Reports | October 25, 2008 2:26

World Championship: 8th game drawn

Kramnik-Anand game 8Update: video added.
If the World Championship match wasn't decided yet, it is now. With the white pieces Kramnik did manage to get a certain advantage but Anand just refuses to make big mistakes in Bonn, and so a not too exciting 8th game ended in a draw at move 39. With a 5.5-2.5 score, the match could be over on Sunday night.

"For the first time in the match I had a slightly better position, which was quite a relief," Kramnik started the press conference today, and this little sentence said more than everything else that would follow. The Indian wall Kramnik is trying to tear down is rock solid ?¢‚Ǩ‚Äú seemingly made of even stronger material than Kramnik's own Berlin Wall in 2000! Where the Russian successfully countered Kasparov's attempts to win with White, it's Anand this time who comfortably equalizes in all his Black games - and even won two of them.

Again it was Anand who dictated play in the opening; his new approach in the - sometimes, but not today, very sharp - Vienna Variation of the Queen's Gambit was quite succesful after Kramnik quickly went for a line that wasn't considered the most critical by the journalists. After an inaccuracy by Anand, the Russian did get some pressure however, but it was't enough to create serious threats to Black's king. Anand's original way of centralizing rook and queen turned out to be more effective than clumsy.

Tomorrow is a rest day, and it might well be the last rest day. If Anand wins on Sunday the match is over, but two more draws are more likely and then the closing ceremony will be on Monday night. It doesn't feel great to have to write about Kramnik's loss at this stage already (not that we're biased to the challenger but simply because we had hoped for a more equal battle), but let's face it ?¢‚Ǩ‚Äú it's over. Most of the journalists hope he'll win at least one game, to extend the match and to make it more exciting, but thus far the Russian hasn't come closer to winning chances than he has today.


German Finance Minister and patron of the event Peer Steinbr?ɬºck
(in the middle) visited the venue today...

steinbruck make the first move - as in all other games, 1.d4...


...which attracted many extra (local) journalists and photographers


Writing down the moves of the Vienna Queen's Gambit...


...which gave Kramnik no opening advantage but later his position was still better...


...but not enough to bring down the World Champion, now a point from retaining his title

Here's the 8th match game:

Match score:

Name Nat. Rtg
Anand IND 2783
Kramnik RUS 2772

Here's our playlist of videos. If the video of game 8 doesn't show, you can also view it here.


(Note that the comments below this article started during our live coverage of the game)

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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.


Buri's picture

22. g4 is really bad b/c of Re3

DoctorSpock's picture

22. g3?!
How does this make sense=

DoctorSpock's picture

21. ..., Rg6
22. g4 !?

What do you think? How can Kramnik break Anand this time?

Buri's picture

How about 22. f5?

juliette (France)'s picture

Now, is 22)f5 good for Kramnik?? what tel the engines ???

sjef's picture

Interesting, I thought, Na4 is winning, but then Rb3!

katata's picture
ajay's picture

that pin on Rf2 is prettie annoying...that is why a win is not easy

shy_guest's picture

Rybka suggests 21 ... Kf8 instead of Kd7 in Susan Polgar's line with a microscopic White +

Bharat's picture

logically, it is a draw now -- if black exchanges queens it is a draw -- if black triples on the d file he can force of a bunch of pieces -- I cannot see white's attack being fast enough to stop black from carrying out one of these plans -- black cannot win -- so draw

karthik's picture

Position almost equal , Rybka suggesting nd5 e*d5, e*d5+ 0.19

DoctorSpock's picture

Move 39, draw agreed on perpetual check.

ghoba's picture

i am watching the official site

I think black intends Rd3 threatening RxNc3 and QxRe2
goning with the king to h6 seems to need too much time, maybe...
I prefer the Kh3,Rg2 and g4 plan

Joe's picture

Draw! Anand will stay WC there is nothing Kramnik can do about it.
It's clear Anand is superior.

Bharat's picture

Thanks Joe

Joe's picture

may be Kh8 and reactivate the rook Rg8 and d8

Bharat's picture

wow --K-h8 that was a total surprise -- what is going on??

ghoba's picture

what about Rd1 exchanging pieces because the black rook is out of play?

Bharat's picture

this is a bit better -- now after f4 white will carry an edge into the ending -- long slow draw

robinson's picture

now white has the chance to occupy the open d file.

tripledice's picture

mayby h5 or is it too risky?

shy_guest's picture

After White's 24 Nd1 I wonder whether Black's rook on g6 won't be caught offside if queens are exchanged, it will take a long time to get back in the game to defend the pawns.

Zaw's picture

I think the reason for g3 was to stop Anand's counterplay with Rh6 and Qe5 after Kramnik's f5. I think Anand is in a bit of trouble - Kramnik seems to have his weaknesses covered and can now start the slow manoevering that he likes. Time trouble looms though.

Buri's picture

LOL didn't think about that lol

Bharat's picture

I think Kramnik is playing with fire -- this is too slow and suddenly, blacks position is lokking better

juliette (France)'s picture

I mean 22. ...h5.

ghoba's picture


who is attacking and who is defending?

Buri's picture

According to fritz the evaluation is += (0.44).

No problem Juliette :-)

juliette (France)'s picture

I guess 22)...h4.

orange's picture

Just watch the live broadcast from another browser.

TC's picture

Sorry to bring up game 7 again. After analysing deeply on the lines after 32 bxa5 bxa5 33 Rb1 (instead of 32 b5 played by Anand), I believe Anand definitely missed a win here.

Can anyone confirm this??

Computer is not very good at this, unless it sees very very deeply.........

wojtek's picture

You should definitely turn down the volume of the intro theme a bit - it's far too loud (with lots of high-pitched, aggressive tones) compared with the rest of the content. The same problem is with Europe-echecs movies.

And some people, like me, use headphones so it's simply dangerous for ears.

thorex's picture

Same here... had to snatch off my 120db sennsheiser headphones from my head to prevent any serious damage.

It's not only too loud, but also annoying to watch every time. This ugly percussion solo (right, I'm a drummer) has nothing to do with ChessVibes or the event. Why you guys stick to these intros? AFAIK we users recommended you to abandon them at _every_ event you reported from.

Think about beginning the video immediatley with some unimportant content and overlay your logo + event info for some seconds without any music or sound effects. This guarantees that every user recognizes your site as the creator and copyright holder and has far more style than these intros - and will safe much life time of your users ;-)

Katata's picture

To TC, your observation about 32.bxa5 instead of 32.b5 (played by Anand) is interesting. I have played the bxa5 against Shredder and I have got the two following Lines. Howerver a deep analysis is still need to be carry on.

32.bxa5 bxa5 33.Rb1 Nc5 34.Bxc5 Rxc5 35.e4 Kh6 36.Rc1 Rc8 37.Ke3 Kg6 38.Kd4 Rd8+ 39.Kc5 Rc8+ 40.Kd6 c3

( If 40. ?¢‚Ǩ¬¶ Kf7 41.Kd7 +1.14/15 1s Rc5 42.Rc3 g6 43.Rc1 c3 44.Rf1+ Kg7 45.Kxe6 Rc6+ 46.Kd5 Rc7 47.Rc1 Kf7 48.Kd6 Rc4 49.e6+ Ke8 50.Rc2 Rd4+ 51.Kc5 Rxe4 52.Rxc3 Rxe6 53.Kb5 Re1 54.Kxa5 Ke7 55.Kb4 Kd6 56.a5 Re2 57.a6 Ra2 58.Ra3 Rb2+ 59.Kc4 Rc2+ 1-0)

41.Kxe6 c2 42.Ke7 Rc7+ 43.Ke6 Rc8 44.Kd7 Rc4 45.e6 Rd4+ 46.Ke7 Rd2 47.Ke8 Kf6 48.e7 Ke6 49.Kf8 Rf2+ 50.Kxg7 Kxe7 51.Kg6 Ke6 52.Kxg5 Ke5 53.h4 Kxe4 54.Kh6 Kd3 55.g5 Rf8 56.g6 Rh8+ 57.Kg5 Kd2 (57. ?¢‚Ǩ¬¶ Rb8 58.g7) 58.g7 Rd8 59.Rxc2+ Kxc2 60.h5 1-0

Manu's picture

Im a film editor , and i couldnt agree more with your comments.

peter's picture

@thorex, manu
OK, that's obviously some area to improve on. Thanks!

val's picture

Yes, given Anand's fantastic form a couple of draws is most likely to be expected. But what if against all expectations the big K does succeed in turning the clock back for a while? :-)

Manu's picture

I dont think Kramnik will try anything too wild, going with minus 4 would be too traumatic 4 him.

anony's picture

To noyb
ha ha
nice sense of humor. the way things are going, he might want to strangle himself with his tie after some of the blunders that he tends to make.
therefore it makes a right choice to remove the tie.

semipatz's picture

Kramnik actually used to play the Dutch Defense, in his wild youth. (He was not always a conservative player.)

The King's Indian Defense I suspect is just not his style.

Then again, maybe Anand will now switch to e4. "Want a coupla Petroffs, Vlady? Heh heh heh."

noyb's picture

Anybody else notice that this is the first game where Kramnik did not wear a tie? I wonder if that means that psychologically speaking Kramnik has thrown in the towel?

sundararajan ganesan's picture

kudos to vishy! he is "doing a berlin wall act " (which both protects and fires at!) against kramnik. i) in many of his games he doesn't castle ii) his black side compromises with its pawn structures, in returnk for open 'g' file and counter attack with his pieces which have psychologically scored over kramnik.
credit goes to vishy for playing dynamic/psychological chess!

s.ganesan, pudukkottai, south india

Theo's picture

...or out of hats

Theo's picture

I'm afraid Kramnik ran out of rabbits, James... :(

semipatz's picture

Congratulations, tripledice -- you have a butt-kicking grandma. Does she ride to the chess club on a motorcycle? :)

James's picture

Kramnik urgently needs to pull a rabbit out of the hat...

Dutch, perhaps? Or if that is too unsound for Kramnik's tastes, a King's Indian.

peter's picture

I saw your comment too late, ghoba, but I think the answer is that Kramnik didn't want to allow Anand's knight to e5.

Theo's picture

So Anand now only needs 2 draws out of 4 games!?
piece of cake! (the chocolate cake his wife Aruna just had) ;-)

ghoba's picture

to robinson

23 Rf3 is answered by Rd2 and seems to lose the b pawn

ghoba's picture

to peter

Really nice chess covering site!! Good work!
Can you please ask at the press conference why f5 was not played by kramnik in several positions?


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