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Thursday, October 30, 2008

World Chess Championship 2008 | Anand vs. Kramnik, Round 9 - Game Analysis

WCC Bonn: Analysis of game nine
 
It was a critical moment in the World Championship match between Anand and Kramnik. The Challenger was three points behind, with four games to go, and desperately needed to initiate a last-minute comeback with a win. And he came very close to making it, with the black pieces.
Anand-Kramnik, game 9
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 “fight till the last draw.”

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