Reports | October 21, 2008 21:32

World Championship: third win for Anand

Anand-Kramnik, Game 6Update: video added.
After winning the 6th match game today, reigning world champion Viswanathan Anand increased his lead even further. Three points down, challenger Vladimir Kramnik finds himself in a hopeless situation half-way the match.

Before the game Anand was leading 3.5-1.5 and everybody wondered: would Kramnik go for a win, or would he follow the advice of Kasparov, who said "he should just worry about surviving [...] after such a blunder in game five, then decide on a game plan for the final six games"?

Following the opening of the sixth round, it appeared that Kramnik was having similar thoughts as Kasparov's, when he went for the Classical Nimzo-Indian with 4?¢‚Ǩ¬¶d5 and 6?¢‚Ǩ¬¶Qf5. However, it turned out that Anand himself was in the mood for more than just a quiet ending.

The Indian avoided the ending with 7.Qb3 and two moves later he brought an interesting novelty, again taking the initative as it comes to opening theory. This time Kramnik reacted quicker than in previous games, but still he found himself in a slightly worse ending around move 15.

And then Anand just outplayed Kramnik. His advantage got bigger, he won a pawn, he won another one and easily countered his opponent's threats that weren't really serious threats anyway. His pieces seemed to lack coordination, but Anand managed to untangle and convert his material quite elegantly.

And so we're suddenly left with the second half of the match still to be played, but nobody believes it will be a real fight anymore ?¢‚Ǩ‚Äú the general consensus is that Anand has won the match today. For the first time he actually smiled several times during the press conference.


About half of the seats already filled at about around 14:50


Kramnik grabbing his bishop to go for a Nimzo-Indian again...


...and Anand playing 5.cxd5


There were a few more photographers than in game 2-5, because...


...former world champion Anatoly Karpov (left to UEP President J. Resch)
came up on stage today to play the first move

Here's the sixth game of the match, co-commented by IM Merijn van Delft and by your editor-in-chief:

Match score:

Name Nat. Rtg
Anand IND 2783
Kramnik RUS 2772

Here's our playlist of videos. For IE users: the latest video might not show up - please try (Control-)F5.


(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.


andrej's picture


it's simply wrong topalov gets another chance for free.
he lost to kramnik and he was out for the 2007 cycle. he agreed to this rule back in Elista when he played Kramnik.
Fide should represent all players. it's ethical wrong that they change rules for just one player.
and after his accusations Fide simply had to punish Topalov. now everybody knows you can call every opponent a cheater and you can do this as much as you want
Fide allows this kind of behaviour.

wojtek's picture

And opening the article in Firefox (2.x) doesn't make any difference. In both Opera and Firefox I use the latest version of Flash (10th, which was published a few days ago).

Theo's picture

Big respect to Kramnik too! Many people forget what a great player he actually is!
At the moment Anand seems just unstoppable! Vishy is in GREAT form!!

Respect to the Vlad!

Elz's picture

So where is the press conference of game 6?

noyb's picture

Thank you for giving us a way to view the video ( from game six Peter! I thought it very odd that the players are actually drug tested. For what drugs? I'm not aware of any specific drug that would significantly boost performance in a meaningful way. Kramnik and Anand both seem to exhibit the correct attitude towards play right now. Just play it game by game. Strategy works for both as Kramnik must simply try to find his form and win a single game at all, and Anand needs to ensure he does not become complacent. Too bad Kramnik is so clearly out of form.

Eugenio's picture

Please... Upload the game six video


semipatz's picture

The round 6 video was the other way around for me: it worked in MSIE and NOT in Mozilla Firefox.

Pedro's picture

The round 6 video worked only in IE, not in Firefox!

Eugenio's picture

I don't have Mozilla... but I can't yet see the round 6 video

Andy's picture

Championship being a match, I would love to see a 6 player quadruple round robin between Anand, Kramnik, Topalov, Carlsen, Ivanchuk, and a wild card of either Morozevich, Aronian, Rabjadov, (or for contractual reasons possibly Kamsky).

Why Kramnik? I think he has his fair share of opportunities. I mean ,,, he has to be a top contender during the year to get into the mix of top players.

My top 4 choices for a Champ Tournament would be:

**Anand ( because he killing kramnik now)

**Carlsen (because he have shown top level of play during all tournaments during the year)

** Topalov ( must be included or it would be absurd ;)

**Ivanchuk ( because he also been up there with the best )

Those 4 players deserve a Championship as of right now. :) *Anand..

Future Champ: **Carlsen.

Andy's picture

And fifth random pick I would said it be Moro.. :)

who is with me?

Himadri's picture

Doesn't work on firefox for me either.

The link given by peter works though:

Jack's picture

What drugs were they tested for? Can somebody tell me which are these drugs? I want to use them at least become the champion of my city?

Ben's picture

That makes sense. Quadruple-RR event with Anand, Topalov, Carlsen, and Ivanchuk (assuming Anand wins this) would be fantastic and more practical. Twelve games each is easier to find sponsors for than twenty games, and you are right about Kramnik having had his chances and coming up well short in both tournament and match play recently.

Joseph's picture

Whatever the outcome of the match, I would just like to say that it is a joy to watch a world championship and enjoy chess with two professionals playing with such sportsmanship instead of shenanigans and drama like "Toiletgate", etc. interrupting a world class event.

semipatz's picture

I think some people are forgetting how recently Kramnik was tied for #1 on the ratings list. He had a very good set of results last year, not to mention beating the fearsome if unethical Mr. Topalov the year before, 3-2 in classical chess (without the bogus forfeit) and 2-1 in rapids.

I would suggest a quadruple round robin of Kramnik, Carlsen, Topalov, Ivanchuk, and Morozevich...the winner gets to challenge Anand. Why should Topalov and Kamsky be in a candidate's final? Kamsky won a gimmicky knockout event, and Topalov...well, let's just say that he seems to have undue influence at FIDE headquarters. There's no other reason for that match to even occur.

noyb's picture

Joseph's comments made me realize something. I wonder what in the world Topalov's excuse is now?! Kramnik is leaving the stage and going to his private room or the restroom for almost every move in the match with Anand but Anand's beating him handily. Guess Topalov really isn't that good and just can't accept it...

Manu's picture

Kramnik also did that with Kasparov in 2000 , but in Elista went for his personal record of bathroom visits.Not to mention that in Elista spent most of the time in the actual bathroom (which was inside the restroom)where there werent any cameras.
Just saying that despite how unethical may sound , the complains were sound.
And talking about ethics , how about Kramniks path to the top?
How about running away from Kasparov, and never giving him the rematch?
Im sorry to say this but if Kramnik dont make a strong comeback in this match , he wont be having many oportunities for a comeback in the future.

J1's picture

Thanks for showing so much of the game itself in the video, Peter! Nice to see them react and just how it is played instead of just a foidos screen or whatever.

JR EWING's picture

Vladimir Kramnik's Sacrifice: A Silent Attacking Perspective.

Has anybody considered the idea that as a result of Kramnik's
experience with Topalov in the 2006 WC match, Kramink is
intentionally sacrificing his winning chances with Anand. From my
perspective I see it as Kramnik handing the World Championship
to Anand on a gold platter hence a potential Anand vs Topalov
matchup. Thus sparring Vladimir the unpleasant experience of
meeting Topalov in a WC environment (see:
006). Also it could be conjectured "Kramnik implicitly stated that
he would not be in competing past 40, that's two years." A chess
romanticist would like to think of the Anand vs Kramnik WC as an
opportunity to lure Garry Kasparov out of retirement and a Anand
vs Kasparov rematch then Kramnik jumping back into the picture
against the likes of Aronian, Carlsen, etc. I think it valiant of
Kramnik if he is sacrificing his chances against Anand.

bas's picture

last night in bed i cried cause of kramniks bad play. He is the best.

peter's picture

Remove your temporary internet files, and then try Ctrl-F5 once more.

Hiilesum's picture

Compliments to Kramnik for his calmness and helpfullness at the press conference after such disastrous games. Would you imagine Fischer or Kasparov in the same situation? We all are good winners, but only great men are good looser.

semipatz's picture

Well, Kramnik was certainly gentlemanly at the press conference, although he looked absolutely crushed and depressed. I've never seen him so down. I found it kind of awful given how unflappable and sometimes even overbearingly self-confident he usually is. It's probably helped him win, projecting that facade of invincibility -- which he seemed to really believe in -- intimidating his opponents just a little, making them doubt themselves. Topalov complained bitterly about it -- specifically, about his comment about wanting to hurry from the game to watch football. But, let's face it -- if gamesmanship in world championship matches never went further than that, chess history would be a lot better -- very much including Topalov's portion of it!

Having separate press conferences probably made it easier on both players at this moment. Anand got to yuk it up a bit.

Manu's picture

That is a distorted version of history, do you really believe Topalov spoiled something pure with his acusations?
It seems that Kramnik is better facing defeat than his fans.
Topalov is currently #1 and probably will have another shot for the title , deal with that!

Brian Wall's picture
semipatz's picture

Topalov never presented any remotely credible evidence for his accusations. The comparison his manager made between Kramnik's moves and a computer's was completely laughable -- he didn't specify any of the parameters needed to verify the claim. Anyway, even if you accept the claim without question, it was only that, if I recall correctly, about 77% of the moves in one single game coincided. This could EASILY happen by accident between any two strong players, human or machine.

Then, more than a month after Topalov gets back to Bulgaria, his manager suddenly brings out photos of cables in the ceiling (which are normal in a modern building), and claims that they didn't present them at the time because Topalov's life was threatened. So if his life was threatened, why didn't he mention this as soon as he got back to Bulgaria? Duh, who's going to believe such piffle?

Now here we have Kramnik, still going to the bathroom a lot, and Anand doesn't care at all -- he's beating the crap out of him. What's Topalov's explanation for that?

People who believe Topalov and Danailov's lies are never going to be convinced by any rational argument. Those who wish to believe, believe. Those who wish to be rational have to take a different course.

Manu's picture

Like i said , Topalov and his liers (as you call them) ARE number one in the current rating list and WILL have another shot to the title.
Is that rational enough 4 u?

semipatz's picture

What does that have to do with the fact that they lied? Topalov's a great player, and plays exciting chess. It's just too bad he's such a dishonest jerk.

TC's picture

I hope Kramnik come back with at least 2 wins........... Anand is super tough........ but Kramnik is much better than what he has shown........

It is very disappointing to see the world championship match between the two best players so lopsided.......

suneet's picture

this match so far has proved that so called TOURNAMENT PLAYER tag given to Anand before it and Anand's will to prove himself in a MATCH has lot to do with the result. I think its harder to be TOURNAMENT PLAYER than a MATCH player...

Media pressure etc etc made Anand poke his nose in MATCH play and now the Genius is finding it easy to dismantle one opponent rather than prepare overall as in tournaments.

This is why CHESSWISE i regard Kasparov, Anand, Topalov and KARPOV(at his best), the best players ever.

Manu's picture

I agree with you suneet ,only diference in my list Bobby and Capablanca are included .

VB's picture

Actually Topa - Kramnik was weird event in inappropriate place. Kramnik and Topa behavior were both strange. First Kramnik was absent too often, then Topalov developed paranoia about this and accused him. Topalov started to play immediately when Kramnik was going out of the table. Lets forget this and look forward!

Jonas's picture

Does anyone know why Kramink leaves the stage so often, allmost after every move? I was watching foidos and most of the time Anand was sitting alone.
I don't understand this Kramnik behaviour, is it normal? Is it some kind of trick?

shy_guest's picture

30 years ago, Arpad Elo in his book The Rating Of Chessplayers completely torpedoed the notion of Tournament Players vs Match Players.

He wrote "Only twice in history has a match been won by the lower rated player, an acceptable outcome, of course, for the rating system, albeit an infrequent one."
He lists in evidence matches from Anderssen-Kolisch 1861 to Korchnoi-Spassky 1977.

His conclusion : "The old theory that some players are particularly good match players & others, weaker in matches, are good tournament players, appears without foundation. The statistical facts are that players are likely to perform equally in either match or tournament competitions "

nep's picture

Who are the seconds and teams of Kramnik and Anand?

sreeram_srinivas's picture

Yes, it is a welcome change in Chess..... hope the future chess tournaments will have a system to define who is the rightful Chess Champion of the Year !! In past, every crowned Chess Champion had tried to reset the rules of the game to suit his advantage...good to see a progressive end of it....better for all Chess lovers/players. Well, to me Anand is still champion of Year 2007, except that Kramnik did not accept it then !! At times, I do think that media assigning titles like the greatest / strategic / tactical or positional or their respective "fond" Grand something that divided all in to FOR & AGAINST groups.... the ideal thing would be to state individual's contribution to the chess game in all forms of its playing..... I feel that Kramnik preparations were fundamentally flawed in its approach as seen from the games (6 nos) played so far,...... Anand outwitted him..... though Kramnik fans say that he is not playing his natural game, but in the games that analysed {past & current } of Kramnik, only showed his good understanding of the game/positions rather than what we all call -bold or risk taking or innovation or variations ... etc are not seen from a player whose ELO ratings touched or crossed 2800 one time....

Andy's picture

Then again this wont last much... Carlsen will have his shot in the next couple of years.. and he will become the World champion... I think he has the potential of surpassing Kasparov as the best ever to play chess. :) That 2851 record will soon be destroyed. Maybe Carlsen will reach 2875-2920. :) We shall witness this in the upcoming years! Carlsen has been the only player that havent stopped gaining since he started.. Karjakin did, radjabov did, Anand is almost going down in a few years, so is kramnik, topalov and every other 30+ year old that are in the top list. Another player to look up to is Lenier Dominguez the cuban. He is also been advancing slowly. I remember 2-3 years ago he was in the 90s in tha ranks now he is in the top 20 or 21...

But my bet goes to Carlsen...

sreeram_srinivas's picture

Yes young minds, new & radical thinking to the game that is played.....good for all of us...entertaining.... Yes Anand has been moving up & down the ELO ratings ladder....probably he is curious to know who is down the ladder...!! I think it is going to be difficult to maintain such ELO ratings consistently... Carlsen is lucky or skilled enough on that till now.... as we see in other games like tennis, yes people loose interest or skills wane with time.... looking at Anand he had a long innings in Chess...... irrespective of his defending his title in 2009 {as it appears he has NO looking back in his title match with Kramnik 2008 } he may exit chess world for doing other things at this top form...... atleast peak of his career or ELO ratings....... As someone commenting... Kramnik poor performance after his marriage is one offline remark {in lighter vein}.......think that does NOT happen to Carlsen & his ELO best wishes to him.....

Jack's picture

Will Kramnik cut Leko's pay based upon Variable Performance Pay method ? :)

JC's picture

"...the only player that haven't stopped gaining since he started..., radjabov did"

Indeed - ever since Radjabov achieved his highest ever live rating of 2758 it's as if he's been asleep.

Lawrence Xu's picture

I have to agree with Guillaume that this match is far more important than that of 2007. Following the consensus of chess world, the match has to be decided in a match play. By winning this match, there won't be any doubt who the best chess player is. Sorry to say, but the problem with FIDE crowns was that they weren't the "best", they have to beat Kasparov or Kramnik. The easiest way to see it was the dominance of the world chess by the FIDE champions compared to the Classic champions? Who are more dominant? (Not to downplay their FIDE wins)

Despite the controversial nature of the status of Anand's crown (as Kramnik and those old schools asserted), if Anand is considered as a reigning champion right now, why would the match be decided on the tiebreak, should the score be level? Compare it with Kramnik-Leko, Botvinnik-Smyslov, Botvinnik-Bronstein.

The dispute of the true World Champion will be quashed once and for all after this match!

Kick's picture

As for the comments on the usefulness of seconds, I doubt human seconds are of much use except in (psycho-) analysing the opponent. Fritz and company are more likely companions for Anand and Kramnik in their preparations in between games.

val's picture

1954 Botvinnik - Smyslov match. In a similar situation Smyslov managed to stage a tremendous comeback. After 6 games he was down 3 points. After 11 games he was already leading 6 to 5. Could we still count on Kramnik working like miracles? :-)

Ravi's picture

I would say dont right off anyone at this stage because nothing is built till the last brick is laid. So i would ask all the supporters of Vishy to keep the fingers cross and hope he can still make in roads into Russian wall.

Tim's picture

It is a mistake to say that only Kramnik supporters think Anand needs to win this match in order to demonstrate his superiority. The point Guillaume made (elegantly, I thought) was that throughout history the current world champion is the player who has beaten the previous world champion. (Put simply, in order to show you are the best, you have to beat the best ?¢‚Ǩ‚Äú and not just in tournament games).

I am a supporter of Anand in this match. I hope he wins. He is good for chess, good for chess in Asia and good for the kind of active chess that seeks to find winning chances with both colours. Although I am an admirer of Kramnik's ability, I think even the most ardent of Kramnik supporters would have to admit that his approach (generally speaking) is to aim for a draw with the black pieces while playing for risk-free advantage with white. There is nothing wrong with that -- Kramnik is a technically brilliant player, but he does play chess that is less likely to generate public enthusiasm than the chess of a Morozevich or Kasparov.

The key point is that it is because I am a supporter of Anand that I think it is important for him to win the title of world champion in a match against the person (i.e Kramnik) who won his title against the existing, undisputed, titleholder (Kasparov). I think it is far less important under which organisation the match is held (PCA, FIDE etc) than the identity of the players. The fact that FIDE held ?¢‚ǨÀúWorld Chess Championships?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢ in 2002 and 2004 which went to Ruslan Ponomariov and Rustam Kasimdzhanov respectively does not mean those two were or have ever been considered by the general chess public to be the rightful chess world champions. (While they are both excellent players, they are clearly not in the same class as the two players currently duelling in Bonn).

As someone already noted, once a player has become world champion their attitude to potential challengers often changes. Players who talked ardently about openness before they became champion suddenly become much less keen to defend their title once they

Tim's picture

...As someone already noted, once a player has become world champion their attitude to potential challengers often changes. Players who talked ardently about openness before they became champion suddenly become much less keen to defend their title once they have it. I think Anand is likely to be quite honourable in this respect ?¢‚Ǩ‚Äú but we?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢ll have to wait and see (assuming he wins this match).

Lastly, I am posting the link to video (from June 07, before the Mexico tournament) in which Kramnik responded to questions about the world championship: ( In the video, Kramnik says that his personal opinion is that the value of the title of world champion is greater if the title is won in the match, than if it is won in a tournament. He also says - quite clearly - that he will accept whoever wins the tournament in Mexico as 'world champion'. Maybe we can agree on this: Anand is already ?¢‚ǨÀúworld champion?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢, because he won the FIDE tournament in Mexico (where Kramnik also competed). However, by beating Kramnik in a match he will silence the critics and demonstrate he is actually the best in the world.

suneet's picture

what great decimation of Kramnik!

Its total chaos for kramnik! Anand has beaten him at his openings... took the bull by horns and broke them.

Kramnik in his second loss had no clue what hit him.... he didnt realize his blunder, and thought he was winning... see the video and read his expressions...

Outplayed, outprepared, outstrategized, outclassed by marvevlous Anand!

I predicted +3 for Anand, but he reached here within 6 games...
I am sure there will be two more wins coming Anand's way now in next six rounds... already shattered kramnik cant cope with this depression I am sure. so +5 en the end for the world champ!


VB's picture

Will Anand keeps scorring? What do u think?

brian's picture

I think the match will stop when Anand reaches 6.5 points....


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