WCC R11: Fighting draw, Anand wins World Championship by 6.5:4.5

10/29/2008 – It was a game of almost unbearable tension. Anand switched to 1.e4, Vladimir Kramnik went for do-or-die complications, Anand obliged, and for a couple of hours nobody knew what would happen. In the end, Vishy Anand prevailed, got a slightly better position and Vladimir Kramnik offered a draw. Anand remains World Champion. First report with comments by Garry Kasparov and Malcolm Pein.

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World Chess Championship in Bonn

The World Chess Championship is taking place from October 14 – November 02, 2008 in the Art and Exhibition Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany in Bonn. The match consists of twelve games, played under classical time controls: 120 minutes for the first 40 moves, 60 minutes for the next 20 moves and then 15 minutes for the rest of the game plus an additional 30 seconds per move starting from move 61. The prize fund is 1.5 million Euro (approximately 2.35 million US Dollars) including taxes and FIDE license fees, and is split equally between the players.

The games are being broadcast live by FoidosChess, with video and commentary for €10 per game; and on Playchess.com. Details are given at the end of this report. Games start at 15:00h CEST (=17:00h Moscow, 9 a.m. New York).


Anand,V (2783) - Kramnik,V (2772) [B96]
WCh Bonn GER (11), 29.10.2008
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 e6 7.f4 Qc7 8.Bxf6 gxf6 9.f5 Qc5 10.Qd3 Nc6 11.Nb3 Qe5 12.0-0-0 exf5 13.Qe3 Bg7 14.Rd5 Qe7 15.Qg3 Rg8 16.Qf4 fxe4 17.Nxe4 f5 18.Nxd6+ Kf8 19.Nxc8 Rxc8 20.Kb1 Qe1+ 21.Nc1 Ne7 22.Qd2 Qxd2 23.Rxd2 Bh6 24.Rf2 Be3 draw. [Click to replay]

Final score

 
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
 
Anand
½
½
1
½
1
1
½
½
½
0
½
6.5
Kramnik
½
½
0
½
0
0
½
½
½
1
½
 
4.5


The trophies waiting for the winners


Vladimir Kramnik receives his runner-up trophy from Honorary FIDE President Florencio Campomanes


Match director Josef Resch (left) with Anand and Campomanes


The happy couple: Aruna and World Champion Vishy Anand

Pictures by Wolfgang Rzychon

A full pictorial report will follow on Thursday


Comments from Garry Kasparov

Game 11: "A difficult position for Kramnik to be in after 1.e4. Final games like this have their own logic, so you cannot compare it to his attempts to play the Sicilian in 2004. 12..f5 was suspect, not something I would have considered. That's what can happen when you are in openings that aren't yours. You want to play by instinct, but they are not used to these positions and this leads to poor decisions. After the Berlin and the Petroff, playing a Rauzer is a shock to the system. He looked very uncomfortable, but of course the match situation was close to impossible. The final position was unpleasant for Black, and this Kramnik understands."

Match in general: "It was a very well-played match by Vishy. Except for the loss of concentration in the tenth game he played consistently and managed to enforce his style. His choice to open with 1.d4 was excellent. He reached playable positions with life in them, so he could make Kramnik work at the board. Anand outprepared Kramnik completely. In this way it reminded me of my match with Kramnik in London 2000. Like I was then, Kramnik may have been very well prepared for this match, but we never saw it. I didn't expect the Berlin and ended up fighting on Kramnik's preferred terrain.

[In this match] Kramnik did not expect tough, sharp challenges with white, and this was the key for Anand. He kicked some sand in Kramnik's face and hit Kramnik's weakness: his conservative approach to the game itself. Suddenly Kramnik had to fight in these sharp positions and he wasn't able to do it. This result ends the illusion that Kramnik is a great match player. London was a unique occurrence and I still stand with Leonid Yudasin as the only players Kramnik has ever beaten in a match! Kramnik now has some work to do. His overly-defensive play seems to represent a general decline in strength.

A great result for Anand and for chess. Vishy deserved the win in every way and I'm very happy for him. It will not be easy for the younger generation to push him aside."


Pein on Bonn

Anand,V (2783) - Kramnik,V (2772) [B96]
WCh Bonn GER (11), 29.10.2008

Vlad promised to keep fighting to the end, and he made good on tha in game ten with a stunning win but long experience tells us that having to win with black to stay in a match is a feat rarely managed. 1.e4. A change from the 1.d4 we saw in games 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9. Anand invites Kramnik to play his favourite Petroff Defence, which can be very drawish, particularly if White wants it to be. The Petroff is one of the reasons Kramnik has not won with black for two years

1...c5. Given the match situation this is the best option and was widely anticipated. Kramnik has to head for an unbalanced position. 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6. A Najdorf! Hardly a Kramnik speciality but needs must. Having missed a win in game 9 and won game 10 at 4-6 down it's win or bust. 6.Bg5. 6.Be3 Is the main move nowadays but ever since Radjabov and others including Anand have revitalised the Poisoned Pawn for White it has increased the popularity of Bg5. 6...e6 7.f4








7...Qb6 the Poisoned Pawn would not suit Kramnik now as it's Anand's territory and White has many forced drawing lines. 7...Qc7. 7...Qb6 8.Qd2 Qxb2 9.Rb1 Qa3 10.e5 is the focus of attention] 8.Bxf6 gxf6.In 1992 Anatoly Karpov needed a win with Black against Nigel Short at their Candidates match at Linares in 1992. Suffering in 1.e4 e5, Karpov played the Sicilian, allowed Bxf6 gxf6 and Short gave him a good tonking. in a Richter Rauzer, in which Black castled kingside into the weakened pawns. 9.f5. 9.Be2 Nc6 10.Nb3 Qb6 11.Qd2 h5. 9...Qc5. This looks very odd as it contradicts the basic rules of development but this move prevents both Qh5 and fxe6 and Qh5+. 10.Qd3 Nc6 11.Nb3. We are following Kavalek-Chandler, Bundesliga 1982. 11...Qe5. 11...Qb6 12.0-0-0 Bh6+ 13.Kb1 Bf4 coming to e5 looks reasonable also. 12.0-0-0








12...exf5. Black does not usually do this. It might win a pawn but it ruins the pawn structure and opens lines towards the king. The d5 square is screaming for equine occupation. In fact Kramnk judged this well, Black is doing reasonably well. 13.Qe3. We can only admire Kramnik's bravado and he was making Anand think. [13.Nd5!?] 13...Bg7. This looks grim but the bishop will emerge 14.Rd5 Qe7 15.Qg3 Rg8 [15...0-0 16.exf5+/=]








16.Qf4. An implausible variation is 16.Qf4 Be6 17.Rd1 fxe4 18.Nxe4 Bg4 19.Nxd6+ Kf8 20.Bc4 Bxd1 21.Rxd1 Ne5 22.Be2 Rd8 23.Nf5 Rxd1+ 24.Bxd1 Qc7 25.Qb4+ Ke8 26.Nd6+ Kf8 27.Nf5+=; 16.Qh4!? 16...fxe4. This surprised me. I was expecting Kramnik to try and get the king to c8. 17.Nxe4 f5. 17...Be6 18.Nxd6+ Kf8 19.Rd1 Bg4 20.Qxg4?? Bh6+ is a nice cheapo and this line seems to be sounder for Black than the game. 18.Nxd6+ Kf8. White's back rank is a little weak but now Anand has a simple path to advantage. 19.Nxc8 Rxc8








20.Kb1! 20.Qd6 Nb4 21.Qxe7+ Kxe7 22.Rd2 Bh6-+ Illustrates why it's better to have the king on b1. Now Qe1 can be met by Nc1 or Qc1. 20...Qe1+ 21.Nc1. Anand threatens Qd6+ Ne7 Qd8+ and mate. Kramnik's bishop may look fearsome but it can be neutralised by c2-c3 in most lines. 21...Ne7








22.Qd2! The practical choice forcing a queen exchange as Rd8+ is threatened. 22.Qd6 Qe6 23.Qd8+ Rxd8 24.Rxd8#. 22...Qxd2 23.Rxd2 Bh6 24.Rf2. Defending g2 so that the bishop can come out. Black's weak f5 pawn makes this endgame comfortably better for White. g3 and Bg2 is a threat. Anand is also helped by the presence of opposite coloured bishops, if he doesn't win they make the draw more likely. 24...Be3








and Kramnik offered a draw. After 25.Rf3 he is worse and has no winning prospects: 25...f4 26.g3 Ng6 27.Bh3 Rc7 28.Nd3+/-. In the end a very decent match indeed. 1/2-1/2. [Click to replay]

IM Malcolm Pein is the Executive Editor of CHESS Monthly magazine
and runs the London Chess Center and ChessBase USA.


Cartoons by José Diaz © – permission to reproduce must be obtained from the author


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