After game one ended in a draw after just 16 moves, a sheepish Magnus Carlsen (who had played with white and hence on whom the onus of pushing for the win rested) had said he would try his best to provide the fans a better spectacle in the remaining games. On Sunday, it was Viswanathan Anand’s turn to turn up at the principal’s office. “Yeah, I was surprised (with Carlsen’s choice of opening). Today it is my turn to tender a slight apology. The position we got after move 12 was a very sharp one,” Anand said in the post match press conference.
Anand was referring to 12. c3 Be7. GM Vidit Gujarathi’s analysis on chessbomb.com at this point provides a neat summary of where the game stood: “A very less explored line. Here white has to take an important decision. Usually in such positions white should sacrifice the h4 pawn and gain momentum in development.”
Anand explained: “I have studied it in the past and it is a very very complicated position. I hadn’t really expected it, that is clear. I had to decide whether I wanted to fly blind. It is clear that he would have been into the details much more than I have so I chose a slightly solid line. A prudent decision today.”
‘Expect better games’
Promising a better show for the rest of the match, the world champion added: “I am sure there will be better games, we are both just settling into the match. We both have a bit of information about what the other person is aiming for and it should get interesting. We both got caught in slightly unexpected situations (in the two games so far).”
Carlsen said he was not the greatest of starters and insisted things would get exciting later on. “I feel it is little similar to my start in Candidates where I made an easy draw with black, and let my opponent get an easy draw with black in the second game and that one took off quite quickly, so let us see. We are just settling in so far, as Vishy said. It is hard to go for sharp lines when you do not know what you are getting into,” said Carlsen. Though he started with two draws in the Candidates Tournament in April 2013, seven out of Carlsen’s eleven remaining games yielded a result.
The two short draws haven’t