WCC R07: Draw in 37, Anand leads by 5:2

10/24/2008 – Playing with the white pieces (at half-time they switch colours) Vishy Anand played 1.d4 for the fourth time in this match, got a Slav and a clear advantage, but agreed to a draw when a pawn up, since Vladimir Kramnik had set up a fortress that the white king could not penetrate. Anand leads by three points and requires 1.5 points for victory. Illustrated report with game commentary.

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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).

Game seven: Draw in 37 moves

Anand,V (2783) - Kramnik,V (2772) [D19]
WCh Bonn GER (7), 23.10.2008
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 dxc4 5.a4 Bf5 6.e3 e6 7.Bxc4 Bb4 8.0-0 Nbd7 9.Qe2 Bg6 10.e4 0-0 11.Bd3 Bh5 12.e5 Nd5 13.Nxd5 cxd5 14.Qe3 Re8 15.Ne1 Bg6 16.Bxg6 hxg6 17.Nd3 Qb6 18.Nxb4 Qxb4 19.b3 Rac8 20.Ba3 Qc3 21.Rac1 Qxe3 22.fxe3 f6 23.Bd6 g5 24.h3 Kf7 25.Kf2 Kg6 26.Ke2 fxe5 27.dxe5 b6 28.b4 Rc4 29.Rxc4 dxc4 30.Rc1 Rc8 31.g4 a5 32.b5 c3 33.Rc2 Kf7 34.Kd3 Nc5+ 35.Bxc5 Rxc5 36.Rxc3 Rxc3+ 37.Kxc3 draw. [Click to replay]



Pein on Bonn

Anand,V (2783) - Kramnik,V (2772) [D19]
WCh Bonn GER (7), 23.10.2008 [Annotations by IM Malcolm Pein]

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 dxc4. A solid Slav line. 5.a4 Bf5. 5...Bg4; 5...Na6 are riskier. 6.e3. 6.Ne5 e6 7.f3 Bb4 8.e4 Bxe4 9.fxe4 Nxe4 10.Bd2 Qxd4 11.Nxe4 Qxe4+ 12.Qe2 Bxd2+ 13.Kxd2 Qd5+ 14.Kc2 Is a line Kramnik used to play with White but definitely not suited to the match situation. 6...e6 7.Bxc4 Bb4 8.0-0 Nbd7 9.Qe2

9...Bg6 10.e4. Vishy offers a pawn but Vlad keeps it solid. 10...0-0. 10...Bxc3 11.bxc3 Nxe4 12.Ba3 Qc7 is risky as Black has to go to the queenside with his king when White has an open b file, two bishops and a4-a5 with attacking chances. 11.Bd3 Bh5 12.e5 Nd5 13.Nxd5 cxd5 14.Qe3. This was played by Topalov twice against Kramnik in Toiletgate 2006 at Elista. He scored half a point but one defeat was a tragedy for him after he built up a winning attack.

14...Re8. 14...Re8 15.Ne1 Rc8 16.f4 Bxe1 17.Rxe1 Bg6 18.Bf1 Rc2= 1st Rapid Play off game Elista 2006; 14...Bg6 15.Ng5 Re8 16.f4 Bxd3 17.Qxd3 f5 18.Be3 Nf8 19.Kh1 Rc8 20.g4! game 2 Elista 2006. 15.Ne1 Bg6 16.Bxg6 hxg6 17.Nd3 Qb6 18.Nxb4 Qxb4 19.b3. Vishy plays for two results, win and draw. At first sight many players would say White's bishop is bad but White has extra space and so his bishop has plenty of squares. Black's knight is not on a great circuit. It would be better on c6 and so if anything White has a tiny edge.

19...Rac8 20.Ba3 Qc3 21.Rac1 Qxe3 22.fxe3 f6 23.Bd6. From here Vishy plays to bottle up the black knight and he succeeds. For Vlad if he wants to create any complexity at all in a game he needs to win, then he must avoid an exchange of bishop for knight. But if he plays Nb6 then Bc5 is annoying.

23...g5. Now Black has a pathway to activate his king but this won't disturb the balance 24.h3 Kf7 25.Kf2 Kg6 26.Ke2 fxe5 27.dxe5

Black has weakened his kingside and must be a little careful. He can't contest the f-file and Ke2-d3-d4 followed by e3-e4 is one possibility 27...b6. Preparing Nc5.

27...Rc6 28.Rxc6 bxc6 29.Rc1 Rc8 30.a5 Kf5?! (30...a6 31.b4 Black is very passive. The knight is terrible and White can prepare e3-e4 while the bishop covers b8 and f8) 31.g4+ Ke4 32.Rd1 threatens mate 32...c5 33.b4 Nxe5 34.Bxc5+/=; The knight cannot be rerouted 27...Nb8 28.Bxb8 Rxc1 29.Rxc1 Rxb8 30.Rc7 is just good for White. 28.b4 Rc4. Risky, Black would be better if he could double rooks but there is no chance of that. This is damage limitation, something Kramnik does very well.

29.Rxc4 dxc4. Now Rc1 and e3-e4 will keep the black king out and White can pick up the c-pawn at leisure. Black would like a7-a6 and b6-b5 but White can always play b5 himself. 30.Rc1 Rc8 31.g4. This move prevents any chances Black may have had on the kingside with g5-g4. However Jon Speelman, who just popped into the London Chess Centre during the game, thought that in a position without rooks White might have used the g4 square for his king.

Now the big question is can Black give up the c-pawn and draw the bishop v knight endgame 31...a5 32.b5 c3

33.Rc2. There are interesting lines after 33.Kd3 c2? 34.Rxc2 Rxc2 35.Kxc2 Black's knight has no moves. White would like to set up a zugzwang with King on d4, pawn on e4 and bishop on e3. I thought this could not be organised without allowing Nc5 but I wonder if that matters. 35...Kh6 36.Kd3 Kg6 37.Kd4 Kh6 38.Ba3 Kg6 39.e4 Kh6 40.Bc1 Threat h4 40...Kg6 41.Be3.

Analysis diagram

41...Nc5 (41...Nf8 42.Kd3 Nd7 43.Kc3+-) 42.Kc4 Nxa4 43.Kb3 wins. However Black plays 33.Kd3 Nc5+ as in the game and draws. Health warning: please ignore your computers, they are counting beans, not blockades which some of them don't really get. 33...Kf7 34.Kd3 Nc5+ 35.Bxc5. 35.Kxc3 Nxa4+ 36.Kb3 Rxc2 37.Kxc2 Ke8 38.Kb3 Nc5+= Speelman. 35...Rxc5 36.Rxc3 Rxc3+ 37.Kxc3

1/2-1/2. [Click to replay]. Malcolm Pein runs ChessBase USA and the London Chess Center.

Picture gallery

The chief arbiter starts the clock for game seven Anand vs Kramnik

Anand writes down a move, Kramnik plays 2...c6 on the board

Anand plays 8.0-0 (he has moved the king to g1 and now moves the rook to f1)

Kramnik ponders his ninth move of the game

The commentary room is packed, with two GMs explaining the game

Dr Helmut Pfleger and Klaus Bischoff doing an excellent job – in German

One of the boards shows the current position, one is used for analysis

Chocolate cake! In the cafeteria Aruna Anand takes a quick break

Aruna is wife and manager of the World Champion, and makes sure everything is working smoothly. During the games she sits in the last row of the theatre, where there are places reserved for the teams. She has to sit on the same side as Anand, to prevent the theoretical possibility of visual contact (a full frame gauze curtain prevents that). Aruna is an amature chess player, but surprisingly often she will guess the move her husband is going to play.

GM Evgeny Bareev and sports journalist Elmira Mirzoeva

Bareev is an old friend and supporter of Vladimir Kramnik and has been his second on numerous occasions. He was instrumental to Kramnik's victory over Garry Kasparov in 2000, having worked out all the painful lines of the Berlin Defence that frustrated Kasparov no end. Now he has been flown in a last-ditch effort to save the match for his friend [not really, Evgeny tells us here in the press room. Apparently he is here to do a report for the Dutch magazine New in Chess, cross his heart and hope to die]. Incidentally, shouldn't you be in your hotel room working out variations [or writing articles], Evgeny, instead of hanging out in the press room with lady journalists from Russia?

After 37moves Anand agrees to a draw and discusses the game with Kramnik

Afterwards the kings are placed in the middle of the board to indicate the draw

The press conference, with Kramnik, Bischoff, Anand and the Evonik/Gazprom girls

Once again a packed room during the press conference

All pictures by Wolfgang Rzychon in Bonn

Live broadcast

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