3

Instead of 25.Rfc1 as played in the game, why not 25.Rc7 to try for slight advantage or small initiative ( Ne5 could follow or trying to bring other rook to the seventh rank... )?

[White "Anand, Vishwanathan"]
[Black "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Event "WCC 2014"]
[fen ""]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 Be7 5.Bf4 O-O 6.e3 c5 7.dxc5 Bxc5 8.a3 Nc6 9.Qc2 Re8 10.Bg5 Be7 11.Rd1 Qa5 12.Bd3 h6 13.Bh4 dxc4 14.Bxc4 a6 15.O-O b5 16.Ba2 Bb7 17.Bb1 Rad8 18.Bxf6 Bxf6 19.Ne4 Be7 20.Nc5 Bxc5 21.Qxc5 b4 22.Rc1 bxa3 23.bxa3 Qxc5 24.Rxc5 Ne7 25.Rfc1 Rc8 26.Bd3 Red8 27.Rxc8 Rxc8 28.Rxc8+ Nxc8 29.Nd2 Nb6 30.Nb3 Nd7 31.Na5 Bc8 32.Kf1 Kf8 33.Ke1 Ke7 34.Kd2 Kd6 35.Kc3 Ne5 36.Be2 Kc5 37.f4 Nc6 38.Nxc6 Kxc6 39.Kd4 f6 40.e4 Kd6 41.e5+  1/2-1/2
3

It is definitely worth considering, and probably an equally good move, but unfortunately it only leads to a similar simplification of the position (rather quickly), so Rc7 wouldn't really give an edge because black is well prepared to face it, as Ne7 prepares it. Either black replies by 25.Rc7 Bc6, locking the rook in to force the exchange, e.g. 26.Nd4 is just met by Rc8. Alternatively black can just exchange on f3, and play for minor activity himself, e.g. Nd5 or Rd2 after gxf3. (not necessarily a desired double-pawn structure for white either). Instead Anand went for activating his other rook and double his c-file, but black is just prepared enough to challenge it with an immediate Rc8, so long story short, the position just doesn't have much left in it to play for.

[White "Anand, Vishwanathan"]
[Black "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Event "WCC 2014"]
[fen ""]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 Be7 5.Bf4 O-O 6.e3 c5 7.dxc5 Bxc5 8.a3 Nc6 9.Qc2 Re8 10.Bg5 Be7 11.Rd1 Qa5 12.Bd3 h6 13.Bh4 dxc4 14.Bxc4 a6 15.O-O b5 16.Ba2 Bb7 17.Bb1 Rad8 18.Bxf6 Bxf6 19.Ne4 Be7 20.Nc5 Bxc5 21.Qxc5 b4 22.Rc1 bxa3 23.bxa3 Qxc5 24.Rxc5 Ne7 25.Rc7 Bc6 (25...Bxf3 26.gxf3 Rc8 27.Rfc1 Red8 28.Be4 a5 29.f4 Kf8) 26.Nd4 Rc8 27.Rxc8 Rxc8 (27.Ra7 Bd5) 28.Rc1 Bb7 
  • 2
    +1. Seems that ChessBase commentators "agree" with you... Well, at least I tried... Let me wait a little to see if others will contribute interesting answer, before I officially accept. Hope you don't mind? Thanks for answering, best regards :) – AlwaysLearningNewStuff Nov 18 '14 at 20:23
  • @AlwaysLearningNewStuff No problem, my pleasure! – Phonon Nov 18 '14 at 20:24
  • The problem for white at move 25 is that the white king has no air (possible issues on the first rank). Also, the bishop on b1 is not ideally placed. Black can potentially have problems defending the a-pawn, yet white cannot coordinate its forces fast enough. – Rauan Sagit Nov 18 '14 at 20:46

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