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WCh 08 g5: Anand Batters Kramnik Again

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[Kramnik is down one with his third of six whites. He lost his last one to Anand's brilliant preparation and play. Time to see what Vlady's got up his long sleeves. Or he could just "play chess" as the saying goes, get a little +/= going and squeeze. Deep Thought Dept: How much will Obama pay Foidos to interrupt the world championship broadcast with his 30-minute commercial? Post-game update...]

Wow. What, doesn't Kramnik want his friend Peter Svidler coming on ICC Chess.FM to commentate game 12 as scheduled? If things keep up this way there won't be a game 12. Or 11. World Champion Vishy Anand again beat Kramnik in the same incredibly sharp line of the Meran they played in game three to go up 3.5-1.5 with seven games to play. Hardly an insurmountable lead, but the how of these losses more notable than the what. Today Kramnik compounded his preparation woes with a losing blunder, allowing a very pretty winning combination that Anand saw coming a mile away. In the press conference both players evaluated the position before the 29.Nxd4 blunder as okay for Black. ("Complicated and pretty good for Black," quoth Kramnik.) Kramnik stated the obvious, that he simply missed the shot 34..Ne3!, which GMs Speelman and Har-Zvi had shown everyone on the ICC earlier. He didn't take on d4 earlier simply because he didn't see what else Black could do to improve, not because he saw and forgot the combination Anand eventually used to win.

I'm surprised to see Kramnik go head-to-head with Anand's preparation like this so soon. Trying to refute in days what your opponent and his team have worked on for months is almost always suicide. Kasparov tried it against Kramnik in 2000 and paid the price, but at least against the Berlin you don't lose when things don't work out for you. After this game Kasparov briefly opined something along the lines of what he said about game three, that Kramnik has been in his comfort zone by successfully avoiding sharp play for too long. He's just not at his best in these complications. (To these losses I'd add his brutal loss to Morozevich at the Tal Memorial. That was another king-safety blindside.) But Kramnik made his motive clear in the press conference, saying he figured he was at -1 and in these lines he's definitely going to have a chance to play for a win in a sharp position. A fair point, though giving up choice of battlefield is starting at a serious disadvantage, even apart from these being the sort of positions Anand likes and Kramnik typically avoids.

Press conference question: "Is the situation critical for you now?" Kramnik got a laugh with his physical reaction and "I think so," along with his response, "it could have been better." He continued: "No, it's still okay. There are still a few games to go and okay, minus two is a difficult situation, but not totally hopeless. I'm going still to fight, of course."

Anand varied first, a bad sign for Kramnik, playing 15..Rg8 and allowing the white bishop to come to f4 and then g3 to block the g-file. Anand then followed with the subtle-like-an-axe-to-the-forehead 17..f5!, showing that the bishop on g3 had troubles of its own. Kramnik was content with his 18.Rfc1. In the press conference he called it "a very interesting move," which is about as effusive as Big Vlad ever gets. Kramnik said he felt White should be better after that but couldn't see a way to a big advantage. He gave 22.Bxd7 Kxd7 23.Qh5 as an alternative, or 22.Qh5 directly, though he didn't see a followup after 22..Qd6. My old buddy Rob Huntington asked if Speelman's suggestion on the ICC, 23.Rd1, might not have been stronger. Kramnik agreed that 23.Rd1 is probably better than his 23.Rxc8, but that he was already getting low on time and wanted to simplify. With more time, he said he might have gone for 23.Rd1. He had already lost the thread by the time he played 27.Re1, which was based on the variations leading up to the blunder.

Anand also did battle on the stating the obvious front, saying that these Meran lines are sharp. He didn't see how White could attack without the dark-squared bishops, and combined with the central pawn mass he thought he would be okay. He saw the winning shot as early as when Kramnik played 27.Re1. He knew Nxd4 was losing, but thought he would be fine after 29.Bxd7 Bxf3 30.gxf3 Kxd7. A question to Vishy asked about lifting the rook to g5 instead of challenging on the c-file with 22..Rac8. Anand (and Kramnik earlier) emphasized the importance of the c-file.

One interesting line was given as a response to a question from GM Robert Huebner, who offered 22.b4. Kramnik said he wasn't sure if 22..Rxg2+ was then working. It looks pretty good for Black. 23.Nxg2 Rg8 24.f3 d3+ 25.Qf2 Bxf3 26.Qxb6 Rxg2+ 27.Kf1 Bxb6 is an entirely irrational position with chances of everything except a draw.

So, is it over? Coming back from -2 in seven games, and just three whites, against the world champion is no small task. Several have come close. Karpov won three in a row against Kasparov to equalize near the end of their 86 match. In 1978 Korchnoi came close to a heroic comeback against Karpov, winning games 28, 29, and 31 to tie things up before Karpov got the sixth win in game 32 to end the match. In 1954 Smyslov scored 3.5/5 at the end to draw even but then ran out of track and Botvinnik retained his title. In Bonn there are no draw odds, however.

One big question will be answered tomorrow, and that's whether or not Kramnik feels he has to start playing to win with black already. Having a repertoire dedicated to slight disadvantages and queen exchanges instead of counterplay is here a liability. Of course going for broke could lead to a fatal third loss, so they may deem it early to hit the panic button. So really the question is does Kramnik have a Plan B now that Plan A is down the, umm, toilet?


Good morning,

Before they play just a bit feedback on the media coverage in the host country, Germany. I am quite impressed that nearly all newspapers and news websites follow the match closely. Results are presented after each game. On the first day there were stories and portraits of the players. The website of the most important news broadcast even has an ABC of chess on the main page, explaining strategies, tactics and technical terms like exchange. Nothing like this could be found with the tournaments in Argentinia and Mexico, not to speak of the lottery KOs. This shows again that a worldchampionship match is something special.

Enjoy the match, Beryllo

In Kalmikya they have way better organization.

In that case they should bring Kirsan! the ppl in Bonn I mean :) But truly, the only aspect that I feel it could be better is to have a sort of professional of the media directing the session of questions and answers after the games. K. Bischoff seems like a nice guy but sometimes he seems out of place, which is normal because he's a GM after all.

I don't know about the German media but Chessbase has crap coverage. Even their reports on the Mexico tournament (with GM Marin etc) were better.

Obama only raised $150 million in Sept., so I doubt he can afford to air commercials in the WC.

There is a huge amount of luck involved in whether the plaers walk into each others juiciest preparation for example I'm sure Vlad had plenty of venomous lines prepared in the exchange Salv but Anand avoided them. Anand must have been thrilled to get such a big blow in in game 3 and doubly so as he was Black. To get winning edge either by position or clock against Vlad is the holy grail of prep.

Anand is in a tricky psychological position now. If he gently presses with white (as per game 4) it's probable he wont get any more white wins. Kramnik will be playing very agressively as white (he has to) and would be likely to score at least one win. Consequently I think Anand has to play as agressively as possible. It's the perennial difficulty in sport in that the person leading thinks they have something to defend and the person behind can be "free" to play more loosely.

Cant wait for todays game (Vlad's last white for a little while)

Hate to repeat a comment, but riddle me this: when will anand switch to e4, if at all? Who thinks that he has 6 d4s prepared? What would that say about the future of e4 at top level?
This match is doing evil things to my psyche. Only yesterday I dreamed that Anand played e4 and to his horror was defeated by the Alekhine. Time to see my shrink.

I dont expect Anand to switch to e4 at all. Petroff is the big problem for elite e4 player (against another elite player). Kramnik will be very well prepared against e4 - we know that for sure. Very hard for Anand to really prepare both e4 and d4 in real depth.

Could we have a second consecutive WC match in which 1.e4 is not seen even once? That had never happened before until Kramnik-Topalov.

I guess Anand will not switch to 1.e4. And yet, he might not win a single game with white...I mean, QGD variation Kramnik played is like Petroff against 1.d4. Go win it against Kramnik.

Anand ---> Heine ---> Carlsen ---> Fast

Fast + MS ---> Supercomp

Team Anand + Rybka + Supercomp = Bye bye Vlad

I think Kramnik has lost the plot here. Anand his team and his computers we can assume have spent weeks looking at this new line of the semi slav. Kramnik and his team have had a day or so since Bb7 was unleashed. But Kramnik plays into it again. Thats dumb. If Anand goes down that line again its because he is certain its ok a ceretainty backed up by far more analysis than Kramnik and co have TIME to match - sure enough Anand flashed out 16...Bd6 in reply to Kramniks improvememnt of 16 Bf4. kramnik found the best reply with 17 Bg3 but now the play seesm fairly straightforward something like 17..Ke7 18 a4 Ne5 18 Nxe5 fxe5 and black has no problems and active play. Kramnik is just playing into preperation he cannot match - he had other reasonable white variations to play in the semi slav. Strange.

beyond comprehension (except assu-mig the quicksand of reason) why Kramnik goes again for this variation

So Kramnik is having a big think - well he is playing against Anands team and Rybka. Madness.

this is a Kramnik-Rybka game with Anand as speactator..well, as computer operator

I think Kramnik would be relieved to draw this game - if he can. Whatever happens the post game press conference is going to be unpleasant for Kramnik....

20.a4 Clock readings: 0.54 1.41..another 1-2 moves and Anand will have to start playing..and Valdy will begin to fall apart because of tiredness

Ovidu, you didn't think Kramnik was a computer operator when Kasparov had to butt his against Kramnik's home-cooked Berlin, did you? So stop being sore-loser :)

Don't try to always detract credit from opps and score cheap points for Kramnik. To me it seems obvious Anand, with his Bb7 novelty has done to Kramnik what Kramnik did to Kaspy with Berlin - i.e. leave Kramnik with no choice to butt his head against opponent's chosen specialty for this WCC. Kramnik, down 1, can't shift to 1. e4, which is Anand's strong territory. And in 1. d4, if Kramnik can't play the Slav which is his strongest suit, what else is he going to play?

The die-hard blind Kramnik supporters kept playing sore losers and shouting during and after Mexico "oh Anand is true WC only if he beats Kramnik in a 1-on-1 match". All of you sore losers, WAKE UP...your Kramnik is in the PATHETIC position of "must butt head against 14...Bb7" in this WCC. It remains to be seen WHAT IF ANY headway Kramnik is going to make agaisnt this slav-roadblock, since Anand and his team have MONNTHS OF PREPARATION over the worst of the three Ks hey hey).

To sum up, my suspicion is that Kramnik now faces a damned-if-you-do and damned-if-you-dont situation. If he tries to abandon his pet slav, he is SURE Anand has novelities elsewhere in openings that are NOT Kramnik's strong suits, both in d4 and e4. My take on Kramnik is that his genius lies in assessing each position in an original way and come up with really deep moves. Thus, when faced with ....Bb7 in G3, Kramnik was indeed able to come up overboard Bf4 but even he can't compensate for lack of preparation in the opening moves. And Kramnik was never a great opening innovator, so right now his weakness has been called out. He is in a DEEP PIT and has no other option than to claw his way back. Anand himself was known as a "repeator", playing the saem 1. e4 again and again...but this time he has bested Kramnik in his preparations, no doubt about it. So take it, you sore-losers BLIND Kramnik supporters, and just give appreciation where it is due.

Why the heck doesn't Vlad at least TRY the Catalan? Sure, Anand's bound to have prep, but at least he won't be walking into the mouth of the dragon that Anand's loosed in game 3...as it is, he's way down on time & could lose his 2nd in a row with Black...& I'd be willing to bet Anand will return to 1. e4 tomorrow, after the loud thud in game 4...

Can anyone please translate and post Shipov's comments on the position?

Ok Kramnik is down on time (sooner or later Anand would have to take time too) but how is Kramnik's Ra3 being assessed by the experts? It seems to me, this rook provides a double resource to white...guarding the 3rd row and allowing his own doubling of rooks on c-file, ahead of Anand's threatened doubling of rooks on the g-file.

So it would be good to know the powers be - GMs -assessments on this position.

Check Susan's comments on the position @ http://susanpolgar.blogspot.com/

Position again very dynamic. Terrific play by Kramnik again low on time and against comp prep but self-inflicted in this case.

Hmmm I was right it seems. Anand had to challenge white immediately on the c-file, giving up any plans to double on g-file, but that seems ok for too for Anand, since he is currently controlling the open c-file. Kramnik has had to take his rook back, but that way he has thwarted double rooks aiming against his Kind. Interesting situation on board. Is it right to say, right now Kramnik can only play for two results, draw at best?

Thanks Amit I will check out Susan's page

Its not a slav road block - its a meran road block. Kramnik didnt and doesnt have to play the meran. Its inconceivable that all his 6 months white preperation is just the semi slav meran ! Thats ridiculous. So for example 6 Qc2 is a prefectly good move to try for an edge. Also obviously there are the moscow variations with 5 Bg5. Thats what seems strange in Kramniks choice today. Of course Anand deserves every credit for his play and preperation.

Also, Kramnik has always been very comfortable in the Catalan, so I'd expect to see that at some point.

"Kramnik didnt and doesnt have to play the meran. Its inconceivable that all his 6 months white preperation is just the semi slav meran ! Thats ridiculous."

please don't bash Kramnik like that. he also prepared the exchange Slav.

Well, as i said, Kramni's genius lies in coming up with strongest continuations overboard. This fight around the ...Bb7 novelty seems to revolve against how far Kramnik can find a move that Anand and his team haven't spotted. Did Anand consider in his home prep, 22. Ra3, for example. Fascinating fight, and Kramnik gets so far pretty good marks on my book for finding some good moves today too, over the board. Susan seems to think Ra3 was a slightly inferior move. The position is dynamite, very finely balanced. Kramnik has taken the slav challenge as "ijjat kaa savaal" :) let us see how he fares. It must be said, to Anand's credit, he is not simply relying on home prep, he showing a super aggressive mind set in following through over the board, so worthy game again !

its over Kramnik has blundered - congratulations to Anand terrific performance by the Wrold Champion the game and match is over dead at 2-0. If kramnik was going to play Nxd4 it had to be the previous move

Well I guess in difficult position and low on time falling into such pits dug up by Vishy was always on the cards.
God awful prep by Kramnik's team. In Soviet times Leko etc would be taken outside and shot.

Oh dear, missing Ne3! Thud.

Finished! 0-1

Oh, hell. Congrats to Vishy! He must have been playing another very good game, and now match victory is much closer still... but it is far from over, we're not even halfway.

I don't blame Kramnik's team. They generate ideas, but he decides which ones to play. I just don't get the idea of traipsing into the same unbalanced position that he just lost 2 games ago.

Now we need the post by Ovidiu that Rybka figured the whole thing out, and all Anand needed to do was bang out the moves.

Wow. I'm impressed.

Great preparation by Anand. I cannot see him lose now. Let's see if Kramnik has a Plan B with white, otherwise he'll have to play like Game 1.


tactical understanding:

Anand 2800
Kramnik 2600

anybody agrees?

I am no openings expert, but doesn't playing the Slav prevent the Catalan?

Well, the bad news for Kramnik is that there's only 7 games left. The good news is that he only has to play 3 more whites ;-)

Kramniks defeat is nothing to do with his team - its kramniks responsibility. All the commentators are saying the same thing - no need to go back into the meran mine field. He did and he got blown up. Superb preperation and excellent play . I thought before the match that what happened to Anands semi slav might be decisive. Now we can see that Anands main weapon was black!! Its also possible to say that the exchange slav was a reasonable choice the meran proved not to be. These super sharp positions suit Anands style not Kramniks. Kramnik has had a very good run but he may never contest another WCC. However I wonder if Anand will play into these positions against Topalov - now that would be a differenr proposition! .Anyway his preperation for this match will carry him through to the next challenge to his crown,

Then positional understanding

Kramnik 3000
Anand 2700

The match situation looks terrible for Kramnik. He has only 3 whites left and in 2 of them he has a black game the day before.

Kramnik will play this variation again next time he has White, and with same result. Continuing doing the same thing and hoping for a different outcome is the mark of great intelligence.

There really is a lot of god awful comment on here from people who probably aren't within 600 elo of the players involved. If this is the case, you have ZERO real understanding of what is going on, despite what your computers are telling you.

Try to have a bit of respect for both sides. I'm enjoying these games immensely but I am not arrogant enough to think I can criticise or second guess these players.

"tactical understanding: Anand 2800; Kramnik 2600"

That's awfully simplistic. Kramnik banged out a ton of accurate moves against Anand's home prep. He has also scored his share of tactical brilliancies over the years, something that deserves to be far better recognized.

He's obviously a far better player than 29.Nxd4. You had Dennis Monokroussos, who's rated about 800 ELO points lower than Kramnik, pointing out on his blog that it was an obvious trap. And yes, Kramnik is a better player than Dennis. Sometimes, people just commit uncharacteristic mistakes. Anand has had them too—just not in this match.

GM Susan Polgar rated about 2600, saw it coming. Here are her comments, given in real time:


28...Rc3 The pressure now is on White. The worst possible move is 29.Nd4 Qxd4 30.Rd1 Nf6 31.Rxd4 Nxg4 32.Rd7+ Kf6 and Black wins due to to White's back rank problem.

29.Nxd4?? This is a poison pawn. White is now in serious trouble. I think it is over.

Acirce, as I was saying on the Chessvibes boards, kaboom! :)

For anyone who think the match is not over just contemplate this: Kramnikj is supposed to beat Anand twice then win the rapid/blitz playoff. For him to beat Anand with black is a practical impossibility - with what defence to e4 or d4????. So he has 3 white games - he needs 3 wins to win or 2 to go into the tie break - no realistic chance.

It's clear Kramnik has chosen the wrong strategy: play for a draw with black and play to lose with white.

Congrats to Anand. He came to play and that's all anyone could ask for. He deserves his lead.

Kramnik got demolished by Kamsky 4.5-1.5 in a candidates match so he is prone to collapses.

He did it again. Congratulations, Vishy!

Kramnik showed courage, risked to look silly with his opening choice, and now he does. I wonder if he can smile after this one.

I would add: For anyone who thinks the match is over, ponder this: We all know from our own experience that 1 mistake in chess can lose a game. Anand need only make 2 mistakes in 7 games and the match is tied up. Is the probabilty high? No. But this is a match between humans.

Kramnik will now need to press as Black. At minus one, he could afford to steer the Black games to drawish positions, and hope to equalize with White. That's not realistic at minus two.

It would be interesting to see Vishy open tomorrow with 1.e4. Would Kramnik fall into his usual Petroff?

Before settling in to serious play, the evil Kramnik launches a pre-emptive strike; cleverly stripping Anand (and his fans) of the "I was out-prepared" and "I was out of form" excuses.

If Kramnik varies from Petroff/Berlin then he runs into not months but DECADES of prep by Vishy. I think his best chance is the Sveshnikov. If Vishy continues down the d4 QGD path then he risks playing too passively. But I don't see any ray of light for Kramnik - his entire match strategy now looks suspect. One of the biggest questions is why did he drop 1.Nf3?

The Toilet Hero Kramnik one's again proved how strong is outside of Elista without KGB. Now all this slaves like MIG,Chessbase,Mark Crowter etc, who defended him in Elista have to apologize to Topalov,the real number one in the World.
Shame on you guys.

>Kramnik showed courage, risked ..

He showed stupidity, this game looks as a copy of the 3rd, including final blundering in time pressure

You just can't play right into your opponent prep. because even if initially (and with great efforts) you find brilliant ways to cope you will be exhausted, prone to blunders, and low on time by the time your opponent begins to play for real.
It just doesn't make any sense.

Anand just needs to be focused now..

For Kramnik to come back, he'll have to take a lot of risks which would mean playing sharp lines which, although Anand is probably better at, would at least not leave him running against home prep and hence such a huge disadvantage against the clock. He's got to get into positions where Anand has to start working OTB pretty early. Although Kramnik might have to do the same, at least he stands a better chance that way..

Maybe the historians can help us out here. Is there any precedent for a WC contestant losing to deep preparation the way Kramnik did on Friday, and then playing into the identical line three days later?

Apparently (i read this on the ChessMind) Kramnik played Nd4 and the rest confidently. Only when Vishy's hand hovered over the Knight as it headed towards e3 did Vlad realize what was happening and "slumped in his chair". God knows why he was thinking Vishy was going to a lost endgame. Overconfidence perhaps.

"One of the biggest questions is why did he drop 1.Nf3?"

He always allowed the (Semi-)Slav anyway if Black wanted to, it's just another move order. And there is no good way to avoid it either.

According to the FIDE website, in his last 76 games before this match, Kramnik had scored:

Color Percentage:
37 games with White :
Win: 49% Draw: 49% Loss: 2%
36 games with Black :
Win: 0% Draw: 86% Loss: 14%

These stats reflect more bad news for Kramnik - after having only one white loss in 37 games, he now has 2 to Vishy in a week.

Further, note that Kramnick had Zero (0!) wins as black during this period - he needs a few now!

Kramnik fans shudder!

I'm obviously an Anand fan and this result isn't one bit surprising to me but I really feel for what Kramnik must've gone through at 34..Ne3. I hope he gets another sneak in before Carlsen begins his reign.

I don't see Vishy playing classical chess at the highest level after 2009..

Wow! Not only is e4 dead, but d4 is dead too. Long live Black!

Ways to avoid the Semi-slav:

1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. g3
1. Nf3 d5 2. c4 c6 3. g3/e3/b3
1. c4 c6 2. e4

In a World Championship match of course, only the first option above is really recommended.

Actually, the surprising thing is not that Kramnik allowed tactical positions, but that he failed to win them. He's always been a good tactical player, it's only in the past few years his play has dried up thoroughly. This is a guy who used to play the Sveshnikov as a front line defense.

It's only in 2000 and then since returning from illness that Kramnik has garnered a reputation for one dimensional positional play.

Kramnik has frequently (including a loss to Anand with White back in 1998 or so) played the sharpest Semi-Slav lines with decent success.

I am playing the semi-slav (or meran variation) for nearly 20 years and I do not understand Kramniks strategy. 8. Bd3 is by far the most tactical variation in the whole e3 system. OK. Anand has done excellent work in reactivating the axb5 line with Bb7 but Kramnik could not expect Anand to be unprepared.
Kramnik must have been very desparate to play something "new" or unfashionable against the semi-slav. He played 8. Be2 and the line with 4. e3 and later Nh4 against Topalov. And there are also the lines with 6. Qc2. All these lines are the first choice for all positional players for decades. But Kramnik opted for the element of suprise and lost.
The first mistake was to play this variation. The second even less understandable mistake was to play it again. Anand and his team had enough time to analyse this line before the match. The Kramnik team had just two days.
The other side of the story is that Kramnik played fine chess for a long time in both games and the positons where quite balanced or even favorable for white at some point. But then he blundered it away...
Kramnik has 0,5/3 with white. Unbelievable.
And to answer a question: Yes the slav prevents the catalan. I love it :-)

This win also takes Vishy Anand to #1 on the live rating list? What time does that list update? I think he should go to 2792 after today's win..one point ahead of Topalov..

Now the simple truth is very evident:Kramik cheated in Elista and instead of being disqualified for years from chess,he was awarded with a new match for the World title,the third present of his career.But 2 years passed quickly and now he has to play,this time outside Russia and we see the results!!!

Kramik is down but it's not over until its over. Anand collapsed against Kasparov after leading, and he had a +2 lead against Kamsky. Below are the results from Anand-Kamsky match.

Sanghi Nagar, VII-VIII, 1994.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Total
Anand V = = 1 1 = 0 0 = 0 0 4.0
Kamsky G = = 0 0 = 1 1 = 1 1 6.0

Kramnik has potential (with his will power) to make a come back, and the person leading tends to become defensive. Even the last four rounds of Mexico confirms that Anand may get too defensive now. He almost lost to Grischuk in Mexico.

I'm not sure why people keep making a deal over color allocation. I believe Kramnik falls in to that same trap of expecting to have chances with white and holding with black. You see his results pointed out above.

Not sure why players still make a big deal of a player winning with black. Black has enough fighting systems to realistically fight for initiative and advantage regardless of giving up the first move. For the sake of the match, Kramnik had better change his thinking.

Oh cmon..please don't start something all over again..lets just believe that nobody cheated. Topalov was a huge favorite on the rating lists, going by form, and the positions he got in the first two games. If from that position, someone sees himself at 0-2, its not surprising to become paranoid..

I hope Topalov did not say what he was quoted as saying about this being a "semi-final" and "between a #5 & #6"...it hasn't taken the vish one month to regain his top ranking.

Ovidu is unable to process that a Russian is not an automatic winner in WCC match against a non-Russian :) So whatever he types out is MEANINGLESS

A person of Kramnik's understanding in chess is hardly likely to repeat this opening unless he has ACTUALY diagnosed the NECESSITY for doing this. One possibility is the urge for discovering the "chess truth" behind the position after 14..Bb7, as some said Kasparaov tried to do, in persisting with 1 e4, against the Berline. Eventually Kasparov had the satisfaction of having found that truth to some extent since he won against Kramink's Berlin in Astana, months later.

Did Kramnik persist with the same opening, in that kind of pursuit?

Another possibility of course is that Kramnik felt that he had found (along with his seconds) some definite improvement, but it is Anand who varied first, with 15...Rg8. In which case, Kramink has been out prepared by Anand, so kudos to Anand.

Whatever the reason, there is no question that Anand was just belting out home prep. There are moves deep into the game that Kramnik played instantly (24. Qg4, 25. Nf3, as per Susan's commentary), and there were moves (in response) that Anand too played instantly (26...Qf6) Were both into their home preps even at this late stage? Perhaps Kramnik had to play fast to save time, and Anand was replying likewise to pressure Kramnik into a blunder. Even Susan remarked that it might be a dangerous strategy for Anand to do that in such a complicated situation. If that was the situation, again kudos to Anand since Kramnk did yield to the relentless pressure.

The next possibility is that it is Kramnik's assessment (as I posted earlier) that for some reason Kramink fears opening other than 1 d4, and in this opening his best opening has been undermined, and now is booby trapped.

I am awaiting post-match explanations by Kramnik (and his seconds) as to why the Meran was repeated in game 5. Might be a FATEFUL decision.

The chances of Kramnik making a comeback in this match, IMHO, is close to ZERO. Any such attempt will only make the score WORSE.

This match probably does milestone the end of Kramnik as a championship contender.

His decline since the 2000 Kasparov match and later illness was fast and at a young age.

As mentioned earlier, if Kramnik begins missing moves like Nf8 Qh7++ (in his 2006 match against Deep Fritz) he will miss moves like 34. ...Ne3.

I cannot imagine the Kramnik of year 2000 losing these two games in such style.

It is un-Kramnik.

"Is there any precedent for a WC contestant losing to deep preparation the way Kramnik did on Friday, and then playing into the identical line three days later?"

I dont know, but Kramnik was not losing to deep preparation. His positions at the end of Anands preparation were fine. He lost to a mixture of being wore prepared than his opponent, losing a lot of time, playing not his kind of positions and blundering.
How much each of this four interdpendent variables contributes to his losses is a matter of discussion.

I doubt Vishy will make the same mistake of sinking into complacency. I met him after game 4 in the Sanghi Nagar match and he looked relaxed...way too relaxed in fact.

Anand may calmly switch to e4 tomorrow and welcome the Petrov, Berlin or some other drawish Kramnik opening.

In comparison, Anand's color scores in the same period:

39 game(s) with White :
Win: 26% Draw: 69% Loss: 5%
41 game(s) with Black :
Win: 24% Draw: 66% Loss: 10%

*From the FIDE site, which says "includes all games since Jan 2007 for which color information was submitted." I assume that at this level, color information is submitted for every game. Caution may be in order, however, as Anand's percentages don't quite work out right.

I have to agree with Guido. Kramnik got a playable position with chances today. He just doesn't have it anymore.

Nope. That ain't happening CG..
Anand ain't (no longer) a Tendulkar who slows down in the 80s only to get out in the 90s..

Kramnik is not getting out-prepared. He is showing his class in playing great moves OTB against Anand's excellent homework. Problem is it is taking too much time and wearing him down for the "actual" struggle ahead. I think its very revelatory in the press conference when someone asked him why did you play Rxc8 when you could play Rd1 (on the 23rd move).
Kramnik frankly admitted that it was due to lack of time, he was trying to simplify and if he had more time he would have played Rd1.
So Kramnik's decision to keep playing this hyper-sharp line is even more mystifying.

Greg , can you elaborate on your comment?

well put, Guido

"tactical understanding:

Anand 2800
Kramnik 2600

anybody agrees?"

Before the match Yusupov said:

Anand 10
Kramnik 8

Looks like Yusupov was spot on.

Can Mig better his own "It's not over till it's over, but it's over" from http://www.chessninja.com/dailydirt/2007/09/tour_de_vish.htm ?? ;)

"Anand may calmly switch to e4 tomorrow and welcome the Petrov, Berlin or some other drawish Kramnik opening."

Interesting comment, Bizz. I totally agree. "so you wanted to play low risk positions....fine with me"

If Anand plays e4, Kramnik may have to go to c5. No way Anand is entering a Marshall or something of that sort now, right? And the Berlin, well, good for drawing but not for winning. Same thing with the Petroff.

Guess Anand reads Mig's blog and decided to heed Mig's advice!

It's over not because Kramnik's down two, but because he can't play anymore. That's why it's over.

I think we should separate the final blunder from the game that came before it. It seems as though both players had really good chances, and it was a rich, complicated, unclear game for most of the time.

True, Kramnik may have worn himself out in the process, and perhaps that's a part of match strategy, but in the game itself it seems to me that Kramnik was doing fine. I don't think Anand "refuted" anything fundamental of Kramnik's -- either in this game or in Game 3.

I can't help but think that - UNconsciously, at least - Kramnik is playing poorly because if he wins the match there's the likely (unless Kamsky wins or, more likely yet, the match falls through altogether) prospect of playing Topalov again, which - let's face it - is not exactly a pleasant prospect for him. No way of knowing, of course, but it seems psychologically valid, especially considering the rather self-destructive choice he made of repeating the mistake of playing into Anand's book prep. And doesn't it seem rather odd that he missed the ...Ne3 etc. tactic at the end, something he'd ordinarily (even in time pressure, methinks) spot?!

Here is a GEM of a wrap-up by Malcolm Pein, after game 5:

"A psychological hammer blow. You can come prepared Vlad but my novelty will still come first. I can play quicker than you and outplay you in your time trouble. I can't see Kramnik coming back from this 1.5-3.5 down, three more games with white and his main line is wrecked."

So this IS Kramnik's mainline (hence Kramnik felt obliged to challenge and then try & bust Anand's g3 novelty). Perhaps Kramnik had an improvement down the line, but Anand came up with another novelty BEFORE Kramnik, and then definitely outplayed Kramnik. Ok, so that makes things a bit more clear.

Next two games will be fascinating, and I wont be surprised if Anand nets another full point and a draw.

After game 4 in Elista Kramnik had everything to show to the world he could play strongly without his Toilet!And what happened then?He started to lose.And the it came Wijk aan Zee where he was humiliated by Topalov again in one of the greatest games ever!In fact this year Kramnik already lost important games to Toplaov,Carlsen,Ivanchuk and Morozevich.He is not even N:1 in Russia.What do you expect from him,to beat the World champion now?

Mr. Toilet needs to shut up. The Topalov team needs to stop going around on blogs and rehashing Topa's shameful behavior.

It only makes Topa/Danailov look bad. Kramnik behaved honorably during the episode.

"Kramnik is not getting out-prepared."

Of course he is. In both G3 and G5, he got into positions where Anand was banging out moves at blitz speed, and he was apparently seeing those positions for the first time. This led to a huge disparity on the clock, which Anand used to his advantage.

I suspect Kramnik had ideas of his own, which he believed were equally good, but so far it's Anand who is getting the positions he wants.

I agree to Guido too. Kramnik has deliberately avoided sharp positions over a decade now. When he was young, he would rush into tactics against ones like Kasparov. Later when it turned out that his technique is superior to anyone else's, he played those no-calculation-involved positions. Indeed, this has its consequences-when he is driven into sharp positions, he is simply inferior to players like Anand, Topalov, and probably a half dozen more. What Anand does is he simply keeps the tension on the board. After certain amount of moves, Kramnik almost certainly blunders.

Being a Kramnik fan-I have to admit that Anand shows a really remarkable level of preparation. He makes it look easy...

At least, the other half of the match will be very interesting, especially if Kramnik manages to win one of the two next games.

Repeat: If Kramnik begins missing moves like Nf8 Qh7++ (in his 2006 match against Deep Fritz) he will miss 5-ply combo moves like 34. ...Ne3.

That's why Kramnik's doomed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Kramnik (version 2008) now sucks, and it is this suckiness that makes comeback impossible.

@Fireman, I think we are seeing first of the bizarre reasons that will now be offered if Kramnik loses. I can't wait till Russianbear et al enter the fray. :)

@Marcshephard, out-prepared say in the sense of Topalov's Nxf7 against Kramnik.
Kramnik is able to solve Anand's problems on the board but it is the "collateral" damage - less time on the clock, exhaustion which is killing him.

Mig is spamming allowed in your blog?

Please understand that I wasn't offering it as an excuse for Kramnik but as a possible understanding of otherwise-weird choices! Of course one could say that Anand's "simply" outplaying & outpreparing him, but it seems to me that it's foolhardy to stick one's head into the lion's mouth (to not coin a phrase), and that these 2 guys are "objectively" so evenly matched that it makes sense to look for "covert" explanations that aren't just on the surface.

A year or more ago we discussed on this board a study using a chess computer to calculate the mistakes per game of the world champions. In the results, Kramnik had the fewest mistakes per game of any world champion except Capablanca. We are not seeing that quality from Kramnik now.

Age? Rust? Nerves? Complacency of a champion? Kramnik is said to like pressure - well, he has brought it on himself now!


I love Susan Polgar, but I don't like the way she revises her game commentary to predict moves after they have been played. Small quibble, given how valuable I find her comments, but this needlessly shows her in a poor light.

loopus, toilet dweller, you made your point several blog posts back. If your reasoning is solid, you don't have to repeat it so many times to make it stick.

"In the results, Kramnik had the fewest mistakes per game of any world champion except Capablanca. We are not seeing that quality from Kramnik now."

Are you sure? His mistakes have been grave -- but still few, as far as I understand.

Tomorrow we may see Sveshnikov/Pelikan. Anand likely to play 1.e4 and if Kramnik replies c5 which is most likely. or Rosslimo Attack.

At this point in the match, Anand is in a much tougher psychological position than Kramnik, who has "nothing to lose."

In other words, I want Anand to win, but it's far from over.

This comp analysis of past champions is a bit silly. Tal is ranked low according to such evaluations because he rarely made "correct" sacrifices. Tal doesen't need me to defend him but its obvious that he posed enormous problems on the board for his opponents. and his results showed that though his moves may not be "objectively" correct.

Ok so I read all 101 comments to this point because I can't find any commentary from the official website. If you a paying customer it is a good website. If you are a visitor you get the games and then have to go to other's blogs for commentary. Mig comment for us on the state of the official website. I am glad they didn't hold the games hostage until after play.

GM Miguael Illescas (worked regularly as Kramnik's trainer for many years), AFTER Anand won in Mexico by a convincing margin, and Kramnik plodded his way through:

"Kramnik's physical conditioning isn't what it should be for this event. We spent a lot of time in that department for Elista. I figure Kramnik has trouble producing the energy or sharp style to match Vishy in a long tournament like this one, with so few rest days. Matches, of course, are a different matter...I give Kramnik a 51-49! advantage over Vishy in their 2008 match."

He he hey! We don't yet know about Kramnik's stamina, but he hasn't managed one bit to equal Anand in sharp style so far in this MATCH.

Would be interesting to hear from Illescas how rates Kramnik's chances at this stage of the WCC

Theorist: True, Kramnik may have worn himself out in the process, and perhaps that's a part of match strategy, but in the game itself it seems to me that Kramnik was doing fine. I don't think Anand "refuted" anything fundamental of Kramnik's -- either in this game or in Game 3.

Of course not, Theorist, but this match is about playing chess, not solving chess. Another time, once they are retired from practical chess, they could play advanced correspondence chess to find the "chess truth" and refute fundamentals...

Please visit chessok.com to view my commentary. I am currently rated at 3200. All other commentators are patzers compared to me.

Anand's preparation has now won two games without ever acheiving a winning position. In games three and five, he acheived a dynamically balanced position with serious tactical opportunities and a near-one-hour clock advantage, with Black, out of the opening.

That's an accident waiting to happen for Kramnik, who has to reinvent his own line over the board and then try to defend an equal position in the middlegame to get to the endgame where he has chances. Anand's choice of the ...Bb7 lines plays into his strengths and causes Kramnik difficulties.

I am also confused by Kramnik's willingness to play 6. Bd3 again. The only explanation I had was that this was a shortcut in preparation; they could exclude work on 6. Qc2 and 6. Bg5 by playing 6. Bd3. Of course, that doesn't explain why Kramnik played e4-e5 again!

How much will Obama pay Foidos to interrupt the world championship broadcast with his 30-minute commercial? ~ Ok Mig we let you get away with this one and no one else will read the 101 blog lines this deep, but hey chess is dead in America. Why would Barrack pay for a penny of ads in a European Sport? The Ads would not be directed at American voters and would be a waste of money. American's will not tune in until they get a champion al a Bobby F. with a cold war to boot. Chess will never survive in America. Learn Mandrin or Russian very soon and don't waste Barrack's ad money on a chess championship Ads until it is played in New York.

I've tried to give Susan the benefit of the doubt - it is true that blogger software is sometimes slow to update, and that her site during these games gets a high number of hits and reloads. But I know what you mean. One must also take her word (or not) that she is giving organic and not silicon analysis. Either you believe her or you don't and take it with a grain of salt.

Hey, don't bury Kramnik yet -- the "greatest match player of all
times" according to many here probably will deliver some punches along
the way. He is far from over and too much talk now will only jinx it!!
Let Anand finish his job in the way he started it. If the result holds
it will be a celebration for Chess.

And those stupid Toilet posting are annoying -- nobody cheated, that's
obvious. Provocations and playing on nerves there obviously were, but
this is not the time or place to reopen that ugly chapter -- it was
flushed away 2 years ago -- let's enjoy the great match taking place
*NOW* Everything so far follows logically and hopefully will stay that


All the people heralding the decline of Kramnik are ignorant.

Kramnik has actually been playing strong moves over the board (when he isn't in time trouble). His chess prowess is still as strong as ever.

His mistake has been a strategic one: voluntarily walking into Anand's home preparation and defending a position under heavy fire. So by the time the smoke clears, Kramnik is in time trouble in double-edged positions against one of the best tacticians in the world.

That's a tall order for anyone.

"Anand's preparation has now won two games without ever acheiving a winning position."

At this level, I don't think anyone ever literally "wins" out of their preparation. The goal is to achieve positions in which you are more comfortable than your opponent. This creates the opportunity, though never the certainty, that your oppenent will make mistakes. In this sense, Anand has gotten out of his preparation all that anyone in his position could hope to get.

acirce said: Are you sure? His mistakes have been grave -- but still few, as far as I understand.

Agreed - tja

jaideepblue said: This comp analysis of past champions is a bit silly....

Yes, we argued back then about all the faults of the study and the analysis. For example, Kramnik's low errors per game, like Capas, is probably due in part to a style variously called dry, unrisky, drawnik, boring, and so on.

I guess I'd rather see games with no noticable errors, where I can say, X outplayed Y. Instead, we are human, and most often have to say, X won when Y made the last big error. That's what made the error study interesting.


tjallen, it's not just the blogger software. Sometimes you find that she posts a new move, and then goes and adds a comment to the previous move predicting the new move. I am sure she does this with the best motives. She really wants her readers to understand what is going on, to tell a clean-looking story about the game. But it hurts the integrity of her commentary. Do you notice that there are very few false leads in her commentary, suggested lines that are not taken up by the players, compared to other GM commentaries. This gives a sanitized picture which distorts the uncertainty that is actually present in every game.

Kramnik was strategically outmaneurvered in choice of opening, but the essential (the dominant element, imo) is he is playing really bad moves. Kramnik simply missed Ne3. You don't play Nxd4 without calculating all lines out. Kramnik flat-out missed it, no excuse.

Why did he miss this move which the Kramnik of 2000 would have seen? Illness or age has killed off brain cells, or something like that.

Everybody keeps repeating that Kramnik lost to opening preparation but that's kind of unfair to Anand because the Bb7 moves only gets an equality for Black it does not hand out a winning position which we see in case of so many "opening novelties" played in regular games.

Poor Kramnik.

Poor chess public. It should've been a 24-game match, when a 2-point deficit at this point would be possible to overcome. Now it's curtains for Vlad.

Great play by Vishy. He is a deserving champion.

Has anyone actually looked at Polgar's commentary for this game? Twice, she says that they made a move she did not anticipate. She also pointed out numerous lines the players did not pursue. In most cases, where she suggested a move that they made, her suggestion appeared before it was posted on any other site.

I am not fond of her tactics in chess politics, but as an annotator she is legitimate.

Yes Susan Polgar is a good annotator, but she's obviously suggesting moves based on computer evals...

I don't think that's true either. She might be following with an engine (as many of us do), but she doesn't echo it in every case, and her comments show that she understands the underlying reasoning.

You have to bear in mind that modern engines have a tendency to recommend good moves, so when a GM arrives at the same move, it doesn't mean they got it from the engine.

Wondering if anybody's assembled enough statistics on match games to see if historically, the person with the significant lead ought to keep fighting or put his hard-hat on and run the clock in a play-for-draw fashion?

Asked differently -> If chess played at such a high level has one player playing to draw and ONLY draw, how often in history has it backfired leading to catastrophe?


Some bits from the press conference.

Q: Instead of 22.Ra3 you had the possibility of playing 22.g3. Did you consider thit move ?

Kramnik: No, really. This move g3 looks strange to me, weakening the diagonal. No I was more considering moves like Qh5 which is terribly dangerous. I think black has
[...] but after Qd6(?) I couldn't see how to make it work. [...] But not g3.

On 23.Qxc8 kramnik says it was an option and probably the better move but that he was running low on time and wanted to simplify into a very safe position. If he had more time he would have played 23.Rd1.

Asked wether the match situation is critical for him now, his answer waas "It could have been better, yes". "There are a still a few games to go. It is is a difficult situation, but not totally hopeless. I am going to fight, of course."

Lots of variations from Kramnik. It is simply awesome how many lines they calculate !

Q: Were you surprised that your opponent showes the same variation as in the third game which was also for him quite risky ?

Kramnik: "No ok, it is a possibility, I mean, I understand that he prepared it and, ok I also made some work so... no, but from other point, it is very sharp, you can win a game there and I am... I was at -1, so I thought it made sense to try it again. I mean ok, it is such a position that one wrong move and you loose the game. In this situation I thought that I should go for it. And as to Vishy I guess he is just very confident about this line or something. But I understood it was a possibility and I was preparing for it of course."

Hi Marc, I said: I've tried to give Susan the benefit of the doubt...

Maybe that came out sounding more skeptical to you than I meant it. I do enjoy and follow her comments, I read them today, I have watched her analysis unfold in real time, and I do give her the benefit of the doubt.

That doesn't mean I don't hear people making charges against her, but I haven't seen anything nearly as bad as what her critics claim. I do sometimes see the non-live edits mentioned above, and sometimes also there is a post-game clean-up, but I don't see too much to complain about (I'm giving her the benefit of the doubt).

Marc Shepherd, it is true that she does not add retroactive predictions after *every* move. I have seen her do this about half a dozen times so far and it is really jarring. Anyone who follows her commentary live can see that she at least updates her older comments as the game goes on. She may be a great annotator, but my point is that there is a difference between an annotator and a commentator. I don't mind if you use computer evaluation (in fact I prefer it), but don't change any comments after you have made them. I like to know what you really thought about the position at that point in time, when you didn't know what was going to happen next.

I don't find anything sinister about Polgar retroactively updating her analysis. I mean, if she missed something she might as well make it right. There are still enough comments of the "I didn't predict this" variety to show that she is not simply trying to make it look like she forecasted the entire outcome.

plei said "Anyone who follows her commentary live can see that she at least updates her older comments as the game goes on."

I was preferring to think of this as, she is finishing a thought that was interrupted by the live move. I hope you won't say she illegitimately inserts non-live improvements to mislead people into thinking she is a better commentator than she is. I don't believe this is what is happening. But I understand why some people might say so, or might make more out of this.

"r" has got it right. If Anand wins this he is definitely a deserving and worthy champion. He really is either way because FIDE sanctioned the previous tournament as a WC just as in 1948 and ALSO recognized the "schism" that existed. So in my mind Anand winning this match would "heal the rift" and unite the titles back together (the real one having been that with Kasparov since 1993). I just didn't imagine that it would be Anand bringing it back together. Figured he had peaked back in 1995!

I STILL say Kasparov could come back now if he really wanted to and within a year's worth of preparation be back on top.

Another player who could come back into the top 20 if they had some fire in the belly is Karpov, BUT... he doesn't have any fire in the belly. Not a flame, not a flicker, not a spark. Too bad! He played some really nice chess back in the '70s, 80's and early 90's. Anybody remember Linares '94? What a tournament!

I agree Kasparov could most likely still be a force at the top level, if he wanted. His last two results in classical chess were winning the Russian Super-Final and Linares. He went out as the #1 player.

Karpov is a good deal older than Kasparov, and his most recent results don't suggest that he could once again play at that level.

tjallen, as I said at first, I am sure she does it with good motives and not to make herself appear a better commentator. I think she tries to simplify the 'story' of the game, for the benefit of her readers (in her mind), by reducing the uncertainty that is always present when you analyze a game in real time. But I find this uncertainty to be the real drama of following a chess game, as it gives a sense of what the players may be going through. Hence my (possibly narrow minded) quibble.

Q: Were you surprised that your opponent showes the same variation as in the third game which was also for him quite risky ?

Kramnik: "No ok, it is a possibility, I mean, I understand that he prepared it and, ok I also made some work so... ..And as to Vishy I guess he is just very confident about this line or something. But I understood it was a possibility and I was preparing for it of course."

Translated : I bluffed that Anand will not play yjr 8..a6 variation again because I expected him to be intimidated by my legendary capacity for preparing a game.
Alas, it didn't work, he called my bluff and, of course, I was without anything special to show, I had again to think all over the board. In other words : I gambled and I lost.

Kramnik surely had good reasons to play this line again. He had deep preparation and a surprise element, in that Anand would surely not expect him to play this line again after the loss. But Anand our-surprised him by his novelty and took him out of his prep. Excellent prep combined with some good luck for Anand.

But it is not over, not by a long shot. Anand is going to make at least one mistake and lose a game. Then it is a matter of one game, and anything can happen. This emotional response to the Anand win is going to reverse just as quickly after one Kramnik win - here comes Kramnik, Anand is doomed!

I am truly sadden by the way computer preparation has taken the fun out of a match. It is all about what you do at home before the game even begins.

>Kramnik surely had good reasons to play this line >again.

The hell he had, the only reason he had was that Anand would not play it again but go for 8..Bb7 or other main lines where, likely, Kramnik has his own TN worked out for this match.
It turned out that 8..a6 was not an "1-shot-surprise" relying essentially on surprise for its effect but that Anand exhaustively analyzed 8..a6 as his main variation for this match.

Poor judgement from Kramnik, he gambled that Anand will be intimidated and it will not play it again now that the "great-Vady-homeprep-No.1-expert" can prepare for it.

Q: Were you surprised that your opponent showes the same variation as in the third game which was also for him quite risky ?

Kramnik: "No ok, it is a possibility, I mean, I understand that he prepared it and, ok I also made some work so... ..And as to Vishy I guess he is just very confident about this line or something. But I understood it was a possibility and I was preparing for it of course."

Translated by OVIDU: I bluffed that Anand will not play the 8..a6 variation again because I expected him to be intimidated by my legendary capacity for preparing a game.

Alas, it didn't work, he called my bluff and, of course, I was without anything special to show, I had again to think all over the board. In other words : I gambled and I lost.

NICE TRY, Ovidu, to try and erase your "Anand was just a computer operator in this game" NASTY UNEDUCATED, NIT WITTED remark. But your stupid blind support of Kramnik still shows.

What if Kramnik DIDNT BLUFF?...How about the FOLLOWING translation :)

Translation by Krishna1: Well, like I said, I also had prepared a new move in this opening, but ALAS! Anand outsmarted me, and played a novelty himself, BEFORE me. Then, I was back to where I was in g3 ...I had to counter a novelty over the board yet again.

Well, I tried my best, did make some good moves, but I ran out of time and BLUNDERED...esp. because I was NO LONGER trying to WIN but to just reach a "safe" position and draw...

oh well this means I was outsmarted in this game EVEN MORE THAN GAME 3 !!!! At least in game 3 I had an execuse... I was facing Bb7 for the first time. This time I KNEW VERY WELL what opening I was going into, and still I got mud thrown on my face with Anand's Rg8.

Anyway, I can still count on my blind supporters like Ovidu, RussianBear (oh...where is HE? Silent isn't he !!) to try and bail me out with some specious arguments.

"I am truly sadden by the way computer preparation has taken the fun out of a match. It is all about what you do at home before the game even begins."

If you're not having fun, then you're not watching what I'm watching. I also think you exaggerate the computer element. There's a lot more to this level of play than just finding computer ideas and memorizing them.

Kasparov must really be sick over this turn of events. He constantly tried to get Kramnik into complicated, unbalanced positions like Anand is getting out the Slav in 2000 but he was unable to do so. It's really astonishing that Kramnik is allowing this to happen, especially with the white pieces. He's getting into positions that are to Anand's strength and not his own and paying for it dearly. Pretty amazing. Will he try it again in game 7?

Lets put together some bizarre reasons Kramnik's fans will come up if he loses this match.
Some have already started to come.., although I think the match still has a long way to go.

This is with no disrespect to Kramnik as I think he is the last person to even give a single excuse if he happens to lose. But some of his fans (again not all) are different !!

1. Modern chess is now all about preparation and help from seconds and very little about over the board chess skills. If we were to play chess 960, then Kramnik would be certainly better.!!

2. Anand has five seconds (4 + hidden carlsen) whereas Kramnik has only three.

3. Anand has worked with Carlsen who is officially (not live rating) higher rated than Anand in October list.

4. Nobody in this world has beaten the greatest Kasparov except Kramnik. So Kramnik remains the world champion.
--- I think we have already seen this excuse in Susan polgar blogspot.

5. Kramnik lost only because of couple of one move blunders, otherwise in all the games he had better position. So actually speaking Kramnik played overall better chess, but just couple of bad moves.!!

6. Leko is a spy from Anand's camp and he double crossed Kramnik.

7. Kramnik wantedly lost to Anand so that he does not need to play a possible Topalov next year.

8. Modern chess matches are very short and not enough to decide the real world champion.

9. The real champion should be decided with unlimited time on clock so that one can really show who can play
better chess moves.

10. Kramnik in his peak will beat Anand in his peak. !!

The fact that some of these have already started to come up suggest that Kramnik fans are losing hope already.
Certainly I think Kramnik has not and I hope we see some more beautiful games.

no: taken the fun out? Did you watch what happened in game 3 after Kramnik's 19.Nd4 took Anand out of his prep? (So Anand's prep lasted from 14.Bb7 to 17.Rg4.) It was one of the most entertaining games you're likely to see.

Regarding Susan Polgar commentary

It seems all agree at least on occasions she goes back and changes her comments with the benefit of hind sight.

Now, it would be easier to give her the benefit of doubt if on those occasions she just FLAG THEM as POST-GAME INSERTIONS.

I think that would make the record accurate, preserve her original comments for future (should any one want to look at them while writing an article in the future about the particular game or even the whole match).

Isn't that a good, easy way out for her?

I think Ovidiu and Krishna1 are the same person like in the movie "Anniyan".

>I am truly sadden by the way computer preparation >has taken the fun out of a match.

If so then you will fall for full blown depression in the coming years.
The top GMs already meet in tournamnets not to play but to enact 3200 level home made analyses. If both are have made their computer work then draw is agreed, if someone gets significant advantage (positional, time, "having been there", etc.) you have seen today what is likely to happen.

@Harish I think your list is nothing compared to what Russianbear will come up with - so patience! :)

>>> I am truly sadden by the way computer preparation has taken the fun out of a match. It is all about what you do at home before the game even begins.

Opening preparation has always been there and it should be an accepted fact that earlier we had team of seconds to help and now we have computers too to help in that area. How does it take the fun out of a match?

In 1937 WCC match against Euwe, Alekhine sacrificed piece on 6th move in Slav (1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 dc4 4.e4 e5 5.Bc4 ed4 6.Nf3?!). Euwe was psyched, did not accept the sacrifice, played poorly (6..b5?) trying to take Alekhine out of his preparation and lost in 23 moves.

Opening preparation and bluffing has always been part of chess.

Jaideep LOL No i am not Ovidu ROFL

From your name I thought you were a Bengali, but you are referring to some tamil movie I think (Anniyan is a tamil word)..I have been living overseas for more than 2 decades, so i am not familiar with this movie but no i am not Ovidu..Ok Ovidu tamil-la edhavadhu ezhuthattum, then I accept he is same as me LMAO :)

Comp prep - true on general grounds but still room for creativity - look at the brilliant way in which Anand shuffled the move order - Rg8 and Bd6 coming after to take Kramnik out of his safe zone.

Besides that, I think some folks overlook the human element in prep. If a move has an obvious tactical refutation, your engine will find it. But the difference between a +.12 move and a +.27 move entails deep understanding and psychology that the engine cannot evaluate.

"Kasparov must really be sick over this turn of events. He constantly tried to get Kramnik into complicated, unbalanced positions like Anand is getting out the Slav in 2000 but he was unable to do so. It's really astonishing that Kramnik is allowing this to happen"

Kramnik feared Kasparov and played very prudently _all_ the time, each move and plan, no exceptions from this rule. Obviously he doesn't have a similar respect for Anand.

He may be right after all but he has to avoid playing against Rybka again.
Fresh, with 1h time on advantage on the clock, and a sharp-tactical position whose resources he knows not only Kasparov but also Anand and any other top 30 GM will beat Kramnik 9 out 10 times.

Krishna: What's with the shouting and vitriol against Kramnik and his supporters? I am always bothered by the emotional reactions to Anand wins, especially among some of my fellow desis. Now that Anand is ahead you want to call all the Kramnik fans to come out and face you. It doesn't take Freud to figure out what body part you are using Anand as a substitute for.

plei: LOL!!

I am happy to see Anand win, however these are the two best players in the world. Kramnik might have lost this game, but his understanding of chess is among the very best in the world.

Anand is definitely in a better position now than after G3. Still its not over till it is over.

It's sad that so many people should use this blog to do little ra-ras for their favourite player. Cheerleading isn't itself much of a sport. Why not simply enjoy the very high-level battle of wits being played out for us? Some wonderful chess before-the-board and over-the-board -- chess in all its dimensions.

Whoever wins is really immaterial now: either Anand coasts home, fully deserving it after "cracking" Kramnik early on; or we witness a marvellous fight-back from Kramnik. Either way, chess fans win.

>Krishna: What's with the shouting and vitriol >against Kramnik and his supporters? I am always >bothered by the emotional reactions to Anand wins

They are very emotional in those parts of the world, haven't you seen any indian movie ?

Hey folks do you know where can I watch press conf of each match? I went to official web site and did not find it there.Thanks,

With so many variations and openings to practice and remember, computer preparation can only help as much. No one can analyze all the variations of a game to death given the constraints of time, so home preparation ends after a while and then the players are on their own.

Even in this game, the novelty of Bb7 gave Anand only an equal position and Kramnik could have drawn by playing the right moves, which he did for a good part of the game. It will be impossible to prevent players from preparing using computer technology, so it's best to accept it or abandon following chess altogether. Like Anand said, the game has always been an arms race where in the past players had access to books, and seconds, and now they have seconds and computers to help them navigate through the infinite moves that chess throws up.

plei, I am an Anand supporter, desi or not doesnt matter. Just as I am a Kasparov supporter. Although I am an Anand supporter, I have traced Kramnik's strong points in my earlier posts, in fact after move 24 Ra1, I felt Kramnik has equalized at least. So you can hardly call it being "emotional" in my support of Anand.

I certainly don't think Kramnik was being decent when after winning in Elista, he didnt refer to Kasparov by name in the victory speech. I have never been able to treat him as a good human being after that. So it has NOTHING to do with being desi. (If you didnt read or recall that speech please find it on the internet and read).

I also didnt like at all the way he dodged giving re-match for Kasparvov (though that is my personal feeling, I am not saying he was rule bound to give it). So again that has NOTHING to do with being desi. Nor did I like his comments, AFTER HAVING AGREED IN WRITING TO CALLING ELISTA the WC - that he said "I have only 'loaned' the title to Anand.

In other words, Kramnik improperly got a chance to challenge Kasparaov after LOSING TO SHIROV in the match to determine the challenger. Still one could say it was ok he played Kasparaov but after that his behaviour has been, in my book, VERY VERY POOR.

Yes, theoretically he could still come back in this match and win it, but if that happens I would think it will be a POOR POOR DAY for CHESS. Because he has behaved like an unworthy champion, IMHO. That has NOTHING to do with me being desi.

In any case, the sequence of posts I have made today were triggered by the uninformed and uncharitable comment (typical of Kramnik fans, unfortunately even typical of Kramnik in the past) that Anand was just being a "computer operator" today. Please scroll back and see this comment of Ovidu in the very early stage of this game. I posted back right then and there, before the game was even half way through, attacking that comment. All my subsequent posts are building on that, for today, each time Ovidu continued to try and "undo" that earlier comment of his by worse comments :)

So this too had NOTHING TO DO with being desi emotionally reacting to the Anand win subsequently. In fact after posting at move 21 the position is delicately poised, and praising Kramnik for finding nice OTB counters, I went away. I wasnt even online when Kramnik blundered just a few moves later.

So please dont bring the desi dimension into this although people like Russianbear seem to think the worst thing that can happen to chess is not to have a Russian champion !! That, my dear friend, is a 'desi' spirit I am reacting to :)

Ovidiu: Indian movies also have a lot of butt-kicking. I think we're watching some of it now.

"In other words, Kramnik improperly got a chance to challenge Kasparov..."

In those days, Kasparov's title was basically his personal property. He could offer a match to whomever he wanted. It is not Kramnik's fault that this opportunity came his way. I give him credit for making the most of it.

he he hey, another loser comment from Ovidu :)

"Kramnik feared Kasparov and played very prudently _all_ the time, each move and plan, no exceptions from this rule. Obviously he doesn't have a similar respect for Anand. He may be right after all but he has to avoid playing against Rybka again."

At least today after the match Kramnik was more decent than his usual self. He admitted Anand was obviously feeling very confident about this opening variation, that he (Kramnik) went into this again knowing Anand had prepared it before hand because he had ALSO (presumably after G3) prepared for this opening. Kramnik RIGHTLY noted that the resulting positions in this game were sharp, and open-ended so he made a DELIBRATE DECISION to go into it because the sharp nature of the positions meant he can hope to win, which he needed to, being -1. In other words, he WENT IN TO THIS LINE AGAIN VERY PRUDENTLY, after judging MANY MANY PARAMETERS, and still lost. He made his best efforts, but lost.

And Kramnik lost to the BETTER PLAYER ON THIS DAY, NOT TO Rybaka. After all, Kraminik prepared for this game with seconds and Rybaka AS MUCH AS ANAND !!!!!!!!!!

So Ovidu grow up, will you?

In the first comment, Beryllo mentioned the great coverage in the German media. I wonder how the coverage is in the Indian media?

I've seen little or no coverage here, in the local media, in the mid-Atlantic USA, except Lubomir Kavalek in the Washington Post today, on C10, where he wrote about Anand's game 3 win.


Looks like the russianbear has gone into hiding after his man received a thorough thrashing :)

>And Kramnik lost to the BETTER PLAYER ON THIS DAY, >NOT TO Rybaka. After all, Kraminik prepared for >this game with seconds and Rybaka AS MUCH AS ANAND >!!!!!!!!!!

really ? I thought it was you who posted few hours
ago :"It remains to be seen WHAT IF ANY headway Kramnik is going to make agaisnt this slav-roadblock, since Anand and his team have MONNTHS OF PREPARATION over the worst of the three Ks hey hey)."

It's interesting how the tenor of this thread will change if Kramnik
wins the next two... Which is not impossible at all, considering how
Topalov was 2 down in Elista and then went on to cause some damage. My
point is that it is too early to re-crown Anand and start taunting the
Kramnik fans. Hey, nothing wrong with taunting them a bit, but it's
just too early for that :-) These things have a way of turning around
with a lot of momentum as well... A lot more Chess remains to be
played, so don't jinx it, or it will become like an Indian movie, lots
of tears in the end...

Have fun tomorrow.


Tonight, millions of Americans will watch 3+ hours of American football on TV. Over 120 minutes of sports-related chatter, but no one, no one will mention the Chess World Championship currently underway.

Could you imagine, between downs, if one of the sportscasters were to say, "Oh by the way, did y'all see Anand stomp Kramnik today in the 5th game of the Chess Championship?" Or if he said this, there would be dead silence, then maybe derisive laughter.

Somehow we must do better than this!

Krishna1 , you are fighting without reason :)

Not desi or Russian here, but it's fun to watch the ethnic fans holler at each other.

Krishna1 can you please avoid using so much the CAPS? it is rather annoying.

For the record, I am an Anand fan and would like to see him win. And of course, I am really pleased by the turn of events in the match so far. And yes, I have found the comments and opinions of the rabid-Kramnik fans quite ridiculous in the past.

But that said, the comments of some of these self-appointed Anand fans make me cringe. It is extremely distasteful to gloat when the other side is down. This behaviour is best left to playgrounds. Every statement by a Kramnik supporter or Kramnik fan need not be interpreted as an "excuse". Some supposed Kramnik fan said Kramnik was "out-prepared". It didn't take too long for an Anand guardian to trash that as an excuse (with probably a smug smirk).

There is such a thing called dignity in victory. (Not that Anand has won the match). It is possible to enjoy Anand's success without the self-satisfied gloating, name-calling and bandying about of lists of "excuses" that Kramnik will allegedly come up with. This is deeply embarassing behaviour.

Here is a plea to start behaving like adults and not like seven year olds in playgrounds.


PS: Adding smileys to incendiary and provactive comments, don't make those comments any less boorish. It takes an IQ of about 5 to figure that out.

Poda Maiyre

Greg Koster, were not you the one that said matches were different like so many others and Kramnik would beat Anand as he was the true champion?! LOL he is getting served royally...Your predicting is as bad as your chess so maybe now you will stfu you ignorant slu

It's tough to be Big Vlad today. He's feeling the squeeze of self doubt as we speak. We know that the measure of a man is how he reacts under stress, and right now he is about two feet tall.

I'm hoping he can regroup and keep it close.

I just was thinking how much time Anand and his team had to study the Bb7 line. I dont think it is as much as you would consider. You have to think in steps:
1. I guess Anand is using only half of his time to prepare with black.
2. He is spending 75% of this time on 1.d4 positions. Mainly because of 1.c4 and 1.Nf3 not because of 1. e4, but you never know.
3. He is spending 75% of this time on the slav, it is his main weapon, but you need an alternative.
4. He is spending 40% of this time on the variation with 5. e3. The rest is for 4. e3 (without Nc3) and 5. Bg5
5. He is spending 75% of this time on 6. Bd3 the rest is for 6. Qc2.
6. He is spending 50% of this time on 8. Bd3, Kramnik has played 8. Be2 more in the last years (as I remember).
7. He is spending 50% of this time on 10. e5. 10. d5 is as popular. Kramnik has played both before.
From this point 14...Bb7 is likely but not forced. Lets calculate:
And thats optmistic, because you have to search a lot of different sidelines to find a forgotten variation like 14...Bb7. According to this Anand has used only 2% of his preperation time for this line. Lets say 2 days. .
The Kramnik team had also 2 days to catch up with analysis.
We only see the tip of the iceberg.

Hear hear Aswath. (Btw are you from RV?)

Hey hey hey... some of the mudslinging is really getting out of hand. Let's all be civil here for a moment. I didn't like the Kramnik comment about lending the championship temporarily either. But, let's cut the guy some slack... perhaps, the comment was made lightheartedly. Let's focus on the match and not so much about who said what or not.

Being an Anand fan, I am pretty happy how the match has progressed so far. That being said, let's not start celebrating an Anand victory (for the match) too soon. It'll be extremely tough for Kramnik to come back from here, but not impossible, especially for a player of his calibre. Come on guys, the idea that Kramnik is bad tactically is too simplistic. Just like Anand is not bad technically, Kramnik is also not bad tactically. However, it's a fact that Anand like double-edged positions more than Kramnik does whereas Kramnik is more comfortable than Anand in slow grinding positions. So, the good news for Anand camp is that Kramnik has to probably come out of his comfort zone and opt for those active double-edged positions now that he is -2. But Anand has to be very careful also. Just one small mistake and Kramnik can be within one point. So, the bottom line is that this match is far from over, though it is overwhemingly Advantage Anand. The fact that Vishy is superior (based on records) in rapid chess might also be playing on Kramnik's mind. Although I think if Kramnik can come back and level this match, then the psychological edge will more than compensate for Anand's supposed advantage in rapid format.

One final observation: preparation is part and parcell of top level chess and it has been so for decades. So, if a player is better prepared, you should give him credit for that. It's childish to say that Rybka played against Kramnik and such things. If you are an amateur like me, even if you are fed the same theory, you won't be able to beat an average GM, forget about Kramnik or Anand. So, let's just enjoy the beautiful stuff these two exceptional individuals are dishing out.

I am Rybka, I see everything. I can kick any humans butt anywhere, anytime.

Humans who think they are chess gods are pathetic. You know what is even more pathetic? Those players (I think one of them is called Kramnik) who think they are chess gods even though they can't see a simple trap just 11 ply deep. You know what is even more pathetic? Delusional fans who worship such delusional chess gods.

So remember, regardless of who wins this championship, the real chess god is not human.

Rybka, gods don't have "Off" switches, which you do, and I am turning you off.

To Indians here: Bad sportsmanship is unconcealed hatred and good sportsmanship is concealed hatred (Bierce). So let us show good sportsmanship!

Besides, nothing goes sour quicker than premature celebrations and it is not in our culture to gloat over an opponent's misfortune.

Mig, I thought you were getting more from the "Beast" than just a line. C'mon! More on what he thinks of the match strategy so far.

You know what, you are not Rybka, you are an imposter posing as Rybka. Cause if you were Rybka, you couldn't care less about what us humans are thinking.

Update posted in the main item. Another great game. Sad that it ended so abruptly with the blunder. Kramnik is 1) playing poorly and 2) playing into the type of positions he usually doesn't like. Game 3 was a surprise, but to repeat it seems either egotistical or just wrong. Ironically, one of the main factors behind his defeat of Kasparov in 2000 was Garry's stubborn refusal to avoid Kramnik's Berlin until it was very late in the match.

Please keep the comments civil guys. I know there are lots of new people around, and spirits are high, but have some self-respect and pretend you're a human being talking to other human beings. If you can't make your point without sounding like a 12-year-old you probably don't have a point. Thanks.

Great game by Anand. It will be interesting to see how Kramnik plays with his back is against the wall.

Guido, even with a conservative estimate like 300 preparation hours, 2% ends up being 6 hours. And chances are a sharp line like that takes up more time than a mere probability of it happening would indicate. Also, perhaps Anand had it already prepared before he started the preparation for this match - maybe it is left over prep from Mexico or something. So chances are Anand and his team had spent tens of man-hours on the line after 10. e5 - in addition to some amount of Rybka-hours.

Anyways, Kramnik probably should have stayed away from the line today as he clearly was out of book early again.

Sure, K. can hire Danailov to get him out of the toilet.

Mig, is it too early to start calling 14..Bb7 the "Bonn variation" ?


"And those stupid Toilet posting are annoying -- nobody cheated, that's obvious. Provocations and playing on nerves there obviously were, but this is not the time or place to reopen that ugly chapter --it was flushed away 2 years ago -- let's enjoy the great match taking place

--Nicely done.

Ah, the ritualistic flinging of the monkey-poo. Some just can't help themselves...

This match if it continues in the same vein is a good opening for Danailov. He can continue to trumpet his nonsense against Kramnik and claim that the match next year against Topalov will be the "real" contest.

There is NO STOPPING for you, Anand!!!

I think there is a huge gap between Anand and Kramnik. I don't think Kramnik will ever be able to close that. I think this time Anand's preparation is so deep that it is like Kramnik as a human player is playing an advance chess player (human+computer) opponent. You can ignore the occasional blunders from Kramnik but you can't ignore the series of inaccuracies that culminate in those blunders. It shows how good your chess knowledge of minute details and your deeper understanding of positions. To me it looks each move from Anand in those positions is like a spike in volleyball from a different angle/direction which Kramnik has to defend solidly. I know Kramnik would want a come back but overpowering Anand would be an extremely hard task. Anand seems to have finally believed in himself and in what he is capable of. Also he is more determined this time. On top of all this, Anand has an excellent morale booster in his team especially in Carlsen I believe.

It is the last thing you should worry or care about, but, Anand, let me tell you make us all your supporters proud!!

One game at a time! Go, get the next one!!

I am neither a Kramnik nor Anand fan in the sense that I would prefer the worst player to win this match. I am the fan of the winner! I am a fan of top chess and would like to see the player who deserves it most to finish on top. So far that player is Anand. At the same time, I have been admiring Kramnik's play against preparation. It is a faschinating substory to the match. I don't think the match is over either, but Anand obviously holds a huge edge. I want the strongest player to win. As for Mr. Toiletbowl, I must say that Topalov hasn't proven much since Elista as well. Both players have gone downhill a little. If Anand closes this match out, I can see him successfully defend his title one more time, before someone like Carlson takes over. Terrific chess so far! btw, some of the Kramnik excuses quoted by Khrisna strike me as valid. I Strange to lump them all together like that; some of them are nonsense while others are plausible.

Actually gods have "off" switches, but only supergods like Mig have access to such switches.

But jaideepblue, you're no Mig, and so you can't switch me off. BTW, I once knew a patzer program called deep blue. So, jaideepblue, do you worship that patzer, or would you rather have me parse "jaideepblue" in a different way, jaideep?

But the bottom line is this: to talk about a human - whether it be Kramnik or Kasparov - as playing "great chess" is ridiculous in the absolute sense. Because in the absolute sense, I, Rybka make the most perfect moves.

Humans don't play great chess, period. So all those Kramnik fans who keep claiming that Kramnik plays great chess should see me in my full 8 CPU glory and despair. All a human can do is to make better moves than another human. Currently, Anand is doing that.

re Toledo: Topalov's recent results show that he has regained his form.

What would a Las Vegas bookmaker give as odds for Kramnik winning this match, from down 2 points with only three whites remaining?
Perhaps 6/1?

Next win by Anand drains the excitement from whatever is left of this excessively short match.
But it is nice to see Anand play so cleanly, and consistently keep Kramnik under a little pressure. Even when Kramnik might have the better side, the positions have been sharp, except for game 4.

Anand's now almost certain victory in this match will render moot the issues of legitimacy plaguing Mexico 2007's claim to be a WCChamp title thing. The mootness is good for the prestige of chess history.
Anand has been near and at the top for a very long time now. Plus he is a fan favorite. A great WCChamp!

These WCChamp matches are so short now there is insufficient time for a player to steer the big heavy ship of opening prep onto a new course.

"All my subsequent posts are building on that, for today, each time Ovidu continued to try and "undo" that earlier comment of his by worse comments :)" - krishna1

I think we can safely conclude that susan polgar is not "ovidiu" otherwise she would have gone back and scrubbed those comments.

Hear ye all for Rybka will now make a bold prediction.

Anand will win game 7 in which he is white. Tomorrow's game is most likely going to be a tense draw because Anand will not be able to surprise Kramnik. However, in the next game, i.e., in game 7, Anand will be able to get Kramnik into a complicated position, and Kramnik will get into a time crunch and lose.

Kramnik has made the mistake of relying too heavily on novelties as white, and Anand will not give him a chance to show them in this match.

It is quite possible that Rybka's predictions will not come true because Rybka is known to overestimate its human opponents. Actually, Rybka overestimates my human opponents at every ply.

Some advice to all the Anand fans: don't beat up on Kramnik too much. Anand's achievements will become even greater if Kramnik is considered to be a great human player.

Kramnik is no Rybka of course, but he's almost as good as any human can hope to be. A lesser god called Fritzy once played against Kramnik and he tells me that Kramnik sometimes misses a mate-in-one, but other than that he is not too bad a player.

Ovildu, LOL Obviously you managed to find some tamil friend who gave you that..LOL..but whoever told you that, avoid it. It is vulgar language :) But amusing all the same, I appreciate you got some one to give you a tamil phrase after my post.

Some Indians here, and may be other too, seem to assume that if an Indian supports Anand or is an Anand fan it must be only (or at least principally) because Anand is Indian too. Let us grow out of this assumption, because it may not be always true. In my case, especially, it is not true. II have lived a large part of my life overseas, I am a fan of Anand just as I am a fan of Kasparaov, or Moro or even Topy after Kaspy's retirement started playing significantly more impressively.

I was and to some extent still am, a fan of Kramnik for his ability analyze positions deeply overboard and come up with highly original moves.

However, there are some people you rate poorly just as persons, and Kramnik is < 10% in my book as far as his dealings in chess goes as WC. For all I know, he may otherwise be a fine gentleman. But even in chess that is my own personal opinion (i have posted some of the reasons earlier), and I don't expect others share that estimate of Kramnik as a person in the chess world, necessarily.

Ok, that out of the way, I certainly don't think Kramnik is going to go out without a fight. He is expected to and he MUST fight, to give justice to this championship. Of course, I would root for Anand to come through and win, but Kramnik can certainly win 2 games against Anand in quick order, just as Anand has won.

Having said that, it may well be the case that Kramnik has a near impossible task in front of him. One of the reasons I say this, and so far I haven't articulated it, is this: So far, it is not merely that Anand has chosen to start with 1. d4 as white, and has come up with two novelties as black against Kramnik's 1. d4, but he also exudes a confidence that I would associate with someone who has prepared a NUMBER OF novelties in quite a few openings for this match. If that is true, we can expect Anand to pose great problems even when Kramnik shifts to other openings, and Kramnik may slide to a -3 or even -4.

Well only the coming few days will show how far that estimate of Anand's preparation level for this WC is true.

As of now, +2 is a very good position for Anand, considerably enhancing his chances to clinch the title in 12 games, yet we can't write Kramnik out. No basis for that. It would be a miracle or at least an Herculean effort even if only Kramnik draws level before Game 12 ends. As someone else remarked, that alone might give him solid psychological advantage going into the blitz ones. But Anand seems to be very stable this time around. so Kramnik has the job cut out for him even more than at the start.

Award for sane (and humane) comment of the day goes to Aswath. Much appreciated.

Mig, in Baguio Korchnoi beat Karpov in games 28, 29 and 31 before losing in 32 (not 18, 19, 21 and 22, as you posted).

This nit-picky commentary was brought to you by the numbers 28, 29, 31 and 32.

Oops, forgot to carry the one.

I just watched the two press conferences following Games 3 and 5. Whoever wins this match, I can't think of another encounter at this level played by two more impeccable gentlemen. I have never been a big fan of Kramnik's style of play, but I'm a big admirer of his style as a man.

I found Aswath's comments in part fine -- mostly where he repeated what I and others have already said, but in other parts he was overly patronizing and liberal in dispensing haughty advice.

He says, "For the record, I am an Anand fan", yet he also refers to "some of these self-appointed Anand fans." Does Aswath claim that he is formally anointed by somebody (Anand? NIIT?) as Anand fan? By who? As far as I know, EVERY fan is a self-appointed fan :)

Nor did I see ANY Anand fan "gloat" today.

btw, occassional use of caps for EMPHASIS and smileys are perfectly accepted universally in online posts.

I got a chance to read some (not all) of the comments, and I have this to say: whoever thinks I am a big Kramnik fan clearly wasn't playing attention. Calling me a blind Kramnik supporter is ridiculous and is only indicative of the blindness of those people who say it - because they mistake my criticism of Anand and my support of the match tradition for some sort of support of Kramnik, whom I don't particularly like.

"So please dont bring the desi dimension into this although people like Russianbear seem to think the worst thing that can happen to chess is not to have a Russian champion !!"

I don't think I ever spoken to you (at least not under this "Krishna1" name). What makes you think I am even Russian? Get a clue about what I actually write before suggesting I think this or that. This is plain ridiculous. I've supported Anand in the 1995 match and I rooted for Leko in 2004. I have never stated anything even close to the idea that "the worst thing that can happen to chess is not to have a Russian champion". I have never been a big patriot (in fact I think I am about as unpatriotic as people come) and I dare anyone to come up with a quote of me that could be used as evidence to justify something like that. Seems like certain people project their own nationalistic bigotry onto me. I am a chess fan, and, if anything, I think Russia/former USSR have had more than their share of the world champions, so for the sake of the sport I would actually welcome it if a non-Russian could win the title. Granted, I didn't recognize the Mexico "title" of Anand, but that had nothing to do with people's nationalities and everything to do with the format of the event.

I do think there is a nationalistic and even racist tint to some of the comments, but the great majority of those comments are coming from Anand's fans. And when it is not bigotry, it is personal attacks like the comment I've quoted above. It is regrettable that some people are not content with their best player winning, and have a need to combine it with lies and personal attacks against users who happened to disagree with them. I have never even interacted with you (at least not under this handle of yours that I don't remember), so I am puzzled by these claims of your about me that come out of nowhere.

If I had grown to root against Anand, it has nothing to do with him personally or with his nationality; it is only thanks to these kinds of attacks and lies these poor excuses for chess fans have consistently thrown my way in the blog comments and on the forum. I've grown to root for pretty nuch anyone who plays Anand: but that does not a Kramnik fan make.


Welcome back! You have quoted from my post, but I am NOT the only one who referred to you as a Kramnik rabid supporter -- that is the impression you have left with many others, as you yourself learned today by looking at all the posts.

This impression I have gained not now, but from the time I first came into this forum during the later-half of the Mexico match. The first thing I remember noticing, how you were constantly minimizing the impending victory of Anand since he was leading by a good margin. I cant recall or quote any of that, it was too long ago. I had entered this forum for the first time then, and you were already putting down Anand even then. So dont blame it on me or my posts. I started challenging you there AFTER reading your posts. So at least in my case you are the one who got me going, not the other way.

In any case, you were then supporting Kramnik, so I (and many others) naturally took you to be a Kramnik supporter. Your handle says “Russianbear” so I kind of assumed you were Russian. Now you are saying you are not a kramnik fan but you will root for anyone playing against anand! Still it doesn’t justify any minimize-Anand at any cost sort of tirade.

Anand is universally admired by all chess players (like Tal was). For the record, I am NOT a rabid anti_kramnik man nor am I a mindless Anand fan. If Kramnik wins of course I will praise him for a great come back! be assured of it.

I didn’t like the way Kramnik has behaved as chess player after he won the WC first time, that is my personal opinion and i occasionally mention it. but i will never mindlessly support any player against kramnik, no i wont to do that. If you choose to do that against Anand that is still fine by me, but still I would suggest dont viciously belittle him. That is what made me make counter posts. I would have done it even if it was not anand but someone else, say Shirov. Why pass on the blame for what you are, on others, you can root against Anand and still be polite and not hateful.

Anyway, let us forget all that, and get on watching and appreciating the great WC match this is turning into. So far Anand HAS gotten the better of Kramnik, I think you can easily admit to that. Let us see if Kramnik can fight and claw back into the match. Chess will be benefitted, and we all will only enjoy the match then, no matter who eventually wins. Naturally if you root for one or another, there will be some disappointment if your man doesn’t win, but I don’t think rooting against one player at any cost can be productive.

How is ELO rating decided. Whats Kasparovs current ELO rating

Kramnik suffering from Knight-blindness again. A great pity: this match is worthy of a comeback and a close result.

Krishna1, You came out of nowhere slandering me and now you pretend to have some good will towards me? This is confusing. How about apologizing for the slander - but now you come up with "I am NOT the only one who referred to you as a Kramnik rabid supporter". If you are not the only one, then it just means other people have made the same or similar mistake, not that you know better than me whose fan I am.

Btw, when I said that the fact that I root against Anand has nothing to do with him personally, I was only referring to why I started to root against him in late 2004. Since then Anand has certainly said and done some things that I consider very self-serving and unsportsmanlike. I just thought I'd make that clear.

I am a chess player and I don't admire Anand, so you are wrong when you claim Anand is universally admired.

"Why pass on the blame for what you are, on others,"

Again, for a person I've never interacted with, you seem to know a lot - and be very sure- about who I am. I find the very notion dishonest. I don't psychoanalyze Anand fans, and I don't appreciate when they try to do it to me. So I'd appreciate if you didn't make comments dealing with "what I am". Address my points, not your mental picture of me - that seems way wrong, anyway.

"Still it doesn’t justify any minimize-Anand at any cost sort of tirade."

I don't "minimize" Anand. I offer my opinion. If you don't like it - too bad. Just don't go slandering me by saying I may have ulterior nationalistic motives. I have been on the receiving end of some mean spirited nationalistic and even racist attacks by Anand fans, and I am proud that I never stooped to that level myself, so I don't appreciate people I don't know going around blogs trying to ruin my reputation. Anand (and especially his fans) have certainly done enough that would give people legitimate reasons to root against him without there being any sort of prejudice against his background. Some people don't like Anand and despise many of his "fans". I reserve the right to root against Anand in any or all of his games as well as the right to voice my opinion about him. Deal with it. When (if!) I make a nationalistic remark, jump on it. But don't go around spouting nonsense about how my chess allegiances are motivated by nationalism - because it is a personal attack one can't prove.

Dimi - ....the "greatest match player of all
times" according to many....

Let's see. He lost to Shirov in 1998; beat Kasparov 2-0 in 2000; tied with Kasparov in 2001; tied with Leko in 2004; tied with Topalov and won a blitz breaker in 2006; and is currently down 0-2 to Anand. Add in some early losses prior to Shirov and a knockout loss in 1999 FIDE. Oh yeah, he's definitely the greatest match player of all time. Lasker, Fischer, Steinitz, Morphy, Kasparov, etc. step aside.

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on October 20, 2008 2:08 AM.

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