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Thursday, October 30, 2008

World Chess Championship 2008 | Anand vs. Kramnik, Round 10 - Game Analysis & Reports

WCC Bonn: Analysis of game

"An astonishing game," says Malcolm Pein. "Kramnik got his kind of position with a tiny edge and a clear plan. He appears to do very little, but he does it very well." Later Kramnik admitted: "I didn't have to do anything, and the position was winning". It brought him his first win over Anand in this World Championship match.
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Kramnik after his tenth round victory. Photo Cathy Rogers

Vladimir Kramnik has left his run late – maybe too late – in his World Championship match in Bonn against Viswanathan Anand but at least he has shown that he will not give up his world match title without a fight.

Over the past few days, with the world title almost within reach, Anand has looked shakier and shakier while his opponent has gained in confidence, culminating on Kramnik’s first victory on Monday in Game 10.

The public have been crowding the Exhibition Hall, waiting to see the coronation of the 15th World Champion. In recent days extra rows have been added to the playing hall, standing room used at the back and still fans can be seen holding signs offering to buy tickets. (Though the 35 Euro ($50) price tag for a ticket has generated complaints, there is no doubt that many are prepared to pay that or more – the VIP tickets are about $400 – to watch Anand and Kramnik battle it out for the world crown.)

The warning bells should have rung in game 9, when Anand, leading 5.5-2.5 took on Kramnik in one of the sharpest openings in modern chess. Kramnik not only handled the complications well but also, most importantly, stayed level on the clock with Anand and only a panic attack on move 35 gave the Indian a chance to squirm out with a draw.

Kramnik is famous for his World Championship come-backs but trailing 3-6 with three games to play looked too much even for him.
Yet in Game 10 Kramnik simply destroyed Anand; a quiet position turning bad with astonishing speed. “I didn’t do anything special,” admitted Kramnik, “but the position became winning. It was a surprise.”

Anand arrived late for the post-game press conference and looked downcast as his awful performance was dissected. He had planned to be celebrating the Hindu Festival of Diwali over the next four days as World Champion – instead he had to go back to preparing opening lines and trying to recover his lost form.
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Anand and Kramnik at the 10th round press conference. Photo Cathy Rogers


The organizers’ plans were also thrown into disarray. There was no trophy handover after the game, no extended press conference and the Mainz Hilton were told to put their celebration banquet on ice. Some of the Indian journalists following Anand also looked gloomy – their plans for a post-match holiday in Prague had to go on hold.

Anand still needs only one more draw from the final two games to take the title and Kramnik accepted that he remained the underdog. “I am just happy that I play one more game,” the Russian said when asked about his chances in the match. “I will try to play well – it is better not to think about what are my chances. Still I know they are less than 50%!”

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