The games are available at multiple sites, although the reports on Chessbase come with game commentary and slight analysis (Games 1 and 2 respective). Carlsen is already in the lead after winning the second game, and unless Anand somehow manages to lift his game, the overall match prospects look dim for him.

Game 1 was a Grunfeld (as expected, Anand did not play 1. e4 in view of the “threat” of the Berlin Wall) – a huge surprise by Carlsen given that it often leads to dynamic, active positions that would  more favour the challenger). But somehow, Carlsen still managed to steer the game into one of those technical positions that he so excels in, although Anand managed to find the critical moves to draw the game.

Game 2 was an innocuous Ruy Lopez (another surprise – that Anand offered to play the Berlin Wall but Carlsen refused to be sucked into that endgame) where it did not seem possible that White could have any advantage. Nonetheless, Carlsen piled on the pressure and won after a series of small mistakes by the challenger – mistakes that perhaps only a super-GM might appreciate! It must be tremendously depressing for Anand to lose a game like this.

Anand has been in a similar situation before. In the 2010 world championship match against Veselin Topalov, he had lost the first game, but managed to bounced back to win the fourth game. Four years later, against a younger opponent with fewer discernible weaknesses in his play than Topalov, it seems less likely that he can manage a similar recovery.

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