The sixth game of the FIDE World Championship Match, sponsored by Tamil Nadu state and currently ongoing in Chennai, finished in Magnus Carlsen’s favour after 67 moves of play.
The defending champion Viswanathan Anand opened with 1.e4 and the challenger Magnus Carlsen responded with the Berlin Ruy Lopez, which almost brought him success in the 4th game of the match.
Anand deviated from the early queens exchange and went for the more complicated 4.d3. He already used this line earlier this year to defeat Russian prodigy Sergey Karjakin.
On move 10 Anand played a novelty 10.Bg5, improving over his earlier encounter with Levon Aronian. The idea was to pin the black knight on f6 taking advantage of the fact that Carlsen’s dark-squared bishop is outside the pawn chain.
Carlsen responded with trading the light-squared bishops and then regrouping the knight from c6 to d7, like in Breyer Ruy Lopez, to reinforce the Nf6 and break the pin.
White maneuvered his knights to get hold of the central light squares d5 and d5, while black cleared the a-file and stood by for the possible d6-d5 break.
In a somewhat surprising turn of events, Anand traded all minor peaces and entered the endgame with three pairs of heavy pieces. The position looked equal, but Carlsen found a way to compromise white’s structure with c5-c4 advance.
White was left with doubled isolated pawns on the e-file, raising the comments that Carlsen will have another long endgame where he can gradually press for victory.
Instead of slowly suffering in the slightly inferior position, Anand decided to drop one of the pawns, trade the queens, and transpose into a rook endgame where he would have active play as compensation for the pawn.
There was also unanimous verdict that the endgame should be drawn, but Carlsen kept posing problems to his opponent. He gave up the queenside pawns in order to force the way for the passer on the f-file.
In the critical moment Anand erred with the slow 60.Ra4 when immediate advance 60.b4 was needed. Carlsen jumped on the opportunity and sealed the victory to take the 4-2 lead.
Sunday is the rest day, the match continues on Monday.
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