WCC R09: Narrow escape for Anand, score now 6:3

10/26/2008 – With four games left and three points down Vladimir Kramnik came out to the ninth game fighting. And the Russian ex World Champion got a very promising position. "At one stage I thought I was lost," confessed Vishy Anand. But his defence held and after 45 moves a distraught Kramnik offered a draw. Anand now needs just one draw to keep his title. Big pictorial report.

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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).


Levon Aronian: my take on game nine

For the first time in this match the ball was in Anand's half. Hardly anyone imagined that Anand would go for such a risky line, instead of securing a draw in such a favorable match situation. After the overly aggressive opening choice by Anand, Kramnik managed to achieve a position that would be a dream: a real chance to win with the black pieces! Unfortunately for him he did not choose the best moves, and after few inaccuracies the game became level. Disappointing in a way, but still a good sign that we might see a real battle tomorrow!

Anand,V (2783) - Kramnik,V (2772) [D43]
WCh Bonn GER (9), 26.10.2008
1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 c6 5.Bg5 h6 6.Bh4 dxc4 7.e4 g5 8.Bg3 b5 9.Be2 Bb7 10.Qc2 Nbd7 11.Rd1 Bb4 12.Ne5 Qe7 13.0-0 Nxe5 14.Bxe5 0-0 15.Bxf6 Qxf6 16.f4 Qg7 17.e5 c5 18.Nxb5 cxd4 19.Qxc4 a5 20.Kh1 Rac8 21.Qxd4 gxf4 22.Bf3 Ba6 23.a4 Rc5 24.Qxf4 Rxe5 25.b3 Bxb5 26.axb5 Rxb5 27.Be4 Bc3 28.Bc2 Be5 29.Qf2 Bb8 30.Qf3 Rc5 31.Bd3 Rc3 32.g3 Kh8 33.Qb7 f5 34.Qb6 Qe5 35.Qb7 Qc7 36.Qxc7 Bxc7 37.Bc4 Re8 38.Rd7 a4 39.Rxc7 axb3 40.Rf2 Rb8 41.Rb2 h5 42.Kg2 h4 43.Rc6 hxg3 44.hxg3 Rg8 45.Rxe6 Rxc4 draw. [Click to replay]

Analysis of game nine by Malcolm Pein will appear in a separate report shortly

Score

 
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
 
Anand
½
½
1
½
1
1
½
½
½
 
6.0
Kramnik
½
½
0
½
0
0
½
½
½
     
3.0

Picture gallery


A packed audience in the Art Gallery Theatre this Sunday afternoon


Chief Arbiter Panagiotis Nikolopoulos starts the clock for game nine


After Anand has played 17.e5 Kramnik ponders his move


... and after playing his reply 17...c5 Kramnik leaves Anand to ponder the position


The game is reaching its climax, Anand has played 35.Qb7


Kramnik knows he is winning and ponders his 35th move


After considerable though Kramnik plays 35...Qc7, offering to trade queens


Anand trades and a couple of moves later Kramnik knows that he has blown the win


Position after 41.Rb2: the time control has been met, but the position is now a draw


Anand has left the stage and Kramnik tries to come to grips with the lost chance


He realises that what was probably his final chance has slipped away


Still, Kramnik starts to go through every legal move to try and salvage the win


Nothing seems to work, and the position refuses to yield a win


Anand, who was squirming and nail-biting a few moves ago, is now calm and relaxed


...and watches his opponent anguish over the turn of events


Chess can be such a horrible, brutal game


Kramnik tries 41...h5 42.Kg2 h4 43.Rc6 hxg3 44.hxg3 Rg8


Anand plays 45...Rxe6


Kramnik plays 45...Rxc4 and a draw is agreed


The two stay on the stage for a while to discuss the game


It is a pleasure to see the two discussing amicably after such a tense game


The Evonik/Gazprom girls wait for the protagonists to arrive for the press conference


Vladimir Kramnik is clearly distraught and downcast


...and speaks in subdued tones to the press


Anand is also in a somber mood after the narrow escape in game nine


What will game ten bring? Who knows – the challenger needs three wins in the last three games to force a tiebreak

All photos by Frederic Friedel in Bonn


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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