Reports | October 26, 2008 19:42

World Championship: 9th game drawn

Anand-Kramnik, game 9Update: video added.
He came very close to winning today, but in the end Vladimir Kramnik had to accept that his ending agains Viswanathan Anand was a draw. After the 9th game the Indian is now leading the World Championship match 6-3, and just needs a draw to retain his title.

While many expected a not too interesting game today (Anand was supposed to play ultra solid and cruise to match victory by drawing twice, and Kramnik would have no energy left to put up serious resistance) it was completely the other way around: Kramnik invited Anand to a sharp fight in the Semi-Slav, and the Indian went for it by retreating his bishop to h4 after Black's h6, allowing the complicated lines of the Anti-Moscow Gambit.

At first it looked like Anand took his opponent by surprise yet again, by going for a rare side-variation, but this time Kramnik had done his homework and soon obtained a small advantage. His position got better and better, and at some point the world champion decided to sacrifice a pawn, but still there was one moment where Kramnik could have reached an almost winning position.

But in timetrouble the Russian almost missed a mate in one and was so shocked by it that he decided to exchange queens and in the resulting ending it was not too difficult for Anand to avoid the last few traps Kramnik put up.

And so chances are high that tomorrow will be the last match day in Bonn, although Kramnik stated that he will ?¢‚Ǩ?ìfight till the last draw.?¢‚Ǩ?


As the end of the match is getting closer, the theatre seats are sold out now


The chess board says which day the game is played


The players shake hands for their ninth encounter


The number of photograpers is going up again?¢‚Ǩ¬¶


?¢‚Ǩ¬¶because a photo of a potentially decisive game is always good to have


Kramnik: What about a nice Semi-Slav today?


Anand: Yeah, why not


And so there was soon an Anti-Moscow on the board


Close, but no cigar

Here's the 9th match game:

Match score:

Name Nat. Rtg
Anand IND 2783
Kramnik RUS 2772

Here's our playlist of videos:


(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, 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.


Juliette (France)'s picture

with c5 Kramnik has evaporated his queen side pawn majority, ... this would provide his only winning chances.

kievit's picture

Anand has used quite a bit more time than Kramnik, after move 19 he has only 42 min left, Kramnik still has 57...

Juliette (France)'s picture

Please, be quite Mr Joe.
I understand your bahaviour.
I do not agree with you about Aronian, because he plays like kramnik: they both play by position.

Mayank's picture

I hope anand wins this championship in style...and become first man in the millenium to win championship with the lead of 3 or above...with diwali already here there couldn be a better time...go vishy go for 1-0...

DoctorSpock's picture

17. ..., c5. Very peculiar move.
What has black on his sleeve?
So far he is only losing a pawn.

John (The Very Amateur Chess Player)'s picture

Somehow I think the tension of the opening is gone. :-)

But the endgame could be a bloody one.

Joe's picture

Once more Kramnik chikens out. Now he loses or draws in the best case.
I am not sure what he was doing all these months but it sure looks like he's been
out-prepared and outplayed. However, looking at the amount of money he'll take with him (a split 50% with Anand the sure to be winner) he can still smile!
We have to look to somebody else for an interesting match in the future, may be, Topalov, Aronian or Carlsen. For the Russians Kramnik will be their last champ for a very long time.

sundararajan ganesan's picture

the game is excitingly poised ....vladi may play Ba5

Katata's picture

to PHuesken, do woy mean 18. ... Bxg2: this does not work:

18. ... Bxg2 19.Kxg2 gxf4+ 20.Kf3, the king is out of danger

PHuesken's picture

Why not 18...Bg2 for black ?

Katata's picture

I have an idea which does not work:
19.Qxc4 gxf4 20.Bf3 Bxf3 21.Rxf3 Qxe5??? 22.Qxb4!! Rab8? 23.a4 a6 24.Qxd4

Juliette (France)'s picture

Ne4 is annoying. I do not think Kramnik goes for unclear positions.

tripledice's picture

mayby c5 and if Ne4 then BxN QxN and g4 to try keeping the kingside closed, then f5 looks dangerous but mayby black has adequate defence

Erik VH's picture

I think black just has a bad position and white, if he keeps his head cool, is going to win. Black just has too many holes and even looses a pawn in the center. Black can win back f4 and e5, but i think than the white attack will storm through.

Sanjay Sharma's picture

Black must be cutious here....if he goes for a win he loses.Anand is slowly building up a huge attack.

Mathew's picture

Anand is playing confidently accepting such a sharp position but it does give kramnik chances to win if things turn bad with little room for error

ravi's picture

The russians or the former soviets aint gonna produce any more chess world champs for some decades.After this indian, its going to be Norwegian and then a chinese

Popuscu (Bulgaria)'s picture

taking the pawn is dangerous for Black:
16)... gxf4 17.e5 Qg6 18.Ne4 c5 (or Be7) and later the f4 pawn is regained.

Can one help Kramnik with Rybka variations???

Sander's picture

Sensible reaction by Anand (15.Bxf6 and 16.f4).
Black posesses the pair of bishops, is still a pawn up, but his kingside is in certain danger. Who is better here folks? I don't know.

Katata's picture

your video is very very nice.

val's picture

I mean chesswise Europeans vs Indians inventors of chess :-}

John (The Very Amateur Chess Player)'s picture

Kramnik has chosen a fine line with good long term prospects. Finally.

Juliette (France)'s picture

17) ... Be7 is forced.

DoctorSpock's picture

Here is a interesting line Susan Polgar suggests at her website:

17...f5 18.exf6 Qxf6 19 fxg5 Qxg5 with an unclear position.

tripledice's picture

if BxN QxN , Pe5 Qg6 ,Ne4 then black can return the bishop to e7 thus avoiding
Nf6+ ,and the white knight is pinned
But perhaps white can play a3 first forcing either BxN or Ba5

Popuscu (Bulgaria)'s picture

KATATA got right. I have the proof (given by Viktor Korchnoi):


Popuscu (Bulgaria)'s picture

sorry the right Link by Korchnoi:

Sander's picture

14. ..0-0!? my goodness...
Kramnik must have examined this idea at home, in the same or slightly different position.

Katata's picture

So far Kramnik is playing the same moves that Shredder suggest.
I guess he is cheating.

"All the Russian players are cheaters". Bobby Fischer

juliette (France)'s picture

In the semi slav- Botvinnik variation, the engame is in favor of Black: the qeen side pawns seem to be dangerous.

Sander's picture

This is funny.
Should Kramnik play the reasonable 13..Nxe5 14.Bxe5 Rg8 by change of move order we get back in a game Van-Wely-Dao Tien, won by black

Sander's picture

KK, after 10. ..Nbd7 it was 12 times white, 15 times black.
But at the moment, after 11. ..Bb4 I see 8 serious games. Score: 3 wins for white, 2 draws, 3 wins for black.

val's picture

Unless K is psychologically depressed (which is hardly likely), we are in for a tough fight today , I believe

Krishna's picture

I think Vishy can rule the chess world for another decade unchallenged.....

KK's picture

Sanders, who wins more often in those 27 games? Very interesting fact!

juliette (France)'s picture

to Sander,
recent games played by chinese(?)-shiparinov (1/2) and Mamaydarov-Gelfand(0-1) [ If i remember, FIDE GRand prix ] are not included in your database ???

Sander's picture

In general we can't complain about this match so far. Of all 9 games only 1 (maybe 2) were a bit dull. The rest was good stuff. Credits to Anand both Kramnik.

sundararajan ganesan's picture

hope this will be an exciting game may end up in an exciting draw!

Sander's picture

No chessbase games after 12. ..Qe7. Novelty?
Anyway Kramnik is going for it. If he looses this match, he looses in good style..

J1's picture

Finally, the compicated games we want to see. Fireworks, hopefully!

KK's picture

Sanders, thanks very much for the details. So we can look for an exciting finish as this line seems to be less drawish.

Karthik's picture

chessmaster and rybka says black has slight advantage , kramnik is playing like anand

Sander's picture

We have a sharp semi-slav again. Unfortunately I don't see the moves here...

Sander's picture

I see 30 games in chessbase after 10. ..Nbd7. Only 3(!) ended in a draw..

juliette (France)'s picture

Botvinnik Variation: opening theory suggests either 11. ...Qb6 or 11. ...Be7.
Something is cooking ... Kramnik prepares a novelty.

orange's picture

Anand Vs Kramnik
No need to pull Topolov in. Topolov had his chance and I'm sure he'll get another one

orange's picture

they are playing the same line that was played in the WCC final , Anand vs Kramnik , but colors changed

Dr. R. R. Ayyar's picture

I think Anand should switch to 1 e4 for a change and face the 'Petro' from Kraminik. At least it can help him to draw!

John (The Very Amateur Chess Player)'s picture

Anand has been married for quite a long time so he has had plenty of time to adapt to it.

Kasparov I think also dated/married (the same girl) relatively early and could play very well (reaching 2800 ratings) even later in his life.

If they weren't fighting for the top spot on the chess ladder, their personal lives would not matter that much.

But I think in Kramnik's case, things have changed relatively recently for him in a major way which might have caused him to both appreciate life more and at the same time to give Anand a leeway he could not have afforded.

Look, people say that Kramnik just drew his matches against Leko and Topalov. So it is not as if he had a lot of leeway against Anand at all. :-)

In 2000 when Kramnik beat Kasparov we all were more enthusiastic about the prospects, but I missed Kramnik playing all kinds of tournaments at times, though his health seemed to had become a problem at the time, as we later learned...

That is, I am not too sorry for him losing the title.

kings knight's picture

This semifinal?? Where in the world are you man??


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