So far Carlsen has a 2 game lead over Anand and there are only 4 games left. At the strength of these players, can Magnus basically force his opponent into draws by playing certain openings or styles? Can he force Anand into drawing the rest of the games to win the world championship?


It depends what you mean by "basically". He cannot actually force a draw in any given game (otherwise he would have started doing it already, as soon as he won one game). However he can play drawish lines; the variation he went into in game 8, for example, is almost never lost by White at top levels.

It's going to be difficult for Carlsen to "force" a draw if Anand plays something sharp like the Dutch or Pirc. His optimal strategy is still pretty much to just continue to play good chess.

  • Maybe Basically wasn't the correct word, but you answered my question. I guess the fact that he can play drawish lines as in game 8 which is almost never lost by white as you said means that his chances of drawing go up significantly. – xaisoft Nov 19 '13 at 17:06

Well, Carlsen certainly is going to be pretty comfortable for the rest of the games as white. He can choose lines that have a high drawing percentage.

I would expect Anand to start choosing more tactical lines as white and black. So far we've seen quite a bit of king pawn games, more specifically the Ruy Lopez. I wouldn't be surprised to see Anand break out a Sicilian or two in the coming games.

  • Yes, I think that has been a surprise that Anand keeps going back to the Ruy Lopez when it is not working for him. – xaisoft Nov 19 '13 at 20:12

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