Reports | October 25, 2008 2:26

World Championship: 8th game drawn

Kramnik-Anand game 8Update: video added.
If the World Championship match wasn't decided yet, it is now. With the white pieces Kramnik did manage to get a certain advantage but Anand just refuses to make big mistakes in Bonn, and so a not too exciting 8th game ended in a draw at move 39. With a 5.5-2.5 score, the match could be over on Sunday night.

"For the first time in the match I had a slightly better position, which was quite a relief," Kramnik started the press conference today, and this little sentence said more than everything else that would follow. The Indian wall Kramnik is trying to tear down is rock solid ?¢‚Ǩ‚Äú seemingly made of even stronger material than Kramnik's own Berlin Wall in 2000! Where the Russian successfully countered Kasparov's attempts to win with White, it's Anand this time who comfortably equalizes in all his Black games - and even won two of them.

Again it was Anand who dictated play in the opening; his new approach in the - sometimes, but not today, very sharp - Vienna Variation of the Queen's Gambit was quite succesful after Kramnik quickly went for a line that wasn't considered the most critical by the journalists. After an inaccuracy by Anand, the Russian did get some pressure however, but it was't enough to create serious threats to Black's king. Anand's original way of centralizing rook and queen turned out to be more effective than clumsy.

Tomorrow is a rest day, and it might well be the last rest day. If Anand wins on Sunday the match is over, but two more draws are more likely and then the closing ceremony will be on Monday night. It doesn't feel great to have to write about Kramnik's loss at this stage already (not that we're biased to the challenger but simply because we had hoped for a more equal battle), but let's face it ?¢‚Ǩ‚Äú it's over. Most of the journalists hope he'll win at least one game, to extend the match and to make it more exciting, but thus far the Russian hasn't come closer to winning chances than he has today.


German Finance Minister and patron of the event Peer Steinbr?ɬºck
(in the middle) visited the venue today...

steinbruck make the first move - as in all other games, 1.d4...


...which attracted many extra (local) journalists and photographers


Writing down the moves of the Vienna Queen's Gambit...


...which gave Kramnik no opening advantage but later his position was still better...


...but not enough to bring down the World Champion, now a point from retaining his title

Here's the 8th match game:

Match score:

Name Nat. Rtg
Anand IND 2783
Kramnik RUS 2772

Here's our playlist of videos. If the video of game 8 doesn't show, you can also view it here.


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

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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.


DJmixnix's picture

Bb5x new? FIRST!!

DoctorSpock's picture

Nimzo Leningrad variation.
Extremely sharp stuff.

Patzer's picture

White has a minimal structural advantage. But I am afraid, even positional virtuoso Kramnik cannot turn that in an edge with real prospects.

Bharat's picture

I am not sure Anand can safely run his K to the Q-side (ajays comment) -- after b4 and b5 whites pawns will come in very fast -- I think Anand has to leave his king in the middle

Debashish's picture

To Juliette,

Check out Shirov's comments on the outcome of the Kasparov-Kramnik's 2000 WC match...I think you will get the answer you are looking for..

sjef's picture

what about Qb6. Rf2 and then Na5, for example b4, Nc4. Kh1, Qe3. Must be good for black.....

m's picture


Rhaban's picture

to Debashish

Can you provide a link for Shirov?Ǭ¥s comment?

DoctorSpock's picture

Yes, black is weak on black squares. I expect Qh5 as well.

Novelty: Anand has less time then Kramnik ! A first ?

mihajovics's picture

Yay, Kramnik played 15) ... - f4! I like this move, seams brave to me, pressing in the center... Is it actually good or is it again risky, just a bluff? What do the engines say? Susan Polgar mentioned Qf3 as to win a tempo and then Rd1.

mihajovics's picture

1:35 Anand
1:14 Kramnik
right after the move was made, check out for live moves PLUS clock times

Juliette (France)'s picture

I do not understand why Kasparov (in 2000) did not manage to create sharp positions like Anand is doing in this match ????

Ash's picture

black has to find an answer vs f5

Juliette (France)'s picture

What happends after 15)...Qb6+ . Does the materialistic 16)Rf2 allow Anand to gain some tempi???

Juliette (France)'s picture

to Karthik.
The live covering with the Clocks is available here

karthik's picture

To Mihajovics

Thanks a lot

DoctorSpock's picture

I like f4 as well. Hopefully is finally able to give Anad a good spank, i.e. as to tell that he cannot just play any variation against him.

karthik's picture

Kramnik might again find himself in time trouble

robinson's picture

this time, as there is no more bishops
black cannot penetrate to white king.
it a matter of knight ending favor to white
as black has a doubled pawns.

DoctorSpock's picture

Ok, Rg8, but this time no white bishop on b7 pointing at g2.
And of course I am very curious (as a Kramnik fan) how my favorite is going to handle things this time.

Debashish's picture

To Rene
Thanks for the theory...already I have mentioned that in my last post....

once again no castling...I think Ke7 will be fine at a later stage..

Bharat's picture

Kramnik is better off than the earlier games -- small strategic advantage -- I predict a draw because both players must have analyzed this to death

Dr. R. R. Ayyar's picture

Anand is on a very sharp line indeed. He is obviously playing for a win. May be Kramnik may find an answer at last. I wish Kramnik all the luck and pluck to find a winning line.

ajay's picture

I predict Rd8 right now, followed by Kd7!

Rene's picture

To DoctorSpock
Know this as the Vienna variation of the quees's gambit.
1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nf3 Bb4 (Ragozin variation) 5.Bg5 dxc4 6.e4 c5 7.Bxc4 cxd4 8.Nxd4, etc.

karthik's picture

Yes, this is what i expected . the rook taking control of semi open file. with the bishops off the board i doubt if Anand would castle.

DoctorSpock's picture

To Rene:
Thank you for your clarification.

Juliette (France)'s picture

Again the g file is semi-open ... this is Kramnik's nightmare.
What do you prefer for Anand: long castle ideal or playing with the king in the center i.e. like prebious games ????

Gavriel Shimon's picture

My computer says 13.Qf3 Ke7 14.Rad1 a6 and I see a very small advantage for Kramnik

Debashish's picture

supersharp Vienna variation....anand is not going will be a real good fight today...I think Anand surprised Kramnik with his approach...

Christian's picture

It?Ǭ¥s clear: Vishy likes to have the g-file opened as black. Vlady is going to dream with black rooks staring at him for many days to come...

DoctorSpock's picture

18. ..., Qd4. Bluff?
19. R d1 !

mihajovics's picture

No engine here either, so please, if somebody could post a few lines / evaluations after every couple of moves, I would very much apreciate it, thank you!

Juliette (France)'s picture

I guess that Anand will advance his h pawn in the future expoliting the pin.
Do you think that ideas like e4-45 followed by Ne4 would be considered in the long term ????

robinson's picture

this is live but how can we know the time for each olaye consumed?
there is no display of plater's time.

ajay's picture

I guess queen exchange coming up

shy_guest's picture

Interesting that Anand has only castled 3 times in 8 games.

sjef's picture

Now Rd3 or Na5 and black is more than oke

ludo's picture

Kd7 is an interessant idea actually.
But Qh4 is aa annoying threat.

DoctorSpock's picture

17. ..., Rd3, shamless attacking move. Must be nutrilized immediately.
18. Rd1 or 18. Qe2 ?

I do not have a computer, so I like to hear 'your' variations...

Juliette (France)'s picture

To sjef,

this is an example of what could happen after 15)..Qb6+:

15. ... Qb6+ 16.Rf2 Na5 17.Qh5 Nc4 18.f5 Qc5 (18. ... exf5?? 19.Nd5! 1-0) 19.Na4 Qa5 20.Qxh7 O-O-O unclear

sjef's picture

As Anand plays the most modern chess, maybe in future castling will actually be regarded as an inferior move!

Bharat's picture

Very logical from Anand -- he has solved his problems with the bad king position -- Kramnik will fight on and it will be a long slow draw

karthik's picture

Any idea whats the clocks like

Juliette (France)'s picture

To ajay
by either Qe3 or Qd7.

sjef's picture

Tnx Juliette! But actually I meant this possibllity of Na5 after Qe1, white must be very careful because of his lack of development, but it's right now it's still unclear!

shy_guest's picture

Well 19 ... a6 has put paid to Nb5

ajay's picture

The gameplan ..for the moment has got to be Ke7 followed by Rd8

Bharat's picture

maybe a6 first to stop nb5

BSN's picture

Peter, could you please ask Anand what the plan behind 17... Rd3 was? Much appreciated if you could. Thanks!


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