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.


KK's picture

Popuscu , thanks for the analysis. You are right.

Sander's picture

Anand is much better than a few moves ago. Somehow Kramnik missed it, I guess...

Bharat's picture

a4 ? The bishop sac works?? Is this desperation or a brilliant tactic?

Krishna's picture

What is happening there........

Bharat's picture

white wins

Willem's picture

Chances for Kramnik in the endgame!

Buri's picture

@Bharat: White wins?? LOL

Popuscu (Bulgaria)'s picture

What do you think about this (forced) endgame:
40.Rf2 Rb8 41.Rb2 Rc2 42.Rxc2 bxc2 43.Bf1 Rb1 44.Rxc2 Rxf1+ 45.Kg2 Re1

are Black's central pawn dabgerous??? Intiutively it seems to be a draw.

John (The Very Amateur Chess Player)'s picture

Anand is going to draw it with bishop + pawn versus rook.

pieter's picture

how about r c 1 first and then r c2?

vijayendra's picture

if 41.Rb2 Rc1+ 42.Kg2 Rc2 43.Rxc2 bxc2. White has to give up his bishop then

jos's picture


Bharat's picture

am i missing something -- the white king marches over maybe after rc6 first just to be safe

jos's picture

42.Rb3x as comment to Popuscu that is.

Raghu's picture

What is the result of the 9th game? I am eagerly waiting for Vishy to win. I am sitting and watching the game on net, can some one tell

Krishna's picture

Kramnik salvages some pride with this game....................

Popuscu (Bulgaria)'s picture

to vijayendra,
yes White is forced to give up his bishop, otherwise the c2 pawn become a Queen.

Popuscu (Bulgaria)'s picture

42.Rxb3 is a blunder:

42.Rxb3 Rxb3 43.Bxb3 Rxc7

Willem's picture

41. ... Tc2 (only chance for advantage) 42. Txc2 bxc2 43. Lf1 (or 43. Lxe6) with small advantage for black.

bas's picture

why not immediately Rc2?

bob's picture

white wins

Siva's picture

Ater 41.Rb2 its now pretty interesting.

Sumit Balan's picture

How about 41...e5!? now?

Popuscu (Bulgaria)'s picture

to Raghu,
the rook endgame is slightly better for Kramnik, he is a pawn up.
Howerver the rules number 0 in chess tells us: the rook endgame is almost a dead draw.

Howver, Anand must show exact defence.

From game theory point of view, your qustion is verry hard to answer: to prove mathematicaly that one side can force a win is hard.

M R Ali's picture

HE what is happening is anand won or its a draw ?

Bharat's picture

IF Kramnik cannot force a win he loses -- and I see no forced win here

Alexander's picture

41. ... Rc2 42. Rxc2 bxc2 43. Bb5 (43. Bxe6 Rb1+ 44. Kg2 c1=Q 45. Rxc1 Rxc1 46. Bxf5) c1=Q+ 44. Rxc1 Rxb5.

Willem's picture

@Sumit Balan. After 41. e5 42. Kg2 Tb4 43. Tc8+ Kg7 44. Le6 black has nothing anymore.

Popuscu (Bulgaria)'s picture

to Sumit Balan,

41 ...e5 will not allow Kramnik to gain the bishop, for instance:

41. ... e5 42.Kg2 Rb4 43.Rc8+ Kg7 44.Be6 Rxc8 45.Bxc8 Kf6

and therefore Anand bishop is stronger than Kramnik passed pawn.

vijayendra's picture

Kramnik is trying hard. Apart from Rb2 and giving pawn to get bishop any interesting lines. Impatient & curious to see the moves of these chess titans

mahi's picture

Another draw.......

Sander's picture

I think Anand has a safe way to escape to draw:
41. ..Rc2 42.Rxc2 bxc2 is forced.

And now 43.Bxe6!? (instead of 43.Bf1Rb1 44.Rxc2 Rxf1+ 45.Kg2 =+) 43. .. Rb1+ 44.Kg2 c1Q 45.Rxc1Rxc1 46.Bxf5.
This must be a draw.

AA's picture

After 42...Rc2 43. Rxc2 bxc2 44. Bf1 Rb2 I think White is lost as he cannot move the bishop or king and Black can just push e5. I don't see what White can do to stop it. But if Anand plays instead 44. Bxe6 Rb1+ 45. Kg2 c1=Q 46. Rxc1 Rxc1 47. Bxf5 Kg7 48. Bd3 then Black does not have a real plan to win. Even if Kramnik finds the tactics to exchange his rook for the bishop and both of Anand's pawns, as long as the White king stays closer to the h1 square, Black cannot queen. This should be a draw.

robinson's picture

i think Rc4 pinned the bishop

Willem's picture

42. ... h4! A draw.

Bharat's picture

White can draw safely now -- will he play for a win?

bas's picture

I really hope Kramnik will winn this on his birthday. Its looking good.

John (The Very Amateur Chess Player)'s picture

There are many ways to skin a cat and Kramnik is going to try all of them in this game. :-)

Youssef's picture

What about Bb5 here? Otherwise, black takes in G3 and plays Rg8.

Popuscu (Bulgaria)'s picture

Kramnik play is verry deep: with his h5-h4 he will play with the central pawns: if this does not work the endgame will be witout pawns, I mean A Rook+Bishop against a Rook. That is a theoretical draw. Howver, Topalov is still stronger

Buri's picture
John (The Very Amateur Chess Player)'s picture

Anand's 20. Kh1 is quite appealing if it doesn't turn out to be a blunder. These two guys have been trading blows in this game. Pretty cool.

Joe's picture

This is a free forum and people have the right to express themselves
in a respectful manner.

Buri's picture

Hmm, Fritz is telling me that Black is better :S

tripledice's picture

Nd6 seems interesting, but black can play Bxd6 Pxd6,gxf4 Bf3 , Bxf3 Rxf3,and then he has e5!

Vinayak's picture

anand has 30 mins and he's still thinking....kramnik has around 55 mins...

orange's picture

They can use minutes from next game , rule called 'borrow minutes' :)

mayank ucms delhi's picture

hey happy diwali to all of you..

Vinayak's picture

what will happen if they dnt complete 40 moves on time??....from what i can see....they'll both struggle...especially anand...

Willem's picture

Very interesting position. White has many possibilities, but - according to Fritz - all are a little favourable for black. And Anand has some time trouble in choosing defense or counterattack


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