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.


sundararajan ganesan's picture

kramnik , in a sense plays like Botwinnik, prefers positional game. as the result, he gets into trouble in games which offer scope to tactical chess ; remember the positional wizard botwinnik's debacle against the tactical/sacrificial genius of tal.
my conclusion is positional players are scared of games which turn tactical as they progress. ii) remember kramnik's match defeat against shirov, another tactical player. iii) i think, anand is mixing his own brand of chess with the shirovian/tal-like play , playing unconventional/aggressive moves/openings to unsettle kramnik and so far he has succeeded enormously. SEE HIS MERAN SET UP GAMES AND TODAY'S 6TH ROUND GAME WHERE HE GOES FOR H3, G4, Bg2, Rg1 etc., this kind of play has demoralised kramnik.

Pieter Priems's picture

Anand is just a much beter chess player!
Your reasons are just crazy, how about you?

Dr. R. R. Ayyar's picture

Oh1 What a game! We saw Anand at his best. It is very difficult for Kramnik to come back now.

Shiv Gaur's picture

Yoo Hoo! Time to celebrate India!!

ajay's picture

Dear Pieter

I was offering reasons on behalf of Kramnik supporters. I find it hypocritical that chess websites like no longer provide detailed analysis of the games...why? If Kramnik had won we would have had all and sundry trotting out detailed analysis and the depth of his play;

Instead we have Karpov stating something to the effect that Anand is mechanical! Similarly if you look at "experts" such as Malcolm Pein and others, they were busy forecasting Kramnik's decisive victory. Among all the experts, only Kasparov (who actually understands chess) suggested that Anand might win

Katata's picture

Topalov called me: he is verry happy.
(Who won this game???)

Theo's picture

Anand will really deserve the crown now and the chessworld will accept him as the true World Champion!

I don't know what is wrong with Kramnik at this moment.
Anand seems in great shape, while Kramnik isn't.

Remember that Anand is much the older of the 2 also!!

Anand is a worthy champion! Let's hope he crushes Kamsky next year! :)

semipatz's picture

@ajay, I didn't notice anyone "busy forecasting Kramnik?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s decisive victory" before the match. Almost everyone thought it would be very close and come down to one game or tiebreaks. No one predicted this kind of match AFAIK.

Tyche's picture

It is totally ludicrous for patzers to offer comments such as "Kramnik plays like Botvinnik", "Kramnik is not comfortable against sharp tactical play", "Anand does not play positional chess" etc. These world champions likely have a depth of understanding that us patzers cannot possibly comprehend. Kramnik is losing simply because of his poor form and because of Anand's superior preparation for this match. It is not because he cannot play against sharp, tactical opponents.

Katata's picture

Dear Theo.
the reason is that Anand comes with his wife while Kramnik left his wife alone in Paris.

Katata's picture

Dear Theo.
the reason is that Anand comes with his wife while Kramnik left his wife alone.

yandr0s's picture

So it seems the match is over, what do you think?
Parece que el match ya esta decidido, estais de acuerdo?

yandr0s -

Alesh Benko's picture

Topalov is the best! He is number 1 in the rating list, and he outplayed Anand in the last tourney they ve played together.
And we will se the return of our Topa!!
Besides, i dont think Anand is playing that great at all, it just seem Kramnik is playing liker an average 2480 IM....

anony's picture

To Alesh Benko
got a feel that topolov may not beat kamsky in the first place

Theo's picture

Anand-Kamsky would be great! :)

Satish's picture

To Alesh Benko,

Kindly check the live official rating, Tapolov is no more Number 1, it is the Tiger from India and with regard to Anand's play, i am sure if Anand was in the position as Kramnik is today, Kramnik would have been called "GENIUS". It was one of the rare defeats in Bilbao, let us see whether Tapolov will be able to beat Kamsky. Topalov is not known for consistency.

Be humble and accept, Anand is playing at this best, his preparation has depth which is putting Kramnik under pressure and forcing to make mistakes.

Pradeep John's picture

Anand after winning this match will become world champion under three different formats - Knock Out(2000), Tournament(2007), Match(2008) and add to this World Rapid champion(2003)

Only Botvinnik won under two formats Tournament and Match.

Anand will be a very unique world champion among all World champions.

Guillaume's picture

@Alesh Benko: Good thing Topalov didn't get his seat in the forthcoming challenger match by being crushed by that same average IM Kramnik (2480) you were mentioning...

Katata's picture

Anand is playing like Kramnik in Elista 2006 and Kramnik is playing now like Topalov in 2006.
Kramnik plays very nervousely.
ps. Rc7 by Kramnik would be ansewered by Bh6.

Katata's picture

I won against Hiarcs in a Blitz game, look at the game belo. Can I beat Anand????
1.Nf3 Nf6 2.d4 d5 3.c3 Bf5 4.Nbd2 Nbd7 5.e3 e6 6.c4 c6 7.Be2 Bd6 8.Nh4 Be4 9.f3 Ng4 10.Nxe4 dxe4 11.g3 exf3 12.Nxf3 Qb8 13.O-O Bxg3 14.hxg3 Qxg3+ 15.Kh1 Ndf6 16.Qe1 Ne4 17.Qxg3 Nxg3+ 18.Kg2 Nxf1 19.Bxf1 Kd7 20.Nh2 Nxh2 21.Kxh2 f5 22.Bh3 g5 23.Bd2 h5 24.Rg1 g4 25.Bf1 h4 26.Be2 Rag8 27.b4 b6 28.a4 h3 29.Be1 Ra8 30.Bg3 Rhg8 31.Be5 a6 32.Kg3 Rac8 33.Kh4 c5 34.bxc5 bxc5 35.Kg3 Rg6 36.Rb1 Rg5 37.Rb6 Rh5 38.Kh2 a5 39.Rb5 Rg5 40.Rxa5 cxd4 41.exd4 Rg6 42.Ra7+ Ke8 43.a5 Kd8 44.a6 Rh6 45.Rb7 f4 46.Bxf4 1-0.

bhabatosh's picture

This game should have been draw ..but Kramnik is totally down and out.....3rd and 5th game loss have huge impact on him..thats now evident......

Anand's Win is incredible...He is forcing Kramnik to play tactical lines and without preparation ......thus gaining time....and pressure is taking its toll on Kramnik....
This simple genius ANAND ........... anyone at this level can not do that is not accidental......he is the current WC ....... people who are just saying he is playing like machine , kramnik is ill , match is short , kramnik is blundering and anand is lucky are all STUPID .........
Admit he is genius the way Rating is not everything is the Title that matters .....Kramnik wont mind if he is 20 in the rating list but still world champion ........Rating is useless.....
Paul Morphy never hard about rating :-)

Tyche's picture

Let us not crown Anand yet. Anyone remember his catastrophic Sanghi Nagar collapse against Kamsky in 1994, when he was up by 2 games with only 3 games to go?

Frits Fritschy's picture

I'm engineless here. I'm still wondering what was wrong with 21?¢‚Ǩ¬¶ a5 22 Bd2 Ne4. Black seems to regain the pawn as 23 cxb6!? Nxd2 24 Rxc8 Nxc8 25 b7, as in my earlier comment, doesn't seem to work after the simple 25... Ne7 26 Nd7 Nc6. Instead 22 Be3 Nxc5 23 Bxc5 bxc5 24 Rg3 may not be a party for black, but he can do better with 22... Nd5 (23 c6 Nxe3 24 fxe3 f6).
Where do I go wrong (or do worse than Kramnik)?

hektor's picture

To Satish - The Live Rating is UNofficial !! It just show Elo points day by day. The official ELO Rating is on every 3 monts, so official N#1 now is Topalov.
I like the style of play of Anand and Topalov, so I hope that next year we will have a pleasure to wach the two best players fighting in the world chess match.

Aljechins Cat's picture

I guess with the two heavy losses, Kramnik was completely out of all his masterplans for the match. But without his usual cool and self-confidence it is very hard to handle such positions like today, and Anand makes the most out of it. I miss the old guys around him that helped him earlier (like Bareev or the crazy Loek). What do you think- can one poor some and have some trash talk with Peter Leko?

Sam's picture

Man, I'd love to hear what Leko is telling Kramnik after each match lol

Dani4sasile's picture

Hi 2 every 1 ind house. I would like 2 ask, how will Kasparov-Anad be,with anad's current form .

Uddipan's picture


Anand's confidence is sky-high, and that's 90% of the battle won. See his pre-match comments...he would like Kaspy to come back and challenge him. That's many, many statements in one from Anand:
a) I have a score to settle with the best player of all time, and I want him back just for that
b) The current lot are not worthy enough to battle me...only Kaspy is worth enough
c) I am prepared enough to bash the hell out of ANY challenger (including Kaspy)
d) I am hungry to prove that I am the best player of my time, if not of all time
e) Do not doubt my match readiness

That says a lot about the context in which Anand sees this match.

Anand has often been accused of not having killer instinct. Well, the way he is playing now - a) I guess he's taken his lessons from 1995 very strongly, and b) he's been super flexible to challenge his own usual game , and c) worked hard to master a completely different playing style

I would say good luck to the other players in the years to come - this is a new Anand!

To those who say Kramnik's blunders have given the game to Anand:

Sorry mate, nearly every chess game that has a winner has a blunder or a few weak moves from the loser. Check it out, and revert if you can find otherwise!!

The bit to focus on is why the blunders happen. You will find a recurring theme - novelty, sharp positions, series of good moves, relentless pressure - in those games; all of these in favour of the winner. Check it out. Need anything more be said.

Lastly, I have no intention of demeaning Kramnik. He is, to my mind, one of the absolute best. Period.

To Tyche:

Anand of 2008 is vastly superior to Anand of 1994...sorry to use the term, but it is silly to make this sort of comparison for any player.

James's picture

All hail, World Chess Champion Anand!

Personally I think that the cause of this one-sided result is not because Kramnik is playing badly, but because Anand is playing very well. In fact, the only game in the match where he did not play close to flawlessly was game 2; in all other games, it is difficult to find many positions where Anand did not play a superior move.

If Anand wins the next two games in a row, does he overtake the 2800 barrier again on the unofficial ratings list?

RajeshV's picture

Anyone who followed GM commentary or GM/IM out there can you please comment on:
After 29. Ke1 (which was possibly to avoid knight fork on e3), was it possible for Kramnik to try for repetition with 29. ..... Rc2 Kd1 Rc8 Rc2 etc...?

Or was it that -- it is possible but Kramnik chose to try for a win?

Dani4sasile's picture

Any1 out there, pls help me 2 send a big applause to But i would like this chess news 2 be heard and watch on networks like CNN Sports news, BBC etc 4 people out there 4 them 2 b aware of chess events.

Mark's picture

Congratulations to Anand for the great and attractive chess he has brought so far, which combines lots of challenging novelties with outstanding play once the preparation phase is over. If he wins, he will have deserved it, and as the fifteenth world champion he will probably be the first one with such exceptional rapid skills. (As for tournament play, Anand is also excellent, but I wouldn't say he has already equalled Karpov's or Kasparov's incredible achievements in their best years, which is no shame at all of course. By the way, Kasparov had already started to lose a little of his strength when he quit, so if he came back now he would probably no longer battle for the world title.)

It's a pity Kramnik hasn't played his best chess, losing control of three games well before move 40. This has happened to other world champions, though, and no one has made fun of them for that reason (I'm sure Anand himself would be upset with some of today's comments on Chessvibes about his opponent !)

It seems Kramnik has taken a lot of risk today, pressured by the format of only 12 games in total, and it has turned out even worse for him. Still we shouldn't count him out completely. Remember Korchnoi coming back against Karpov in Baguio. And even if he doesn't make such a miracle happen, we may still witness some unforgettable games. I hope Kramnik will find back his best chess without trying to force matters, and offer us at least one elegant victory (and who knows, more). Good luck, Vladimir !

optimist's picture

Is the match over?
If we look into the history of World Championship matches then we see that some players did manage to come back after being down by 3 games.

First one to do it was Steinitz in the first WCC match in 1886. He was 1-4 down after 5 games, but nevertheless won convincingly 10-5 in wins after 20 games.

The second one to do it was Max Euwe in 1935. He was 2-5 down after 7 games, but managed to win 15.5-14.5 at the end.

In 1954 Smyslov was 0.5-3.5 down after 4 games, but managed to equalise to 12-12 in the end (Botvinnik kept the title by virtue of being the defending champion).

In 1978 Karpov was already leading 4-1 and 5-2 in wins, but Korchnoi managed to equalise to 5-5 (Karpov won the next game to clinch the match with 6-5 in wins)

In 1984 Kasparov was 0-4 down after just 9 games, and 0-5 down after 27 games, but he nevertheless managed to hang on until the match was terminated without a result after 48 games (with Karpov leading 5-3 in wins).

In 1986 Karpov was already 6.5-9.5 down after 16 games, however by the end of game 19 the score was tied at 9.5-9.5 ! (Kasparov ended up winning 12.5-11.5)

So things are still not over. It happened in the past, it can happen again.

tommy's picture

what about 18... c5 19. dxc5 Ned5 with the idea NxBb4 and than doubling the rooks on the c file and get back the pawn with or without the maneuver Nd7 Nc5? I dont have a computer program to analyze this idea. What do you think?

ajay's picture

Prettie good idea

ajay's picture

Strange how there is considerable tactical possibility even in this position!

tommy's picture

it?Ǭ¥s again a game played only at one goal - Kramnik?Ǭ¥s goal... He can be satisfied if he achieves a draw. But I did not like Anands last maneuver to exchange the bishops because he loses the possibility to pin the black bishop after an eventual Nd5 by playing Ne5. Nontheless he has more time and is still one pawn up.

manCatur's picture

look's like Anand play for a win. He still has a chances

Frits Fritschy's picture

Now maybe 21... a5 22 Bd2 Ne4 23 cxb6!? Nxd2 24 Rxc8 Nxc8 25 b7 Nb6 26 b8Q Rxb8 27 Kxd2 Na4 with equality? Oh, he has just played 21... bxc5.

ajay's picture

I hate to say it...but Kramnik fans, he's had it

pieter's picture

Anand can try for a while without to much risk.
HE has a pion more and more time. so far the clock has not been Kramnik;s friend.

Frits Fritschy's picture

Oops, 26 Nc6 wins simply in the variation I gave.

ajay's picture

...Rc8 and then Nd3

Bharat's picture

I cant understand what Kramnik is doing -- I thought n3d4 instead of bxg2 led pretty much to a draw with bishops of opposite colors -- instead it looks now like white has some winning chances and black has no immediate threats

ajay's picture

Kd1 now

ajay's picture

Bd2 looks even better than what I had in mind!

tommy's picture

maybe Kramnik has health problems again like in 2006. He cannot mention it to not strengthen Anands self-confidence. It looks like Anand is probably winning this as well if he manages to get rid of Kramnik?Ǭ¥s counterplay.

bernardo's picture

I think anand is the best between both. Kramnik usually plays for a draw as black (just for not say "always"). He just can hope to win as white. But Anand can play agresivelly with both colors and the most important think, he can play for a win with both.

ajay's picture

Bc1 is a mistake...

ajay's picture

sorry take that back


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