Greengard's ChessNinja.com

WCh 08 g9: Brutal Battle Ends Drawn

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[Preview: First off, note that game 9 starts one hour later if you're in the US or anywhere else that doesn't go off Daylight Saving Time Sunday morning. Germany and the rest of the EU just did, so while the start time there is still 3pm local, that's now 10am in what is still EDT in the US.

This could be the last game of the 2008 world championship match between Anand and Kramnik. For that to happen Anand would have to score his fourth unanswered win of the match. That seems unlikely for several reasons, but little about this match has been predictable so far. As demonstrated in his last white in game 7, Anand feels no need take risks at this point. Playing for two results suits him perfectly. For Kramnik, who needs to win three times in four games, including at least once with black, if he's going to make a serious attempt at the greatest comeback in history he'll have to do something radical tomorrow. Perhaps he needs to do this not only to preserve a shot at what he knows is a near impossibility, but also for reasons of pride and respect. Taking another tame draw in this situation would look pretty lame even if the most die-hard fans have admitted he has no realistic shot at this point. Plus, a win would at least put Anand under some mental pressure in game 10.

But as Kramnik has made clear countless times, infuriating some and endearing himself to others, he couldn't care less what anyone else thinks about him and his strategies on or off the board. Personally, after waiting for this match for so long, and good matches being such a rarity, let alone world championship matches, I'd just like to see a couple more real games between these two stars. I know Anand fans are happy with the blowout, but we're probably going to lose out on a couple of games and the chess content of the second half has been skewed a bit.

Answering a listener question the other day on Chess.FM reminded me how bizarre this so-called cycle is. Anand (yes, yes, assuming he goes on to win this match and assuming Gazprom doesn't have enough cash on hand in this downturn to get FIDE to suddenly discover a Kramnik rematch clause in the fine print) is supposed to play the Topalov-Kamsky winner next year, then the winner of that faces the 2009 World Cup/Grand Prix match winner in 2010. At that point it becomes a bi-annual title match. That puts Anand, assuming for the sake of argument that he keeps winning, in four WCh events in four years, three defending his title. From one perspective that's just more money, but at some point it's a grind, as Kasparov found out playing four (much much longer) matches against Karpov 84-87.

Neither Topalov or Kramnik are participating in the current Grand Prix and there are currently no provisions for air-dropping anyone into the next cycle the way Kramnik and Topalov were dropped into this one with a wave of Ilyumzhinov's magic wand. That means they should play in the World Cup KO to get in on it. Speaking of Topalov-Kamsky, first Dubai and now Abu Dhabi are being bandied about. Maybe they'll want to make it a three-way with Hydra?

By the way, in the press conference after game 8 both Anand and Kramnik sounded more pessimistic about Black's position than I would have imagined. Kramnik mentioned his 22nd move as probably being too slow. GM Christiansen kept asking for Rd1 and activating the other rook on the d-file before Anand could get his outcast Rg6 back into the game. Kramnik still could have activated his rook with 25.Rf3 later. As ever, you have to play perfectly to win with such tiny advantages and Kramnik is far from playing perfectly in this match.]

Whew! Anyone who thought this match was just too easy for Anand saw him earn it big time today. We got the sharpest and hottest line in modern chess, the Anti-Moscow Gambit of the Semi-Slav, but with Anand on the white side instead of the other way around as we might have predicted before the match. This time it was Kramnik with the new idea and Anand was put on the defensive early. From the pace it looks like Kramnik was booked at least up to the startling 14..0-0. Anand defended well and as in game 8, Kramnik kept up the pressure, although a few times it seemed he again didn't make the most of his chances. (17..f5 looked very interesting.) The champ's speedy play when both players were down to 10 minutes with 7-8 moves to play put extra pressure on the challenger. Kramnik eventually got the queens off to reach the pawn-up bishops of opposite color endgame he was shooting for.

33..f5 was classic Kramnik, trying to get the queens off the board while everyone else was looking at attacking variations. A few moves later Anand had the pretty shot 35.Bxf5!, which seems to force a draw very quickly. Anand played 35.Qb7 rather quickly, however, so we'll have to see if he even considered it. GM de Firmian on ICC Chess.FM thought Anand missed a clearer draw on the last move of time control with 40.Rd1 followed by Kg2, but what he got was good enough to hold without requiring total precision. Kramnik found a few tricks to keep hope alive to the bitter end before offering the draw on move 45.

A real world championship heavyweight slugfest from start to finish. Despite facing insurmountable odds Kramnik played an excellent game to really make Anand sweat with the white pieces. Anand deserves credit and perhaps a psyche evaluation for playing into this wild line needing only a draw. As fans we can only thank them both. Anand needs just half a point from the final three games to clinch the match. He has black in tomorrow's game ten. Some analysis notes later.

The more you look at this game the deeper it gets, as with many games in this insane opening. Anand's 10.Qc2 took the games out of the popular lines of 10.e5 and 10.h4, 10.0-0 and the alternatives 10.Ne5 and 10.e5, which have all been played by many top players lately. The modern forefather is probably Kasparov-Tal, 1982, although Garry's 10.e5 has never been in vogue. Mamedyarov tried it out a few times this year against Gelfand and Karjakin. There aren't really any quiet channels for White to steer into at this point. 10.Qc2 can hardly be the real test of this line and basically looked like a way of dodging the meat of Kramnik's preparation. Big Vlad has games with both colors in just about every line and sideline though, so it was pretty ballsy of Anand to go into this in the first place. Vishy felt no need to play a tame exchange variation when he has a great score in these lines (with black, of course) and has been outplaying Kramnik in complications.

More the better for the fans! The game transposed into a van Wely game from 2000 that wasn't anything special. Both players were moving fairly quickly, using a minute or two on each move and making it hard to tell who was in book and who wasn't. Then Kramnik used just a few more minutes to play the optically alarming 14..0-0, putting his king on the drafty kingside when White can open lines quickly with f4 and h4. To me that seemed like a signal he was still in preparation, at least by analog. GM de Firmian was also a bit surprised, although Kramnik's judgment was soon borne out. Anand took a long think before chopping on f6 and we wondered if the desire to simply toward a draw was beginning to work on Anand's mind. But ..Nd7 is going to come and the bishop will lose its lovely outpost. Instead Anand went for time and a central pawn phalanx.

Kramnik started chewing time as well, giving Nick a while to contemplate 17..f5. Black has to do something about the threat of Ne4 and this move also fights for the f-file. After 17..f5 18.exf6 Qxf6 19.fxg5 Qxg5 Black has a menacing position. After 20.Bf3 White looks safe enough, however, and the bishop on b7 is neutralized. It was interesting to note that Kramnik had finally gotten his beloved bishop pair. No coincidence it was also his best effort of the match. He started opening lines for the bishops with 17..c5, giving back the gambit pawn. Anand accepted the challenge with his usual fearlessness in complications, taking both pawns and subjecting both his king and queen to harassment. It was around this point that I felt Anand was in his element, defending against tactical threats. It was impressive how Kramnik seemed to sense this as well and as soon as he could he tried to trade down into a technical advantage.

According to comments on the press conference, Anand missed that after 21..Bc5 he can play 22.Qa4, but Kramnik noticed it and so avoided the strong bishop move. Rybka prefers the odd leap of faith 22.Qd7 with 22..Bc6 23.Qd3. There was a definite feeling that the worst was over for Anand after 22..Ba6, at least as far as king safety was concerned. Kramnik was just getting started though, seeking out his favorite endgame edge. Still, we couldn't see then and I can't see now why 23..Qg5 isn't fine and annoying to deal with. Anand was happy to get rid of the black bishop pair at the cost of a pawn, reaching a very tricky oppo-bishop position with attacking chances for both sides. Anand now started to play very quickly, pushing Kramnik on the clock as they passed move 30. Kramnik sunk below 10 minutes and Anand continued to make accurate defensive moves one after another. It looked like Kramnik was just hoping to keep control of things until the time control was reached so he could work out a plan for progress.

Kramnik's lunge with 33..f5 was quintessential Kramnik, trying to force a technical position with an extra passed pawn in the center. Anand, with a few more minutes than Kramnik, decided to keep the queens on the board until he got a better offer a few moves later. On the way to that, however, both players missed a wonderful shot for White. 35.Bxf5!! forces a draw thanks to several great lines. 35.Bxf5!! exf5 (forced) 36.Qxh6+ Kg8 37.Qg6+ Qg7 38.Qe6+ Qf7 39.Qxf7+ Rf7 40.Rd8+ Rf8 41.Rxf8+ Kxf8 42.Rxf5+ a triumph of geometry! 42..Kg7 43.Rxa5= Or 38..Kh8 39.Rxf5 with enough to force a draw. Then Kramnik returned the favor, anxiously proffering the queen again with his clock down under five minutes. Instead, 35..Bc7 sets the wandering white queen a number of problems. ..Rb8 is threatened and it looks like White has to bail out with 36.Qb5, dropping another pawn.

After the queen swap we couldn't find a way for Black to make progress, although Kramnik was admirably creative in making Anand work for the draw. White had the most direct draw with 40.Kg2 (or 40.Rd1 with Kg2 next) 40..b2 41.Rd1 and Black can't prevent Rdd7 with a perpetual. Anand made things a little harder on himself with the last move of time control, but things were still well in hand. Kramnik then spent 20 minutes ripping the board apart in his mind on his 41st move, no doubt realizing better than anyone that the win was gone. White can always reach either a pawn-down rook endgame or a position with B vs R with g+h vs h, both trivially drawn. 41..h5 was as good as anything, creating several cute traps Anand spent little time in avoiding.

Kramnik is just now starting to get his positions and show his strength; a pity the match between these titans can't continue for another ten games like a proper world championship. Anand continues to play nearly error-free chess. Kramnik has white in Monday's game 10 needing a win to continue the match.


Mig, there must be some computer programming bug in 'Daily Dirt'.

After a couple of times printing off your site, my printer won't print anymore and comes up with a message "Before you can perform printer-related tasks such as page setup or printing a document you need to install a printer. Do you want to install a printer now?" Well I never uninstalled my printer.

Under 'Printers and Faxes' in Control Panel I get "Operation could not be completed. The print spooler service is not running."

I encountered this problem a couple of months ago, too, but as I was having other computer problems at the time, I assumed it was my computer.
But now, with my computer entirely fixed up (indeed with Windows XP reinstalled), this problem has occurred again.

My printer is a HP LaserJet 1020.

I have never encountered this problem on any other site.

Just to let you know.

I think Kramnik should go all in tomorrow or in game 10 where he has white, in order to try to salvage some pride and hopefully equalize the score. If he wins, then we'll see more games being played out and more suspense being created...if he loses, what the heck, a 3-0 is no less embarrassing than a 4-0.

I'd love to see Anand play the Grob.

Going into the 9th Game, the mantra on Anand’s mind must surely be “it ain’t over till it’s all over”.

This is the worst time for Anand to get over-confident and relax. At the same time, it will be bad for Anand to change his style, wall-up and play for draws to close out the match. That would only play into Kramnik’s hands and preferred positions. So the best for Anand is to continue as if the match is still even and play as he had been playing in the previous games. Anand should continue to play confidently and going for dynamically balanced positions out of the opening in which he is more comfortable than Kramnik.

I expect that we shall see another Slav, Semi-Slav or Nimzo. Kramnik knows very well that he has to play for a win so we should expect to see some real fireworks. The million-dollar question is will Kramnik do an Anand and sacrifice a pawn as Black in the opening and eschew castling?

Anand, with his play and novelties so far, has thrown up many firsts in World Championship match play and turned traditional theoretical precepts on its head.

Gambits by Black:
Traditional theory dictates that it is too dangerous for Black as the second player to be sacrificing a pawn in the opening. It is alright for White to sacrifice a pawn as the right to move first gives the White player some leverage to do so. But it is not so for Black. We may see Black sacrificing in the opening when playing a significantly weaker player but never in World Championship match play between two of the best players in the World at any time in history.

Out of four Blacks so far, Anand has sacrificed a pawn in the opening in three of them.

No Castling:
Traditional theory also states that the King should be moved to a flank and a King caught in the centre during the middlegame is a major weakness. Instead we see Anand voluntarily eschewing castling in 6 out of the 8 games played so far.

Theoretical Novelties:
In his return match with Botvinnik, Tal came up with novelties to reach objectively better positions out of the opening. But Tal went on to lose the match badly as the positions reached were more attuned to Botvinnik’s style and Tal were consistently outplayed in the middlegame and endgame. The traditional objective of opening novelties before and after 1961 was always to reach an objectively better position (in the player’s assessment).

But Anand has turned this tradition on its head by developing novelties not based on the position but based on the opponent. His novelties are designed to reach a position that he is comfortable with and which he assessed as one Kramnik will be uncomfortable with. That the chess engines assessed the resultant positions out of the opening as much better (but not winning) for White (Games 3 & 5) is not a drawback to Anand. Laskerian strategy at its best but in the opening.

After a spell of illness in the early 2000s, Kramnik is clearly back to full fitness and he is at his playing best as shown by his match win over Topalov and his second place in San Luis last year. (Kramnik’s Dortmund 08 and Anand’s Bilbao 08 don’t count as clearly both were just playing out of contractual obligations and were hiding their preparations for the big one).

I view that Kramnik is not playing any weaker than in his matches with Topalov, Leko or Kasparov. His play in the early middlegame after Anand’s novelties has been world championship class. His undoing generally has been the less than perfect moves as time trouble loomed and which Anand took advantage of.

Kramnik’s imperfect play in this match is no worse than those in his match with Topalov. The difference being only that Anand exploited the weak play when it arose. And unlike Topalov, Anand did not reciprocate by giving Kramnik similar winning chances.

Game 1 was really Kramnik at his Kasparov-match best, going for a positional squeeze as White. Holding on to a difficult position in mutual time-trouble in Game 2 was again Kramnik at his best. We start to see the difference this time (from 2000) from Game 3 as Anand forced one unbalanced position after another with provocative novelties, pawn sacrifices, and leaving his (Anand) King exposed in the centre. All of which Kasparov failed to do in 2000 to test Kramnik.

Both players has had one year to prepare for this match. There is no dispute that Anand is winning the preparation battle hands down. He has gone to the extent of transforming himself to play 1d4 only (so far) when he has always played 1e4 versus top-class opposition.

Surely Anand’s preparation must have been based principally on Kramnik’s games against Shirov (who Kramnik lost a match some 10 years ago) and Kramnik’s poor results against Morozevich. Perhaps Anand noted that it is not the wild positions that undid Kramnik but poor play during time trouble resulting from the time Kramnik took to find the best moves in complicated positions. And as we saw in Game 6, when Kramnik tried to speed up his play in an unfamiliar position, the quality of his moves (ref. c7-c5) suffered.

Anand has been winning so far not because Kramnik is playing below his best but due to Anand’s excellent play and preparation. To paraphrase a Nigel Short comment (during Game 6) in playchess.com chat, “We must give credit to Anand for making things difficult for Kramnik. It is not easy to find a theoretical novelty at the 9th move”.

Anand has reinvented himself to face Kramnik. Can Kramnik in turn reinvent himself to salvage the match.

The chess world awaits Game 9.

Sorry Chris B, but this site isn't doing anything to your printer, I promise. I've seen sites that don't print well, and some with scripts you can activate to open your print dialogue. But there's nothing in a site I can imagine that would affect your printer's driver, spool, or queue.

A long, deep post, edfong, but I disagree with just about everything in it! Glad to see some people putting so much thought and effort into their comments though!

Enjoy the game, guys. See you for game 10!

How's Kramnik going to play the Nimzo against 1. g4?

Thanks for your reply, Mig.

Previously (over a long period), I was not able to print off comments in 'Daily Dirt' at all [selection; using Firefox]. Then a couple of months ago, to my surprise, I found I could (I think you had done some change or other) and promptly ran into this problem.

I really cannot think of anything else I have done to have caused this problem, but I'll believe you. Damn, I'm really puzzled about this.

Thanks again.

Like I said, I can imagine a browser not formatting or even recognizing some areas of some pages, depending on how they are designed. Dynamic pages like these can fool some browsers. But messing with the queue, spool, or other driver or command/control stuff isn't possible to my knowledge.

You might try it with a different browser just to make sure that's not it. Firefox, Chrome, Opera, IE, all are free to try. If there are still problems, first remove the printer under windows and then try uninstalling your printer and reinstalling its software with the latest versions from the manufacturer's website. Best to uninstall it first since installing over a current install doesn't always work out.

Edfong. Good post.
I agree with what you say. Kramnik has been outprepared and Anand has deeply studied the positions where Kramnik tend to make mistakes.
The fact that we only have seen novelties from the Anand team also explains a lot. i am sure Kramnik has novelties as well but those openings are just not played !
I think both players will be happy with a draw today, though i hope not. Lets se a real battle today. Kramnik will be happy with a draw today and then try to win monday and if he wins monday only then will we see kramnik go all out in his last black game.

Thanks, Mig.
I will try these things, but I pretty well tried them most of them the previous time. But once it had 'gone', nothing would revive it and I couldn't print anything from any site under any browser (so I suspect it is now something to do with the computer rather than the printer).

I did use System Restore and this got it going again. Unfortunately this caused other problems (in a computer that already had problems due to a previously faulty hard drive) and after a couple of other System Restores my computer bombed out entirely. The guy who repaired my computer (who seemed very knowledgable) said System Restore actually does more harm than good and advised me not to use it. So I am reluctant to do this.

The only other thing I can say is that I was on a Limited Account (as opposed to an Administrator Account), but I don't see why this should make any difference - it hasn't on any other site.

Both my computer and printer are relatively modern, so I am puzzled.

Aside from this problem, though, why would it be that your site would not print at all, then when you did some change it did?
I would be interested to know if anybody else has encontered these issues.

Hi Mig.

Generally I use Firefox (safer than IE, I'm told) and this is what I was using when the problem occurred.

I have just tried IE and am encountering the same problem there, too. So it is not a browser issue.

Hi, Mig.

I have another printer which I use for colour, an HP PSC 1410.
However, I cannot even get to either printer to start with.
So it is a computer problem, not a printer problem.

Why don't you just copy the stuff into Word and print from there? Hope Anand wins again today. He's made all the running and deserves a shutout.

lol, Mig advising on printers, and it is sound advice. Here shows the true profession.

From what I hear from him, Kramnik seems more content with not winning the World Championship than I am with not winning the B group of the club championship. Instead of criticizing him I should learn from him.

I wonder if Kramnik has trouble playing against players he likes (a la Korchnoi). He seemed to play better vs Topalov and Kasparov than Leko and Anand.

I am sure Kramnik will win in game 9!He will win 750 000 euros!Now it is clear why he hates KO or tournament Championships so much.Because with his shameful play he would earn much less,that´s why!And while much better players like Anand,Topalov,Ivanchuk,Carlsen,ect play on same conditions he is waiting for another present from Ilumzinov.But now it is the end.I am eager to see him playing some strong open tournament,maybe there he can beat some unrated player in the first round.

I don't agree with comments by posters in this site that are overly critical of Kramnik.

Kramnik hasn't played badly at all. Barring at most a couple of errors, the quality of his play has been good. Those who disagree could provide the errors he has made. As I said earlier, he made more blunders in the Topalov match and still won. The main factor has been Anand's near-flawless play and great preparation. If anything, Kramnik and team can be criticized on the preparation front. Regarding motivation, it is more about Kramnik's approach to chess and has been the same in tournaments and all his matches.

We can't compare with Kaspy who played badly in the 2000 match and took a short GM draw while trailing. All the games in this match have been well fought (except probably the first one to an extent) and there have been no short GM draw as there have been in almost all other WC matches. The excitement of a close-fought match may be missing but all the games have been great, exciting, and instructive and true chess fans would be happy. Declining interest in US/Eurpoe would be made up by greater interest in Asia.

It is also good to note that neither Anand nor Kramnik has collapsed in the second half (for different reasons) as many had hoped/predicted based on previous matches they had played in the last century. Games 7 and 8 have been good from both.



Danailov recently flashed the "bat-signal" to all Topalov fans to put the toilet-talk behind them and try to act like normal human beings.

I'm sick and tired of Anand getting a pass from all the haters in this blog. What about that high voice? What about that awful yellow sweater? The man is up three games and can hardly manage a smile at the press conferences. What's wrong with him anyway?

I wonder if Kramnik has trouble playing against players he likes (a la Korchnoi). He seemed to play better vs Topalov and Kasparov than Leko and Anand.

Some corrections. Kramnik was close to Kasparov when they played and was also his second earlier. They fell apart when Kaspy started making ridiculous demands and talking trash about Kramnik when they were not met. Even with Topalov, he has better results before the scandal, when relations soured.

It might be more applicable to Anand. He does very well against nice guys and friends and the only two matches he lost were against badly behaved opponents - Kasparov (as usual) and Rustam from the Kamsky team creating the usual stink. I am not considering the Karpov match for obvious reasons.


Yup, if you cannot find anything wrong with his near perfect game, then trash talk him. Now that is an achievement!


Why not continue targeting Kasparov (and support my post) and leave Anand alone :)


It is interesting to note that none of the sites are following the time delay now - shows again that such measures don't work.


I'm predicting a 1.e4!? from Anand today!


Are you running Vista? if so, you might be running into trouble because Vista has an "Internet Printing Client".

You can reach its options by opening control panel, and clicking on Programs and Features. Then click the "Turn features on or off" link in the left-hand pane. The Windows Features dialog box opens. Expand the Print Services section. You have the option to either put in or remove the check mark from the Internet Printing Client check box. Perhaps it has some relevance to your problem.

'New Balls' for Kramnik in game 9?! ;)

Go to Control Panel-->Administrative Tools-->Services and look for the "Print Spooler Service". It may not be started. It also should start automatically. Highlight the service, and start in the upper left corner, or right click--> properties--> start.

Regarding this whole 'debate' about Kramnik, I think my points have not clearly come out.

Let me first say that I fully recognize Kramnik's achievements as a player. I fully recognize that he became a legitimate classical chess champion by defeating Kasparaov and subsequently defending it. The point about him getting a shot at the WC title despite not qualifying through a recognized match cycle is not his fault, he made the best use of it, especially since Anand to whom that shot rightfully belonged declined the offer from Kaspy.

But my entire objections to Kramnik stem from his strategies AFTER that match with Kasparaov. These have been gone into detail by many people here, including me. My conclusion thereby has been and remains, it will be the best for CHESS if Kramnik is defeated in this match, since chess can't afford him continuing as a WC and continuing with his strategies in the past as WC, because they are inconsistent and in many ways unfair and even improper. This conclusion has nothing to do with Kramnik as a chess player of high caliber, or even as a person outside the chess, where I have no negative opinion of him. My above conclusion is solely limited to his behavior as a person in the chess realm post his gaining the title against Kaspy.

Such a conclusion, that it would be best for chess if he is defeated, is my personal opinion, and I have seen evidence that many here and elsewhere voicing the same. I am entitled to have my personal opinion and voice it.

If Kramnik had played well in this match and won it, or even now makes a remarkable comeback, I will certainly applaud and appreciate it. But I will also carry the opinion, unless and until he changes his strategies, that it is a BAD thing that happened to chess.

That said, it is simply a fact that Anand has quite thoroughly outplayed Kramnik so far in this match, and he is likely to go on and win the title. He will continue as the next legitimate classical chess champion. As and when that happens, I would of course congratulate and appreciate Vishy, just as I would recognize and appreciate that Kramnik did his best but came up short.

And of course, independent of that I would be furthermore happy that Kramnik didn't win for the sake of chess, for reasons stated above.

So my dislike of his chosen strategies and pronouncements as WC does not make me a Kramnik-hater, or that I am a rabid Anand fan. Perhaps, it is the language and arguments of rabid Kramink supporters, and self-confessed rabid Anand-haters (sometimes a single person is both) which have contributed to obfuscating the actual point I have been making. I am not and wouldn't be part of any such extreme positions.

Hope things are made clear.

In the above post, one sentence should read:

"That said, it is simply a fact that Anand has quite thoroughly outplayed Kramnik so far in this match, and he is likely to go on and retain his title.

Hi Krishna11, thanks for advice.

No, I am not running Vista. The repair guy said there was basically no advantage overall in having it, so Windows XP was reinstalled from scratch.
This should have eliminated any and all problems I had.
This was about 6 weeks ago and my computer has run brilliantly since then up to a couple of days ago. Then for the first time since the repair, I copied some material from the comments part of Mig's blog. The first two times were OK, then the third time, boom! the problem occurred. This was almost identical to what happened two months ago when I copied then.
I am no computer expert, and I respect Mig's replies; the coincidence does seem extraordinary though, given that it happened twice.

We do know that Mig's program previously had some bugs (something like the first item not appearing or whatever). I think it was when this was fixed that I found I was able to print (briefly) from the site, whereas previously I had not been able to print from it at all. This difference is what made me wonder.

But as I have said, I am not a computer expert and it could be something else entirely - I am not blaming anyone.
If I do have to get it repaired again, I will certainly try to get to the bottom of this.

Hmmm G9 is certainly again worthy of a WCC. Kramnik has managed to get into a line that seems to be more along his own preparation, and Anand has gone in for a sharp continuation.

17...c5 and 8...cxd4 are not favored so far by some commentators. Can anyone translate for me what is Shipov's opinion on the position?

Looks like Kramnik has some going for him here (at 19..a5) for the first time in this match. The e-pawn could become a dangerous passer in several lines. Even the clock is his favor..

New balls after 8 games??

Chris B, is your computer in time trouble? Or maybe the fact that someone is printing Mig's website is a novelty?

Probably printers nowadays have a built-in filter for political correctness, which exploded.

Whoa, on Foidos GM Ian Rogers mentions that Kramnik is considering retirement if he loses the match?! Any news on this? Or is it just a silly rumour?

Thanks Richard.

I tried your advice.
Unfortunately, the same problem happens.
Then when I go back, the damn thing's turned off again!!
I turn it on again, try again, same thing happens.

I was thinking the same thing. That e5 pawn looks very weak and subject to attack by the dark-squared bishop. Anand's Kh1 enables the g2 pawn to take on f3, but I don't know. This is Kramnik's best game thus far imo. Kramnik is losing some time here, but he's still 9 minutes up as I make this post. Give us a game Vlad!

A fun game to watch. Who has advantage? I switch sides every other move.

I think Kramnik has the advantage. I don't think Anand really had any advantage at any point in this game.

If Anand can save this game with accurate play under time pressure, that will be a real accomplishment. Kramnik is making really good moves.

My previous comment was after move 20. Now after move 24, things seem much more balanced. I think Anand is going to hold this one.

Very interesting, is Kramnik trying to go into a better endgame after "provoking" a4 ?

The Anand of old is back. Giving his supporters a good scare when he could have just played it safe. Remember Grischuk-Anand in Mexico Round 13?

I don't understand kramnik's move 25 :-( ...

Move 27: Kramnik is a pawn up. Kinda of his type of positions. This will be the big test today. Just how long will this match be, 12 or less...


oh boy, Kramnik blew it ..Dimitrov's 21..Bc5 suggestion followed by gxf4/Be3 would have preserved the advantage

I like the way Kramnik transformed the position. This is a endgame with real winning chances, isn't it? Anand has difficulties covering both b pawn and g pawn. And there's the potential rocket on e.
On the other hand, the black king looks vulnerable, too.

According to Shipov, then Anand blew it with 23.a3. He says with 23.Qb6 draw is inevitable.

We have seen this situation so many times before. Anand is against the wall, in full-scale defense mode. Most of the times he saves the day. Let's see what happens today. Something that helps Anand: they are in time trouble.

Way to go, Anand. Strolling into Kramnik's opening territory with white. I can understand how Kramnik fans felt during game 5.

If Anand plays 35. Bxf5 I think he might be able to hold the game.

whats the time looking like. Time is frozen in this site

Wow. After the queen trade, Rybka (chessok.com) calls it dead even.

Looks like curtains to this patzer. Did Anand really have to exchange queens?

After Rd7 I think it is a draw. White is stuck. I think they will draw after reaching the time control. Anand saved this one from almost certain defeat.

If Anand manages to double rooks on the 7th rank its a dead draw..

Ashish, Rybka takes some time to calculate, no? It gives no evaluation for 5 seconds or so. The players are playing very fast. I can't believe Rybka calling this even.

someone post a "working" site for the live game please!

Looks like Anand blundered on the last move of time trouble.

Blundered? I don't see how black wins. Anand will end up with a bishop for black's rook, but I think it will be a draw because I don't think black can queen its pawn.

What a sickening display of passivity, cutting off one ball at move 25. Digging his grave on move 35.

I predict a new career for Kramnik. Extreme Free-diving! Sponsored by UEP! He'll go for the depth record, and fail. The End.

Well, she did.

35 Bxf5 exf5
36 Qh6+

Black has to exchange the queens. That sequence was pretty much forced.

Rybka then procedeed to exchange rooks. Give a check with the other Rook Rxf5+ and then pick up Blacks last pawn.

Leaving 3 pawns + R against R + B and an evalution of 0.00. Unfortunately the whole variation disappeared of my screen on chessok.com :(

It wasnt anything close to "certain defeat". An unbalanced position with a"slight" advantage, thats all it was (and is, ,at the time of writing this).One player is trying to increase the "slight" advantage and the other is trying to dissolve it.

The official site offers about 10 different mirrors to watch the game. Right now, Nr 5 is working perfectly for me.

So... 41...Rc2 looks like the killer, doesn't it? I guess Anand will have to go for an endgame with the exchange down. Maybe that can be held?

Okay, not a blunder. But 40.Rd1 looked better.

thankyou sandeep & jh!

>What a sickening display of passivity, cutting >off one ball at move 25. Digging his grave on >move 35.

35..Rg8 would kept the prssure, the same 21..Bc5!....Kramnik had a huge practical advantage but it is not his style to finish it off with a killer tactical blow, he wants 'minimal advantage' to nurse it

Even after the Rc2line Rybka is suggesting, the end is hard to win for black.Advantage yes, but not a win as yet

Thanks, Bootvis.

Susan Polgar suggests an internesting alternative to Rybka in chessok

[i]"41.Rb2 Now 41.Rc2 42. Rxb3 Rxb3 43. Bxb3 Rxc7 44. Bxe6 -/+ However, White does have this: 42. Rxc2 bxc2 43. Bxe6 Rb1+ 44. Kg2 c1=Q 45. Rxc1 Rxc1 46. Bxf5 and White holds. Well done by Anand under severe pressure.[/i]

Great try by Kramnik, anyhow.
Maybe he looks for a way to keep one of his pawns e6, f5.

Darn it. Maybe 41...Rb4 is worth a try? But I guess I'm overlooking something as usual...

41..Rb4 loases the e6 pawn immediately

Nopes, sorry, it doesnt

oh... 41...Rb4 42.Rc8+ and then Be6

I presume Anand's losing chances are zero for this game?

41..Rb4 42.Rc8+ Kg7 43.Bxe6 defending Rc8 +/-

its draw now...Kramnik failed to find killer blows in game where he had a lot of pressure...to his credit Anand did in game 3

No, then Rook takes Rook on c8. I think the reason Rb4 cant be played is to prevent the White Rook to reach the back rank. For example 41...Rb4 42. Rd2 (threatning Rd8++) Rb8(only defence, back to square 1) 43.Rb2 etc and a perpetual.

ok, my mistake about c8 (can be defended), but you sure its a +/-? After your combination, what happens in black plays Rc2!

I would still play my line against Rb4 and get a draw :-). [ooops, there has been moves!] ***goes back to chessok***

Kramnik is "playing to lose" now

Well, Kramnik played great defence in game 2 and used time trouble. So this about evens it out.

Impossible for Kramnik to lose... Ovidiu you're being too hard on your man :)

Dead draw after move 45

Already a dead draw but I think Kramnik will do a pseudo-fight here for the sake of his fans..much like what Anand did in game 17 of his match against Kasparov..

Drawn. Should I say gg

Another Houdini act by Anand!! I have always felt, he is the best defender in the world! Bravo!

GG. As expected once the pressure of "winning" is lifted Kramnik is playing decently. Kudos to Anand for continuing to play sharp lines without considering the scoreline. Let us hope that Kramnik genuinely tries for a win tomorrow.

It's officially a draw.

Good game !! Worthy of WCC match. Can not complain that Kramnik/Anand did not give their best shot to play for a win in this game.

Too bad that Kramnik did not play at this level from the start.

Very exciting draw! Great game all around by both sides. More please!

I would prefer he didn't get handcuffed in a straight-jacket in an underwater barrel in the first place.

g10 will be draw in 13 moves

Vishy is the 15th !!.. Krishna hare hare !!

Vishy, has showed he is an all-rounder. A worthy and lovable champion.

Surely Kramnik's best game yet - I'm still investigating 35...Bc7, suggested elsewhere.

nice game. kudos to both players, one for trying until the end, the other for accepting the struggle despite the advantage.

Kramnik has played quite well in this match. But, it seems that Anand has won the psychological battle. Why Kramink played on move 35...Qc7?

> Why Kramink played on move 35...Qc7?

style, he wants safe edges to convert by grinding

> style, he wants safe edges to convert by grinding

So, the question is, Kramnik ready to let go his safety nature in the last 3 games? Or, ego of not losing going to get into his way?

Now Kramnik can borrow a page from John McCain: "My friends, I've got him right where I want him."

it seems that 35...Bc7 might not be that good/winning as supposed, since 36.Qb5 might offer lots of practical chances to draw for white.


Can you print anything else from your comp? If so, copy the text from this blog to notepad, make sure its all ascii and print it off that file. Maybe his blog contains some char your printer refuses to understand ?

Nice game, pretty humble of Anand to admit that in one of the lines he had not seen a defense for white. Kramnik had seen one (Qa4) but Anand said he was not sure if he would have seen it..

I don't think it will be a short draw tomorrow. Anand said he has "one more game" whereas Kramnik said he has "at least one game, maybe more, hopefully more.."

Clearly Anand had a bad day today but I think he'll hold comfortably tomorrow. I'd say a draw offer by Kramnik soon after the first time control in a =+ position.

>pretty humble of Anand to admit that in one of >the lines he had not seen a defense for white. >Kramnik had seen one (Qa4)

where ?
I am analyzing the game, after 21..Bc5
22.Qa4 seems the only one to save the game

"g10 will be draw in 13 moves..."

If only Mig could set up a betting exchange on this site. I might have lost on the match, but could have recouped with a bet against Ovidu on this one.

Great game but both made more errors than other games. Probably their biggest errors came in move 35 in time trouble. Anand similarly missed perpetuals at 39 and 40 but that is easier to justify.

I think it was clear to everyone incl. Kramnik that the match was over after game 6. We should be thankful to both of them for playing good, hard fought games even after that. Kramnik would be wishing for this to end. Playing 3 tough games after half time knowing he's effectively lost isn't easy. He'll be relieved when it is over - either tomorrow or after game 11.

Tomorrow is Kramnik's last chance to win at least a game. It will almost certainly be over by game 11. Anand should have found easier ways to draw with white and not made it so close. I guess he was looking for a win today to finish it off. Even if he loses tomorrow, he will certainly be able to draw game 11 as he knows a draw is enough and won’t go for a win.


Thanks, Vinay.

No, it won't (eg from 'My Documents').
It refuses to print anything from either of my two printers. In fact, it doesn't even recognise that they are installed.

yes, after 21..Bc5, 22.Qa4 is the only saving move but Anand hadn't seen it. Kramnik had, so he went 21..gxf4, hoping for something better than the line following Qa4..

>I don't think it will be a short draw tomorrow.

You are right, the sponsors are already frustrated by this "no contest/no excitement" match, they may have hoped for a dramatic, neck to neck, finish. There is pressure on Kramnik to play.

When Kramnik comes out fighting tomorrow we'll have to remember to credit the sponsors.

careful, that "awful yellow sweater" as you put it earned Anand a draw the previous game according to a line by GM Bareev. Does anyone remember that awful yellow overcoat Karpov wore every day at Linares 1994.

what must be galling kramnik is that of the $750,000 smackers he will have to fork over at least $100,000 to his seconds for their "preparation".

"what must be galling kramnik is that of the $750,000 smackers he will have to fork over at least $100,000 to his seconds for their "preparation"."

its hardly the fault of the seconds if he blundered those games in time-trouble and frankly i doubt it was their decision to play the Meran for the second time..

"the sponsors are already frustrated by this "no contest/no excitement" match, they may have hoped for a dramatic, neck to neck, finish. There is pressure on Kramnik to play."

Inside Man 2: The Ovidiu Effect, starring "Ovidiu" as a Kramnik-hating Kramnik hater possessed of exceptional hatred for Kramnik who, through the power of his febrile K-hating imagination, creates a limpid dreamscape in which only he, and he alone, understands the minds and motivations of Kramnik, his opponent Anand and the match sponsors.

Co-starring "Cocky", Ovidiu's intrepid Kramnik-hating spaniel, and "Daily Dirt Posters" as a Greek Chorus unable to stop laughing.

Interesting rant from Clubfoot. Hate must make people productive otherwise they might as well love.


You predicted Kramnik-as-white would agree to a 13-move draw, then decided to prospectively deny him any credit for fighting, tomorrow. Once again, on Planet Neptune Kramnik is damned no matter what he does.

I wouldn't quite call you a Kramnik-hater but more of a permanently overcast day, ready to lend an often bizarre note of dreariness and moroseness to any topic and any thread.

I had a look at random_spectator's idea that 35...Bc7 is answered adequately by 36.Qb5.

On the silicon beast, it looks like Black's advantage erodes and I was about to agree that the line flatters to deceive, but then it finished up at
8/8/6r1/8/5b1k/4p3/R3K3/8 w - - 0 70
which is lost in 20 for White, move ~90.


Mig, any update on GM Erwin L'Ami's idea for Anand winning Game 7 int he endgame? After 33.Kd1 (instead of 33.Rc2 played) Rc8 34.Kc2 Nc5 35.Rf1+ Kg6 36.Rf8! Rxf8 37.Bxf8 Nxa4 38.Be7! Kf7 39.Bxg5 Nd7 40.Bd8 Nd7 41.h4! I believe it. (White's eventual point is getting B to d4 or e3, K to a4, and Bxb6!) However, I think 35...Kg8 holds, and likely more to the point of interest, I haven't broken down the "desperate" defense 39...Ke8!? 40.e4 Nb2!? In my main line Black wins White's h-pawn and one of the e-pawns to leave B+3 vs. N+2 and what looks like a fortress.

Should I ask Peter Doggers? Someone else? I asked in the PlayChess chat. Any followup on ICC?

I meant to add (to make my comment relevant for this thread) I'm surprised Kramnik didn't find 35...Bc7! In Zeitnot I'd hate to face such a creeping move.

You among several others comment that Kramnik was trying to get the Queens off, which makes for an interesting discussion on the winnability of the endgame, e.g. had Anand traded by 34.Qxg7+. Some fellow kibitzers on PlayChess seemed to expect that opposite-Bishops endgame to be more drawish than with the Queens on.

"Interesting rant from Clubfoot. Hate must make people productive otherwise they might as well love."

Too late for you to turtle now, Ovidiu. But perhaps I should have spelled it out like Greg Koster. During the game today you posted that Kramnik may well have seen the possible winning line but rejected it for "minimal advantage". This was followed by the 13-move draw prediction, a trademark soupcon of anti-comic grief.

But when you suggested that Kramnik would only put up a fight if he were made to worry about his share of the purse, you crossed a line with an indefensible attack on a great champion about to pass the mantle to a stronger player. It was outrageous even for a black-cloud negationist like you. So I created a black comedy idea to match your cloud when I really ought to have just called you out in a post like this.

Hate has been a very productive tool for you so far, but you're also no fool. So maybe you could give love a test-drive as the match concludes. Show respect to a champion about to lose with class and dignity, and leave the scurrilous shots to those who can't help themselves.

No update, Ken, but what's Black's 33rd move in your line? The rook is already on c8. I assume Kf7. I spent most of my time on 33..Rc4, which is a very long, double-edged line that is much better for White, although he has to find several rather unusual moves to keep the edge. Black gives up the knight for a bunch of pawns in a couple of lines. 33..Kf7 is probably better.

In your line, 35..Kg8 certainly looks reasonable.

Positions like this one seem rife and are simple draws of the blockade type that mislead comps.

8/5kp1/8/pP4R1/1r4P1/2K4P/8/8 b - - 0 43

White surely has improvements but it definitely trends toward a draw without black having to find anything more clever than rampant pawn grubbing.

In game 9, White is definitely walking a very narrow path after 35..Bc7. But White gets a lot of activity for the second pawn. 36.Qb5 Qxb5 37.Bxb5 Rxb3 38.Bc4 with the rook coming to d7. Much better chances than in the game but not an easy position to control, especially in time trouble. Still, two extra passers and one of them on the edge would be an all-day sucker for Kramnik.

Did anyone notice the several firsts Game 9 threw up:-

1) For the first time as White (but 4th overall), Anand sacrificed a pawn in the opening.

2) For the time in the match, Kramnik surprised Anand with his choice of opening line, playing a Semi-Slav (for the first time in the match) and the super-sharp Moscow Variation with pawn moves to h6 and g5.

3) As a consequence of 2), we saw Kramnik significantly ahead on the clock for the first time in the match, culminating at about the 20th move when Anand had used up 90 minutes leaving himself less than 30 minutes for 20 moves to reach the first time control. At that point, Kramnik was more than 20 minutes ahead on the clock.

4) For the first time, Kramnik uncork a theoretical novelty with 12…Qe7.

In the middlegame, Anand prepared the tactical fireworks with 16.f2-f4 which exposed his King along the diagonal. Kramnik then set off the tactical fireworks with 17…c6-c5.

5), Kramnik outplayed Anand in the ensuing tactical complications (for the first time in the match), retaining his plus pawn after the fireworks settled.

6) For the first time in the match, Kramnik had significant winning chances in a game.

And not for the first time (the other being Game 2), time trouble (with something like 5 minutes to play 5 moves in a super complex endgame position) put paid to the winning chances.

A useless comment perhaps ...

Yo Mig,

Just wanted to let you know much I appreciate your commentary of the games. The Old Mig is back ! Ole !

I had stopped coming to this blog for lack of insight into the minds of the "Chessiverse". It's a joy again ...

And by the way, that G1 has nothing on the cute daughter.



Such a post is never, ever useless, at least not if it's directed toward me. Thanks mucho.

As for your other point, I dunno. That G1 hasn't spit up on me yet!

Oy Mig,

---thanks for the reply, and my congratulations on familial additions as well! "Oy" also because my 40...Nb2 bites the dust to 41.Kxc3 Nd1+ 42.Kc2 Nf2 43.Be3 Nxh3 44.g5! and though it takes computers a long time to verify this, White has just enough wingspan to watch the a-pawn and trap the Knight.

39...Nb2!? fails similarly, but the immediate 38...Nb2!? is still kicking. However, I imagine 38...Nb2 would have attracted more attention from GM L'Ami. More when I can.


Re my computer printing problem:
I contacted my repair guy who gave me the solution:

Go to Control Panel -->Administrative Tools-->Services
Find Print Spooler Service. Start this.
Then remove and reinstall all printers.

So Richard was partly right. Just needed to ALSO remove and reinstall all printers.

I asked the repair guy what could have caused the problem. He said it could be almost anything and did not totally discount the possibility that printing off a website could have caused it.

Naturally, I then 'tested things out'. Try as I might I cannot now recreate the problem from "Daily Dirt' or any other website.
I remain mystified as to why this occurred, or why I could not print off your website at all a few months ago.

However everything looks 100% fine now, so I apologise if I caused anyone any concerns.

Well, I am AMAZED!!
I tried to print off my previous post to have a record, and the same problem has happened again!!
Well, at least I have the fix now.

Mig, in no way do I wish to damage you. I swear this is what has happened! I can only conclude it is something to do with your site. And it only happens occasionally.

This happened using a Limited Account on Windows XP.
Using Firefox Browser.
I have plenty of disk space and RAM.
Perhaps it's my computer? I bought it late 2005, so it should not be so old as to be causing strange problems.

At any rate, unless I hear otherwise, I will expect this to be a possible occurance if printing off 'Daily Dirt'. [Which I won't, as it's still a hassle to uninstall and reinstall printers.]

Sorry to bring you bad tidings.

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    About this Entry

    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on October 25, 2008 11:25 PM.

    WCh 08 g8: A Draw as Good as a Win was the previous entry in this blog.

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