Reports | October 15, 2008 2:18

World Championship: first game drawn (update)

Update: press conference video added
The first game of the 2008 World Championship Match between Vladimir Kramnik with White against Viswanathan Anand with Black has ended in a draw. We have photos and the game with comments - a video with the press conference will follow later.

After some technical problems during the day, for which we apologize, ChessVibes seems to be functioning normal again. So let's have a look at that first game now!


About fifteen minutes before the game - all is set...


...including chairs, board, pieces and sponsor logos...


...and after the players have arrived, they have to wait for a few minutes...


...until the VIPs have arrived to make the first move.

Today's first round started with the national anthems for India, Russia and then FIDE's own anthem, after which the first move was made together by Honorary President of FIDE Florencio Campomanes and Werner M?ɬºller, chairman of the board of Evonik Industries.


And then, after waiting for so long, the match has finally started!


In a beautiful setting - the theater room of the Art & Exhibition Hall in Bonn, Germany

Here's the first game with comments by IM Merijn van Delft, who has arrived in Bonn as well for ChessVibes, to cover the first two rounds.

Name Nat. Rtg
Anand IND 2783
Kramnik RUS 2772


The players with GM Klaus Bischoff at the press conference


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Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers

Founder and editor-in-chief of, Peter is responsible for most of the chess news and tournament reports. Often visiting top events, he also provides photos and videos for the site. He's a 1.e4 player himself, likes Thai food and the Stones.


Pieter Priems's picture

Easy draw for Anand. Next game he will breakdown the Berlin Wall!

bernd's picture

Given that Lekois on Kramnik's team, I predict the Sveshnikov / Pelikan Sicilian as Kramnik's reply to 1.e4 :-) OK, OK a Petroff is a bit more likely, but still.... Also a Marshall is possible,
On the other hand, what are the odds that Anand goes 1.d4 ?

social media branding's picture

What's up, the whole thing is going sound here and ofcourse every one
is sharing information, that's truly fine, keep up writing.

Ark's picture

Drawnik spotted!

MvE's picture

I am not so sure how well Anand is able to bear down on the Wall.
Jakovenko destroyed a couple of walls lately

ivan's picture

Anand looked nervous in the press conference but he wasn't that nervous in the 1st game...

Lajos Arpad's picture

Anand is certainly very powerful as a player, he has his chances, but Kramnik is a world class player too. I think nobody can predict what will happen tomorrow.

pete's picture

@Ark: hahahahahah

Dejan Bojkov's picture

I hope that Anand will win an early game, and the match will become very excited. Otherwise I am afraid that both players will play ultra-solidly and there will be many draws ike the first game-White will always take "the better half of the point".

M's picture

Has anyone taken up the Foidos deal through the main organisers? If so, is it worth it? Does it work well?

Philip's picture

Do WC-matches count for rating?

Andy's picture

Anybody else notice that the Black Night and Bishop are on the wrong squares in the picture above with the two ladies standing?

Frits Fritschy's picture

No comment on 24 e5? What a strange move this is. We were just thinking white was getting somewhere, and 24 d5 looks obvious. 24... exd5 25 exd5 gives a strong free pawn and a possible invasion of a white rook. Malcolm Pein on Chessbase gives 24... e5, but than 25 Rd2 keeps the extra pawn for the moment. The black a-pawn is vulnerable. Why isn't white winning? Maybe there is a draw, but it's behind the horizon of a 2100 player (like me).

Vincent Hoogland's picture

Why not 1.b4!? tomorrow?

Terrance's picture

Frits, what about just 25...e5, white has to retreat the bishop and black gets the pawn back. white would still have a passed pawn but not as strong.

caturcoach's picture

Anand has to fix his aura. Looks a bit dim, that's bad for his luck.
Kramnik's aura is better and shiny.

Come on there are many yogist in India. Do relaxation technique for Anand before the second match. He is better than the press conf but still dark aura.

semipatz's picture

There is a new Miss Evonik, I will have to add her to my harem. ;)

randowan's picture

Have you seen Chessbase's coverage? Are they serious? They are focusing more on the commercial girls in the background than on the press conference. Imagine if that would happen in any other sport... Pathetic.

MvE's picture

Chessbase merely gives "24. d5 is well met by 24. ..., e5".
Me too, I would like to see this endgame just a bit better explored.

King Faisal's picture

@Merijn. Good analysis mate! Keep up the good work!

Frits Fritschy's picture

Read again, Terrance, 24 d5 e5 25 Rd2 and white keeps the pawn. But 24... exd5 25 exd5 Rxa2 seems to be good enough. I thought 26 d6 Rd7 27 Rc1 was good for white, but 27... Bc2 spoils it.
But still, "Kramnik explained that defending the black side of these positions against the computer is not so easy since the machine somehow always keeps the game going." Is he saying he is incapable of doing the same? He used to prove otherwise.

Horst's picture

Congratulation Peter!! Very nice software to cover Wc-match

Pedro's picture

Ojo porque este tipo de match son ideales para kramnik y ha empezado como a el le gusta,adem?ɬ°s a Anand se le ve algo nervioso

shane's picture

Vincent Hoogland. Good notion! I was sitting on a bus today thinking the same thing exactly.

Merijn van Delft's picture

I think this match may become more bloody than expected. It's like 12 rounds of heavy weight boxing, let's see what happens. I don't mind the tension being slowly build-up

eduard's picture

@m 22.29

i took on the foidos deal, paid euro 10 but could not log on; there was not even a possibility on the site to log on, i suppose they are a bunch of crooks !

James's picture

If you listen to the press conference for the game, and fast-forward to 6 minutes, Kramnik explains for a full minute why he avoided 24.d5.



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