlomiej Heberla Bartlomiej Heberla is a Polish grandmaster with an ELO rating of 2565. This year he came 4th at the Polish Championship. If you're interested in online lessons with GM Heberla, please contact Chessbet!

It’s amazing how many factors affect the result of a chess game. One of them is something which a lot of players call “luck”. But is it really luck? Carlsen had some problems in the fifth game of the match, but eventually managed to get half a point. Anand could have played some better moves in critical moments but it was still far away from winning.

In the sixth game we could observe something that doesn’t happen often on this level. Carlsen first got a slight edge and then did a terrible blunder after which his position could turn into a lost one after just one simple tactical trick. Probably every observer was asking himself a question “what after Nxe5?”. The point is Carlsen was wondering the same because he realized his blunder, but he had to try to keep the “poker face”. In my opinion he didn’t, but Anand after just one minute of thinking played something else end finally lost the game without much of a fight.

So we can say that Anand didn’t help the luck. But again, shall we call this “luck”? It’s a fight of nerves, a psychological war, and obviously Anand doesn’t expect the current World Champion to make silly blunders, so he didn’t even consider simple tactical tricks. Probably if he would have spent more time he would have totally turned the situation. But he didn’t want to spend more time because Carlsen was trying to put him in time pressure and keep a slight positional advantage. In general Carlsen was doing better in this game and made only one blunder so a lot of observers will say that he deserved the full point.

One thing is sure – the games are more and more interesting, so everyone is waiting for the second half of the match. For me it’s hard to bet right now. Carlsen should be the clear favourite as besides having the score on his side he also has a psychological advantage after the last game. But on the other hand we can see that he is not in the best shape. I bet on two draws in the next rounds and then some fireworks at the finish!