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WCh 08 g3: Spectacular Win by Anand

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More soon, just wanted to get a g3 thread going. What a game! Tremendous preparation by Vishy, great fight by Kramnik despite being out of book and down on time, then a king hunt in mutual time trouble. Looks like Kramnik missed a draw by giving up his queen. Anand missed a forced mate but he had already figured out a win with another move, so only a misdemeanor.

Update #1: A condensed version of some on-the-fly comments from Garry Kasparov: "Great choice by Vishy! [With 8..a6] he dragged Kramnik into this nightmare instead of allowing him to play slowly. It was good preparation and also good psychology to kick some sand in Kramnik's face and show him he wasn't afraid. I didn't see the whole thing, but when I came back from a meeting and saw the position after 22..Rg7 I thought Kramnik had had it. At first glance it looks like the game was well played by both players. Just looking at it I'm not sure why Kramnik couldn't play 33.Kb3. Maybe he can give up his queen and still draw with the a-pawn."

Update #2: Garry's glances are usually pretty accurate and here he scores 50%, it seems. It was very well played but Black has a long and complicated win (or close to it) after 33.Kb3. The thousands of brains and processor cores that make up the global Borg of chess analysts in the 21st century have come to some necessarily tentative conclusions about the thrilling third match game. That it was a sensational piece of preparation was never really in doubt. Anand played his moves very quickly until a deep think on 19..h5. Perhaps Kramnik's capturing on d4 with the knight instead of the more natural-looking rook finally took him out of his preparation. That prep started with 14..Bb7, breathing new life into a complicated line that was considered superior for White. This is why it was such a nice piece of work. White really can't back down from the craziness after 8..a6. Black scores very nicely after the lines with a4-b4 instead of 9.e4. And the 10.d5 (instead of e5) lines haven't been popular since Karpov was having mixed results with them in the mid-90's. After White plays the desperado Nxb5 he's basically along for the ride until the point at which Anand sprung his novelty.

It was quite a good ride for White against the usual moves that dealt with the threat to the b-pawn, 14..b4 and the ugly 14..Ba6. Few top players had ventured this far for a long time. Shirov played it in the 90's and Karjakin trotted it out a few times three years ago. Kramnik surely wouldn't have minded playing those lines. Anand's aggressive new move (the move is but the position isn't, technically speaking, since it transposes into a few unknown games, two from 1946) is classic stuff, giving the pawn back for development. Black's pressure against the white kingside gets a jumpstart and the white bishop on b5 can hang in various lines. There are many spectacular variations on just about every move from 15 to the end of the game on move 41. Quite a few of them must have been analyzed by Anand and his team (and their computers) because otherwise it just looks too slow for Black.

Kramnik invested a lot of time meeting the challenge and he did so in very impressive fashion. He pressurized the d-file with an x-ray on the pinned Nd7 and took aim at the centralized black king. From the "strange computer suggestion" department comes 17.a4, which GM Jan Gustafsson could scarcely believe during our live broadcast on ICC Chess.FM. Handing Black a tempo in such a sharp position to anchor the bishop just can't be right. Kramnik kept playing logical, strong moves, as Anand bashed through his prep. Just how sharp it must have been, and how tough for Kramnik to deal with at the board, is illustrated by the move 17..Rg4! This simply looks losing to 18.Nd2 at first, threatening the rook and Nc4. But the computer shows that the rook, and then the Nd7, can be ignored! 18.Nd2 Ke7! 19.Bxd7 Rag8! insane. The threats of ..d3 and sacrifices on g3 are enough for Black to earn at least a perpetual check. In several lines he has queen and bishop plus dangerous passed center pawns against a hodgepodge of poorly coordinated white pieces and an open white king. Wonderful stuff.

Kramnik instead found the sensational piece sacrifice 18.Bf4! and the game started to take on a faint odor of immortality. Instead of defending White goes on the attack in the center at the cost of a bishop. Anand took his first think of the game before taking the bishop. We looked at the speculative 18..Rxf4 for a moment but Vishy played too quickly to allow for a deeper look. It looks like White is okay after 19.gxf4 Ke7. Kramnik surprised again by taking on d4 with the knight, playing for sacrifices on e6 that can't be avoided. The "normal" 19.Rxd4 also looked interesting for White. 19..0-0-0 20.Rad1 must be unpleasant for Black and 19..Kf8 20.Bxd7 Rd8 21.Rad1 looks solid.

Now it was the world champion's turn to burn his clock. After building up an advantage of well over an hour, he used nearly all of it over the next few moves. 19..h5, 19..Rg6 was the likely alternative, looked like it allowed a more dangerous White attack after the unavoidable knight sac on e6. But Anand saw that he was still playing for a win after 22..Rg7! Black can bail out in search of a perpetual with 22..Bxg3 23.hxg3 h4 when 24.Qh7 loses to 24..Rxg3+! Back in the game, at first the computers were quite cheery with the two extra connected passed pawns on the queenside. But White's king is in a great deal of danger. If Kramnik has a weakness it's when his king is under fire (not anyone's idea of fun, but he has defended such positions relatively poorly on several notable occasions) and here he made several dubious moves to put himself in a critical position.

Both players were under 20 minutes by move 25 and Kramnik's 25.Qe2 is one of those moves that just looks fishy even if it's hard to prove. It blocks the white king's escape route and the hit on the h5 pawn is defended by a move Black wants to make anyway to open the g-file. Such curiosities are often meaningless, but for some reason I find it meaningful that the white queen never moved again for the rest of the game as the white king was chased pillar to post. Qb3 looked like a safer bet, though Black is still calling the shots. Anand continued the play with tremendous precision, although his clock handling had us worried as both players sank under 10 minutes. 28..Bh3! was pointed out by GM Jon Speelman and it's very hard to handle. The computer wants to play 29.Rd1, offering the exchange. After 29.Rd1 Bg4 30.Qe3 Qxe3+ 31.fxe3 Bxd1 32.Kxd1 Rg2 33.Kc1 it's a difficult race with all three results in play. Black can instead opt to keep the attack going with 29..Bf5 or the tricky 29..Rg1+ 30.Kd2 Rg2.

Kramnik played 29.Ra3, after which it appears there is no way to survive. All three black pieces coordinate in the attack on the king. With both players dipping under five minutes, White could have gone for the computer recommendation of giving up the exchange by playing 32.Rd3 Bf5 33.Kb3, but this is much harder for White with the queens still on the board. What happened next was remarkable. Kramnik blocked the check with 33.Bd3, which loses instantly to 33.Bxd3 34.Rxd3 Qc4+ and either the white queen is lost or it's mate in one on c1. Anand ignored the mate and instantly replied 33..Bh3, a clear example of sticking with a winning plan instead of looking around for a better one when in time trouble. Kramnik desperately gave up his queen and ran his a-pawn but it wasn't nearly enough to stop him from losing the house to checks. He resigned after reaching the time control.

A magnificent game worthy of the world championship and a win worthy of the world champion. Anand combined preparation, aggression, and precision into a lethal package. Kramnik gave as good as he got, holding the balance against Anand's preparation with sacrificial flair. The discussion around Kasparov's suggestion (a little unfair to pin it to him since he didn't do any analysis) of 33.Kb3 seems to have moved conclusively to a win for Black, but it's a sharp and long series of checks that even the computers need a while to figure out. With my silicon running on just one core during the game it thought Kb3 was okay for White, at least not immediately losing. At first the comps need a minute to see that 33.Kb3 Rc1 34.a5 Rc2 35.Qxc2 Bxc2+ 36.Kxc2 Qc5+ 37.Kb1 Qxb5 38.a6 is a draw.

That sends them back to find something better and eventually they work out a long sequence starting with 34..Qd5+ that looks close to winning for Black. Still, for a human to reproduce it, especially with a minute or two on the clock, would have been nearly impossible. And the White a-pawn is dangerous, making a perpetual a perpetual temptation. The main line according to my four cores: 35.Bc4 Qb7+ 36.Bb5 Rc5 (36..Rc2 seems even stronger, but also very hard) 37.Kb4 Rc2 38.Qe3 Rxb2+ 39.Rb3 Qe7+ 40.Kc4 Qc7+ and Black has gotten one pawn back while keeping a very dangerous attack into the second time control. But it's notable that even at 10 million nodes per second the comp can't find a forced win of material here, so it's still a game. The a-pawn always offers drawing chances even with rook vs queen. Also note that if Black plays one move differently at just about any point in that line it's a draw or worse. Objectively we can't say 33.Kb3 would saved White's bacon, although it was definitely the best try. I wouldn't go as far as saying the 33.Bd3 blunder ruined the game though.

Many analysis links in the comments, including GM Miguel Illescas's typically excellent work on the official site. He probably didn't have time to look at the 34..Qd5+ winning attempt.

Whew! Will Anand kick Kramnik while he's down or get cautious with nine games still remaining? Knowing Vishy, he's just going to go out and play chess, sticking to whatever plan he had at the start. The early win by Anand is quite different than an early win by Kramnik. As the more solid player in general, Kramnik may soon be forced to give up catenaccio and go with three strikers. But not yet. This isn't the first time he's trailed in a world championship match and he can take heart that both times previously (04 against Leko and 06 against Topalov) he's fought back to even the score.

Ironically, or just presciently, my first trivia question of the day on Chess.FM, written the night before, was "Who was he last player to defeat Kramnik with black in a classical game?" That one's not too hard. But to name the player who did it before that you have to go back to 2006.


I've heard so much about Kramnik's legendary preparation (and I did read From London to Elista), but so far it has seemed like Anand has the better prep. The Exchange Slav excepted, but from what my amateur mind can tell, the elite doesn't need to deeply study obscure lines of that.

I wonder if Kramnik will continue with his game plan or shift to a Plan B? There must be pressure on him to recover with Black next.

btw, against 1.e4, I am voting from K. to play 1...c6 and not Herr Petroff.

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. All said, great defense by Kramnik after having fallen into a deeply prepared line by the vish. Can't wait for tomorrow! :)

Kramnik gets taken down! Super black win by Anand a triumph of prep and good play. Kramnik fought well but cost him too much time. This is a main line as white - losing as black is one thing but to be busted up with white is a tough tough situation. Tomorrow Anand has white if he knocks him out again then its probably match over. Congratulations to Anand on this result!

Fantastic game indeed! "Looks like Kramnik missed a draw by giving up his queen" -- this refers to 33.Kb3!? Rc1 34.a5 and the a-pawn runs, or? I was thinking that too but shouldn't Black have better than winning material like that (i.e. 34..Rc2 35.Qxc2 Bxc2+ 36.Kxc2 etc) at the cost of the initiative?

"I've heard so much about Kramnik's legendary preparation (and I did read From London to Elista), but so far it has seemed like Anand has the better prep."

Don't forget, at this point in the Kramnik-Topalov match, people were saying that Topalov had better prep. This is like being down by a touchdown at the end of the 1st quarter: not where you wanted to be, but not time to panic either. I certainly don't expect Kramnik to start taking gambles with Black when he has four Whites remaining and is only down by one.

Marc, I'm not panicing, and I doubt Kramnik is either. I remember it did seem like Topalov was the better prepared one, as he was unleashing the novelties. Here, I am talking more about Anand taking a lead with 1.d4 and playing out these moves so fast, despite at least one long think by K.

However, it's not like I expect that K. doesn't have some goodies stashed away! As I suggested with 1...c6, he could still do almost anything.

I think the question is: how much will he gamble with White?

Or, perhaps more to the point: what exactly is a gamble to Kramnik (outside of playing the Benoni)?

If Anand wished to avoid 1.e4 because of the drawing probabilities of Petroff/Berlin then this is the best time to trot it out.
Kramnik has a Sveshnikov or similar surprises in his arsenal I'm sure. Question is, should be go for it or simply take a draw. I think the overwhelming evidence is that he will "take a deep breath" and just get a draw on board. Then with his whites he can go to his beloved Catalan.
For Anand the choices are tempting. If he has a killer TN (like Naiditsch's Qd2) then go for it. A win now will more or less seal it up. Basically as Kramnik has been under pressure for the last two games he needs something that can keep that up. I'm thinking of buying the Foidos package for tomorrow's game. Has anyone used it/ reviews?

"As I suggested with 1...c6, he could still do almost anything."

Yeah, but I would classify 1..c6 at this stage of the match as a gamble for Kramnik, unless (which seems unlikely) he was already planning to play the that anyway.

Kramnik is already in big trouble, he can't do anything against the Slav and switching to 1.e4 wouldn't work coz Anand has a superior understanding in the sicilian. all in all this match seems 90% decided already.

Where are the moves to this great game? I've looked everywhere on the 'Net (everywhere that is free, 'natch! ;-) but no one has posted Game Three!

Please, Mig, post the moves, even if you haven't written/cooked up/borrowed analysis!!

Good ol' Mark Crowther, found the moves (with analysis by IM Malcom Pein) at The Week In Chess:

Peter, its in susanpolgar.blogspot.com

That win by Anand is huge. Given the drawing rate between these two, this might turn out to be the only decisive game of the match.

So far Anand has an enormous advantage in opening preparations. Hindsight is 20/20, but going into a sharp line is a strategic mistake on Kramnik's part. Obviously, he should look for squeezing chances, sharp Meran is hardly a place to do that.

Kramnik has just 4 more whites to go, he has to switch to suck-the-life-out-of-position chess. That way not only he will get better chances to score, but also might tire Anand and, importantly, decrease a chance to lose another one. One more loss with white and he can kiss the title good bye.

"Kramnik is already in big trouble, he can't do anything against the Slav and switching to 1.e4 wouldn't work coz Anand has a superior understanding in the sicilian. all in all this match seems 90% decided already."

Are you kidding? Plenty of players in a WC match have been down a game (or more) and come back to win.

Game. Set. Match.

I think Kramnik is far from being finished. Anyone who has written in detail on matches has discussed how hard it is to play solidly when you have the lead. Anand, though comfortable, will have a tremendous psychological burden. And I doubt Kramnik will start to go all weepy over his loss.

Look at how many decisive games there were in T-K. One win is by no means the biggest advantage. Don't forget, draws are not easy to come by, even among elites.

"Are you kidding? Plenty of players in a WC match have been down a game (or more) and come back to win."
yes but there is a difference in that Kramnik doesn't really have a plan B as he can't switch to 1.e4. (and one has to wonder what is the 1.e4 expert Leko doing in his team anyway).

>all in all this match seems 90% decided already.

That's what the japanese thought too after they came with their "opening surprise" at Pearl Harbour.
Kramnik can play if he has no choice, if he is with the back at the wall, but otherwise (i.e. if you agree too) he would rather draw and continue daydream about the "art of living".
In fact Kramnik played very well up now. Today again he shined but only as long as he thought he was in danger (Bf4!,Nd4!,Ne6,Qd3) and then.. he relaxed back and got stomped by an ever alert Anand.

Rybka when given enough time confirms Black winning also after 33.Kb3. 33.Bd3 might be called a blunder I guess since it made things so very much easier, but it was at least not an objectively game-losing blunder.

If this was a 24-game match, as it should be, then the win would not mean very much.
Here, it means quite a bit more.

probably kramnik might've been hoping for the moscow variation.. expect him to get his King Bishop out to g2 in his next White game..

Hard to get the Moscow (or anti-Moscow) variation by playing 5.e3.

Ha, what a big difference one game makes. People were "knocking" on Anand after game 2... so much for that.

Kramnik will fight back with novelties no doubt. I can't wait to see how Anand will handle them.

One thing is clear: Anand will most likely not make a Bd3 level blunder in this match. I've not seen Anand make the kind of blunders that Kramnik seems to keep making every now and then. That is not to say that Anand has not blundered before (e.g., the game he lost against Aronian in Bilbao), but the regularity with which Kramnik makes these blunders is worrisome. May be the pressure is getting to Kramnik. If so, Anand should keep coming at him and not try the safe route.

You're move, Kramnik.

Also a clue about Anand's terrible show in Bilboa... he must've been playing all those 1) e4 games and QID games without opening book while preparing slav and 1) d4...

Ovidiu: To use your analogy, the Americans had to use a nuke to stop the Japs. So, where's the nuke? If Kramnik has any, this would be the time to use them. If he doesn't, he should start learning Japanese.

>One thing is clear:Anand will most likely not make a Bd3 level blunder in this match.>

He has made it already by not seeing that he can take Bd3 and mate. If zeitnot is going to be the rule in this match we are set to see many of this sort from both of them.

Great win by Anand. At least this shows that the match is getting
hot. Vishy looked intimidated at the initial press-conference,
but this will surely settle him down. And that's when he gets
dangerous. But let's not open the champagne bottles for Anand
yet. Kramnik is incredibly resilient and when pushed hard snaps
out of his lazy approach to deliver some punches. Remember that
Game 10 from Elista. The match is getting exciting now!


"Kramnik doesn't really have a plan B as he can't switch to 1.e4."

You're presuming Kramnik is out of d4 ideas. Given that he's made a career out of d4, that seems most unlikely. You don't come into a 12-game match with only 2 ideas.

Yes, but most WC-calibre players can win with Black. Kramnik apparently cannot.

Let's say Kramnik does not win a Black game. Then he has only White. Kramnik plays 1 d4, Anand replies with a Slav. The Exchange got Kramnik nowhere in Game 1 but if he does not Exchange, then he must face the sharp Semi-Slav, which lead to Kramnik getting his ass handed to him in Game 3.

Tomorrow Anand has white and he's on fire now.One more spectacular game follows.With Anand winner.

"He has made it already by not seeing that he can take Bd3 and mate. If zeitnot is going to be the rule in this match we are set to see many of this sort from both of them."

Yeah, Anand was far from stellar in the finishing off department today (and in game 2 as well). Still, 2 times in a row he has got positions where Kramnik's mistake meant a loss and his own mistake meant a chance for Kramnik to escape. If they are going to continue like that Anand can afford missing mates...

>One thing is clear:Anand will most likely not make a Bd3 level blunder in this match.>

He has made it already by not seeing that he can take Bd3 and mate. If zeitnot is going to be the rule in this match we are set to see many of this sort from both of them.

No, that was not really a blunder. Anand had already calculated a forced win with the line that he played. So in time trouble, how many wins is Anand supposed to find?

He found a win, played it, and won. Now if he had lost the game or only drew it while missing a mate, *then* that would be a gross blunder.

Kramnik has 1.Nf3 - I think he will go back to that. He seems a different player when he gets those positions - remember Tal 2007? Trying these sharp lines both in g2 and today is not his cup of tea.

Update #1 posted with a condensed version of some on-the-fly comments from Garry:

"Great choice by Vishy! [With 8..a6] he dragged Kramnik into this nightmare instead of allowing him to play slowly. It was good preparation and also good psychology to kick some sand in Kramnik's face and show him he wasn't afraid. I didn't see the whole thing, but when I came back from a meeting and saw the position after 22..Rg7 I thought Kramnik had had it. At first glance it looks like the game was well played by both players. Just looking at it I'm not sure why Kramnik couldn't play 33.Kb3. Maybe he can give up his queen and still draw with the a-pawn."

>If they are going to continue like that Anand can >afford missing mates...

sure, my point was only that once in zeitnot Anand fails to see simple combinations as much as Kramnik does, its normal.

Sorry, but Anand has certainly made tactical blunders in his career, and just because he is playing at superhuman level right now it doesn't mean he won't make any later in the match. That is just wishful thinking. Everyone has his ups and downs.

Great game. They both played very well, but Anand has put together a masterpiece. But the match is far from over. Kramnik showed how resilient he is many times in the past, so I doubt one loss will put him out of the match.

Also, I doubt Kramnik will switch to 1.e4. He is a 1.d4 guy and one setback in the Meran doesn't mean he will be looking to dump all of his repertoire for white. So I expect him to play 1.d4 in the rest of the games. I also think he kind of thought of the Meran as the more solid choice, as opposed to the more wild Anti-moscow. But now that he ran into problem in the Meran, we may see the Anti-moscow anyway. Kramnik must have prepared for it, anyway. And of course Kramnik and his seconds will try to refute the line that was played today. But in case they won't and if Kramnik feels reluctant about going into the anti-Moscow variation, he will go into a less sharp Slav or Semi-slav sideline or maybe even repeat the Exchange variation until he feels comfortable about going into the main lines again. But I strongly doubt he will abandon 1.d4 altogether.

Kramnik will have black in 3 of the next 4 games, because of the mid-match change of colors. And after that he will have 3 whites in the last 5 games.

MIG: More Kasparov analysis/comments, please!

Hi does anyone knows what will be Anand's rating in live rating list with this win? Will he become No 2. So that Mr Topa can watch world number 2 play a WCC match.

"You're presuming Kramnik is out of d4 ideas. Given that he's made a career out of d4, that seems most unlikely. You don't come into a 12-game match with only 2 ideas."

of course you don't. however Kramnik expanded 2 iwhites already and got only half point which is pretty bad. i still think he should have some 1.d4 specialist in his team rather than Leko.

I do agree that Leko's presence on the team is a little odd—though Leko is not his only second. On the other hand, given Kramnik's record in matches, we ought to at least consider that perhaps he knows what he is doing. Both Leko in Brissago and Topalov in Elista had leads against him, and went on to lose.

Wonder what NIIT would have to say about Anand (probably) missing a win with their logo on his shirt in game2 and bringing home the point in an AMD shirt today..

maybe AMD pays him a higher bonus for wins than NIIT does.. ;)

Game is far from over. Kramnik has come back to win the last game from tie the match with Leko in 2004. So one game down only means a little pressure. Also, out of remaining 4 white games that Kramnik has, I am sure he will get his chance to make his novelty before Anand moves his.
Also I feel Anand will not swith to 1.e4 until he happens to be 2-0 up. Tomorrow will be a very critical match. Tomorrow's game is a great chance for Anand. If he gets a chance to play another of his prep novelty tomorrow, then he will press very hard to win it from there (unlike accepting the draw in game two). All eyes on tomorrow and the ball in Anand's court :)
Go Vishy!!

"Both Leko in Brissago and Topalov in Elista had leads against him, and went on to lose"

Well actually speaking, Leko did not lose the match. It was tie and Kramnik had draw odds in his favour. Over here, Anand will definitely have the upper hand if it gets to tie breaks. With Topalov, it was totally a different story with too many ups and downs. This match is very different. I am sure Kramnik knows that if he has to win the match, he will have to rely heavily on the classical time control, which means he needs to win two games from here on.

Topalov never had the lead at any stage..kramnik was 2-0 up when he forfeited and went on to lose one game..

Whether or not the forfeit to Topalov was just, the fact is that under the rules then in effect he had to come from behind, and did.

Yes he did come from behind, but still won only with rapid where he is the favourite against Topalov. But over here he is not, Vishy is the fav to win the rapid. So it is different here.

On a different note, much of the speculation that Kramnik can come back strong relates to his match playing strength. Many talk about Kramnik as the best match player. But I guess many forget that he has lost a match to Shirov in 1998, but Shirov never got to play Kasparov due lack of sponsors and Kramnik ended up playing him. In all, (i) Kramnik has lost to shirov, (ii) only drew with Leko, (iii) beat Topalov only in tiebreaks. His only (but major) achievement was to beat Kasparov. He certainly has match expereince, but to say he is the best match player is not very convincing going by exact records.

Ofcourse Anand's record in matches is worse and he cant relax a bit. But thats a different story.

Does anyone know where the press conference video can be found? its still not up at chessvibes.

it is all over..this is from hamilton,,ontario,canada..kramnik will have to play E4..his only chance.were is the hungarian Leko why is he there...the marshall all the way..
it is no more drawnik now..he has to win like 2moro..

stefan skrzypczyk

Now that was a great game by itself, and just what the match needed to get hot.
Anand had the right piece of preparation, and used it to the max. Kramnik defended well enough, but the attack proved too strong in the end, at least in practical play with limited time.
Probably Kramnik can try the Sveshnikov tomorrow, if he has anything similar to today's novelty. If not, he just might go for a draw with the Petroff. It would be a good first step for him to show the easy draw with the Petroff.
He doesn't need to do anything desperate tomorrow, but he has to adjust something, opening prep or match strategy, till his next White.

For trivia fans -> Can you guess when was Anand's last win in a classical time control game?

(No referring to databases).

Kramnik's reputation as a great match player is exclusively due to beating Kasparov. Nothing unreasonable about that, but his overall match score is in fact +2 -3 =1.

Anand has 3 whites in next 4 games (Games 4, 5 and 7)!

i love garry's wry comments! "kicking sand in kramnik's face"! classic stuff!!!

Anand has 3 whites in next 4 games (Games 4, 6 and 7)!

It's still the case that Kramnik has beaten Illescas, Lautier, Yudasin, Kasparov and Topalov. That makes five match wins, not two. The first three victories are not extremely spectacular, but they are there.

Acirce, yeah, true enough. Somehow I forgot that Kramnik had to beat some people to play Gelfand and Kamsky in the first place.

The matches against Illescas and Lautier were not part of any cycles though.

On almost all websites/blogs, the commentators have preferred to refer Anand by his name and not as "World Champion". In all other matches invloving Kramnik, Kasparov, Karpov etc (when they were World Champs) the authors used the term "World Champion" more often in their books or commentaries. Do they instinctively feel that Anand is not a true World Champion until he wins against Kramnik in a match?

Great win by Anand. Just hoping that he'll seal it with another victory tomorrow ;-)


from chessvibes: "The only move was 33. Kb3 and at the press conference Anand said he was planning 33... Rc1 but didn't see a clear win if White just goes 34. a5 for example 34... Qd5+ (34... Rc2 35. Qxc2 Bxc2+ 36. Kxc2 Qxf4 37. a6 is probably a draw as well) 35. Bc4 Qb7+ and Anand himself couldn't remember what he had seen here.."

What a mashing of Kramnik, where are all those idiots who thought Kramnik was going to win this?????LOL

Well, 90 percent of the fans seem to have already decided the match.
Wow, one win, three games and so many are jumping to conclusions.
Kramnik won two games in a row against Topalov in their match, a 100 percent success rate over first two games and, Toilet Wars not withstanding, still had to win a few more, including tiebreaks to defend his title.
My biggest conclusion from the games so far: I like watching championship chess, especially with great commentary like the one by Shipov.
The most you can say so far is Anand is ahead on points. There were moments when he was worse today. If Kramnik loses again tomorrow, then maybe it's time for his fans to pause or panic.
Prediction: more great chess to come.

It's not commonly known that in London, Kasparov initially demanded that on the stage some distance from the chessboard should be placed a 15-inch monitor, an open suitcase, and a pile of clothes.

Realizing that Kasparov is at his chessic best while packing his suitcase and glancing briefly at the position on a monitor, Kramnik wisely refused. Kasparov was thus effectively forced to calculate while sitting at the chessboard, and the result is history...he's almost finished brushing the sand out of his eyes.

"Hi does anyone knows what will be Anand's rating in live rating list with this win? Will he become No 2. So that Mr Topa can watch world number 2 play a WCC match."

Live rating does not matter. Anand is playing for immortality, like Morphy, Capablanca, and Fischer.

Yup, he is indeed #2 as of today. 3.6 points behind Topalov..

Great game today! Kudos to both players. Being an ardent Anand fan, I want him to win. But, this match is far from over. I think the key for Anand would be to strive for sharp positions rather than trying to defend this slender lead by avoiding complications. And I do believe, if Kramnik allows these kind of sharp positions to dominate the rest of the match, then Anand will win comfortably. It would be better for him to look for solid positional setup without much tactical possibilities, since Kramnik is definitely better than Anand in those.

i'm an ardent Anand fan 2!!!

There may be a few excitable souls, but as an Anand fan I'm certainly not ruling Kramnik out. As a rule, Vlady plays his best with his back to the wall and I really think that the fight has just begun. That said, the momentum is with Vishy what the pressure he applied in G/2 and now another chance with White tomorrow. Also Vishy is a much more solid player than Topalov so that may not be an accurate comparison.

He beat Shirov in Linares on Feb 28 so 8 months ago.

"There were moments when [Anand]was worse today" --Yuriy Kleyner

hmm, are you sure?

Well, he was Black...

May be he goes "soft" with the software company and "hard" with the hardware company!

I like taht!!

Regarding 33.Kb3 as suggested (also) by Kasparov, commenter Andrej---aided by Rybka 3---at Dennis Monokroussos' site http://chessmind.powerblogs.com/posts/1224251620.shtml found what appears to be a clear win. Rather than "win" White's Queen, Black has a weird series of queen checks and stepwise slithers, and then traps White's Queen on f1! Details worked out between the two of them are in DM's game notes at http://chessmind.powerblogs.com/files/kramnik_anand_2008_3.htm

Thus it appears Kramnik was right when he said in the press conference that 32.Rd3(!) was his last hope---and maybe a fine one.

anyone have a link to the post-match press conference?

I thought (and I am judging more by GM commentary, certainly not solely my own analysis) that until the Qe2 he was quite fine, and often had more resource and initiative. And in the stretch between 21 and 25, I will take 2 pawns over initiative in a battle of two expert defenders. That he made a few mistakes subsequently does not mean his position was worse to begin with.

Some people are all ready for a "post-MATCH" press conference though.

pyada :)

I liked this game so much, I have read 3 or 4 different comentators' versions (plus Gustaffsons analysis). IMHO, the official analysis by GM Illescas (http://www.uep-chess.com/cms_english/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogsection&id=8&Itemid=26)
is the best one, and also the presentation, ala informator, is outstanding.

It ain't over till it's over.

Wrong. Sometimes it's over long before it's over.

Wrong. Sometimes it's over long before it's over.

Wow, thats nice analysis showing Kramnik was lost even with 33.Kb3
My Rybka after giving it that variation also realizes that 33.Kb3 is also lost.

Come on guys it's not over. Apart from the Bd3 blunder, Kramnik did a pretty amazing job (as expected) of countering Anand's home preparation. But that is not enough to win this match. Kramnik has to show his cards. It's not a good idea for Kramnik to wait till the last few games, because if his home preparation doesn't work for some reason, then he won't have any time left.

I have a feeling that tomorrow's game will be a tame draw. I don't think Anand is going to go all out as he did in games 2 & 3. Obviously, I'm hoping he goes after Kramnik again, but I'm afraid Anand won't do that - he seems to have a tendency to play it safe when he is ahead. On the other hand, Anand has surprised me with his guts, aggressiveness, and general FU spirit in games 2 & 3, so you never know.

C'mon guys, this match is far from over. It just started. Remember,
Topalov busted two in a row in Elista and it seemed like the wires had
gone off, even RDH thought on this very forum that he's cheating, so
deep was the confusion and disbelief. Yet, Kramnik came right back in
G10 with a punch of his own. And while he looked weak in Mexico, like
these kind of powerful comebacks were no longer part of his
repertoire, still, it'll get hotter. Either he'll come back, or Anand
will destroy him if he gets adventurous in search of a sure
victory. Kramnik is a superior strategist and far less accomplished as
a sharp tactician at the board. Enjoy the rest, we just saw the first
fire. Important to note is that in both of his last matches Kramnik
was the "challenger". In fact, in 3 of his 4 WC matches he was the
"challenger". He has always had a positive count as a "challenger"...


The Toilet Hero Big Vlad start to show his real strand. Look's like he can't run to the toilete after every move like in Elista and Zhukov and KGB are not in Bonn to support him. Actually this is his real level of play if you check his results this year : 50% in Wijk aan zee : -1 in Dortmund ,and +1 in Moscow.
So,where is the surprise here ?
Shame on you guys,who defended him in Elista.
Shame on you MIG.

At 00:00:58 in the "Chess TV news R3" video on


there is a short clip from the press conference after game 3.
I am not able to hear what move Kramnik says, before saying that he is better and perhaps even "playing for the advantage". This comment seem to surprise Anand or perhaps even make him object in a nonverbal way.

Good coverage of the match at europe-echecs (if you understand French).

" On 17th July 2007 Mr. Valery Bovaev, Chairman of the Executive Committee World Chess Championship match 2006, informed the EC, through the FIDE Office in Elista, that “according to the statement of the Head of the Administration of the informational resources of the Republic of Kalmykia Mr. Namsinov, who was in charge for the security and tapes as well during the Championship match, the video tapes from the Topalov-Kramnik match have been destroyed”. Prior to receiving to this report, FIDE Offices have never been informed of Mr. Valery Bovaev’s decision."

Mig,dont you think it is strange to destroy official video tapes?Isn´t that Danailov/Topalov were absolutely right to protest after watching Kramnik´s behaviour and then listening his lies?And you and others like you just closed your eyes?You call yourself a journalist?

G3 video and press conference finally up on chessvibes!

Huh? I don't see it anymore..

Anand's facial expression (when Kramnik claimed he wasn't worse and was fighting for an advantage) is a classic! "Yeah, right!! ..but whatever makes you happy!"

Mig - Update #2 is awesome - keep up the great work!!

'catenaccio' - definition:

In soccer, a style of play which emphasizes defense and tactical fouls.

Etymology: Italian 'door bolt'

18.Nd2!Ke7!19.Bxd7 Rg8!20.Nc4! leaves white better in the long run,The move 20.Bb5? is given in the 18.Nd2 line,but Bb5(retreating the bishop)is such a waste of time.20.Nc4 turns the evaluation around.So i believe Kramnik should have played 18.Nd2!.

How do you deal with the pin after 20..Qa6 (forced)? Now the bishop goes. It's very risky to give up the bishop because of the weaknesses on the light squares around the white king. There are yet more spectacular lines though, and it's quite unclear. 18.Nd2 Ke7 19.Bxd7 Rg8 20.Nc4 Qa6 and now three different remarkable moves are playable. 21.Be8, 21.Ba4, and the wild 21.Be3. I wonder if one of the reasons Kramnik rejected 18.Nd2 was that it was the most natural reply and therefore the one that Anand would have spent more time on.

vlad the vampir seems to have ran out of bats to spy on young girls..vlad met his slayer anand the veandercross.........! vlad the toiletgate hero got caught on the cam suckin dung of anand's

Friedel's end-of-game handshake photo, where Kramnik is resigning, shows Kramnik's white king is still standing.
I like the custom of first tipping my king to its side before I resign.


To say Kramnik has nothing against the Slav is rather fanciful at this stage. I wouldn't be shocked if he took on Anand's Meran Defense again. The surprise value of ...Bb7 is gone, and White may come up with improvements against it. Would Anand venture again?

If they play the Meran again, I believe Anand would be the first to deviate from game 3.

And one game is of course not enough to prove that Anand's Semi-Slav preparation is superior. In these super-sharp lines it's like walking a minefield. This time Kramnik walked on a mine, even though he handled it pretty well. Maybe next time he gets a killer novelty in first.

Maybe Kramnik will switch to the anti-Moscow? He surely knows a thing or two about that line, although Anand equally surely does too.

Acirce, thats the point. It is a minefield and if Kramnik steps on another one then it is curtains. Unless he is sure he can steer the game into the safer channels he wants it would be dangerous to venture again.

Yes, of course another loss with White would be a disaster. So maybe Kramnik is not yet ready to enter any of this again, but will return to it later in the match.

vlad the fake world champion got chopped off by the real one.. his chess is only good enough to stand against kasparov whom he helped against anand..vlad and kasparov are both troublemakers who are selfish and would stop at nothing to achieved their goals even if that means unethical. shame shame shame poor shirov

Is "toilet paper" part of the insidious Russian plot to make all Topalov fans sound like morons?

He's merely trying to live up to his illustrious name- that's why his posts are full of ....

this match is a little beyond vlad. his boring defensive strategic style suited mad willed hitler lookalike kasparov and hyper aggresive bulgarian topalov and of course felt at home with leko's gandhi approach. that's probably the main reason why trickster kasparov gave the title to his student as usual like what he does best to wreck the chess world with his bitchy antics and divide chess again by installing another conman out of fide rules kickin anand in the gut and hoping to shaft him for good.. oh these snaky creatures shouldn't be allowed in chess and a karma for him . what goes around comes around vlad

Have a huge dose of a Phenotiazine. It'll chill you out.

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    About this Entry

    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on October 17, 2008 1:31 PM.

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