All talk of Norwegian chess champion Magnus Carlsen waltzing over his challenger Vishy Anand of India came to an abrupt halt late Tuesday afternoon. After winning handily on Sunday and having a day off on Monday, Carlsen found himself vastly outplayed on Tuesday as Anand secured an important victory.
Anand’s triumph at the Chess World Championships in Sochi, Russia leaves the two men tied in the race for the new world champion title, each with 1.5 points. The first match ended n remis (a tie) on Saturday while Carlsen had sailed beyond his challenger on Sunday. The first to claim 6.5 points wins the championship tournament.
Chess experts claimed Anand “shocked” the chess world by outsmarting Carlsen in the opening, mid-play and end-play. After 28 moves, the match was over and Carlsen sat at the board as a beaten man.
“This was no fun at all,” Carlsen’s manager Espen Agdestein told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK). “This was a bad day. Now we’ll just have to put it behind us.”
Torstein Bae, NRK’s expert commentator, called Carlsen’s play the “worst we have seen for a long time.” There was no immediate explanation, other than that Anand roared back on Tuesday as the “Tiger from Madras.” Carlsen himself simply said that “everything went wrong right from the start.”
Bae said Tuesday’s match was “an exciting development and a very scary development for Magnus.” The competition thus continues in full vigour, due to wrap up sometime next week.