Reports | October 20, 2008 21:53

World Championship: Anand does it again

Kramnik-Anand, Game 5, 0-1Update: Video added.
Viswanathan Anand increased his lead today in the World Championship match after Vladimir Kramnik blundered on move 29. The score is now 3.5-1.5 for Anand.

Who would have thought that Vladimir Kramnik would lose not just one, but two games with the white pieces in this match? It's a rare thing for someone who's considered one of the most solid players around. But it happened today; in what was probably already a slightly worse position for him, he took a pawn that was poisened but the reason why only became clear 11 half-moves later.

By then most journalists in the press room had already rushed downstairs and into the playing hall, to witness the final moments of this game. Not just because our engines had started blinking on our screens, but rather because we had seen the tactic already before - it was the reason why White couldn't take on d4 on move 27.

Soon after one of us actually said that Kramnik "had another chance to make that blunder", the Russian... did it. Somehow it felt not right, but it happened. And there we went, to immortalize the moment Kramnik would resign on photo or video. Which means that on the video of game 5 you too can watch the horror... But first the report on the fifth game:


After resting on Sunday, the players are back, and so is the Semi-Slav...


...and Kramnik confidently re-enters the complicated territory of game three


After 12.exf6 Kramnik's right hand presses the clock...


...and Anand replies with 12...gxf6


Sometimes you accidently catch someone else's flash...


...which might leave an interesting shade

Here's the fifth game of the match:

Match score:

Name Nat. Rtg
Anand IND 2783
Kramnik RUS 2772

Here's our playlist of videos:


(Note that the comments below this article started during our live coverage of the game)

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.


A Viswa's picture

DOUBLE STANDARDS: I think basically that any win by Anand will seek to be discredited by the Russian and/or Western system. True credit will not be provided for his remarkable accomplished by these people. Hence, we cannot look to them for support. Support will have to be from within, with morality and justice on our side.

Zenman's picture

It's finished for Kramnik! It's fine to prepare ... Despite qu'Anand had his game against Kramnik he was not afraid to participate in the Final Chess Master Bilbao

Aljechins Cat's picture

The game was lost due to blunder, right.
But let me state how BAD Kramnik was prepared for this most important game. After Game 2, he had surely asked his team the task: work your socks off and find something that makes me play this line with confidence and speed, since there must be chances for white ! But after a really simple flip of moves (Rg8 first) Kramnik had obviously to do the whole job on the board.Let ?Ǭ¥s see what Peter Leko can do :)
I guess with more of Heines & Kasims shots to come, Kramnik can be more than happy to play 10 games in hope. Topalov blunders won`t save him this time.

Alfred Palang's picture

Kramnik has suicidal tendencies when playing under tense situations. His best moment was his match against Kasparov whom he won. But Anand had always caused him to have jitters.

semipatz's picture

"Anand had always caused him to have jitters."

Kramnik's record against Anand before this match was quite okay -- I think 6 wins, 5 losses, and a whole lot of draws. I'd be interested to know what it is if you eliminate the early games and start around 1997...before that it is a matchup of a mature (albeit not peak) Anand against a juvenile Kramnik.

kievit's picture

@piet: Thanks!

semipatz's picture

Now the interesting question is, does Anand go back to e4? He has White for the next two games. It would be very hard for Kramnik to win as Black against e4, and Kramnik has only three more Whites.

I wonder if Kramnik has something prepared in case he really HAS to win a game as Black. He probably must've prepared something, but I have a feeling it might have been kind of an afterthought within his preparation...gunning for the win as Black is just not his style. Anyway, Vishy knows all the drawing lines for White in the Spanish and Petroffs, which are hard to avoid for Black, and he rarely loses to the Sicilian either.

semipatz's picture

...And on the other hand, maybe Anand will instead reason, "Why not try to go up 3-0 and make him defend Black twice in a row?", play d4, and really try to put the pressure on. That would be riskier but more interesting.

Henry Stirling's picture

Let's not over-react to two results - however exciting the Vishy wins have been (we are not used to fireworks this early in the match!). It is easy to start drawing amateurish conclusions (this seems to be a very typical chess-player strait), but I believe that Vlad knew exactly what he was doing today, trying to gain a psychologic advantage by confidently re-entering the same variation. And did the god-like engines not confirm that white was OK until right before the blunder? I think Vishy would be the first to admit that there is very little between these two players, he has just had the lucky breaks thanks to his excellent preparation. But Vlad is perhaps even more dangerous now, with his back against the wall. Vishy has been known to revert to a semi-paralysed state when confronted by a determined player who manages to manouver the position to his strenghts. So let's see Pjotr Leko earn his compensation and come up with some imaginative opening choices for Vlad to start squeezing the life out of Vishy, and perhaps evening the match out at the death (we have seen this before...)! Here's to a fantastic finish, with a fired-up Kramink coming ack with a vengeance!

Tyche's picture

It would indeed be interesting if Anand switches to 1.e4 just for Game 6 and then back to 1.d4 for Game 7. This would really unsettle Kramnik and his team. It is too bad that Peter Leko has been of no use to the Kramnik team, since Ananda has only palyed 1.d4 so far. I think that Kramnik should switch to Catalan.

I was also wondering if the Bb7 and sacrifice of b5 pawn idea was due to Magnus Carlsen and not Peter Heines. Does anybody have any inside info on this?

Philippe's picture

Seeking for novelties is one thing. One might call 14. .. Bb7 the 'Anand-variation' from now on. But when was the last time that a 'real' opening was named after someone?

Another thing. Perhaps, Peter, you could ask both players the next press conference if according to them physical training is also important for such a match and what they have done to be physical in good shape?

Philippe's picture

that should be 'physically' of course...

James's picture

I think it would be in Kramnik's best interests to ditch the 6.Bd3 Meran for the 6.Qc2 Anti-Meran, which Morozevich used to beat...Vladimir Kramnik! After 6...Bd6 7.g4, White is slightly better and has good winning chances.

dev's picture

dear friends !
till now i've only read opinion of u people. i don't know who plays better, but the style of anand's play is like managing every thing and showing every thing hanging. he is directly going for the target without missing any chance to catch him in a net. only person who had designed such net was Kasparov, who trapped anand many times in such situation. this style of working out a normal position in to win and an inferior position in to a draw is in capability of anand only.
i would not write any thing what my engine says or what was the possibility, only thing i would say that i enjoyed the game 3 most, in which it was difficult to guess who'll win, next was game 2 in which anand lacked in time to find a winning line, and then game 5 which was enjoying kramnik's blunder (as people say)

Theo's picture

12 games is not enough. This situation clearly shows it!
It's simply impossible for Kramnik to bounce back already now!
(after only 5 games)

It's a shame.

But credit to Anand his preparation!

Deisler25's picture

I dont know why people started to think 12 game match is not enough.
it is more than enough. Isn't it the same format Kramnik have beaten Topalov.
Better player wins .... I think So... so did Kramnik....That's why he won against Topalov , even after forfeiting a match ...That was incredible......

In this level there is hardly difference between players...Kasparov humiliated Anand in 95. Does not mean that there is huge diff in there playing is always finding the correct recipe in a match ..... that's how it works......

Anand got the beating from kasparov .....Kramnik did the same damage to kaspy ...and now Anand probably returning the favor .......
Unlike past when One or 2 Man used to rule now we have actually multiple is very hard to find the best ..........

But no matter what ....I am very happy with Anand's win.....I like the aggression .....let's see How Kramnik reacts now...... If he can turn around from this he would be all time best doubt about that ...beating Kaspy , Toplalov and Anand is no joke....... I hope that does not happen ... Go ANAND .........

me's picture

You people never stop: First in 2000 Anand was not considered a real champion because he won the FIDE knock-out (with ALL the best players present except Kasparov and Kramnik). Then he wasn't the real champion because he only won the World championship tournament (with ALL the best players, except Topalov). Now he will not be the real champion because the match is too short???

What does Anand have to do that you will consider him the real and worthy champion? Play a simul against Kramnik, Carlsen, Topalov, Morozevich, Ivanchuk, etc. ???

Anand will be the only person who came on top in 3 completelly different World Championship formats. No other player comes even close to that.

Anand may not be the greatest champion, but he certantly is the most versatile and most deserving champion in the history!!!

Christos (Greece)'s picture

semipatz: "start around 1997?¢‚Ǩ¬¶before that it is a matchup of a mature (albeit not peak) Anand against a juvenile Kramnik."

Actually in the January 1996 FIDE rating list Kramnik was tied at no 1 in the world together with Kasparov

JC's picture


Who's saying anything against Anand here? He's a worthy, real champion now, and he will be if he wins the match. 12 games isn't too short for a fair selection of a champion - it's simply less interesting than a longer match. If Kramnik were at +2 at this stage it'd be a shame the match weren't longer too.

I think Anand can go back to 1.e4 now since it will put pressure on Kramnik. I think if Kramnik will go for Petroff or Berlin wall then its just putting Anand closer and closer to victory.

Ark's picture

I guess the truth is out, the toilet trips *do* make a difference!

kings knight's picture

A WCC of 24 games would have a lot of dull draws. Now I am sure we will only have fighting draws. So accept that in a fast world we have to be satisfied with a shorter WCC.
A true champion is one who is graceful in defeat. Anand in a recent interview was asked about his defeat to Kasprov and what he thought about the antics of Kasprov to distract him. Anand said " He could have beaten me even without all that antics, at that time". What a graceful way of accepting a defeat.
Let's see what Kramnik will say at the end of this match.

RajeshV's picture

now guys, come on, relax!

Anand knows Kramnik is an outstanding player. If my guess is right he is not going to think for a second that the match is "over" - while certainly (and deservedly) he should be feeling quite pleased with the position he has earned for himself thus far in this match.

Lets wait for an early finish of this match by Anand, while not trashing Kramnik. Perhaps he was just playing a few mind games hoping they would work in his favor. But I'm full of respect for the gentleman that he is just as much as Anand.


Sander's picture

Even if Fritz would be right, it doesn't say that much in this very complicated position, with both kings potentially in danger. I'd rather have 30 minutes extra, like Anand.

Bharat's picture

this is a Fritz situation very double edged what happens after -- Bxh4 Nxh4 Rg4 with threat for black of Ke2, Rg1?

ajay's picture

I think that Kramnik will go for Nf5+

Christos (Greece)'s picture

Kramnik again caught by surprise, again Anand was better prepared. But this time there is no excuse for his seconds because this is the same opening as in game 3 and they should have analysed it better.

Krishna1's picture

As I posted just now at chessninja, with 14...Bb7, Anand seems to have done to Kramnik in this WCC what Kramink did to Kaspy with Berlin. Kramnik is in a damned-if-you-do and damned- if you dont, situation. If he now abandons Slav his strongest suit, he has to either play weaker openings in 1.d4 or shift to 1.e4 which is Anand's strong suit. Down 1, he can't do it. So he HAS to stick to Slav and butt his head against the Bb7 novelty, and here is pathetically out-prepared by months :( So if he abandons 1. d4 and moves elsewhere his chances of scoring a a definite win (which he absolutely needs) are practically NIL, and if he continues playing Slav, his supporters (always sore-losers!) will complain loudly, "WHY is he running into Anand's preparation with every white"!!!!!

Well, Kramnik is at the receiving end of the same kind of thing he was able to successfully hand out to Kaspy :)

Jaap's picture

White I think is actually better here. Especially with the nice rook swing protecting the 3rd rank. If white isnot going to get mated he will take this home, and as i dont see how anand going to crack this position i think kramnik will win this one.

Torben's picture

Kramnik is down to 32 minutes for 18 moves. Not much in a pretty complicated position.

Sutton's picture

I don't agree that Kramnik has nothing against the Bb7 novelty. It is not that onobvious an improvement and there is still plenty of life left in the Slav. Also, without computer to help, Kramnilk appears to have a much more solid position here. Can he survive?

ajay's picture

I agree...I think the position is rather clear and double edged. It all boils down to who keeps their cool...white is "slightly" better...and any loose play by Anand could doom him..he needs to keep it on the knife edge

DoctorSpock's picture

Very double edged. I like Kramnik's possible a5 and a6.

Torben's picture

Interesting, Anand has abandoned the G-file for the C-file.

bas's picture

ne5 and d3?

ajay's picture

No...Qc1+ wins the b pawn and keeps the attack; or Nf6

DoctorSpock's picture

Defendend by Qg5 and Qxf4, c1 is now protected.

ajay's picture

I am thinking Kramnik may be going for perpetual...but could be wrong

DoctorSpock's picture

Defended by Qg5+ and Qxf4, and c1 is protected.

Paul van Duijnhoven's picture

I don't think that this position can be correctly evaluated by Fritz or any computer. The position raises a very fundamental question: what will prevail: the two passes pawns for white or the black pawn majority in the center. Anyway, very interesting position, if you ask me.

ajay's picture

Qf6...sounds like a really good move!

DoctorSpock's picture

26. ..., Qf6 !! creates again lots of danger for white.

Sutton's picture

the last move I have seen on The Week in Chess is 25 Qg4 has anything happened since?

bas's picture

nxd4 ?

Torben's picture

26. - , Qf6 definitely means Anand is not interested in any kind of perpetual, he wants to fight this through to the end.

ajay's picture

the moment of truth!! Rook takes bishop?

Torben's picture

I wonder if Anand is gonna play 28. - , Ne5?

Chandan's picture

What does Rybka say of this position??? Anyone?

ajay's picture

I don't understand Nd4...more and more like an effort at a "perpetual"

Torben's picture

34. - , Ne3! I think Kramnik must have missed that.


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