World Championship round-up and Qatar Masters Open


Heinrich Basson Heinrich Basson is a chess enthusiast from South Africa. He is an avid club player with a current FIDE rating of 1899. He follows world chess events closely and analyzing the matches and writing about chess are some of his hobbies.

The World Championship match has finished but the chess action continues, we see the Qatar Masters Open currently being played, the strongest Open tournament event ever held. We also see the London Chess Classic taking place from 06 December until 14 December.

Let us look back at the World Championship match. We expected Anand to go for the win in game 11 and 12. He played an exchange sacrifice in game 11 which saw the game enter a very interesting position. In the end it was not enough and Anand lost the game after 45 moves, with some precise play by Carlsen. Therefore Carlsen retained his title with a 6.5 to 4.5 win, but I think the match was closer than the scoreline suggests. It all came down to a couple of big moments in some important games, which made the match very exciting to watch. But well done to Carlsen for defending his title. According to Carlsen his closest rivals for the title in two years are Caruana, Aronian and Grischuk. We will have to wait and see who will be challenging for the title next, but one thing is for sure, whoever it is, it will be a very tough match for Carlsen as the pressure will be on him. As for the 2014 World Championship match, it is a job well done for team Carlsen.

Currently the Qatar Masters Open tournament is underway from 25 November until 05 December, it features 92 Grandmasters from the 154 participants. What a great event indeed, there are entertaining games from board 1 to the last board. After 4 rounds GM Anish Giri is leading with 4 out of 4. There are 5 players on 3.5 points, which are GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, GM Nils Grandelius, GM Pavel Eljanov, GM Yuriy Kryvoruchko and GM Evgeny Tomashevsky. There are a further 26 players on 3 points after 4 rounds. This is truly a great chess event and a lot of fighting matches are taking place, great entertainment for the chess fans indeed. Be sure to follow all the action until 05 December, as there are definitely no easy games at this tournament. Picking a winner out of this tournament is very tough, as this is an open event and all the players in the top half of the table have the ability to win the tournament.

Be sure to check out the Chessbet website throughout December, as there is plenty of chess action throughout the last month of the year!

Magnus Carlsen defends the World Champion title


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!

In the last game Carlsen was playing very well, and the match finished after 11 games with the score 6.5-4.5. It was an incomparably more interesting match than the previous one, most of the games were quite dynamic. I am sure every observer enjoyed the show. In my opinion Anand was very well prepared for the match, and he did his best. Carlsen just appeared to be better as many expected.

The last game was actually the point of the match, its course was exactly the same as the whole match. Anand did a brilliant move (23…b5!!), but eventually in the important moments he found some dubious ideas instead of the best lines which could still keep the game unclear, while Carlsen was playing very accurately and he perfectly took his chance.

As I write for a betting website and I was quite successful with some of my predictions, I would like to write one more thing – I can’t wait for the next World Championship match, which I believe will be very equal – Carlsen vs Caruana.

Last chance for Anand


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!

After two draws in the last games the score is 5.5 – 4.5 for Carlsen. It seems he is satisfied with a one point advantage as he took a quick draw with white in round 9. Anand decided to play the calm 1…e5 and instead tried to put the pressure in round 10. He even managed to get a slide edge in the Grünfeld, it was clear that Carlsen was out of the line while Anand was still playing quickly. Eventually Anand couldn’t find a way to keep the advantage, got into time trouble and decided to go for simplifications.

I expect Anand to play the Sicilian in the next round. I don’t think he will play for a win only in the last game. On the other hand Carlsen may not play 1.e4. I got a feeling that tomorrow is the last game of the match, I bet on Carlsen because Anand may play incautiously – he knows he is running out of time. Hopefully I am not right and we will observe some more emotions.

Carlsen vs Anand 2014 after 10 rounds


Heinrich Basson Heinrich Basson is a chess enthusiast from South Africa. He is an avid club player with a current FIDE rating of 1899. He follows world chess events closely and analyzing the matches and writing about chess are some of his hobbies.

Current score is 5.5 to 4.5 in favour of Carlsen. Things are definitely very tense at the moment, as any slip-up by Anand will surely put the title beyond his reach. For Carlsen, any slip-up could throw the match wide open as Anand just needs one decisive result from the remaining two games to take things to tie-breaks.

In game 9 the Berlin was played by Anand, no real attacking threats was created by the challenger and Carlsen was happy to play for the draw. After 20 moves a draw was reached after threefold-repitition. No real trouble for Carlsen in getting the draw in game 9. Only 1.5 more points needed for Carlsen from the remaining 3 games.

In game 10 Anand had the white pieces and he needed to try and go for the win. He played d4 and the Gruenfeld Defence was played by Carlsen. There were some pressure from Anand in the form of the d-pawn, but in the end this pressure was not enough to convert to the full point and the game was drawn in 32 moves.

We are seeing strategy play a bigger part as the World Championship match progress to the closing stages, as Carlsen is not willing to take any more unnecessary risks, which does make it quite difficult for Anand to create winning positions. I think that game 11 might be a draw, followed by a very entertaining game 12 where Anand will be playing white. This World Championship match might just go all the way to game 12 and beyond. Be sure to make your bets at the Chessbet website and enjoy the last rounds of this World Championship match!

The Home Stretch


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!

All chess enthusiasts are focused on the last part of FIDE World Championship. Last four rounds, last emotions, and last chance for Anand to change the score. He already showed that he is better prepared than the last year, but the score is 4.5-3.5 for Carlsen.

They are both playing very creatively, the games are interesting and full of ups and downs. It seems there is nothing decided yet, but of course it’s Anand who has the toughest work ahead of him. Last two games finished with two draws as I expected, however in the 7th round Anand got into some trouble in a worse endgame. He managed to survive this game, but then he didn’t manage to put any pressure with white in round 8.

Now he has no choice but to play more aggressively. The question is if he is going to risk immediately in next games, or if his strategy is to try to put pressure in last two rounds. I expect a calm game tomorrow, but it depends mainly on Carlsen. Probably he will try to control the situation, but on the other hand if he would win his advantage will be almost decisive.

To conclude my bet is draw in round 9 and a sharp game in round 10. Don’t forget to make your own bets here!

Carlsen vs Anand 2014 after 8 rounds


Heinrich Basson Heinrich Basson is a chess enthusiast from South Africa. He is an avid club player with a current FIDE rating of 1899. He follows world chess events closely and analyzing the matches and writing about chess are some of his hobbies.

We have a score of 4.5 to 3.5 for Carlsen after 8 rounds. There is just 4 rounds left and Anand has 2 rounds left to play with white, he has to get a result somewhere in the next 4 games, so it will be very interesting days indeed. Let us have a quick recap of rounds 5 to 8.

Round 5 saw Carlsen play black and he chose the Queen’s Indian Defense. A very solid opening and Carlsen’s preparation in this game seemed to be very good indeed. This was a match where both players did not really get any clear winning chances and it ended in a draw after 39 moves with a rook and pawn endgame. On to round 6 where Carlsen had the white pieces again. This time we saw Anand play the Sicilian with the Queen’s that were exchanged on move 9 already. The action actually took place at move number 26 where Carlsen played the move 26.Kd2…according to calculations this was a blunder which could have cost Carlsen two pawns, but Anand missed the opportunity and thereby I feel he also lost momentum to win game 6. The correct move for Carlsen would have been 26.Kd1. In the end it was a win for Carlsen in 38 moves, and the score was suddenly 3.5 vs 2.5 with the momentum on Carlsen’s side.

Round 7 saw Carlsen play another game as white. This time we saw Carlsen play another e4 game as white. It was rather solid play throughout, until we reached move 31 where Anand sacrificed a bishop for two pawns and suddenly a very interesting endgame was in store. Carlsen needed to go for the win as he was playing white and Anand needed to hold the game for a draw. In the end a knight and rook vs rook endgame was reached, and after 122 moves the rooks were exchanged, leaving only a knight. Game number 7 was drawn. Not very often that you see 122 moves in a World Championship match. In round 8 we saw Anand play d4 and the Queen’s Gambit Declined was played, both sides had good preparation and the game ended in a draw after 41 moves.

The score now stands on 4.5 vs 3.5 for Carlsen. With 4 matches remaining and the match so close, we are definitely in for some great entertainment in the remaining 4 matches. I think Carlsen will be more than happy to get a draw in the next couple of games, or maybe play another game of 100 moves or more to test his opponent. Anand has two games left with the white pieces and if he can get a result in either one, this match might even go all the way to the tiebreaks. The title is still very much in the balance, so get your bets in on the Chessbet website and enjoy the remaining games!

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!

2-2!


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!

The third game of the FIDE World Championship match brought a huge change. It’s not only about the result, but Anand won his first classical game against Carlsen since 2010. It was definitely thanks to opening preparation, but anyway it seems Anand is doing better and better. In round four he chose the Sicilian Defense which means that his strategy is to fight for a full point in every game. Carlsen chose an interesting sideline and got a slide edge, but Anand played very accurately and after a draw the score is 2-2.

It might be the most interesting World Championship match ever. For now I boldly bet on Anand, as psychologically his situation is better, but of course Carlsen will do his best to prove that he is still the best player in the World. The next game is on the 14th of November. Remember to bet and enjoy watching!

Carlsen vs Anand after 4 rounds


Heinrich Basson Heinrich Basson is a chess enthusiast from South Africa. He is an avid club player with a current FIDE rating of 1899. He follows world chess events closely and analyzing the matches and writing about chess are some of his hobbies.

What a start to the Carlsen vs Anand 2014 World Championship match! We have seen two decisive results in the first 4 rounds with the draws also fought out very hard. Things this time around seem to be a bit tougher for Carlsen, so well done to Anand so far as he is showing very solid play up until now.

The first round Grünfeld played by Carlsen was surely an interesting choice, showing good preparation by both sides. A draw in round one was a fair result, although both sides had their chances. In round 2 we saw the Berlin played, one that everyone surely did expect sometime during the 12 games. Carlsen had lots of pressure throughout this game and the move 34…h5 was the final mistake, but you have to say that Carlsen was winning before this move.

Before the start of round 3 Anand must have been under immense pressure to score a win and get back into the game, as another loss surely would make it very hard for him to get back into this match. A Queen’s Gambit was played with the move 7.c5 by Anand, which is a very interesting line indeed. From the start of the opening white just had the space and black was under pressure, the pawn on c7 for white was just very strong and in the end it was a superb win by Anand – match all square at 1.5 points each.

In game 4 Anand played the Sicilian against e4 and a position after 14 moves was reached which is very equal with no immediate weaknesses for white or black. In the end a queen ending was reached and the game was a draw after 47 moves, still a very entertaining match for spectators. Now what does the rest of the World Championship match hold in store for us, with the score at 2 points per player they still have all to play for, there will definitely be some exciting chess ahead. I think Carlsen will try to keep the chess solid and reach endgames where he can grind away for the win, whereas Anand might take a few chances with some new opening preparation to try and get an early advantage in the game. For game 5 I think Carlsen will be happy to go for the draw, but we will have to wait and see what Anand has prepared on the rest day. Enjoy the rest of the World Championship match and be sure to visit Chessbet each day.

First blood in Sochi


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!

Magnus Carlsen has an advantage already after two rounds of the FIDE World Championship. The first game ended up with a draw but in general Carlsen was doing better. He equalized without any problem in the Grünfeld defence. At the end of the game he even managed to get a slide edge but it was not enough to score as Anand found the best defending moves. The second game was definitely on Carlsen’s side – after quite a calm opening he slowly improved his position and put Anand under pressure after creating some threats on the kingside.

Is Anand able to fight back in this match? Of course he is. But Carlsen will try to repeat last year’s result, as one point advantage is for sure not enough for him.

Last time Anand decided to play the Sicilian only in the last game. Is he going to play some sharp lines with black earlier this time? Is Carlsen going to repeat the Grünfeld? We will know the answers soon. I think the match is still going to be very interesting!