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

Tyche's picture

Where does white develop his bishop - on e2 or on d3?

M R Ali's picture

is this Qc5 a novelty ?

Karthik's picture

To Tyche

I think white bishop will be placed on e2 , coz d3 is likely to be taken by queen also the pawns in the d3 diagonal make the bishop less effective there

Popuscu (Bulgaria)'s picture

to KK,
your pseudo name (KK) recalls me something: Boby Fischer had problems with the "K" players like: Korchnoi, Karpov, Kasparov !!!!

DoctorSpock's picture

Here another interesting remark by Susan Polgar on her blog:

'8...gxf6 9.f5 White also has many other options such as 9.Qd2, 9.Be2, 9.Qf3, etc... If Anand wins or draw with ease, he will look like a genius for employing 1.e4 to shock his opponent. On the other hand, if he loses in a sharp game, he will be questioned for his decision to play aggressively instead of going for something quiet when he needs only 1/2 point to retain his title. If I am Kramnik, I would be happy to have a chance to score in a sharp opening, especially when a draw is no good for me.'

Karthik's picture

To M R Ali
Qc5 was also suggested by Rybka;

Kramnik somehow is playing the same moves suggested by Rybka in the last three games including this one

Popuscu (Bulgaria)'s picture

to Ali,
with Qc5 we are still in theory, but in one of the most rare continuations.

Karthik's picture

Very interesting possibilities ahead , the game is on the razor edge should see how it goes on

DoctorSpock's picture

10.Qd3 A logical move It clears the way for White to castle Queenside. It also protects the f5 pawn. 10...Bh6 is now a logical move to prevent White from castling.

Popuscu (Bulgaria)'s picture

Kramnik playin Black has a quit negative results with the najdorf sicilian: 1 win, 3 draws and 4 loses ...

Karthik's picture

I appreciate Anand for playing sharp aggresive lines even at this stage of the match; attack is the best form of defence . He is a true sport

Tyche's picture

Interesting to note that Anand is already falling back on time.

Karthik's picture

Qd2 also prevents Qe3 by black if the knight on d4 is moved

Sander's picture

There are three GM games with this position in chessbase. Two won by white, one draw.

Tyche's picture

Kramnik has already made 3 Q moves. Shouldn't white be able to exploit this tempii to gain an edge in development and obtain some initiative?

DoctorSpock's picture

Polgars assessment:
'In my opinion, Black has already equalized. Black has a good presence in the center and the Bishop pair. White's pieces are not optimally coordinated. I think Black has a comfortable position.'

Popuscu (Bulgaria)'s picture

11. ...Qe5 is a prepared (at home) move. A human would play 11. ..Qa7 preparing b5.
Bringing the qeen in the center shows that Kramnik is well prepared even in this rare variation.

erpizn13's picture

kramnik seems more agressive than anand... hope anand does not blunder at any stage...

Karthik's picture

To tyche

similarly white has made three moves by g1 knight , so its equal

To Sander

Good info dude

Popuscu (Bulgaria)'s picture

to DoctorSpock,
do you mean Polgar who beaten Korchnoi in this blitz game :
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M9k5oBgaZGI

Karthik's picture

White looks to be in advantage , as the pawns in the centre covering the black king looks very volatile.

Tyche's picture

Sander,

Do you mean that there are 3 games with black playing 11. ... Qe5 ?

DoctorSpock's picture

To Popuscu:
Fantastic film! Unsportif Kortsnoi. He would lose may more times from het, after this event.
But this is Sopia. I quoted her older sister Susan, who lives in the USA and has a fantastic chess school called SPICE.

robert's picture

To Popuscu.. Boby?Fischer may have had problems with Korchnoi but not with Karpov or Kasparov cause he didn't play them...but of course your remark was ironically intended...

Sander's picture

At this moment (12.0-0-0) only the reply 12. ..Bd7 has been played on high level. But I wouldn't be surprised if Kramnik goes for something new.

DoctorSpock's picture

Popuscu, where did you find so fast Kramniks results in the Najdorf?

Shaikh Abdullah's picture

Anand looks outstanding.. Good luck anand. :=)

Bharat's picture

At club level, I would much rather be white than black -- if black pushes Q-side pawns the King is stuck in the middle -- castling king side is out for black -- white has a simple plan of Qf3, Bd3 g4 etc;

DoctorSpock's picture

12.O-O-O White basically offers the f5 pawn sacrifice. The compensation for White is to be able to break up black's center pawn chain while opening up the critical e file. I would not take it. I prefer either 12...Bd7, 12....Rg8, or even 12...b5 better.

Tyche's picture

Kramnik just played exf5. Doesn't this weaken d5 terribly and allow ,for example, Nd5, and not to mention, opening of the e-file?

M R Ali's picture

ANAD AGAIN CHOOSED TO PLAY SHARP OPENING WITH A PAN SAC I DONT UNDERSTAND HE NEED JUST ADRAW THEN WHY HE WANTS TO PLAY AG REESIVELY?

Ali

Sander's picture

Wow, just like I expected :-) Novelty exf5

Karthik's picture

Take a look at Kramnik's pawn stucture(if any) , king's akward position in the middle and the undeveloped pieces . Its advantage white

Merijn van Delft's picture

Black is not so comfortable as Polgar suggests: White tends to have the safer king and white square pressure, which adds up to the famous +=

Bharat's picture

pawn sac by anand coming up

DoctorSpock's picture

Polgar:
'12...exf5 A very brave Kramnik! Bravo! Whatever happens, no one can say that Kramnik backs off from a tough fight. This is not a blunder. It is a playable move, just dangerous.'

Popuscu (Bulgaria)'s picture

to Robert,

KK is my friend in this Forum and I have no bad intentions.

mihajovics's picture

whoa, Kramnik took it! Rybka is on +0.31, but I heard she has problems understanding the Najdorf... am I correct?

Debashish's picture

Black's bishops looked cramped...exf5 is the best bet to free them...

erpizn13's picture

exf5.... tough decision by Kramnik! hope anand finds a good attack point!

robert's picture

White should play Queen d5..

Popuscu (Bulgaria)'s picture

to DoctorSpock ,
they are available here
http://www.chesslive.de/

Bharat's picture

@Ali -- I think it is Kramnik being aggressive -- he is trying to win his style -- take a pawn and let Anand attack -- absorb the attack and win the ending -- I think this is an exciting game with a position that suits Anand in the middle game

M R Ali's picture

Why not Nd5 here thrit ning Nb6 or Nc7?

Manu's picture

Is S Polgar in love with Kramnik?

M R Ali's picture

looks like kramnik is well prepared in this line.

erpizn13's picture

how gud is Re1?

mihajovics's picture

How about exf Bxf5 Qe2, exchanging queens and white has the better ending? I don't get it, what do you guys say?

M R Ali's picture

here i see 2 weaknesses in blacks camp IQP and double pawn in f file

Karthik's picture

Rybka says white has advantage with Kb1

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