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

Popuscu (Bulgaria)'s picture

to robinson, with 13.. Bg7 Kramnik shows his intenstion to castle king side.
because Nd5-Nc7 is annoying.

KK's picture

Thanks Tom & MRT, for the explanation. Now reading analysis makes more sense to me :)

Karthik's picture

Rbka 0.32 Nd2

mihajovics's picture

Rybka likes Nd2 with a compfortable edge in White's favour, +0.33. Indeed, a very logical move.

KK's picture

Only 1 min 50 sec per move for both players from now on for first time control. Looks like the position is very complicated with too many possibilities.

Captain Kirk's picture

Hey Spock! Immediately return back to USS Enterprise. And get off Susan's back!
And that's an order!

M R Ali's picture

Bg7 what is the idea?

mihajovics's picture

Whoa, against Rybka, it would be over for Kramnik... it 's on +0.50 now!
14. Nd2 Be6 15. Nc4 Bxc4 16. Bxc4 O-O 17. Rd5 etc

Popuscu (Bulgaria)'s picture

to robinson,

I think that the g file is not of great use for Kramnik because Anand's king is in the other side.

MG42's picture

Should white play Rd5 and kick the Black queen out of that square? This can be followed by Bc4 and Re1 bringing more pressure on the central file? I don't know, I'm just a beginner. Maybe somebody here can help me out. :)

Bharat's picture

rd5 qe2; (qe3 is met by exf5) bd3 seems to leave white with a clear edge

Tyche's picture

This position is so sharp that the players are almost down to 1 hr each with only 14 moves completed - wow, what an exciting way to finish the championship (I am assuming that Anand would pull through)!

KK's picture

Anyone feel any sacrifices coming up from White soon? Position is extremely dynamic with lots of attacking possibilities, a little limited for Black due to his awkward King and undeveloped pieces. (My last post gave wrong time per move, it is 2.3 mins per move approx).

MG42's picture

Do you think kramnik is better off because his central pawn is marching up? Any reason why he did not take Anand's e-pawn before this? Now what should Anand do after Kramnik's Rg8?

Vijayendra's picture

Anand is again going for a Win rather than a lame draw. Probably Kramnik is luring him to complications. Nowadays players play more outside the board.

DoctorSpock's picture

OK Kirky. Beam me up.
Hope your not jealous.
I don't think she is 'hideously self-adoring.

But about the game:
what about 15. ..., Bh6 and 17. ..., fxe4?

Popuscu (Bulgaria)'s picture

to KK,
are you comptuer scientist programmer ???

DoctorSpock's picture

Polgar gives this line:

'15.Qg3 This is a possible line 15...Rg8 16.Qxd6 fxe4 17.Qxe7+ Kxe7 18.Nxe4 f5 =+. Here are more options: 15...Rg8 16. Qh4 fxe4 17. Nxe4 (17. Qxh7 Kf8 unclear) 17... Be6 18. Nxd6+ Kf8 19. Rd3 =+'

Popuscu (Bulgaria)'s picture

I have quickely calcullated this possibility (may be I am wrong):
15. ... Bh6+ 16.Kb1 f4!? (to protect the d7 pawn) 17.Qh4? Bg5! followd by h5

Willem's picture

15. ... Tg8 16. Dh4 +=. 15. ... 0-0 seems too dangerous after 16. exf5.

Karthik's picture

White is in a safer position ; with time reducing black has greater chance of making a mistake

Bill's picture

After 15.Qg3 White are better and Kramnik should be happy with a draw

Sandy's picture

How abt 15. Qf4?

Bharat's picture

qxd6 should be a safe situation for anand -- qf3 is another choice -- I dont see where Kramnik is going with this.

Captain Kirk's picture

@Spock, The correct line is "Beam me up Scotty"! Anyway the good thing is ur quoting Susan with due credit!

Wrong Rook's picture

i think positionaly speaking even black simply has a bad position after Bg7!!Where is the latent bishop power or the counterplay against white's king.All he is left with is the weakness on d5,d6 and doubled f pawns.White has a million of microplans like Bc4,Nd5,ef5,Nd4.Even Kramnik wouldn't like black's position!!It doesn't suit his positional accurate clear cut style of play.Remember how he won two days ago?Well on the other hand it suits the match situation better.There is a scenario that white will overeach his hand,get lost in the labyrinth of opportunities and alternatives.I would estimate that right now Anand has 65-35% chances more.But.... a fierce battle is waiting.Let's see what happens..

Tyche's picture

Anand's 16. Qf4 is inferior to Qh4, I think, because he can't play Re1 later after the e-file opens up.

MG42's picture

Man... why?? Now Kramnik will post his Knight on e5 and command a very nice square. Maybe Anand is trying to activate his white bishop and block the g8/g7 rook/black bishop.

jaishankar's picture

Anand is in a better position

Karthik's picture

Qf4 is the best choice as per Rybka

Debashish's picture

why anand didn't play Qf4 in first place instead of Qg3...its a loss of tempo...

Willem's picture

16. Qf4 Be6 17. Td1 and now maybe 17. ... 0-0-0 +=.

M R Ali's picture

Nb4 looks interesting to mee what you guy's say about it?

Karthik's picture

As i told before , the black king in the centre is asking for trouble ; can become a problem any moment.

anon's picture

what's the time left for both players
and fritz, hiarc,rybak 's assessment of the players now.

KK's picture

Popuscu: Just a humble programmer slaving away in India. But still much safer than being in the US :)

Popuscu (Bulgaria)'s picture

an amusing possibility of draw by repitition
16.Qf4 Nb4 17.Rd4 Nc6 18.Rd5 Nb4 19.Rd4

otherwise Kramnik would play Qe5 centralising again his queen

Tyche's picture

Had Anand played 16. Qh4, there was an interesting line: 16 ... Be6; 17. Bd3! , now black can't play Bxd5 due to Re1. Now, white threatens exf5.

MG42's picture

Willem why 17.Rd1, why not R x d6 stopping 0-0-0 and then Rd1 if necessary?

Wrong Rook's picture

It's the first time in the match to watch Kramnik playing so horribly positionally

MG42's picture

Bd3 now?

Popuscu (Bulgaria)'s picture

to MG42,
your Idea will allow Kramnik to retain his dangerous e4 pawn by playing f6-f5

JasonKid's picture

Anand is clearly better after Kd6+.
I don't believe Kramnik can win that.
But he has to win!

Wrong Rook's picture

The f5 pawn is poisoned...and Be6 is coming

MG42's picture

Popuscu, I see what you mean. You are correct. Not looking very good for Kramnik. His queen-side seems much weaker now. No counterplay on the king-side. He needs to do something with that dead bishop on g7.

Popuscu (Bulgaria)'s picture

to MG42 (I continue my previous remark):
if Rxd6 you should consider the pseudo sacrfice ...Bh6

Vijayendra's picture

Anand should be careful now, lot many possibilities will cause problems sometimes. Bd39suggested by MG42) is best it appears. Eager to see comments of Mr Ali & Poposcu

Panos's picture

Black is trying to free his game and now he is left with horrible weaknesses and a bad king. Anand is most probably going to win this.

JasonKid's picture

Why damn hell did Anand play Sc8: ?

Tyche's picture

I don't understand 19. N x c8. Exchanging a strong knight for an undeveloped piece, and also bringing the rook into a semi-open file, ready for an attack on the king. I thought N x f5 was better

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