23 October 2008

Anand-Kramnik: Game 7

Kramnik has a huge deficit to overcome in very few games.

Twenty-five minutes into the game and the players appear to be following one game from four years ago.

Banusz,T (2389) - Erdos,V (2454) [D19]
Budapest FS10 GM Budapest (6), 02.10.2004
1.Nf3 d5 2.d4 Nf6 3.c4 c6 4.Nc3 dxc4 5.a4 Bf5 6.e3 e6 7.Bxc4 Bb4 8.0–0 Nbd7 9.Qe2 Bg6 10.e4 0–0 11.Bd3 Bh5 12.e5 Nd5 13.Nxd5 cxd5 14.Qe3 Re8 15.Ne1 Bg6 16.Bxg6 hxg6 17.Nd3 Be7 18.Bd2 Rc8 19.Rfc1 Nb8 20.Rxc8 Qxc8 21.Rc1 Qd7 22.b3 b6 23.Bb4 Bxb4 24.Nxb4 a5 25.Na2 Rc8 26.Rc3 Nc6 ½–½

Anand, V-Kramnik, V
World Chess Championship, Bonn 2008

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 dxc4 5.a4 Bf5 6.e3 e6 7.Bxc4 Bb4 8.O-O Nbd7 9.Qe2 Bg6 10.e4 O-O 11.Bd3 Bh5 12.e5 Nd5 13.Nxd5 cxd5 14.Qe3 Re8 15.Ne1 Bg6 16.Bxg6 hxg6 17.Nd3 Qxb6

Kramnik played the novelty!

18.Nxb4 Qxb4 19.b3

I apologize to readers that visited my blog looking for something that was not yet there. I got a late start this morning because I failed to reset the alarm for 5:30am. Even so I was logged into Playchess and following the game by 6:10am, but there were things to do getting ready to begin this "live blogging" enterprise.

I'm tired after my binge last night. I spent three hours playing 3 0 blitz, and losing far more than I ought. I think I dropped my internet blitz rating by 150.


Time to take stock in this game.

Anand has a bishop against Kramnik's knight. Both players have weaknesses in their pawn structure. Kramnik has the doubled g-pawns, while Anand has two backwards pawns. For the moment Kramnik controls the open file, but Anand appears able to contest it.

These sort of endgames that appear to offer so little are Kramnik's stock in trade, but Anand is no slouch. It may be too early to predict a draw, but there's not a lot for Kramnik to play for here in the opinion of this patzer (remember that I'm a USCF B class player--better than 85% of the world's chess players, and weaker than most that are following this match closely).

Anand needs four draws to win the match. He has little reason to turn down opportunities to try for a win in positions that warrant such efforts, but also little reason to try to complicate a routine position (is any position in chess ever routine?).

6:54am PDT; 3:54pm in Bonn update

20.Ba3 was just played

My Hiarcs 12 sees the position as very nearly even.

7:02am PDT

20...Qc3 21.Rac1 Qxe3

Someone asks, "What is Vishy thinking about? Isn't 22.fxe3 forced?"

Well, there is Rxc8, but it probably drops a pawn. 22.Rxc8 Rxc8 23.fxe3 Rc3 forking the backwards b- and e-pawns.

7:09am PDT

Susan Polgar's blog has 22.fxe3 already played while I'm awaiting moves from the Playchess robot, who might have taken a nap.

7:14am PDT

22.fxe3 f6 23.Bd6

Perhaps we're in for a game today!

7:19am PDT

I restored my Firefox session after a crash that appears to have been caused by new advertising enhanced features at Photobucket, my image hosting service. Sometimes it seems that free stuff costs more than it's worth.

23...g5 24.h3 Kf7 25.Kf2

7:41am PDT; 4:41pm in Bonn

Kramnik appears to be in a deep think. Will he try for a win in a position that offers minimal prospects of advantage?

7:44am PDT

25...Kg6 26.Ke2

Hiracs 12 wants to move the king back to f7.

8:11am PDT update

26...fxe5 27.dxe6 b6 28.b4 Rc4

Kramnik will be able to double his rooks.

8:17am PDT

... or not

29.Rxc4 dxc4

Kramnik has a supported passed pawn.

Actually, it's not supported yet, but it can be. It also will be blockaded by the White king.

8:19am PDT

Hiracs 12 thinks that White is slowly improving his position. Kramnik, get out while you can.

30.Rc1 Rc8 31.g4

White has a more active king.

On the queenside, Kramnik is a pawn ahead, but a piece down.

8:33am PDT


8:38am PDT

Anand played 32.b5, and Kramnik instantly replied with 32...c3

I imagine that Kramnik has found the draw in a game that was starting to turn against him.

When Engines are Wrong

Hiarcs 12 gives +1.52 +- for the line 33.Kd3 Nc5+ 34.Bxc5 Rxc5 35.Rxc3 Rxc3+ 36.Kxc3 Kf7. However, the engine is too optimistic. Both kings are almost completely locked out of the other side, and the Black king is better positioned for the only available point of penetration along the h- and g-files. After some exchanges there, the kings keep each other at bay. There is no other way through. The engine cannot assess the pawn structure well enough, it seems.

8:54am PDT; 5:54pm in Bonn

33.Rc2 Kf7 34.Kd3

Something Awry with the Robot

The Playchess server give the conclusion of the game as 34...Nc5+ 35.Bxc5 Rxc5 36.Rxc3 Rxc3 37.Ke4 ½–½

9:02am PDT

Playchess has corrected the game score: draw after Black's move 36.

34...Nc5+ 35.Bxc5 Rxc5 36.Rxc3 Rxc3 ½–½

Anand leads 5-2.


  1. Hiya James,

    After game 6 Karpov told Kramnik off for playing 9...b6, ( after the now famous 9.h3). I was glad to read that, as I had been thinking the same thing during their game.

    Today, in game 7 I would have welcomed 24...b6, but it never came. I missed the chessok rybka 8cpu evaluation of this move. Do you have any ideas on it? the outcome would probably have been a draw as well, but even so, I am curious. It was the only interesting point in an uneventful game.

  2. I would have thought that Kramnik would be better prepared then he shows on the board. It looks like Anand is freewheeling to the title.