Another Berlin in Game 11, and for a while, Anand played very well to maintain equality. However, after achieving the incredible break 23. … b5! that opened up the b-file and gave him a minute edge, he hallucinated in a major way (or else his nerves gave way), sacrificed an exchange unsoundly, and lost. Carlsen played the final portion of the game immaculately, not giving any chances to his older challenger. An inexplicable game for the majority of us that expected him to hold out a draw, and then to go all out in the final 12th game.

Carlsen was the deserving winner in this match. Other than the opening disaster of Game 3, he was hardly in any trouble in the match, and obtained the positions where his playing strength was superior to Anand’s. To his credit, Anand played very well – far better than the match in Chennai in 2013. I (and probably many others) did not understand some of his decisions or match strategy though. Why did he keep playing technical, defensive endgames as Black (Berlin Wall, the second Sicilian Paulsen game)? It is not as if he has anything to prove to defend these games against Carlsen. Hopefully a future interview or match review will help illuminate his strategy.

No more world chess championship matches until 2016. We all hope for a matchup between Carlsen and either Levon Aronian or Fabiano Caruana.

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