I am looking at the Anand vs Andreikin round 12 Candidates tournament and I see that it ended in a draw and that based on engine evaluation Anand is much better (+ 2.8 is kind of huge). I also see that it is really a hard position and to be able to get advantage it requires you to sacrifice a rook basically for nothing (you will not get anything back in next moves). Anand proceeded with repetition thus drawing the game.

I know that the question is highly speculative and no one knows the answer except of Anand. But has he not seen that he is better, may be he was low on time, or something else? (I definitely has not seen it, and even from my first 3 minutes of analysis it looks like he is worse, but this is why I am not a GM :-) ).

A more appropriate question will be about normal analysis of the position.

Here is the mentioned game:

[White "Anand"]
[Black "Andreikin"]
[Event "Candidates tournament 2014 ( round 12 )"]
[fen ""]

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Bf5 5.Ng3 Bg6 6.h4 h6 7.Nf3 e6 8.Ne5 Bh7 9.Bd3 Bxd3 10.Qxd3 Nd7 11.f4 Bb4+ 12.c3 Be7 13.Bd2 Ngf6 14.O-O-O O-O 15.Qf3 Qc7 16.c4 a5 17.Kb1 Rad8 18.Bc1 a4 19.Rhe1 a3 20.b3 Bb4 21.Re3 c5 22.d5 exd5 23.cxd5 Nb6 24.Red3 Qc8 25.d6 Rfe8 26.Nh5 Re6 27.Nxf6 Rxf6 28.d7 Qc7 29.Qg4 c4 30.Rg3 g6 31.h5 cxb3 32.Rxb3 Na4 33.hxg6 fxg6 34.Rxb4 Nc3+ 35.Kc2 b5 36.Kb3 Na4 37.Qf3 Nc5+ 38.Kc2 Na4+ 39.Kb3 Nc5+ 40.Kc2 Na4+ 41.Kb3 1/2-1/2
  • Your link is bad.
    – Tony Ennis
    Mar 28, 2014 at 1:19
  • @TonyEnnis I can not find direct link, sorry. You have to select there round12 and the game. Mar 28, 2014 at 1:31
  • There was certainly no time issue, as the players had just passed the move-40 time control. Unless Anand addressed how he assessed the final position in the press conference or something, though, I'm not sure how anyone is supposed to answer what was going through Anand's mind as regards the position? (Perhaps your final sentence is right about a more answerable question.)
    – ETD
    Mar 28, 2014 at 1:50
  • @EdDean thanks for telling about time issue. About reading his mind - I definitely understand this and that is why I asked about normal analysis of the position. Mar 28, 2014 at 1:59
  • I'd think it's a matter of tournament strategy. Anand only needs to draw his two remaining games to qualify, so maybe he just preferred to rest and prepare.
    – TKR
    Mar 28, 2014 at 3:32

2 Answers 2


I watched the press conference. It starts at the 4 hr 13 minute mark in this video.

Some quotes from Anand-

"I should play Kd2."

"I suspect White is better"

"but my head was spinning"

"I decided not to tempt fate."

"I was already very tired. The game had taken a lot of energy. I didn't see anything terribly clear. White still has to defend for another 4-5 moves..."

To summarize: Anand was quite tired and although he suspected his position to be better, he didn't see anything concrete for White. In the press conference he mentioned that he saw that Black's pieces would be well co-ordinated while White's would not be so harmoniously placed for the next few moves. Therefore, he decided not to take a risk and go for the draw.

So Anand didn't miss that he is better, but other factors influenced his decision to take the draw.

  • At the same time, he had missed he was better by +2.8. If he had received this evaluation during the game, I have no doubt he would've found the way to continue.
    – Spork
    Mar 28, 2014 at 15:19

To Quote GM Jonathan Tisdall, "Jonathan Tisdall ‏@GMjtis I think in the pre-computer age people would not be criticizing Anand's 'incredible' decision for a few days at least." And Jonathan Rowson, "@Jonathan_Rowson It's funny, if you follow the main online computer line on 41.Rc4 it reaches R&B vR: Lots of risk and still just a draw!"

I watched the complete game and the video footage online, and frankly I was disappointed. But it WAS a very complicated game. Its easier for us fans, to sit at home in front of our engines which spits these emotionless-crazy lines with > +3 advantage, but its a different matter on the board.

After move 40, Anand actually peeked at the Karjakin game, even though it was his turn to move. Probably he saw that Karjakin can only draw the game and soon after that agreed to repeat his position too. (Remember he is 40+ and the game was already 4hrs+!)

He did acknowledge that he had seen these lines, but his head was spinning and it was not worth the risk!

What Anand did was practical considering the tournament situation.

  • 1
    I followed the line and it is stopping in the simple position where white is up a bishop. So I can not tell that this is a draw. Can you show me the analysis which shows that this is a draw? I know that the position is really complicated, and I am not telling that I am disappointed and am not telling what he should do. Why should you take a risk if you can get a draw. Mar 28, 2014 at 3:38
  • I havent tried the analysis, but GM Jonathan Rowson seems to think so. Anyways, whats easier for the Engine, may not be easier for a human
    – AAP
    Mar 29, 2014 at 4:25

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