Reports | October 29, 2008 19:01

Viswanathan Anand retains world title

Anand Wins World ChampionshipUpdate: video added.
Viswanathan Anand has retained his world title by drawing Vladimir Kramnik in the 11th game of the World Championship match in Bonn, Germany. The final match score is 6?Ǭ?-4?Ǭ? for Anand.

It was a task he had never managed to do before: beating Viswanathan Anand with the black pieces. And after his opponent switched to his long-life weapon 1.e4, Vladimir Kramnik couldn't do it today either. At the press conference the Russian said it was a "difficult day" for him: "It was not easy to prepare for e4 and d4, trying to find forced wins for Black against all these moves."

He was reasonably satisfied with reaching the Najdorf, because "at least we had a game - it was not easy to just get a game". But he managed, although then Kramnik soon had to work on his own, because a few moves after Anand's 6.Bg5 he was out of theory - he actually found 9...Qc5 behind the board.

Black's seemingly anti-positional 12...exf5 was his only chance, Kramnik said, because "otherwise White simply gets very easy play"; he mentioned the standard moves Kb1 and g3 + Bh3, pressing on e6. "So I decided to mess things up." However, Anand reacted very well, calculated very well, and forced a liquidation to an ending that White simply cannot lose. "Miracles happen, but very rare, unfortunately," Kramnik finished his statement about the game.

After the game Anand said he was "happy, but at this point probably more relieved than happy. Obviously it's really nice to just have the title. Vlady was really pushing me in the last few games. With White I was really hoping to have the world championship title in the evening but I wasn't sure, you never know."

With this official and undisputed World Championship, Anand has won every big event that has been organized during his career. In fact, he's the first player to have won a world championship in three different formats. In the year 2000 Anand won the FIDE World Chess Championship which was a knockout event, in 2007 he won the World Chess Championship which was a tournament of six players, and now he has won a World Championship match. If he didn't yet belong to the list of great names starting with Steinitz, Lasker and Capablanca, he now sure does - nobody can deny it anymore. After all, today Anand has beaten the man who beat Kasparov.

Thanks to his 11 games in Bonn, Anand is also the new world's number one on the live rating list (for the top ten see the column on the far right) - he shares a virtual rating of 2791 with Topalov but tops the list because of actually having played games in this period.

g11_02

Today Anand, who will turn 39 on December 11, won the most important prize of his career. It all started in 1983 when he won the National Sub-Junior Chess Championship with a score of 9/9. He subsequently became the youngest Indian to win the IM title at the age of fifteen, in 1984. One year later he became champion of India and in 1987 he became the first Indian to win the World Junior Chess Championship. In 1988, at the age of eighteen, he became India's first Grandmaster.

Ever since he won the super tournament of Reggio Emilia in 1991, ahead of Kasparov and Karpov, Anand has been among the world's elite. Among his colleagues he became known as the fastest player in the circuit and this was confirmed by him winning the unofficial world championship of rapid chess many times.

In the year 2000 Anand won the FIDE World Chess Championship in Tehran after defeating Alexei Shirov in the final. In the same year Garry Kasparov lost his world title to Vladimir Kramnik in London.

kramnik2

In 2002 Ruslan Ponomariov took over the title of FIDE World Champion and in 1995 Anand finished shared second with Peter Svidler at the San Luis World Championship tournament, behind Veselin Topalov. One year later Topalov lost his title against Kramnik, in a match that decided the first undisputed World Championship since 1993.

In September 2007 Anand became World Champion again by winning the FIDE World Championship Tournament held in Mexico City. He finished on 9 / 14 which was a full point ahead of Vladimir Kramnik and Boris Gelfand. Kramnik had agreed to participate in this tournament after FIDE had given him the right, if he wouldn't finish first, to automatically challenge the new World Champion.

This eventually resulted in the Anand-Kramnik match held in Bonn 14-29 October, that was dominated by the Indian from the start. After two reasonably quiet games he won twice with Black in games 3 and 5, and then scored another full point in game 6. In the final phase of the match Anand lost his concentration in a few games and even lost game 10, but by easily drawing the 11th game, he reached the unbeatable 6.5 points.

anand2

It was Anand's strategy with the Black pieces that decided the match. It's possible that the Indian didn't expect to achieve too much with the White pieces against one of the most solid players in the circuit, and therefore decided to focus the attention on Black. His choice of the sharp Meran positions was a brilliant one and with it he delivered the first major blow in game three. Again under pressure, Kramnik blundered in game 5 and this second blow led to the Russian playing his weakest game, number six, where he lost an ending that he would have drawn in most other situations.

Being 3 points down in a 12-game match is another way of saying: it's just hopeless. But it can only be admired how Kramnik managed to fight back in subsequent games - he finally started to feel confident, finally started to come up with theoretical novelties and simply... finally started to play on his normal level. But it was too late - Anand's narrow escape in game 9 earned him a valuable half point and then for Kramnik it was clearly a mission impossible to score 3 out of 3 against this kind of player.

Anand's victory was based on a combination of excellent preparation and playing almost flawlessly. A deserved champion who has deservedly entered the famous list of World Championship match winners.

Here's the 11th and final game of the match, in which I included some notes by co-editor IM Merijn van Delft as well:



Match score:

Name Nat. Rtg
G01
14/10
G02
15/10
G03
17/10
G04
18/10
G05
20/10
G06
21/10
G07
23/10
G08
24/10
G09
26/10
G10
27/10
G11
29/10
G12
31/10
Anand IND 2783
?Ǭ?
?Ǭ?
1
?Ǭ?
1
1
?Ǭ?
?Ǭ?
?Ǭ?
0
?Ǭ?
6?Ǭ?
Kramnik RUS 2772
?Ǭ?
?Ǭ?
0
?Ǭ?
0
0
?Ǭ?
?Ǭ?
?Ǭ?
1
?Ǭ?
4?Ǭ?



Here's our playlist of videos. If the game 11 video is not appearing, please remove your "temporary internet files" and / or press (Ctrl-)F5.

Links:

(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 ChessVibes.com, 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.

Chess.com

Comments

Bharat's picture

I dont understand what Kramnik is upto -- now Bd3 looks natural safe and leaving white with an edge with the obvious threat of rh-e1 or f1, exf5 and black is busted

parag's picture

Possibly Kramnic wont wait for castling ... he may go for Be6/ b5(with further pawn push in mind) and f4 followed by f5 may give him clear diagonal. Anand has strong center ... but Kramnik needs to take his chances

DoctorSpock's picture

1...c5 Kramnik took about 2 minutes to respond with c5.

2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 It is obvious that Kramnik is going for broke employing one of the sharpest openings.

Karthik's picture

I guessed it right e4

Patrick's picture

Najdorf with Bg5, one of Anand's specialities. He scored a nice win with this line with the black pieces against Shirov earlier this year in Morelia.

Merijn van Delft's picture

I think Anand will play 1.e4

Murali's picture

We (indians) are waiting Vishy, go chak de

arne's picture

And what do you think Kramnik will play to that, Merijn? How about a Sveshnikov?

Igor's picture

I also have the feeling Anand wil play 1.e4 .Kramnik wil not respond with e5, I predict.

Merijn van Delft's picture

Maybe some sort of Sicilian Scheveningen with a 2...e6 move order to prevent all Bb5 lines.

Friedel Craft's picture

No reason for anand to change his opening. We're gonna see another d4 :o)

hansie's picture

Yes, I agree.
1. d4
1. ... f5
Leading to Leningrad Dutch.

J1's picture

I join the Sicilian camp. Don't exactly know which line, but I think both have prepared something special. They have only used up the preparation for one or two lines, so both should have some more prepared from before the tournament.

sharfudeen's picture

when will game start?

sharfudeen's picture

what about DAY LIGHT SAVING TIME today for germany? any one knows?

Palamer's picture

It will start at 10am EST

Karthik's picture

I think e4

Popuscu (Bulgaria)'s picture
Tyche's picture

I think Anand will stick to 1.d4 which has served him quite well in this match. Switching to 1.e4 might actually play into Kramnik's deep preparations in Sveshnikov. Anand just has to hold his nerves to get thro' this game. Let's hope he does it.

Popuscu (Bulgaria)'s picture

To indians,
I have been in India last September. I observed that chess is not very popular there.
I was in NewDelhi (Lodhi Garden), Aghra, and no body plays chess!!!

Kxe8's picture

All the best Anand... get it over today itself.. not just with a draw, but with a victory!!

NBC's picture

Anand will play 1.d4 and Kramnik will go for the benoni like he did against Leko. Thats about the only chance to stir things up.

If Anand goes 1.e4, Kramnik will play the Paulsen, like his second Rublevski

erpizn13's picture

@Popuscu
Yes! 90% Indians play, talk, eat, walk and sleep CRICKET! Isn't that funny!?

Popuscu (Bulgaria)'s picture

to erpizn, lol lol

King Faisal's picture

I predict 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 (probably a modern Benoni or English)

M R Ali's picture

hello every one

King Faisal's picture

Kramnik will never play Svesnikov, because White can force a draw easily

M R Ali's picture

well i think anad will surprise every one with 1.C4

J1's picture

It's e4!! whoohoo

Merijn van Delft's picture

Hi Faisal! Good to see you around!

Popuscu (Bulgaria)'s picture

"If one need to secure a game with white then he would play 1.Nf3 (Russian school)"

erpizn13's picture

Its an e4 from anand! definitely drawn game and won match?

King Faisal's picture

Hi Merijn, you predicted better than me!

J1's picture

I didn't dare to mention the najdorf, but was definetely hoping. This might be a good fight!

DoctorSpock's picture

1. ..., c5.
Kramnik goes for it again !

arne's picture

Nasty!

Merijn van Delft's picture

I guess they don't consider 3.Bb5+ a forced draw :-)

King Faisal's picture

I think nobody predicted a Najdorf. After 6.Bg5, White has many forced draws, but Kramnik know them of course!

Popuscu (Bulgaria)'s picture

Can one confirm to me that the poisonned pawn of the najdorf sicilian have been deeply analysed and the final word of theory states that is a dead draw???
I am not sure.

These days, top level players avoid 16,Bg5 du of the pourcentage of draws.
[Valejo-Kasparov 2003, Svidler-Grishuk 2008 ....]

Popuscu (Bulgaria)'s picture

[I mean 6.Bg5] in my previous mesage

King Faisal's picture

I find it a strange (risky) opening choice by Anand. He showed some nerve weakness in the last 2 games.

Karthik's picture

Again Anand comes with a different move 9.Qd2 is the preffered move

Tyche's picture

Is 9.f5 one of the main lines in Najdorf?

King Faisal's picture

is there a chat window on chessvibes?

KK's picture

Popuscu: Your observation is correct. Also every Indian is mad about sports, but no one plays anything - everyone is glued to watching sports on TV :) And as someone mentioned earlier, it is always Cricket - a braindead but heavily glorified game, and very often compared to chess by (equally braindead and comatose) commentators who know neither sports (that is the quality of most of our commentators).

John (The Very Amateur Chess Player)'s picture

Yay. Some exciting opening for the final game of the match. :-)

Popuscu (Bulgaria)'s picture

to Tyche,
with 9.f5 Anand is still in Theory.
BUT 9.f5 is a rare continuation (may be for this reason Kramnik is thinking now).

Karthik's picture

Anand to castle on the queen side, rybka says the score is equal; but strategically i favor the position for anand as black king going to remain in the centre

erpizn13's picture

@KK
Nice choice of words for correct description! I was stuck with the phrase "dumb game" for explaining cricket, but i guess you won!

Bharat's picture

Is there some forced draw with Nxe6 fxe6 Qh5

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