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)

Share |
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.


robinson's picture

the move 23 Rf3.,Rxf3;24Rxf3,....25Rd3 taking bak to occupy the d file at least favors white.

peter's picture

@kievit, and others:
Why is the live broadcast sometimes stuck? Well, because the script we were given to retrieve the PGN file every 30 seconds from the server doesn't work properly. About which we're quite annoyed too.

ghoba's picture

Anand now has 5,5 points and he needs 6 points ;-) So if Kramnik wins all the remaining games he can still win the WC, right? I know its just very theoretical and unlikely.

sundararajan ganesan's picture

wilth yet another draw, vishy is closing in. today too he chose a sharp combative variation of queen's gambit game.
what i don't understand towards the end is, with each having queen,rook and knight, why didn't kramnik try with h4, h5, h6 idea with the black king on h8,g8 or f8. i think, that may be an interesting try!

s.ganesan, pudukkottai, south india

ghoba's picture

By the way, what is Topalov doing? Is he Anand?Ǭ¥s or Kramnik?Ǭ¥s secret second? All the other top 10 players except Leko are playing games. In the liverating Topa has 0 games.

semipatz's picture

Anand needs 6.5 points. 6-6 and there are rapid tiebreaks, where Vishy is the favorite but anything can happen in four games.

robinson's picture

a disgusting draw!
white should have fight to occupy the d file while black's rook is doomed at g6 and black's king is still far from center.....

kievit's picture

Zaw, I thought a bit about your h4 idea. I think it weakens g3 and f4 too much.

40. h4, Rg8 41. Qf6, Rg7 42. h5, Kg8 43. h6, Rg6 44. Qh4, Rg4 45. Qh5, Qxf4 does not look nice for White. Not sure if this is correct. Don't have a board nor Fritz/Rybka here.

mahi's picture

As predicted its draw...and Anand, a point away

kievit's picture

ok, so it's a draw after move 39, but here on chessvibes the live game is still stuck at move 31. weird.

Manu's picture

Draw again , boy this was an incredible boring game for my taste.

Manu's picture

Sorry i didn?Ǭ¥t mean to be rude.I love chessvibes i even have a link to this site on my blogg.
check it out:

juliette (France)'s picture

Does 22)e5 work also??? .

Buri's picture

Fritz is telling me that 22. f5 is += (0.56)

robinson's picture

now one pair of rooks will go away releasing the black pressure on white.
now white has the chance to counter.

juliette (France)'s picture

Thanks buri

ghoba's picture

I think the idea of Na4 is not so clear to me
Na4 b6
Nxb6 Rb3
Nc4 Rd3

Any comments? engines?

karthik's picture

The position is equal heading towards a draw, but Anand is ahead in clock and if manages to complicate the position Kramnik might blunder

juliette (France)'s picture

with 22.g3 Kramnik is playing like my grand mother !!!

Buri's picture

You know I think they should put the board on the side or something b/c I hate having to scroll up all the time lol

ajay's picture

There is also an interesting defensive plan for Anand Ne7, followed by Ng6

robinson's picture

white is trying to trap black's rook?

mihajovics's picture

Thanx for the engine output!
Kh1, what an excellent plan, I guess I should be on his team :)
I think black can't really improve his position, so white may have time to bring the other rook into play.
I hope he's not just backing off...

Bharat's picture

Is there anything better than Nd5 for White?

shy_guest's picture

h1 & e8 are the same distance from the centre - as the Reti study shows, it's an optical illusion that a diagonal line is longer.

tripledice's picture

it seems to me that white would have to exchange rooks by Rd1 if he wants to untangle the position

mihajovics's picture

to juliette:
Hey, yeah, but the idea is not to get into the endgame but bulldozer black down :) if Kf1, it seems the King just gets in the way

sjef's picture

actually instead of Kh1, why not Na4? Threatening Nc5 winning. If Rb3 then Nc3 when black's rook is out of play! why oh why????????

Bharat's picture

I think Kh1 was too slow -- now black plays Kg7 and they can call it a day.

juliette (France)'s picture

In the end game, white's king would take a huge time to go to the center.

Hortensius's picture


mihajovics's picture

Susan Polgar:
20.Nd5 exd5 21.exd5+ Kd7 22.dxc6+ Kxc6 +=

ajay's picture

a6 makes the most sense...f5 is handleable...Anand should just sit tight and do nuttin

Juliette (France)'s picture

At the right moment, moves like e4-e5 and f4-f5 seem to be very energitic.

karthik's picture

Rybka3 is suggesting Kf8 or a6

mihajovics's picture

to robinson:
read up, and check out

Hortensius's picture

I like the idea of not castling, getting your pawns at the king- or queenside doubled, and bringing the rooks in to play very quickly... But I am only a patzer...

ajay's picture

How does Anand handle Nb5?


Latest articles