Reports | October 26, 2008 19:42

World Championship: 9th game drawn

Anand-Kramnik, game 9Update: video added.
He came very close to winning today, but in the end Vladimir Kramnik had to accept that his ending agains Viswanathan Anand was a draw. After the 9th game the Indian is now leading the World Championship match 6-3, and just needs a draw to retain his title.

While many expected a not too interesting game today (Anand was supposed to play ultra solid and cruise to match victory by drawing twice, and Kramnik would have no energy left to put up serious resistance) it was completely the other way around: Kramnik invited Anand to a sharp fight in the Semi-Slav, and the Indian went for it by retreating his bishop to h4 after Black's h6, allowing the complicated lines of the Anti-Moscow Gambit.

At first it looked like Anand took his opponent by surprise yet again, by going for a rare side-variation, but this time Kramnik had done his homework and soon obtained a small advantage. His position got better and better, and at some point the world champion decided to sacrifice a pawn, but still there was one moment where Kramnik could have reached an almost winning position.

But in timetrouble the Russian almost missed a mate in one and was so shocked by it that he decided to exchange queens and in the resulting ending it was not too difficult for Anand to avoid the last few traps Kramnik put up.

And so chances are high that tomorrow will be the last match day in Bonn, although Kramnik stated that he will ?¢‚Ǩ?ìfight till the last draw.?¢‚Ǩ?


As the end of the match is getting closer, the theatre seats are sold out now


The chess board says which day the game is played


The players shake hands for their ninth encounter


The number of photograpers is going up again?¢‚Ǩ¬¶


?¢‚Ǩ¬¶because a photo of a potentially decisive game is always good to have


Kramnik: What about a nice Semi-Slav today?


Anand: Yeah, why not


And so there was soon an Anti-Moscow on the board


Close, but no cigar

Here's the 9th match game:

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.


Sahay's picture

why kramnik not moved Rc2 after anand king moved to g2? he could have won the match

pieter's picture

It is still unclear Bb5 leads to a rook ending which slightly favours black
but very slightly only so probably a draw after a fight will be the result

Popuscu (Bulgaria)'s picture

To Youssef, Bb5 would give Kramnik some counter playm for instance:

45.Bb5 Rgxg3+ 46.Kf2 Rcf3+ 47.Ke1 e5

vijayendra's picture

Draw Agreed . Relief to all

robinson's picture

is a book draw

Joe's picture

A draw excellent result for Kramnik!

abhishek's picture

yeah! A draw. Once again anand proves that he s completely outprepared and outplayed Kramnik. In this game, with precise defence, he denies kramnik the much sought salvage win. Go Vishy go!!!

Suresh's picture

It was tense. Next game will be the coronation

Sumit Balan's picture

Phew,Good Defence by Anand,good play over all by both players

Willem's picture

Exciting game. Kramnik missed an almost certain win with 35. ... Lc7!! White cannot defend b3, his position then is hopeless.

Subbiah Arunachalam's picture

I thought that with a pawn up until late in the game (game 9), Kramnik had a chance to force a win. Now all that Anand needs is half a point from the last three games. And Anand can play for a draw and kramnik had to play to win all three games and then play to win one more game. Very tough indeed for kramnik.

Theo's picture

It's over...
poor Kramnik :/

Sander's picture

I agree, Willem. 35. ..Bc7! would have been very problematic for Anand, close to winning. So Anand seem to had a narrow escape.

AA's picture

Next game Kramnik turns into vampire. Anand watch carefully, just play for a draw and be wary of big bite. We need more police in Germany to keep security, Anand just needs keep cool maybe offer draw after 2nd move.
Also, maybe Leko will come and play game tomorrow. then Anand prepares sicilian for leko. Very interesting big game for tomorrow.

Manu's picture

Tomorrow must be a 1 e4 for Kramnik!
(i wish)

CAL|Daniel's picture

offering a draw on the second move is A) obviously going to get declined and B) HORRIBLY RUDE. This isn't a tournament it is a match. Anand has style and character and would never sink so low as to insult his opponent like this.

Zenman's picture

And yes ... tomorrow is the match finished! Anand winner.

VB's picture

This match is practically over!

Manu's picture

I heard anecdotes about Spassky doing that in the first move in some games.

Willem's picture

After 35. ... Lxc7 white's position is not hopeless as I said before, but just very difficult. For example: 36. Db5 (36. Lc4 Txg3! -+) De3 37. Kg2
(37. b4 Lxg3 38. hxg3 Dxg3 39. Td2 Tg8 40. bxa5 Dh3+ 41. Txh2 Txd3 42. De5 + Kh7 43. Dc7+ Tg7 44. Txh3 Txh3+ 45. Dh2 Txh2+ 46. Kxh2 Ta7 47. Ta1 Ta6 -+; 37. Dd7 Tg8 -+)
37. ... Dg5
(Also interesting is 37. ...Tg8!? 38. Tf3 (38. Tfe1 Txg8! 39. hxg3 Dxg3 40. Kf1 Dh3+ is winning for black) Dd4 with good chances for black)
38. Tf3 Df6 and black can quite safely play for a win.

Willem's picture

My last comment:
After 35. ... Lc7! 36. Db5 De3 37. Kg2 I now think that black's best line is 37... Tg8! 38. Tf3 (38. Tfe1 Txg3+! 39. hxg3 Dxg3+ 40. Kf1 Df3+ 41. Kg1 Tc6! -+) Dd4 and white must defend very carefully.

Chaital's picture

Chessvibes-----can you please upload the video of the press conference for Rd9

sundararajan ganesan's picture

i expect a draw in the next game, in spite of the possible chances taken by kramnik.

Rahim Nazari's picture

Hi all. After 2005 (after great Kasparov) chess world didnt saw a real worldchampion. These are strong player but any one dont have a world champion character. World need a person like Garry Kasparov. Im hopping Kasparov come back or Carlsen grow up. These all fearing to play 1.e4!
WHY? I enjoyed Kasparov simuls last night. After Ilyumzhinov's scandals world missed GREAT GARRY KASPAROV!! :(

Daaim Shabazz's picture

Sorry Rahim, but Anand is a World Champion if there ever was one. Garry Kasparov has retired, deal with it.

Garry probably did so much to hurt the game with his defection and the chess world is still suffering from it. Then he abandoned the unification process and retired leaving the chess world in a mess. We have moved on from his escapades.

Jack's picture

What did Chessvibes mean in their commentary of this game , " time trouble Kramnik almost missed mate in one" ??

Mate in One? Where?

Thread Pool's picture


Kramnik said that he almost played f4 instead of Qc7 not realizing that Qh7 would be mate.

AA's picture

I think Leko vs. Anand tomorrow. Or maybe Radjabov vs. Anand .. Kramnik allowed to substitute players? If so I think Anand uses Ivanchuk or Morozevich to finish match. So, possibly we have Radjabov vs. Morozevich tomorrow - will be very interesting, probably sicilian.

val's picture

Translations from English into other languages are of some use although they leave much to be desired to put it mildly. To the extent that sometimes opposite meaning is given to a person's statement

Popuscu (Bulgaria)'s picture

To willem i will analyse your suggestions in details ...can you please confirm that Anand was winning in the 8th game if he plays 32.bxa5 instead of 32.b5??

for instance (as commented by Ole and Katata) we get 32.bxa5 bxa5 33.Rb1 Nc5 34.Bxc5 Rxc5.

What is the outcome of this endgame???

To Rahim,
objectively speasking the departure of Kasparov is good for chess. Look now at the chess events all over the world: FIDE grand prix (3 times a year !!!!), FIDE knock out, Kamsky-Topa semi final, .... the chess activity become very very tense. When Kasparov was playing every body has the idea that a tournement without him is not interesting, and this was a damage for chess; it is very difficult to convince sponsors.

I am a fan of Kasparov but chess is more improtant than him. Thanks to his departure a reunificatiom match took place. Kasparov agreed later that the PCA is a big error.

If you want aggressive chess, you can follow the games of Carlsen, Topalov, Moro and Polgar. Their style is almost more aggresive than Kaparov one.

Zenman's picture

And here are for me today is finished, Anand will take the title. In any case they will share 1.5 million is not bad (;)) I hope that Anand will have no mercy now face Kramnik, both end as soon as possible.

Willem's picture

After 20. ... gxf4 21. Lf3 Lxf3 22. gxf3 Dxe5 is almost forced with a fine position for black.

Joe's picture

BTW I expected that Kramnik's french wife would be at his side in this difficult time,
but it I haven't seen her around him in any picture or report.

Karthik's picture

Rybka3 and chessmaster10 both saying black has 0.57 advantage and anand ahs used up a lot of time but anand is making some unsual interesting moves

John (The Very Amateur Chess Player)'s picture

Dennis Monokroussos on his live commentary blog just said that he overheard two GMs say live that there are rumors that should Kramnik lose this match, he might retire from chess.

Not that I believe that he will.

pieter's picture

seems anand did k hi also in preparation for taking on d4 i was looking at g file and the black queen standing for the black king..
a very complicated position i expect anand to strive for a clear endgame in which he is sure of a draw
Kramnik usually avoids complications however he can handle them very well

a vrery interesting game with a lot of analysis still to be done


Popuscu (Bulgaria)'s picture

The follwoing line is forced:

20. ... gxf4 21.Bf3 Bxf3 22.Rxf3 Qxe5 23.a3 (23.Nd4? Rd8) Bc5 24.Rdf1

nain's picture

i think kramnik has set his mind that draw n loss of game is of no use for him
so better to play for win.......but from his current performance it's the toughest job for him........all the best 2 both the GIANTS.

orange's picture

@Popuscu , I understand that you are a Topolov fan.
But bashing every game Kramnin plays makes you lose your credibilty and leads to flamebait.

There are other who are just following the game with useful analysis from others.
If you have nothing to contribute , just read or see 2005 WCC reruns :)

Matthias's picture

A while ago in the Netherlands I spoke to Kramnik,when he signed a digital clock for me. I told him he would lose against Anand,in the same way he won 5 games against kaspy.

Karthik's picture

both engines suggesting Rac8 with a clear advantage for black

Siva's picture

Seems like both are playing like 2200 players :)

orange's picture

I can't see any chances for white unless Kramnik blunders.
Good preparation by Kramnik , lets see if Anand can save this one.

H Thakkar's picture

Anand is trying to be defensive naturally, he does not need to take risks, it is Kramnik's obligation to take risk to win at whatever cost.

Popuscu (Bulgaria)'s picture

To John,
Kramnik retirement will be a good contribution to Chess.

H Thakkar's picture

It is amazing to see Kramnik take so much time to play his 20th move, the obvious choice is g5Xf4

Bharat's picture

I disagree with Sivas comment -- this is a deep game -- I think the engines are not seeing this right and both Kramnik and Anand are playing based on deep preparation. I fail to see how black can be ahead after white gets in bf3

m's picture

The black bishop attack from a6 would be interesting

jos's picture

Popu, you're right. I must be blind.

Popuscu (Bulgaria)'s picture

to robinson, you mean Rb4 ???? this does not work, because the pin will be evaporated : for instance:

41. ... Rb4? 42.Rc8+! Kg7 43.Bxe6 Rxc8 44.Bxc8 1-0


Latest articles