WCC R08: Draw in 39, Anand one point from victory

by ChessBase
10/24/2008 – For the first time in this match, Kramnik said, he had a tangible advantage. Not enough, though, for a much-needed win. "The game will be a draw," said his friend GM Evgeny Bareev in the press room. How did he know? By the colour of Anand's sweater. Anand now has 5.5 points and needs just one more from the remaining four games to retain his title. Pictorial report with analysis.

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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 eight: Draw in 39 moves

Kramnik,V (2772) - Anand,V (2783) [D37]
WCh Bonn GER (8), 24.10.2008
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 dxc4 5.e4 Bb4 6.Bg5 c5 7.Bxc4 cxd4 8.Nxd4 Qa5 9.Bb5+ Bd7 10.Bxf6 Bxb5 11.Ndxb5 gxf6 12.0-0 Nc6 13.a3 Bxc3 14.Nxc3 Rg8 15.f4 Rd8 16.Qe1 Qb6+ 17.Rf2 Rd3 18.Qe2 Qd4 19.Re1 a6 20.Kh1 Kf8 21.Ref1 Rg6 22.g3 Kg7 23.Rd1 Rxd1+ 24.Nxd1 Kh8 25.Nc3 Rg8 26.Kg2 Rd8 27.Qh5 Kg7 28.Qg4+ Kh8 29.Qh5 Kg7 30.Qg4+ Kh8 31.Qh4 Kg7 32.e5 f5 33.Qf6+ Kg8 34.Qg5+ Kh8 35.Qf6+ Kg8 36.Re2 Qc4 37.Qg5+ Kh8 38.Qf6+ Kg8 39.Qg5+ Kh8 draw. [Click to replay]



Pein on Bonn

Kramnik,V (2772) - Anand,V (2783) [D37]
WCh Bonn GER (8), 24.10.2008 [Annotations by Malcolm Pein]

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6. It was clear that Vishy would switch. Playing the same wild line twice was brilliant but a third time would be irresponsible given the match position. I thought we might see something solid. 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 dxc4. Not very solid. I should have known better. 5.e4 Bb4 6.Bg5 c5

It's the super sharp Vienna Variation. No margin for error here, one false move and it's 'goodnight Vienna'. 7.Bxc4 cxd4 8.Nxd4 Qa5. Anand's match strategy seems to be to head for tactical positions where possible. 9.Bb5+ Bd7 10.Bxf6

10...Bxb5. Astonishing, this is a novelty and so early in a sharp line. Kramnik outprepared again. 11.Ndxb5. 11.Nb3 looks sharper but of course Kramnik knows Anand has looked at it in detail: 11.Nb3 Qb6 12.Bxg7 Rg8 13.Bd4 Bxc3+ 14.Bxc3 Rxg2 unclear. 11...gxf6 12.0-0 Nc6. 12...Bxc3 13.Nxc3 Rg8 14.Qb3 Qg5 15.g3+/-. 13.a3. 13.Nd6+ Ke7! 14.Nxb7 Qc7 traps the knight 15.Qb3 Rab8. 13...Bxc3 14.Nxc3 Rg8. Very reminiscent of the Meran games numbers three and five with the pawn structure f7 f6 e6 and no castling. Or at least not the conventional way. 15.f4. An aggressive move, White takes away the e5 square from Black's knight and considers f4-f5. 15...Rd8 16.Qe1. Heading for h4 to attack and just shadowing the enemy king. Black is weakened but active. 16...Qb6+

17.Rf2. 17.Kh1 Qxb2 18.Rb1?? Qxg2#. 17...Rd3. A risky thrust into the enemy position that threatens Rf3. 18.Qe2 Qd4 19.Re1

19...a6!? Preventing Nb5 but asking for Nd5, no demanding it! But 19...a6 20.Nd5 exd5 21.exd5+ Kf8 22.dxc6 bxc6 is not too much and; 19...a6 20.Nd5 exd5 21.exd5+ Kd7 22.dxc6+ Kxc6 running to a7 is really not much for White. 20.Kh1 Kf8 21.Ref1

21...Rg6. A great move covering f6. Kramnik was building up for f5 but this neutralises it. Black is very well centralised apart from this rook which Kramnik tries to cut out of the game. 22.g3. Trying to prepare f4-f5 and emphasising the isolation of the rook on g6. 22.f5 exf5 23.Rxf5 Rd2 24.Qf3 Ne5-+. 22...Kg7 23.Rd1. Hoping to leave Black with a poorly placed rook but the loss of time allows Anand to solve all his problems. However 23.f5 exf5 24.exf5 Rg4 25.Rf4 Rxf4 26.Rxf4 Qe3=. 23...Rxd1+ 24.Nxd1 Kh8 25.Nc3 Rg8. Simple stuff, Anand uses Kramnik's loss of time to reorganise and castle by hand. This looks very level now. 26.Kg2 Rd8= 27.Qh5 Kg7 28.Qg4+ Kh8 29.Qh5 Kg7 30.Qg4+ Kh8 31.Qh4 Kg7

32.e5. 32.e5 Attempting to mix it up 32...fxe5 33.Qg5+ Kh8 34.Qf6+ Kg8 35.fxe5 Rd7 36.Rf4 Qxe5 37.Ne4 but I don't see anything decisive here. 32...f5. Anand avoids complications where possible. There was no point going into 32...fxe5 33.Qg5+ Kh8 34.Qf6+ Kg8 35.fxe5 Rd7 36.Rf4 Qxe5 37.Ne4. 33.Qf6+ Kg8 34.Qg5+ Kh8 35.Qf6+ Kg8 36.Re2. g2-g4 is impractical so White can achieve nothing here, another success for Anand. 36...Qc4 37.Qg5+ Kh8 38.Qf6+ Kg8 39.Qg5+ Kh8

and draw agreed. 5.5:2.5 Vishy is one win away from match victory. [Click to replay]

Malcolm Pein writes six days a week for the Daily Telegraph. On his day of rest he writes for the Sunday Telegraph. He runs ChessBase USA and the London Chess Center.

Picture Gallery

Before the game, German Finance Minister Peer Steinbrück, is interviewed by national TV

Steinbrück, who is the patron of the event (and a keen chess player), makes the ceremonial first move

Here we go again: Vladimir Kramnik faces Vishy Anand in game eight

Another critical game is under way, one that Kramnik desperately needs to win

In the audience: the Finance Minister, flanked by match director Josef Resch and
Protocol Communication Director Kema Goryaeva, watches the game unfold

The Finance Minister in a good mood? In the middle of a world financial crisis? No, this is look-alike Dirk Poldauf, a reporter and one of the editors of the German chess magazine Schach.

In the press center Kramnik friend and supporter Evgeny Bareev follows the game,
together with Russian chess journalist Eugeny Atarov

They discuss the different lines with considerable intensity...

Wait a minute, there is no chessboard on the notebook screen?!

It's poker that was occupying our two illustrious friends

But Evgeny Bareev did give us his assessment of the game. After 22 moves he predicted it would be a draw. Really? "Yes, because Anand is wearing a yellow sweater," Evgeny told us. "When he wears a blue sweater he wins, with the yellow one he draws." And we simpletons are using Fritz to try to evaluate the moves.

In the hallway Foidos roving camera reporter IM Tea Lanchava of Holland interviews a visitor

Here is Russian journalist WGM Elmira Mirzoeva interviewing the same visitor. So who is he?

He is Stefan Minten, the world's only professional (you are not going to believe this) stair climber. Apparently Stefan makes his living breaking records climbing the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur using the stair wells, or the Gizeh Pyramids in Egypt. You can check him out on his (German language) home page.

In the cafeteria two Indian journalists from the web portal Pravasionline.

You will need Malayali fonts and possibly some knowledge of the language to fully enjoy this site. Or to memorise the names of the two editors: Jose Kumpiluvelil and Paul Manavalan. Malayalam is a Dravidian language used in the south-western state of Kerala, by around 36 million people. It is the first language of our friend Ashok Alexander, Director of the Indian section of the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, and of the waitress in the Indian restaurant we frequent in Bonn. Kerela is probably the most beautiful state in India.

Meanwhile in the Art Gallery theatre Anand (in the yellow sweater) seems to be holding up well against Kramnik's tentative attacks. And indeed, a few minutes later Kramnik offers him a draw.

Before the start of the press conference Aruna Anand meets some fans from India. The unspeakably cute kid told us she is rooting for Ahh-nand.

Vladmir Kramnik, somber but composed, knowing that the task ahead is all but impossible

At 38 Anand is producing the finest performance of his chess career

GM Klaus Bischoff moderated the obligatory post-game conference

Live broadcast

The games are being broadcast live by FoidosChess, which provides five parallel video streams to present the players and commentary by grandmasters in German, English, Spanish and Russian. The cost is €10 per game. The games are also being broadcast live on Playchess.com,

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You can also use the program to read, replay and analyse PGN games. Owners of Fritz 11 or Rybka 3 automatically get a full year's subscription to Playchess.


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