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g2 Drawn: Anand with d4 Early, Blinks Late

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[Just a temporary title for a game 2 discussion thread. Garry called it: 1.d4!]

Yes, Vishy eschewed his usual 1.e4, Kramnik played a Nimzo, Anand went for the f3 variation (in his rare recent 1.d4 forays Anand has only played 4.Nf3), and Kramnik delved into the history books with ..f5. Black came out fine and though he had to sac his h-pawn he got good compensation and the white bishop pair was kept under wraps. The players agreed to a draw on move 32 in mutual time trouble. A dynamic and interesting game, just the sort of thing Anand must be hoping for. And surely the sort of thing he needs to play out, since it's so hard to get active, unbalanced positions against Kramnik.

And that's the problem. Nobody is qualified to say they should have gone against their best instincts and played on. But I really must count this as a knock on Anand for letting a chance to mix it up turn into a draw by mutual fear. Kramnik is so solid, so well prepared, and so good at turning White's first move into sterile equality that you have to press hard whenever you get the chance. I can easily imagine several of Anand's whites turning to dust against Kramnik's preparation, so a chance like this can't be squandered.

Of course Vishy knows all this and must have thought he was borderline worse, or at least with the more difficult position with just minutes on both clocks. And Sofia rules would be draconian considering the subtleties of match strategy, etc. Still, as I believe Russianbear put it in the shoutbox, this one could come back to haunt Anand. It's very early and if you aren't going to take chances with ten games left, when will you? But okay, Kramnik practically took a pass with his first white and the match is still even, just shorter. And I think most would agree Anand would have the advantage in rapid tiebreaks, nerves notwithstanding. Kramnik has said as much himself.

I must say it was nice just to see these guys slugging it out. Finally, Kramnik versus Anand! We've been waiting for this for a long time and this was a good game. Kramnik, a master of the bishop pair himself, was very instructive in neutralizing Anand's. Right out of the Nimzo primers. He confidently trotted out 8..f5, which was played by Tal, Petrosian, and Korchnoi 50 years ago and few luminaries since. Anand, Leko, Topalov, and many other current top players have played the more common 8..Qa5 in recent years. Karpov has played both, however, and it's anything Karpov plays cannot be called anti-positional almost by definition.

Black's play with 14..Ba6 continued along classical strictures, forcing White to either give up the bishop pair or limit the bishops' mobility. After 16..Ng4 White never got a chance to catch up in development. When he threatened to, Kramnik found a nice plan to sac his h-pawn to keep White bottled up. It forced the swap of knights and allowed the black pawn to get to e5, jamming the bishops. Anand was only able to move his rooks toward the end of the game and the ended up on squares that exemplified how uncoordinated his pieces were. But he did still have an extra pawn in the final position and if the bishops had already endured 30 moves of suffering why not eight more? It doesn't look like Black is crashing through after the ugly 33.c5 Nf4 34.Re3 Rh6 35.Kh2. Not the sort of moves you want to make in time pressure, but it's still up to Black to prove compensation. White's threatening Bc3 and it's not easy to keep the bishops under control while blitzing. Again, Anand's the champ so you don't fault his judgment, but it does look like he blinked here. Heck, just his being in time trouble is news.

Now Kramnik's team has to work on 1.d4 too. The Nimzo was a good solid choice here against someone who doesn't play d4 often. Still, you'd think Kramnik would go back to his Slav if Anand continues with d4. He knows it better and must have lots of goodies stored up. As for game three, no way in hell it's another Exchange Slav. It's time to take the gloves off and it's time to break out the Catalan or see if Vishy is up to putting the Slav up to Kramnik's scrutiny. They even danced in the hot ultra-sharp Semi-Slav in Mexico City last year and it would be spectacular to see that again. A commentator can dream, can't he?


Following an old Portisch game from the 60s.

At last I have something in common with Garry (calling 1.d4). Alas, yesterday i called 1.c4 for Vlad. Garry didn't by any chance...... nah forget it :-)

Didn't expect 1.d4 but 4.f3 was an at least as big surprise.

at least with 1.d4 Anand managed to disbalance the position. its interesting also that Kramnik didn't go for the Slav but played Nimzo (Leko's influence?).

I wonder if Anand is serious about 4.f3, or is it just a fallback line for the unlikely case that Kramnik plays Nimzo-Indian.

Not much of a surprise Kramnik learnt his lesson after the Leko match. I dont think Anand choosing the Nimzo was a good idea Kramnik seems to be handling it very well - it suits his positional style. He has a very good record with the Nimzo Judging by the times Kramniks 9...Nd7 came as a surprise I think Anand was soon out of his preperation. Lets see

Can somebody send me a link to Shipov's online?
It's at crestbook.com, but the main site is blocked for me at work :(

As an initial kibitz, what about 15. Nd4, hitting both isolani, instead of 15. c4 ?! Am I blind (my wife would say yes) or doesn't it win a pawn (safely?!) ?

Seems Anand is lost, and has had a bad position since an early stage.

@Richard Fireman:
After 15.Nd4 the pawn on e4 is weak, and White has to worry about his king. Black can either play 15...Nxf1 and 16...Qe5 immediately, or castle and give a pawn for a half-open rook file.

GM Shipov seems to think (after 22.Bb1) that Vishy is better. Rybka gives +0.77.

Kramnik played a terrible 21 st move Ndf6?? looks like he is in big trouble now expect him to lose this

"Seems Anand is lost, and has had a bad position since an early stage." whats your rating? 1500?

What's wrong with having a 1500 rating?

Sorry. I had the feeling that black could achieve a good position after Qe3. Didn't saw the plan with putting king on g3, which is a good square, and I didn't see Bb1.

My rating is around 2200, used to be 2250 dwz but I don't play anymore. Of course, I'm not using any Rybka, so a lot of people today that I would crush on the board can criticize my analyzing skills.

Isn't it, dear Jean?

By the way, when I was thinking about Kramnik having a better position, it was just before he did castle long.
At the moment I was thinking about something like c5 Bd2 QxQ KxQ and Nge5.
Of course, since I'm a patzer I don't know what it's worth for real.

... but anyway, judging from the position that Kramnik got after castle long I'm not quite sure that my little patzer suggestion would have been worse.

Kramnik has 16 mins left for 15 moves.

Kramnik's position is in ruins. Time doesn't matters that much now. One pawn down, bishop pair, the knight's on an awful square... not much to hope for anymore.

No, chessok was wrong about the time. It is actually 27.55 : 19.15 after move 27.

After 28 Rc1 Rd4 I guess

Why is Shipov exclusively commenting in Russian? he is definitely one of the best commentators out there, knows good english could at least ALSO comment in Engligh. Anyway that gripe voiced, can anyone here who can read russian tell me what is Shipov's estimate of the current position?

Wow Kramnik has found impressive ressources, and after Bc2 his Ne6 looks quite impressive, offers a lot of new perspectives. Actually Bc2 also did look quite weak.

@Krishna: Shipov says 31.Bc2 was a bad move by Anand, but seems to say Kramnik's 31...Ne6 was also not the best response.

Don't know whether Anand would be finding Kg3!

Draw agreed.

It's hard to imagine a move that isn't 32 Kg3. Is it me or have the sites all fallen over at once??

Draw!! why? Anand Should have pushed forward. I dont understand these super grandmasters.!!

rdh, I sure u know everything better.

We have to wait for the press conference I guess. Way to ruin my day, Anand.

Well, I never. Was Kramnik's draw offer well-timed or bottling it? A couple more moves like Bc2? and White would have been begging for a draw, and him short of time too.

Very unlike Anand to run so short of time and make such a mess of it. Can there be something in this stuff about tension and pressure after all?

So did ICC get some ridiculous legal thing? Yeesh.

They were both short on time. It was 11.53 : 13:06 at the end.

Overall this is a success for Kramnik. He played the opening well and got a perfectly good position just had to plonk a knight on e5 - then had a brain fart and played 21 ...Nf6. In fairness to Anand it was not simple to realise whites advantage even after he got the pawn - I dont think these queenless positions are his strong point alternatively perhaps he is not showing good form. He got himself in time trouble and had to take the draw 3 minutes for 7 moves in a positon that required precision. Anand will feel uncomfortable about this game Ivanchuk, Topolov or Carlsen would probably not have let Kramnik off so easily after his error on move 21. For sure Kramnik would have put Anand away if the position after move 21 was reversed .....

I think they'll both be troubled. Anand because he should have won and Kramnik because his main, and perhaps only, prepared defence to d4 has come under pressure. Or perhaps not so much under pressure, but he's demonstrated again that he doesn't have a great feel for it. I really think he ought to be playing the Tartakower - you can prep 1 d4 all you like but you can't buy experience in the positions arising from that.

Ruslan reading your comments are really comical.
first you were trumpeting Anand's position was bad when it was not then you started to go that Kramnik position was in ruins and you got it wrong again. hehe

I don't think this is Kramnik's "only prepared defence" to 1.d4. There is probably no one in the world who knows all of the d4 schemes better than he. Given what happened in the WC match against Leko, the possibility of d4 from Anand cannot have eluded him. This particular variation was probably a surprise, but Anand shot his wad and got only a half-point out of it.

All in all, I'd say Anand has to be more disappointed, since he had what appeared to be a promising advantage and couldn't convert. It was also surprising to see Anand come close to running out of time, as that usually does not happen to him.

The question is whether Anand has more ideas in his prep that can produce this type of position. It was the kind of setup you seldom see in a Kramnik game, but in the end he defended well.

Well, let's hope you're right, Marc. But even one prepared defence to 1 d4 is one more than last time, of course.

andy is smoking pot. Carlsen and Topalov would've played on in that position, only to blunder in time trouble or eventually get a draw because Kramnik wouldn't have any problem defending these kinds of positions-hence he took up berlin in the first place

Really, rdh? Only one prepared defense and one as combative as Nimzovich?

Of course he'll have openings he knows how to play in a general way, but another one specifically prepared to the hilt? I'm not sure. Might depend how much he expected 1 d4, I guess.

Next Anand White? e4 or d4?

Remember the players' reactions after Kramnik's two missed wins in the first part of the London match?

Kasparov was crowing about "miracles saves" and Kramnik was frustrated.

This evening Kramnik's happy and Anand's frustrated in a mild, calm, collected, quiet, Anand way.

Hmm, weird, Kramnik plays Nimzo, gets into quite difficult position from the get go, without any major novelties from Anand. You don't go willingly into the position that Kramnik had after 20.Kf2. It's obvious that Nimzo is not that well prepared by Kramnik, at least not the f3 line. Luckily for Kramnik they have an extra day to fix it tomorrow.

On the positive note for Kramnik fans, he played quite inventively and aggressively when his position deteriorated. On the contrary, Anand missed a clear cut scoring chance and was downright unimpressive at the end of the game. Looks like a good moment for Kramnik to put on some pressure. Just don't play the exchange Slav...

I think Anand was right to take the draw not enough time - I just dont think Carlsen or Topalov would have got into that time trouble trying to find the right plan. I can imageine Ivanchuk playing on with probably bad results.

I dont understand the idea that Kramnik does not play the Nimzo well - he has had a good record with it and a very good feel for it. Anand got nothing at all from the opening. Of course Kramnik will have more than one defense to d4 prepared - he plays both the slav and QGA very well. The question is does Anand have anything else against the Nimzo? Kramnik has no reason to be worried about this f3 line and no reason not to play the Nimzo again.

I repeat: only one prepared to the hilt? And Nimzo of all things? Really, say it's Game 12, Kramnik needs a draw to hold...I think he would want to have Slav or something more passive and stable (N-I? Catalan?). Definitely not rely on just one opening.
Two fun but non-resultant games so far. I am satisfied.

"Next Anand White? e4 or d4?"

My bet is on e4, unless Anand has developed entire new repertoire beginning with d4. Today's game did not feel like Kramnik would have much difficulties in this line, even when caught by surprise; his mistake came in a perfectly fine position.

>Today's game did not feel like Kramnik would have much difficulties in this line..

Both must have felt today that they were playing a weird game.
Not a good mark for Anand's match prep if he has to make himself very uncomfortable too if he is to throw Kramnik out of his grooves.

I think Anand will be OK with the result. He would have been frustrated if he had detonated a nuclear bomb and it fizzed out. Hopefully Kramnik will show a major novelty in the next game to make things more interesting.

I'm not sure Anand had a winning advantage in this game. I think he played Bc2 instead of Bd3 (which seemed to be the obvious choice to a patzer like me) because he didn't see how he could convert his advantage after Bd3. Bc2 on the other hand lead to complications and there was a chance that Kramnik would make a mistake.

Dear Jean,

First you attacked me on my rating, showing much stupidity. Then, since obviously you have nothing to say anymore about that, you come back with stupid words showing no understanding of chess.

Probably you can't read russian, but Shipov's analysis are avaiblabe on the adress quoted above. Even your patzer level will be able to understand that three moves after Anand accepted the draw, Kramnik could resign. That is, when Kramnik was one pawn down and with bishop pair, Anand had a winning position.

Actually I clearly overestimated black position from move 18 to move 21, due to the fact that such moves like Bb1, or puting the king on g3 are concepts a little bit too elaborated for me. Yeah, Kramnik and Anand are much, much stronger than me. And many of their moves really impressed me.

But of course they don't impress you when you're fitted with Rybka and GM comments. With Rybka you're much stronger than me, and much stronger than Kramnik and Anand. Still, there's a common point between you and Rybka : your understanding of chess is almost equal.

Best regards.

It is quite an ok result for Anand. He lost on time in a winning position against Kamsky in game one of their 1995 las palmas match so sensible decision.

The big question will be Kramnik's white in game 3. he got nothing with the exchange slav.

BTW, what was Rybka (or other computer's) evaluation of the final position?

"BTW, what was Rybka (or other computer's) evaluation of the final position?"

I read it was a whopping three-quarters of a pawn advantage for Anand :)

What are the draw offer rules? In particular, after a player offers a draw, can he/she retract the offer before the other player responds?

I hope Anand didn't immediately accept the draw offer because that can show that he was scared, as in "thank god you offered the draw because I was pschitting in my pants." Since Anand had 2 minutes on his clock, he should have thought about the draw offer for 30 seconds before accepting it, as in "I was thinking of screwing you, but you know what, I'm going to let you go since you're a nice guy and I'm confident I'll get another chance."

Thanks, Seth.

So that seems to confirm Anand's decision to take the draw.

Both games drawn in 32... Hmmm... What would Fischer say....

dear Ruslan,
i don't have Rybka, i follow this match armed only with my chess understanding.

Dear Jean,

First you attacked me on my rating, showing much stupidity. Then, since obviously you have nothing to say anymore about that, you come back with stupid words showing no understanding of chess.

What are you mad at her for? You were wrong when you said Anand was lost, you were wrong when you said Kramnik was. Yet somehow she's stupid for reminding you about it. Doesn't make much sense. One hardly needs Rybka to know that you got it wrong. Anand and Kramnik showed that. Maybe you should learn to hedge your bets more.

percyblakeney on chessgames.com pointed out that 32 is the atomic number of Germanium. As they are playing in Germany, I think that should explain it.

Anand said he thought about the offer for a while and then took it. He didn't jump at it.

Why would someone 500 points lower than the players publish postmortem analysis of the game without a computer? What motivates such conduct?

i won't crap up the thread with tons of computer analysis but

33.c5 Rhd8 34.Kh2 Bd3 35.Bxd3 Rxd3 36.Rf2 Nf4 37.Rxd3 Rxd3 38.Rf3 Rxf3 39.gxf3

is B vs N, and looks very hard for white to lose, with some chances to win.


33.Re3 Bxc4 34.Rb2 Rh5 35.Bc3 Rd6 36.Kh2 Nf4 37.Rg3 Ne2 38.Bb4 c5 39.Bxc5 Rd2 40.Rf3 Nf4 41.Rf2 Rxf2 42.Bxf2 Nd3 43.Bxd3 Bxd3 44.Bxa7 Bxe4

maybe that's a white win, maybe it's a draw. but it's certainly good enough to try for. which is to say the drawn position certainly had plenty of life, and if white can survive a few moves without screwing up he's in a pretty enviable position with winning chances.

so i think it's certainly a lost opportunity. and anand should be reasonably disappointed that he couldn't feel comfortable playing a few moves further.

Why on earth shouldn't we punters 'publish' our thoughts for discussion? Some of us are in the office and don't have computers.

Is it me, by the way. or is the official site rubbish? I can't seem to find anything from the press conferences.

Can someone explain why is 22.Bb1 a particularly good move (or point me at appropriate analysis)?

Why on earth shouldn't we punters 'publish' our thoughts for discussion?

Oh, by all means do so, but don't start huffing and puffing when you turn out to be wrong.

Bb1 is a particularly good move because
1) try to find another one.
2) it doesn't looks natural. Probably not the first move you'll think about five or six moves in advance.

"Is it me, by the way. or is the official site rubbish? I can't seem to find anything from the press conferences".

It's not great, though when you get past the annoying sponsor banners it does have some content. That said, the Foidos system is very nice (annoyingly I'm going to be away from decent internet for the rest of the match). They have the press conference live after the match. The funniest thing today was Kramnik claiming at one point that he wasted quite a few minutes trying to work out some wild variations that he knew Rybka would laugh at him for! Actually both players made the point that they didn't have Rybka with them on the stage...

Looking at the final position I do think Anand should probably have played on - but then Kramnik's pieces are well placed, with the almost inevitable c5 releasing the bishop on a6. If you play through some variations with the computer black often manages to get an attack on the kingside (rh6-g6, bf1, nf4 etc.) that compensates for the pawn. Black has much clearer play that might have been easier to handle in time trouble.

30 min delay on ICC. All other site were live. Dommage.

Long live Turlock the great

Bb1 is a particularly good move because 1) try to find another one.

I don't think Ruslan's over 1500... just call it a hunch, dunno why...

I've seen numerous mentions that Bb1 is somehow deep, but not any further explanation, and I still haven't figured out anything particularly insightful about it (I'm just a casual player). At move 22, it seems more or less forced, but is it much better than Bc2? What is the thinking behind it? What am I missing?

Aronian gets some stuff mixed up in his comments at chessbase.

He writes after 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.f3 when Kramnik played 4...d5 :

" Now there is crazy stuff after this sequence:
4...c5 5.d5 Nh5 idea Qh4+ 6.Nh3 and if Qh4+ 7.Nf2 Qxc4 8.e4. The line was made famous after Florin Gheorghiu played a beautiful game against Bobby Fischer at Havana 1966. Of course Kramnik plays the solid answer 4..d5"

in fact Bobby also played 4..d5 but after 5.a3 Bxc3 6.bxc3 he continued with 6..0-0 instead of 6..c5 as Kramnik.

Gheorghiu-Fischer (1966)
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. f3 d5 5. a3 Bxc3+ 6. bxc3 O-O 7. cxd5 exd5 8. e3 Nh5 9. Qc2 Re8 10. g4 Nf4 11. h4 c5 12. Kf2 Ng6 13. Bd3 Nc6 14. Ne2 Be6 15. g5 Rc8 16. h5 Nf8 17. g6 fxg6 18. hxg6 h6 19. Qb1 Na5 20. Nf4 c4 21. Bc2 Rc6 22. Ra2 Nd7 23. a4 Nf6 24. Ba3 Qd7 25. Rb2 b6 26. Rb5 Nb7 27. e4 dxe4 28. Bxe4 Rcc8 29. Re5 Bg4 30. Nd5 Rxe5 31. Nxf6+ gxf6 32. dxe5 Nc5 33. Bxc5 Qd2+ 34. Kg3 Bxf3 35. Bxf3 Rxc5 36. Qc1 Qxc1 37. Rxc1 Rxe5 38. Kf4 Kg7 39. Be4 h5 40. Rd1 Re7 41. Rd5 Kh6 42. Rd6 Kg7 43. Rc6 h4 44. Rxc4 h3 45. Kg3 Kh6 46. Bb1 Re3+ 47. Kh2 Re1 48. Bd3 Re3 49. Rh4+ Kg5 50. g7 1-0

Greg, was that you with the nice pithy comment in the nyt blog on a recent column by Stanley Fish? Just wondering.

While it is indeed Aronian who gives his thoughts in the intro for the chessbase comments, it is actually IM Pein who does the annotating job - both at twic and cb.

According to the press conference, Anand had 5 minutes left when he received the draw offer and spent 3 minutes deciding on it.

Hi Ovidiu,

Good research on the Fischer game. I just wrote because it's sort of easy to mistake the game comments for Aronian's, but they're actually IM Malcolm Pein's, and Aronian just writes the couple paragraph summary before the game notes.

can't they get a higghly rated GM commentating instead of a IM?

>actually IM Malcolm Pein's, and Aronian just >writes the couple paragraph summary before the >game notes.

yes, I wrongly assumed that it was Aronian because his big picture hits you when you open the page.
I guess he is there for the show, to attract the vistor, while the lower ranked, working-class Pein, has to do the cores... (is it the same relationship in the case of kasparov-mig books ?)

Mig wrote:
The players agreed to a draw on move 32 in mutual time trouble.
I really must count this as a knock on Anand for letting a chance to mix it up turn into a draw by mutual fear.
Sofia rules would be draconian considering the subtleties of match strategy

Drama in sports thrives on elements like [A] combatents having to compete in fearful circumstances, or [B] the risk of suffering a draconian loss (in game 2, draconian already?, then something more fundamental is wrong).

The Sofia rule suffers from creating unknowable uncertainty regarding time management.
But the rule could at least say no draw until the first time control is completed (40 moves?).

Mig's comment against Sofia rule (limited to match context) is terribly vague.

What do you think of Anand's Rc1 towards the end of Game 2? In one of the sites which was commenting live, the GM commentator critized the move protecting the pawn .He said if black captures the pawn ,he will be doing it at his own risk since white's rooks will be very much active.

Also, Fritz does not appreciate the last BC2 by Anand.

Note : Sorry for not specifying the Serial No of the moves

Its funny that people use different standards for Kramnik and Anand.

In Kramnik's first game as white, Anand easily equalized. No one said "that's a knock on Kramnik" when it was. Especially because Kramnik has never won with black against Anand, and so this match is even shorter for Kramnik - only 6 white games! And out of 6 games if Kramink is going to waste his first, then how is that not a "knock" on him? Anand really has 10 games because he can beat Kramnik with black also.

Obviously, if Anand thought he could convert his advantage, he would have. I don't know where people get the idea that he chickened out. It wasn't as if Anand's position was dominating on move 32.

Bottom line is this: Anand has shown that he is not afraid, and that he is going to take Kramnik into new territory. I will be very surprised if this was the only surprise Anand has for Kramnik. I think each game Anand plays with white is going to be a crazy tense game. Kramnik has only shown that whatever plans he had in his first game didn't work. No knock on Anand. If there is a knock it is on Kramnik.

I'm really looking forward to game 3. I think Kramink knows that he needs to bring out his big guns because otherwise Anand is going to win this thing.

[Coldlogic:] "Especially because Kramnik has never won with black against Anand, and so this match is even shorter for Kramnik - only 6 white games!

Since it's all a foregone conclusion, it makes you wonder why they even bother to play the games...

Bill C.

Not sure. I'm a serial whiner in many forums and I may have whined at Stanley Fish. (An old girlfriend who taught at University of Illinois-Chicago, said Fish always used to drive his fancy car into the lot and park sloppily, taking up two spaces. So I do have a prejudice about him. )

But I did a google search and found a "Gregory Koster" commenting about Fish. That's not me. I go by "Greg."

Tomorrow should be fantastic. I think Kramnik was a bit rattled at how Game2 went and should be itching to put Vishy under the hammer. Similarly Anand plays better when he a decent start and expect him to play very actively.

Jean is not a she but a he and is well-known as a troll in chessgames.com

Now, how much did Vishy pay Carlsen for suggesting that line ?

And what the hell is happening to the ICC broadcast !? Fluff only, no chess.

"Drama in sports thrives on elements like [A] combatents having to compete in fearful circumstances, or [B] the risk of suffering a draconian loss (in game 2, draconian already?, then something more fundamental is wrong)."

Yes, but in sports risks always need to be weighed. In football, for instance, strategy varies with whether you are ahead, tied or behind, and how much time remains in the match.

"The Sofia rule suffers from creating unknowable uncertainty regarding time management. But the rule could at least say no draw until the first time control is completed (40 moves?)."

The factors animating the Sofia rule aren't really relevant in a one-on-one match for the world championship. In tournaments, you always have players who, for various reasons, might decide that winning doesn't matter. In a match where two are fighting for something only one can have, that is not likely to happen.

I think both players will have a positive take on game 2. Anand will think he has put up a good show in a closed opening which is supposed to be Kramnik's territory, and he has got an advantage. And Kramnik will be happy he took care of what was supposed to be Anand's big surprise and handled it in a rather agressive manner and put Anand under enough pressure that Anand had to admit he had losing chances even in what should have been a better position (as the acceptance of a draw amounts to just that - admitting you might lose). I doubt either player will be upset with some aspect of his performance - I bet those guys tend to look at the positives and use those to fuel them in the coming games.

Game 2 is a clear 1-0!!!

33.c5 is the move! which everyone including Anand knows! After 33.c5, there is absolutely nothing Black could hope to trouble White. White can easily play out some innocuous moves to cross the time control and therefore 1-0!!!

Here are some plans for Black.

1. To double the rook on d-file with no real scope. The rook will be driven away soon.

2. To double rook on f-file to look for some mating net while White king is well placed and guarded by g2,h3 and g7 of course! This is a long process. Don't know if Black will have time for that.

3. To post knight on f4, to where it was before. Obviously it sounds aimless!

4. To try and open up g-file with g5, hoping some attack. This will weaken the a1-h8 diagonal with tremdrous pressure on e5 when White bishop goes to c3.

5. To pressurize e4 which is already well defended. So, futile attempt!

So, Black has no real plans to pose any threat to White except to just sit and defend (or open mouth and offer draw, of course! :)). With no real threats from Black, White can easily convert this to a 1-0. Later, I'll show some plans for White to prove my point.

I can't get this out of my head now until Anand goes 2-0 up from here. :)

"Jean is not a she but a he and is well-known as a troll in chessgames.com posted" by Anonymous.

what are you talking about "Anonymous"?

There is one Bd3 idea for Black. But White should be able to handle that. We'll see.

That idea was after 33...Rh5 at the max for a draw.

Questions for Kramnik on Game 2...

Was the position a theoretical draw?
Why would you want to offer draw when you yourself wouldn't want to accept in a minuscule advantageous position?
Would the thought of asking for draw cross your mind if your opponent were Topalov or Kasparov or anybody else?
Did you not "play for the crowd" not a long ago when you are a pawn up in a theoretical draw position in another what you consider a "paper" championship?
What do you think was the reason behind the press asking the question on who made the draw offer in the game 1?
What made you open your mouth and make that draw offer when there was plenty of play left?

I am just curious, Mr. Kramnik.

For those who seem dis-satisfied with Malcolm Pein's commentary on CB, I have to say that he is one of the best people I have watched in a Commentary Room. He and Graham Lee used to do the British Chamionship every year in the late Eightees/ Ninetees... as several awful books by GMs show it's not the person's rating/title that matters - it's their ability to make top-level games and ideas understandable to the masses whic hmatters - and Malcolm is very good at that, as well as being a thoroughly nice and hard-working guy.

Mig, any comments by Gary about game 2?!

Just trying to find a way to get the comments to refresh. Here it is the 17th and I still only see comments from the 15th.

Looking at the position after 23. Qd3, it seems like the kind of position Anand likes: he's up in material and can calculate like a computer.

Although white's position looks good, it doesn't seem like the type of initiative Kramnik enjoys pressing.

Hmm. I guess that after black's Rg7, returning the piece, the initiative has changed hands.

Questions for pircalert:

1. Would you want to play this position with very limited time on the clock?
b. Did Kramnik's first offer meet with acceptance or did he repeatedly have to badger and annoy Anand?
III. Do you think that players act differently, from psychological AND tactical standpoint, depending on the identity of their opponent?

"Did Kramnik's first offer meet with acceptance or did he repeatedly have to badger and annoy Anand?"

I'm sure it wasn't the latter, and I consider the question silly in context. More generally, though it does make me wonder about whether and how stringently the following rule is enforced at championship level:

There is an official rule banning a subsequent draw offer by the same player unless his opponent proposed a draw in between (rejected), or "unless the position has changed substantially." (Inter alia: The latter loophole has always struck me as silly, since we all know from experience that in any chess context inserting any such subjective condition simply renders the entire rule a waste of rulebook space. Since the condition effectively repeals the rule, why not just keep things simple and delete the rule altogether?)

A year or two ago I was myself harassed into giving up a half-point in this way, while a full piece up in an endgame. I didn't even bother to complain (apart from telling my opponent if he ever pulled any crap on me again I'd put his head through a window without opening it first) - since at amateur level I don't expect such rules to be enforced.

I'd think that WCC contestants (or players in high-level FIDE tournaments, for that matter) would enjoy some protection, though. Perhaps a GM who reads this can enlighten us.

Yeah, the power of the quiet move 22.Qd3 is incredible in its threat of 23. Qh7 with mate looming. (And no, I didn't see it either.) After getting his piece back, Kramnik is quite simply two outside connected passed pawns up. I can't imagine any scenario short of a gross Kramnik blunder that this isn't 1-0. In fact, I imagine Anand will resign soon.

Really nice commentaries today on ICC by Gustafsson. Good balance between chess and "keeping it going", nice show today Mig.

Excellent game by Anand to get the first win!

What a relief that Anand didn't let Kramnik off the hook like he has done so often against Karpov and like Topalov did against Kramnik in their WC match..

..especially since he yet again managed to get himself into zeitnot. It would be interesting to see what Kramnik comes up with tomorrow. He's definitely out of his comfort zone now and if hasn't prepared anything other than the Petroff against e4, Vishy might well want to switch back to e4.

Yeah, I'm a patzer. *sigh*

Kramnik played very well under tremendous pressure on k-side (Bf4,Nd4), warded the danger off, reached equality (if not better) by Qd3! and seeing himself out of troubles..relaxed...and immediately went wrong and got in almost lost postion.
Not an uncommon scenario.

On the other side, Vishy won as if "by will rather than by skill"..good moral booster. He also appears as the one with better opening prep. (just as Toplaov was at Elista)

Game three thread here. Will expand it soon. Sorry for the delay. What a game!


Pircalert, you are dripping with bias against Kramnik with your tendentious questions. This is not correspondence chess, so time is a legitimate factor, and offering a draw when the other person is in (greater) time trouble and has a better position, is no reason for crying foul. Anand is an adult and he could have refused the draw if he wanted. This is also not advanced chess, so theoretically 'better' or 'worse' positions don't matter, just what the players themselves see on the board. And Anand said in the press conference that he didn't see the win. I'm as big an Anand fan as anyone, but I don't want this blog to descend into a screaming match between Anand and Kramnik fans. Especially when Anand is ahead, we Anand supporters can afford to be gracious. :)

anon, that was kind of point. It was easy enough for Anand to say no, the fact that he didn't, at the first offer, is an indication to me that he was quite willing to take it.

Some students say that I am purposeless because I tell professionals: " Write papers ". Friends! I am not a pointless man. I am going to be the best in my class.

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    About this Entry

    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on October 15, 2008 8:56 AM.

    Yawn in Bonn and Game 1 Drawn was the previous entry in this blog.

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