07 November 2013

Anand - Carlsen, Predicting the Result

A few days ago I posted a summary of Anand - Carlsen Openings, based on the record of their games played with each other. Now let's look at a possible outcome of the match.

A player needs 6.5 points to win the match in games played at standard time control. Carlsen currently has a 95 point advantage in rating, which gives him a theoretical 63%-37% advantage in each game. After 10 games he would have only 6.30 theoretical points, meaning it would take him 11 games to achieve at least 6.5 points (6.93 theoretical points). Rounding off gives a match score of 7-4 in his favor.

Given that Carlsen has little experience with matches and no experience with the pressure of a World Championship match (he choked at the end of the London Candidates Tournament and was lucky to win the event), and that Anand has home court advantage (think food and other comforts, especially food), I'll give Anand a free point. That makes 7-5 for Carlsen.

Taking it back a step and going to the start of the 12th game, the score would be 6-5 for Carlsen. Kasparov wrote somewhere -- he's written so much that I couldn't possibly find the reference in a reasonable amount of time -- that the last game of a World Championship match follows it's own logic (or something similar). That means anything can happen.

If Anand somehow wins the crucial 12th game, ending with a tied score, the match goes to tiebreak. I won't repeat all of the tiebreak rules here, because they are available in the usual places. Let's just say they play a four-game rapidplay match followed by a number of two-game blitz matches, until someone wins one of these mini-matches.

According to my records -- Anand's TMER and Carlsen's TMER (*) -- the two have played together in two blitz events this year. In May, at Stavanger, they finished with the same score. In June, at Moscow, Anand finished ahead of Carlsen. In both events, they drew the game where they played each other. Neither player appears to be dominant in fast chess, so, once again, anything can happen.

As everyone already knows, Carlsen is the definite favorite to win this match. Anand's best shot at winning is to survive into tiebeak.

(*) TMER = Tournament, Match, and Exhibition Record


Hank Anzis said...

What is your prediction of the match, Mark?

Mark Weeks said...

I predict that, whatever the result, chess wins. Having said that, the games better be more interesting than today's first game, otherwise we all lose. - Mark