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

Willem's picture

Congratulations Anand. Also compliments for Kramnik. Was an exciting match.

sundararajan ganesan's picture

kudoes to vishy anand on his becoming WCC yet again! but kramnik's opting for a draw is premature. sure, his pawn structure is shattered . still, his pieces are better placed and offer multiple options....... to support the Bishop, f4, pawn moves like b5, connecting the rooks on the c file...... there are jut too many options remaining...
may be the time and psychological factors made kramnik to go for a draw!

Ruth's picture

Wasn?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢t 22.Qc7 a win for Anand - or have I missed something?

Certainly Not ..Be5 and black gets the upper hand with the rook exchanage and the second rook becomes free

sabu jacob's picture

congratulations !viswanathan anand .the world chess champion.

Greg Simmmons's picture

Congrats Vishy!! Great win....now the undisputed WC!!!

Subbiah Arunachalam's picture

So it is a draw and Anand retains his title! Congrats Anand.

BIJOY's picture

HI ANAND YOU HAVE SLIGHT ADVANTAGE IF U CONTINUE SURE YOU WILL WIN
ANY WAY U R A PROUD OF INDIA

Krishna's picture

Great Great win by Viswanathan Anand. I am Very happy for him and very happy to be an Indian.

semipatz's picture

Vishy joins the line of Wilhelm!!!!!!

malan's picture

Congrats to Anand who has proved that he is the best human player on the planet. Now there only remains Rybka! Anyone for arranging a match?

semipatz's picture

"but kramnik?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s opting for a draw is premature. sure, his pawn structure is shattered . still, his pieces are better placed and offer multiple options?¢‚Ǩ¬¶?¢‚Ǩ¬¶. to support the Bishop, f4, pawn moves like b5, connecting the rooks on the c file?¢‚Ǩ¬¶?¢‚Ǩ¬¶ there are jut too many options remaining?¢‚Ǩ¬¶"

The problem with Black's position in terms of playing for a win is he has no way to create a passed pawn. White can eventually force a queenside passer, but Black's kingside majority, even if he can avoid losing one of those weak pawns, will never give him a passed pawn if White doesn't allow it. With bishops of opposite colors, no passed pawn in the offing, and limited material, how do you play for the win?

Yes, Black has better piece activity, but with queens off the board this isn't too serious, especially since White can simply target his weak pawns to slow him down while White develops. If Black plays f4, he probably will lose this pawn eventually.

Against a 2600 Kramnik might have had some slight shot at a win; against Vishy, it would have been sheer impudence to try.

Mallik Bulusu's picture

Congratulations Anand. It's a great win against a tough opponent. Kramnik got his game going in the end, but you prevailed. That's is stuff champions are made of.

semipatz's picture

Unfortunately, Rybka would crush Vishy...humankind is frail. :-(

JCO's picture

I would be grateful if someone offers a sound line againt 20...Nb4 (instead of 20...Qe1). I see only 20. Rf5 Nc2.

Thanks,
JCO

JCO's picture

CORRECTION

I would be grateful if someone offers a sound line againt 20?¢‚Ǩ¬¶Nb4 (instead of 20?¢‚Ǩ¬¶Qe1). I see only 21. Rf5 Nc2.

Thanks,
JCO

Phirangi's picture

Well well! All the talks about Kramnik being a better match player and Vishy only being a tournament player, Kramnik 'loaning' the title to Vishy,etc. Thanks very much Vishy for those wonderful games. You have unified the titles and put an end to all question marks despite the unfaireness of FIDE on you. Well done.

Valenti's picture

Personaly, I was supporting Anand. I always have been for the last few years. But sincerely, I do salute Kramnik for his sportmanship, the way he has respected his opponent during this match or the conferences and his courage, playing the Najdorf in the last game.

Andy's picture

kramnik should not play for another championship.. others deserve a chance too...

JCO's picture

20?¢‚Ǩ¬¶Nb4 21. Rf5 Nc2 22.Rc5!

JCO

semipatz's picture

At this point, I do wish it was a 24-game match like in the days of old...not because Kramnik lost, I would be perfectly happy with him losing in 24 (23, 22, 21) games...it's just that after looking like a one-sided rout, this turned out to be a really good match. It's sad to see it end...I would love to see it develop -- okay, Anand's got the lead, but Kramnik is looking much better in the last few games than he did earlier, and we'll see how it goes for another twelve games...and also see more of the players' opening theory get used over the board...etc. It's a shame. That doesn't mean Anand didn't earn the title...he certainly did, and CONGRATULATIONS to him!!! He's a great player and a great guy, and certainly joins the zodiac of all-time greats now, no ifs, ands, or buts.

Sanjay Sharma's picture

Finally India tells the world thru Vishy that from now on it also gets counted among the world's top brain powers...Vishy not only beat Kramnik but also the odds,FIDE,Russians,prejudices,bias,cheatings,insults etc. etc. singlehandedly....his win is greater in character than Bobby Fischer's in 1972...though Bobby remains the King of all time..

Guillaume's picture

Congrats to Anand! I rooted for Kramnik, but it was a great match by two great champions! Now that Anand is 15th World Champion, I just hope he won't throw the title away in a tournament, and insist he can only lose his title in a match.

Andreas's picture

Anand has been sponsored by AMD http://www.amd.com
I don't know if AMD has provided Anand with computer resources,
but my guess is that they have. In hat case Anand could have had
access to 1000 computers somewhere via the Internet, running
Rybka engines on each computer. He could then send hundreds
of thousands of lines from a big database with games for the super
computer cluster to analyse for him. Then over a period of several
months Anand would only have to memorize all this computer
analysis. It seems reasonable that this indeed happend.

Kramnik on the other hand probably only had a few computers to
work with in his home.

I think that as Bobby Fischer put it "The old [classical] chess is dead,
its played out". See, Anand had a novelty in so many lines that he
must have prepared many many thousands of lines and to do that
you need workhorse computer power and AMD has probably provided
that. A big hall with hundreds or thousands of computers devoted to
Anands preparation for the match.

I want to see the top players play a real world chess championship
with thease rules:
(1) FISCHERANDOM CHESS (CHESS 960) - Who is creative and more
skilled at chess will win, not who has memorized most lines which anyway
is just the computers work!
(2) FISCHER CLOCK - not an old fashion clock where you can have a
won position but screw it up in time trouble. The meaning of the clock
is not understood if using the old type of clock. The Fischer Clock is
superior.
(3) First to win a number of games, say 10 or so, and draws not counting.

This match was too short. Kramnik recovered well at the end if the match
had been 14 or 16 games it could have ended differently that is for sure.
I mean 12 games is way too short and that was my oppinion before the match
started.

Tyche's picture

@Andreas,

Why not make them play "Go" to decide the most creative world champion, as that would take out any remnants of chess knowledge.

What is the Fisher clock?

dev's picture

one thing is sure now that kramnik has to accept that anand is the world champion.
he was needed to understand that, and anand proved this. rest is fine, although anand was better in this game 11, but ok...

Ron's picture

Anand is a great player - congratulations to the 15th World Champion (Anand in the Moscow Chess Club!).
Kramnik showed his fantastic chess capability in the last 3 games and we should be happy to have witnessed game 10 - a true classic.

A.Anand Sivasankar's picture

Congrats!! chess superstar Vishy Anand

Guillaume's picture

@dev: There is no shred of a doubt that Kramnik recognizes Anand as the undisputed World Champion. Kramnik was very humble and sportsman at the press conference. A very classy attitude in losing a match. Anand certainly taught Kramnik a chess and strategy lesson in this match; but Kramnik himself indirectly taught Topalov a sportsmanship lesson.

ChessMind's picture

I feel, 12 games in a WC match is just fine.
Remember - in the Anand-Kasparov match (20 games) the first 8 games ended in draws and the real action began when only 12 games were remaining! I feel if the number of games in a WC match is 10 or above, then it's good enough.

Daaim Shabazz's picture

Anand would have won a 16-game match as well. No question. If you extend the match you would have lots more draws anyway.

I'm glad Anand retained his title. Now more people in diverse nations will take up chess. People talk about the "Fischer Boom," (global) but there has also been an "Anand Boom" (primarily in India) and this may be a second (hopefully global).

Congratulation Vsiwanathan Anand! Congratulations India!

semipatz's picture

"Remember - in the Anand-Kasparov match (20 games) the first 8 games ended in draws and the real action began when only 12 games were remaining! I feel if the number of games in a WC match is 10 or above, then it?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s good enough."

Yeah, and if that match had been scheduled for 10 games, it would have been all draws until the last two. Is that the way a world championship should be decided?

bhabatosh's picture

@Paul - I agree completely with you. You would find many popular games where they have Cheerleading team , mostly girls ( not fully dressed ) to make it attractive.
But I think it is not part of the sports . I think It is just to attract people who are not probably interested in game.
I agree that it is humiliating for them. I would say lack of sense for the sponsors.

anyway....great work by Vishy .....congrats .... and thanks to Kramnik....who showed the world how to accept defeat with grace ......he tried his best but his opponent was better than him during this match .........
Toplalov and his followers should get a lesson ...........
Some people never learns the right thing though.......

ADRIANO's picture

congrats Vishy Anand for retaining the world chess crown

Manu's picture

Thank you Anand for removing this stone of the way!
Goodbye Kramnik , and dont go loaning things around anymore!

thorex's picture

@Andreas
Well, let's assume AMD supported Anand with the biggest server cluster ever built: Who cares?

Times have changed. A few years before, the players had big teams of top-chess players to do what computers can today. Or do you really believe Kasparov validated a single line himself?

Conqueror of Anand's picture

Thanks should also go to the beautiful ladies of Evonik and Gazprom, who were standing behind Anand and Kramnik at each Press conference!

robert's picture

Except for the first couple of games from Vishy I really wasn't impressed by the playing.....With all the preparations with the computers there is not much fighting on the board. Besides 12 games really is not enough, I like it better wit h 24 games.

Rubinstein's picture

Manu - You are an idiot.

Harish Srinivasan's picture

@robert "Except for the first couple of games from Vishy I really wasn?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢t impressed by the playing?¢‚Ǩ¬¶"

Oh I did not know that they were playing to impress you. May be next time, you can let them know before.

"there is not much fighting on the board"
You are right, chess should be abandoned.

"I like it better with 24 games.".
Again, how unfortunate the organizers did not respect your feelings and made it 12 games. I am sorry.

hulm's picture

to Andreas :

how can someone possibly learn and remember ''hundreds of thousands of lines''?

mahi's picture

Congrats Anand, I was in Airport and shook hand with Anand, when he came after wining 2007 - Hope this year too I can make it.

Kranik's picture

All you folks who are for 24 (or so) matches:
There will always be some argument for and against 12 or 24 matches. The cons of 24 matches would be that the players may get exhasuted and stamina may be the deciding factor (as opposed to pure chess skills).

semipatz's picture

"Thanks should also go to the beautiful ladies of Evonik and Gazprom, who were standing behind Anand and Kramnik at each Press conference!"

Yes, without them, the chess would have played at a low patzer level.

Okay, okay, I enjoyed looking at them too! ;)

semipatz's picture

"The cons of 24 matches would be that the players may get exhasuted and stamina may be the deciding factor (as opposed to pure chess skills)."

How about ten games, then a week or two off, then another ten games, possibly in a different city? This would make for a respectable 20 games without being too grueling, plus a possibility to let more people see the match.

lulin's picture

Congratulations to Anand. He deserved to hold the title.

Sure it would be a different stories if it is 14 or 16 games math while 24 games are too much.

Kramnik did show his great courage and sportsmanship during the match. It is very inspiring.

Thanks for this site and I am waiting for the reports from Chess Olympiad.

Mark's picture

Semipatz wrote:
"How about ten games, then a week or two off, then another ten games, possibly in a different city? This would make for a respectable 20 games without being too grueling, plus a possibility to let more people see the match."

YES !! Please FIDE and Global Chess, read this and remember an exciting match like K-K in New York/Lyon (1990).

Mark's picture

Guillaume wrote:
?¢‚Ǩ?ìCongrats to Anand! I rooted for Kramnik, but it was a great match by two great champions! Now that Anand is 15th World Champion, I just hope he won?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢t throw the title away in a tournament, and insist he can only lose his title in a match.?¢‚Ǩ?

I cannot agree more, Guillaume. Let?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s hope Vishy enjoys this beautiful victory,
and let?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s wish him great success at defending his title, first against Kamsky or Topalov, and quite possibly against Magnus Carlsen later on. I would like to add that matches of 16, 20 or even 24 games would be more interesting, that the decision by sudden death needs to be abolished (fortunately Vishy spared us from this scenario in Bonn) and that time controls in classic chess should not be further reduced, although separate blitz and rapid world championships would be quite nice.

Vladimir, thank you for giving it your best, being a true sportsman and offering us a 10th game which I guess will be shown to many future chess players. I wish you many more years at the top (it?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s such a pleasure to enjoy and learn from your games), and above all lots of happiness in your personal life !

robert's picture

@Varish- Like I said before both are great players but when you compare them to the matches Karpov-Kasparov or Fischer- Spasski I liked those matches AND the playing more. However since the introduction of computers players have become too dependant on them and I just don't like that.

Mark's picture

One more proposal: how about next time the champion and the challenger both donate 10-15% of their prize money to the organizers so that all spectators can enter for free and all internauts can listen to Foidos live comments for free ? That would make chess even more popular around the world.

Harish Srinivasan's picture

@Mark:

wow, that is a novel idea. I certainly support it.

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