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WCh 08 g7: Another Half-Step for Anand

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[Preview: The second half begins today in Bonn with a score no one could have predicted, at least no one in his right mind. But sometimes you have to be crazy to keep up with reality. It's 4.5-1.5 and Anand needs just two points from the final six games to successfully defend his title against Vladimir Kramnik. He has white in today's 7th game. Before game six I wondered if Kramnik would play something sharp with black and instead he went right into Anand's favorite line in the Nimzo. If there's no Plan B Kramnik had better make one up quick because he's way behind. Hmm, it might be time for him to accuse Anand of hanging around with Bill Ayers ten years ago. As for Vishy, there is a school of thought that you don't repeat even your successful openings in a match too many times, but testing out 1.e4 now and allowing a Sicilian, which Kramnik used to play quite successfully, would be insane. He's certainly not going to be scared of another Nimzo.

Any suggestions for an answer to 1.d4 that doesn't include an exchange variation? Leningrad Dutch, as GM Christiansen mentioned? Kramnik doesn't just not win with black against Anand, but he hardly wins with black ever, so conservative is his black philosophy. You have to go back two years to his 2006 WCh match with Topalov, game two, for a black Kramnik win in classical chess. Including that match, that's 42 games (+1 =35 -5), an astounding stat for someone as strong as he is. (For context, over the same period for Leko: +5 =41 -7; for Anand: +12 =30 -5.) There is more than his repertoire at work, of course. If he fought out all of his black games he would surely have more wins than losses. But his philosophy has always been that a draw with black is fine against anyone. It has served him pretty well, mind you, but it's going to make it even harder to shift into Genghis Khan mode in Bonn.]

That's one solid draw for an Indian, one giant leap closer to retaining the world championship title. Anand played it safe in game seven, no mystery there. Today's draw brought the score to 5-2, just 1.5 points away from ending the match. As I expected, there weren't any fireworks from Kramnik's side with black either. He quite reasonably declined to accept the well-known gambit 10..Bxc3, in which White has a tremendous score at the top level. But after that there's really not a lot Black can do to sharpen the game. This Slav followed two games from the Kramnik-Topalov 2006 WCh match until Kramnik went for a harmless change on move 15. Anand didn't mind trading pieces and interest only picked up when it looked like White had winning chances in the endgame. Before that, Kramnik offered a draw after 21..Qxe3. Anand decided he could play on risk-free and declined.

Kramnik went for his only chance at play with 28..Rc4. Anand responded correctly by capturing and hunting down the c-pawn. We can assume that Kramnik, who took several long thinks, had already realized he could blockade the N vs B position even down a pawn. Anand acknowledged this immediately as well and the draw was agreed on move 36. On ICC Chess.FM GM Ronen Har-Zvi found an interesting try at a zugzwang with the bishop on e3, and there are a few other close calls earlier with bishop sacs against the queenside pawns. But Kramnik saw it all, from what we could tell. Nicely done.

Will Kramnik go back to the wild Meran? Anand would be a little crazy to allow that, considering the score. By the way, thanks to this dominating performance Anand is currently back atop the live rating list, which would just be the coconut sauce on the idli. Ivanchuk is making quite a showing in the Euro Club Cup, too. And if you haven't seen Aronian-Volokitin from round six yet, it has the excitement of around 20 of today's WCh games combined. But it looks like URAL Sverdlovskaya is the winner, with Radjabov, Shirov, Kamsky, and Grischuk.


I certainly think Anand will start with 1.d4 in his white games, as long as he doesn't lose; once this happen, he will switch to 1.e4. Fortunately for him, he has a comfortable lead so he can stick with that plan.

On the other hand I sincerely doubt Kramnik has prepared anything special with the Sicilian in order to face Anand in case of 1.e4 ... or maybe that is the emergency plan in case of a desperate situation?

Even if no one would in his right mind would have predicted the current situation of the match (so any prediction contest looks absurd now), I think tomorrow Anand will get an easy draw.

After two losses, a draw with black would be fine.
Kramnik should concentrate on his play. There is no master plan for working miracles. If a miracle is going to happen, I can see it more along the lines
Anand playing a dull opening aiming for an easy draw, dry middlegame, full equality, Anand offering draw, Kramnik declining it, maybe in a rude way, playing on stubbornly... But no, I would prefer to see a decent typical Kramnik draw today.

Kramnik will attempt to slay the Madras Tiger with the St. George. You heard it here first!

Kramnik should give the Gruenfeld a whirl!

"that's 42 games (+1 =35 -5)" and "If he fought out all of his black games he would surely have more wins than losses."

Is it possible that Kramnik won his white games precisely with the energy preserved from safe but sure black games?

It's a pity really. Who knew that Kramnik could collapse this way. He simply seems to have gone into shock because of the 1.d4 and the dynamic positions that Anand is to presenting him. I feel that if he just concentrates on making solid moves when the novelties are presented within a respectable amount of time, he should be OK, at least come close to draw some of those terrible games. Time to consult a time management consultant!
Some of the moves he made just before the time control are very glaring mistakes. We've seen this reaction elsewhere, very common among the trading community. Taking higher quantity trades to make up for losses, which usually boomerangs. Kramnik was banging out unsound moves. Sad to say, simple psychology study says that it is the Ego trying to show its presence. This happens not at -1 but when someone is in the worst condition.
Again, in trading parlance, the solution is to take "smaller position", which in chess means simpler chess. Whatever novelty Anand presents, Kramnik is capable of finding a respectable continuation. This should never take more than a couple tens of minutes. Right now, this is the only method to claw back. That's what Spassky did in '72
Disclaimer: I'm more of an Anand fan than Kramnik's

I recommend persisting with the Nimzo. Vlad must have decent prep in certain lines and he must hope he'll get his novelty in first. The fear would be that Vlad's novelty will just suck the life out of the position leading to dull equality. If he didnt prepare well for 1.d4 he deserves nothing from the match. Similarly we've seen no evidence of good prep on the white side either. I always admired the KArpov always came back after a shattering defeat to Gazza and played the next game as if nothing had happened - that's what Vlad needs to do and hope somehow he gets the chance to deliver one of his own big novelties.

I agree with Bartleby re only hope for a win for Vlad......

Kramnik can play Queens Gambit accepted to have a psychological edge over Anand.

"Some of the moves he made just before the time control are very glaring mistakes."

A chess commentator has once commented, that, if you look closely, in almost all WC matches, you will find losses by blunders or inaccuracies in time trouble (and often match-decisive). This includes Kramnik-Kasparov and Kasparov-Karpov.

Big Vlad should play over this game again


King's Indian. On the other hand-he he's like 70-30 underdog in such openings against someone like Anand I guess.
But maybe that's the best he can get now. A complex opening, one for which Anand indeed has not prepared AT ALL (for sure). Surprise should be worth a lot now.

Anand should not reveal his Plan B now, unless absolutely needed, like when he loses a game or something. He can save his Plan B strategy for the next WC match, and can keep his opponents guessing as to what he will play during the second half.

Ivanchuk, Carlsen, Radjabov, Aronian, Kamsky, Shirov, Svidler, Grischuk, Movsesian and many more 2700+ players- what about some love or at least attention for the European Club Championships. The last round is being played today with Baden-Baden in the lead (Svidler, Bacrot, Nisipeanu, Naiditsch ...) and Ural (Radjabov, Kamsky, Shirov, Grischuk leading the chasing pack. Noteworthy is the fact that Carlsen has lost twice to Movsesian and Ivanchuk.

You wonder about Plan B for Kramnik. I ask: What in the hell was Plan A? I don't see any.

I think this is a fascinating situation and a good question. As far as I can remember, K. is NEVER in this position. Or, if he is far down in a tournament, he goes into "draw and get it over with" mode, which is obviously unacceptable here. So, what will he do indeed!

w/ Topalov being down in one thing for K. You can wait for the inevitable attack and hope (trust?) that T. will overextend himself somewhat. With Anand, what can you do? And if your problem has been playing in sharp positions, do you go right out and try to create sharp positions?

The big differens in this match is that one of the players, Anand, makes no mistakes. That is rare.
Kramnik -Toplaov was full of excitement but also a lot off mistakes. So was Kramnik - Kasparov.
Anand have made no mistakes in this match so far.
the 2 white games Kramnik has lost, i would say that the first one was one of those things that just happens. Your oppenent, Anand, comes up with a very interesting new idear and Kramnik reacted very good to but made small inacuracies in time trouble and lost. That is what happens, no big deal. The 2 last defeats is however very poor play as well as poor judgement from Kramnik. I still think it was foolish to play the meran again so soon after loosing a game in Anand home prep. Kramniks camp should have looked at it much more before playing it again. I mean there are other things you can play against the slav besides the Meran.
The nimzoidian Kramnik lost in game 6 was as far as i can see just a wonderfull game from Anand. New move H3 and Kramnik was allready in trouble, at least mentally i think.

Anyway i would think that Anand plays 1.d4. today and Kramnik plays Queens gambit declined and we will proberbly see a draw. KramnikĀ“s next white we will se a big fight where Kramnik will try to winn.

Ok, I'll go out on a limb - against the prevailing opinion in this column, anyway - and predict 1. e4 for Vishy today. And if Vlad plays the Sicilian, I'll predict the Rossolimo variation, to psychologically defuse the more unbalanced ideas of the Sveshnikov. White retains a slight plus/pull, and if Black tries too hard - as he might, given the match situation - he plays into White's hands.

Slight plus in Rossolimo? Dude, what are you smoking? These days white does not get a slight plus even in Dragon! He says "Rossolimo". Last time I saw 3. Bb5 in a Sicilian was Akopian trying not to lose to Shirov and failing miserably.

kramnik has a terrible record against anand in sicilian with black, only winning in two rapid/blindfold games....

Off-topic, check the game Aronian-Volokitin from European club cup. http://ecc2008.chessdom.com/live-games/
It's from Round 6, game No. 20

A "kramnik-like" position today, no chances of dybanic play and blundering..

"contesting an open file"... never ending contest today I guess.

Ovidiu, that means he might make a draw!? I'm excited, couldn't see this coming.

Where can I follow the game, for free, other than ICC and PlayChess?

Chessdom.com is really scary. Aside from the "Meet Millionaire Singles" ads, this morning at about 9:00, someone had hacked into the site and was transmitting bogus moves complete with bogus annotations.

Chessdom did indeed have the wrong moves for a while, but that has been corrected. The site has generally been reliable. The other major ones are chessok.com and chesscube.com. Several others have live commentary, including chesscenter.com, Susan Polger's blog, and Dennis Monokroussos's blog.

Thanks, Marc. Very helpful.

OMG Kramnik could lose again! Things look ugly to this carbon-based unit, and at Chesscube, silicon-based Fritz-11 says 0.46 for white.

Vishy putting Kramnik under the cosh again. Vlady losing mojo even in "his" positions.

And while Kramnik goes from -0,46 to -0,42, Carlsen defeated Huzman by walking his king in the middle of an open board, surrounded by his opponent's heavy pieces.

Interestingly, Susan Polgar thinks it's pretty much a draw and expects the players to split the point soon.

If the heavy pieces trade off, maybe neither king can penetrate and it's a draw. Chesscube's Fritz is giving such a line, too, even though it concludes +1.46 neither King can get in.

Chessdom hacked again.
Kramnik giving a pawn again but then after rooks exchanged the white king has no squares to enter the black camp, and there are no pawn break either.

Yes, it looks drawish if they exchange all the pieces
(after 33 Kd3 Nc5+ ...) White King can't penentrate
Black position

A draw is not bad for either player, really. Kramnik needs to steady himself and Vishy gets one game closer to clinching it.

Anand's 31.g4 closed the position.

yep, they just exchanged all the pieces.
Now White's only chance, if any, is to work some kind
of zugzwang, he has one reserve tempo witht he pawn on e3.

Kramnik holds the draw, but once again the initiative was Anand's.

37.Ke4? Somehow, I don't quite trust the official site on that one :D.

Leningrad Dutch is something Kramnik has played a lot in the past (7. ... Qe8 variation), but not in some time. You're seeing a lot of games from the early 90's and even late 80's, but he did play it against guys like Milov, Alterman, Sherbakov, Nielsen, Dautov, Ibragimov and Miles. He also played the Stonewall vs. guys like Akopian, Novikov and Van Wely, but those games were 17-18 (!) years ago.

It is worth noting that Anand has played f5 three times, vs. R. Hedge, Brenninkmeijer and Gligoric.

With White vs. the Dutch, he's an amazing +9 =0 -0, including 3-0 vs. Predrag Nikolic.

I would think that stonewall dutch is a bit more in Kramnik's style. It does give black winning chances. Apparently Kramnik decided to stop the bleeding first, which might actually be a good idea.

Today he didn't blunder anything, and found a nice fortress, that's a plus. However, he had another unpleasant position with no winning chances. That's a minus.

I wonder if Anand goes into Meran once again tomorrow. +3 seems good enough to try something calmer, but that's probably exactly what Kramnik would want.

Links to Bill Ayres wouldn't work in India.

A whisper campaign that he's a secret muslim might do more damage. And that he sold the secrets to the Nimzo Indian defence to the Pakistanis.

By far the best effort from Kramnik so far. He saw everything and despite some unpleasantness found his way safely home. Question is, how can he feed off these positive vibes and turn them into something constructive tomorrow?
Yet another Meran would be asking for it I think - Vishy's prep still hasn't shown signs of holes. I think Kramnik is resigned to a 6.5-3.5 scoreline, and hoping for a win somewhere along the way.

As I said in the first comment, Anand got an easy draw. But still I am amazed that Kramnik never got any realistic chances to push for more (in fact he made a draw offer at move 21) and he wasn't able to pose Anand any real problems on the board (i.e Anand had plenty of options to get at least a draw with zero chances of defeat).

Let's wait for tomorrow if there is something else Kramnik can do, this time with white.

I think Anand will play sharp lines whenever possible in the next few games but he will not take any chances.

Some of you may say that what I'm saying is contradictory because playing sharp lines is by definition taking chances. That's not true. If the sharp line is part of Anand's preparation, I think playing the line is as safe as anything else. If Anand doesn't throw Kramnik off-balance with a novelty, I think Anand will simply play solidly for a draw (as he did in this game) and wait for Kramnik to make a dubious sacrifice to gain the initiative (as he did in the last game).

One thing is absolutely clear: Kramnik cannot refute Anand's preparation over the board, and he should not waste time trying to refute Anand's preparation during this match. If that means Kramnik has to be content with losing the match after drawing the next games, so be it. Save face Kramnik, just accept the 6.5-3.5 outcome and go home.

Anand is so far ahead he can safely play to elo-grab as much as possible from a vulnerable Kramnik.

Or it could be something else.

The decline of a draw offer on move 21 tells us something about Vishy's pre-match strategizing. (IMO, black is fine at move 21, and any sane white would accept draw per match score.)

Anand won't let up until match victory (e.g., shirking from risk, sharp positions) to avoid any complacency lapse.

But it seems more extreme than that. He seems determined to play each game as a stand-alone tournament game, irrespective of the match situation.

(Btw, I think that is good of Anand win in this style. It puts at end any question of Anand as lacking a killer instinct, and any questions of his legitimacy as world champ. He is not drawko-ing his way to the title, which is admirable.)

yes kudos to Anand for refusing the draw offer at move 21.

I watched some of the press confs in chessvibes. I got a say Kramnik makes some interesting remarks and more questions are asked to him compared to Anand. (BTW I am a fan of both players so no bias from me implied here).

I am happy to see Anand getting the kudos he deserves in chess history. These 2 players are simply class acts and finally both are able to emerge from the shadow cast by Kasparov who is the best player chess has ever seen.

Its all good folks!!

"By far the best effort from Kramnik so far."

Only in the sense that he didn't lose. But the fact is that Anand was never threatened in this game. Every game in which that happens moves Anand closer to winning the match. When you're minus 3 with six to play, I think you need attacking chances in every game, not just the White games. As it now stands, if Kramnik is satisfied with draws as Black, then he needs to win every remaining White game just to force tiebreaks.

Kramnik is dead in this match and he knows it. He's just trying to figure out a way to save face, get it over with, and not betray the sponsors and public. He will just play reasonable games from now on, maybe try to press a little bit with white.

I agree with iampc that both players are really good sportsmen and deserve our respect.

Basically until Kramnik wins a game or comes close to it, he will continue to hunker down and avoid getting hit. So its a catch-22 thing, unless Vishy gives him a win on a plate.
Tomorrow should be interesting - has Kramnik found a way to refute the "Bonn variation". Or will he swallow his pride and play something less sharp.

I was kinda hoping for Anand to win today and tomorrow to go ahead and put a bow on this thing.

anybody else bored by this match? Kramnik-Topalov was much more entertaining, you never knew what was going to happen. here Vishy is just too strong making games like todays really boring to watch. in a sense it looks like he's constantly playing for 2 results.

Marc: Let's wait and see.

jaideepblue: I think this easy draw feeded Vlad's confidence a bit - but not enough to score a win tomorrow.
Vlad lost his confidence in the 3rd game - and therefore it is quite easy for Anand to score.

I'm hoping still for one or two wins by Vlad just to show that another outcome of the match had been possible.

"Anybody else bored by this match?"

Not me. Three out of seven games have been decisive, and there was also a very sharp draw in game two. That's not bad at all.

"Kramnik-Topalov was much more entertaining..."

Yeah, but not always for the right reasons.

"Not me. Three out of seven games have been decisive, and there was also a very sharp draw in game two. That's not bad at all."

thats true however so far Kramnik never had any realistic chances to win a game. even Kasparov-Short wasn't so one sided (at least Nigel was close to winning a couple of times). i really hope Kramnik gets something going tomorrow.

The article states that Kramnik's record as black is +1 =35 -5, which is worse than his peers. I'm curious to know what his record is as white for the same set of games? I'm guessing that Kramnik pretty much never loses as white, and he's already been in many tough situations as white in this match.

I don't know what is going on with Kramnik, but it is impossible for him to make a comeback without Anand's help, and Anand doesn't seem to be in a very helpful mood (seriously, I have yet to see Anand make a mistake in this match that would at least give Kramnik a chance).

Mig wrote:

"Will Kramnik go back to the wild Meran? Anand would be a little crazy to allow that, considering the score."

One could argue exactly the opposite too. Anand would be crazy not to allow it, considering that he has already won twice. Also, Kramnik would be crazy trying it a third time, considering that he lost twice.

Seriously Mig, you really think Kramnik's team can out-prepare Anand's team at this point? Kramnik's team must have thrown everything they had at the Meran after game 3, and they still came up short.

Just a note re: the Ke4 thing, typically at the end of games I believe it is a tradition to put both kings in the middle of the board to register the draw, but if this would be a legal move (when the kings are adjacent to the center squares), this often shows up in the live game transmission.

[Post-game update added to main item.]

It's not about preparation, it's about risk. There's no reason to risk going into such a chaotic position, especially when your opponent and his team and computers have had a week to grind on it. You play the percentages. Yes, Anand is better prepared there, but the consequences of a crack in the armor in that line are probably fatal. You're outplaying the other guy anyway, avoid insanity. Anand has to have a secondary line that isn't as sharp ready. Of course it would be great to see another one of those crazy Merans!

There are arguments for both sides. Kasparov never felt the need for a Plan B against Short. Despite having a huge lead (or perhaps because) he kept playing what he played best, the Sicilian. Of course Short did come very close to beating him on several occasions.

Anyone can put a video at youtube when Kramnik offered a draw and Anand declined? I think this was the most interesting situation in this match so far.

Cold Logic,

Indeed, it wouldn't be a very bright idea for Kramnik to bang his head against Anand's Meran preparation if the match was still close. But at -3 he should take chances. Saving face makes no sense here. Whether it's 7:2 or 6.5:5.5 a loss is a loss is a loss and the outcome is still the same -- bye-bye the crown. Kramnik's career is near the end, so he shouldn't care about protecting his psyche or something. Besides whether he loses 7:2 or 6.5:3.5 the public opinion would still be the same: Kramnik got his ass handed to him.

The only slight chance that Kramnik has is to beat Vishy tomorrow, preferably in Meran, knock Anand's confidence off and hope that Vishy gets cold feet and curls into fetal position for the rest of the match.

So I say: Kramnik must go in Meran if he has a chance, but Anand deviates early. He probably has Nimzo or Slav prepared anyway in case his semi-slav gets busted.

"So I say: Kramnik must go in Meran if he has a chance"

Too dangerous in my book. Problem is that Kramnik might get a nervous breakdown if he is confronted with this position again. Anand would take advantage of this and smash Kramink's head against the wall.
Maybe Vlad better tries 10.d5 instead of 10.e5. This would be a major surprise for Anand.

Mig & osbender: good points!

I thought the match was going to be boring from this point on, but now I'm really interested to see what these guys decide to do tomorrow :-)

The life from that position (Meran Bonn) still hasn't been sucked out and I don't think Kramnik can afford another game worrying about Rxg2 all the time. he would ideally like to steer the game into quieter waters not risk another ultra-sharp line when his confidence in calculating have been so badly dented.

Whoa! according to GM L'Ami on Chessvibes white missed a when he went 33. Rc2 instead of 33.Kd1. Incredible! If it is true then Kramnik is hardly going through a game without a losing position at some point! :)

We basically considered 33.Rc2 a draw offer. We didn't see a win, of course, but there were several ways to keep playing and we looked at Kd1 for a few minutes. It's certainly messy after 33.Rc4. There are lines in which White gives up a couple of pawns to penetrate with his rook to c7. Probably good for White, but definitely with some risk, as Anand no doubt saw. Probably just good sense to take the immediate draw.

Maybe all Kramnik needs is more bathroom breaks....there were rumors all the way back to the Kasparov match that Kramnik was getting some computer assistance, could it be that he is unable to use this asset anymore???

For all those toiletgate fans: use your imagination and answer the following question for me.

How will Kramnik be able to use a computer when apparently the players go through a metal detector and the players are almost always under camera surveillance. I want detailed, step-by-step instructions on how to cheat with a computer. Let's see how creative you guys can be.

Please don't feed the trolls! You can go find all the "answers" to those questions from the Topalov fans in the 2006 Elista threads...

This endgame, how Kramnik set up the fortress. will be in endgame book in the future (K and P section). I would not be surprised if Dvoretsky will analyze it to the n-th degree in his ChessCafe column.

>this endgame, how Kramnik set up the fortress. >will be in endgame book in the future

not likely, but the "Ne3 trick-at-the-end" (and perhaps even Fritz' Qh7+) will, albeit unintened, make Kramnik immortal.

I don't understand the comments regarding this is the end of Kramnik's career and that he's done if he indeed ends up loosing this match. This essentially shows the ingrained hype associated with superiority of match play for WCC. For example, no one said Anand's career was over when he got eliminated in 2001 FIDE WCC tournament by Ivanchuck. And of course, he came back stronger than ever.

Kramnik is just 33. Anand is almost 40. Kasparov was strong even at 42. He didn't disappear under a rock after losing to Kramnik in 2000. He hung around, won several tournaments and made a lot of money playing some computers.

Kramnik is a world class player. Even if he loses, he'll continue to play strong chess and stay in the top-10 for at least another decade.

What/who is a troll? any explanation?

Of course a bit of perspective is required here. Kramnik may well lose this match by a large margin (or maybe not) but his accomplishments as a chessplayer will not be diminished. Neither Anand nor Short were not destroyed by their WCC mauling and there's more to a chess career than a WCC match.

so much for being the best match player. what a joke. kramnik who? ahh that self annointed class c player. anand made him looked like a patzer

I don't get all these comments bashing Kramnik for loosing big in this match. Historically, it is absolutely *NORMAL* that world champions loose their title by large margins. Just some examples: Spassky lost by 4 wins difference; Petrosjan by 3 wins; Botvinnik also by 3 wins; and Tal even 5 wins. Noone argues that any of them wasn't a true world champion simply because they lost their title in a big way.

So, there is no doubt about the following:

Kramnik is chess world champion #14.
Anand will (most likely) be chess world champion #15.

Congrats to both of them! And yes, after this match, Anand will be undisputed champion until he is beaten in a match.

(Having said that, I sincerely hope that he does not suddenly decide to defend his title in some kind of tournament with a random winner. I hope he truly values chess history and his place in it!)


I do think Short was destroyed after than match with Kasparov. From a WCC Challenger to not even getting into the top10, with no invites to premier tmts like Corus, Linares. Isn't this destruction?

@Mig & Trash 2: "But it looks like URAL Sverdlovskaya is the winner, with Radjabov, Shirov, Kamsky, and Grischuk"

Hmm.. If URAL Sverdlovskaya is going to win this cup it ain't because of the lads mentioned in that line. It is Vladimir Malakhov who is trashing the greek dishes! With 7/7 and 3187 TPR he is due to enter the +2700 elite. I invite everyone to check out his beauty against Robert Zelcic.

World Champions List

01. Steinitz
13. Kasparov xxxx-1993
14. Kasparov, Karpov, Khalif, Anand, Pono, Kramnik, Topalov etc. 1993-2007**
15. Anand 2007-

**Chess Mess World Champions

minor correction -

13. Kasparov xxxx-1993

1993-2006 - chess mess world champions: Kasparov, Karpov, Khalifman, Anand, Pono, Kramnik, Topalov

14. Kramnik 2006-2007
15. Anand 2007-xxxx

Kramnik was an undisputed world champion since he beat Topalov in their 2006 Elista match. Anand took over the world championship through his win in Mexico City 2007.

The correction is that Kramnik was also a non-mess world champion for a brief period :)

Nah.. :) You could say that for Topalov had he won the match. For being #1, winning a tournament and beating a strong player in a match. For Kramnik, I would say, no. He wasn't even convincing in that match. He was just one among the champions. :)

I will put it this way aswath. If Kramnik to win this match, the list would have been concluded simply like this.

13. Kasparov -2000
14. Kramnik 2000-

Kramnik wasn't willing to consider Anand's Mexico tournament championship win. So, it is not fair to Anand to consider Kramnik an undisputed champion in 2006.

What/who is a troll? any explanation?:
You are one of those who haven't read Lord of the Rings I see. In this book it is a hobbit in the pay of Sauron who comes online and makes nasty remarks under a false name to attract predictable responses.

@Mig:"..a score no one could have predicted, at least no one in his right mind."

C'mon Mig..that's quite uncharitable of you. I'd called this even before Mexico was over!

Anand Nair | September 23, 2007 12:13 PM

I am hoping Kramnik manages to be clear second so that there is sufficient interest in the Anand-Kramnik match.. Although the result is a foregone conclusion (the Vish will win by +2 or better), at least it will help have some media hype and excitement buildup...
I'd also slightly elaborated on my reasoning in the same post (at 2:56 P.M.). I'm really surprised this generation of chess fans and journalists overrate Kramnik and underrate Anand to this an extent. I think most of them have made up their minds on the basis of two matches alone: Anand-Kasparov in '95 and Kasparov-Kramnik in '00. Strange that they miss the obvious point that Anand had not peaked in '95 and Kramnik has been downhill after '00. Or maybe they overrate the Botvinnik school of chess? Anand has also had quite a bit of problems with his nerves until as recently as his loss to Ivanchuk in the semis of one of the FIDE KOs (the one which Ponomariov won). I don't know how much of it has had to do with his being Indian (a country which welcomed almost every single invader and suffered due to cowardice/disunity. I thought I also read in one of the interviews that Anand's mom said something along the lines of "just give it to him (kasparov) if he is misbehaving so much and wants it so badly" after kasparov started 'misbehaving' after his loss in game 9 of their match.) Also, not sure to what an extent living in Europe has help Anand psychologically. I'd love to see someone ask him this..

Nice try, AN, but +2 is within reason in either direction. That's why I stopped my pre-match poll parameters at "+2 or better". But I don't think even the most wild-eyed Anand or Kramnik fans would have gone for +3 in a 12-game match. At worst I could have envisioned someone going down two early from good prep and a blunder, and then losing later when they got desperate and took too many risks to win. But +3 in the first half, no way!

Anyway, post-game update added to the main item. Last game Sunday?

Agree with Mig here. No one would have predicted +3 after 6 games for Anand before the start of the match.

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on October 23, 2008 12:16 AM.

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