Magnus Carlsen has won the ninth game; being 6-3, all he needs is a draw now, half a point out of three. Only an utterly unexpectedly psychological default could deprive him of the victory; but usually it is not the winner who has such defaults. Viswanathan Anand has lost the ninth game in the way we forecasted yesterday: fighting (I forecasted the battle, not the result). This is the game, Anand’s white:
1. d4 Nf6; 2. c4 e6; 3. Nc3 Bb4; 4. f3 d5; 5. a3 Bxc3+; 6. bxc3 c5; 7. cxd5 exd5; 8. e3 c4 (diagram from ChessBomb)
After Carlsen’s 8… c4, the pawn chain, that is c4 and d5 facing c3 and d4, suggests Black’s attack on queen side. Anand should attack towards the centre, but his development is slow.
9. Ne2 Nc6; 10. g4 0-0; 11. Bg2 Na5 (diagram)
Both plans are defined now: there is the Carlsen’s queen-side attack, and there is Anand’s at centre, also advancing the g-pawn to threat Black’s f6 knight, aiming to master the central white squares.
12. 0-0 Nb3; 13. Ra2 b5; 14. Ng3 a5; 15. g5 Ne8; 16. e4 Nxc1; 17. Qxci Ra6; 18. e5 Nc7; 19. f4 b4; 20. axb4 axb4; 21. Rxa6 Nxa6; 22. f5 b3; 23. Qf4 Nc7; 24. f6 g6; 25. Qe4 Ne8; 26. Qh6 b2; 27. Rf4 b1=Q+ 28. Nf1 Qe1 and Anand resigned. 0-1
Paolo Enrico Garrisi