26 October 2008

Anand-Kramnik: Game 9

In Europe, the clocks changed back to Standard Time on the normal date this weekend, while the United States switched to a later change a few years ago. Because I forgot, this difference robbed me of a needed hour of sleep, and may have frustrated some of my readers, who, like me, were wondering why the game had not yet begun.

7:00am PDT; 3:00pm in Bonn

The game should start now.

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

1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6

It has begun.

7:03am PDT

I am following the game on the Playchess server on my Gateway notebook computer--an old and slow P-III, while performing the seemingly endless labor of restoring files after a system restore on my HP Pavilion desktop. It is made much easier due to first backing up everything possible on an external hard drive, but still the process is maddening, and will cost me in productivity for a week or more.

3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 c6 5.Bg5 h6 6.Bh4 dxc4 7.e4 g5 8.Bg3 b5 9.Be2 Bb7 10.Qc2 Nbd7 11.Rd1

7:16am PDT; 3:16pm in Bonn


Nine games in ChessBase online database. The highest level game of these nine is:

Van Wely,L (2643) - Dao Thien Hai (2555) [D43]
Istanbul ol (Men) Istanbul (3), 28.10.2000
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 e6 4.Nf3 Nf6 5.Bg5 h6 6.Bh4 dxc4 7.e4 g5 8.Bg3 b5 9.Be2 Bb4 10.Qc2 Bb7 11.Rd1 Nbd7 12.Ne5 Rg8 13.0–0 Qe7 14.a4 a6 15.Nxd7 Nxd7 16.d5 Nf6 17.d6 Qd7 18.f4 Bxc3 19.bxc3 c5 20.fxg5 Bxe4 21.Qd2 Nd5 22.Bh5 Bg6 23.Bf3 Bd3 24.Bxd5 exd5 25.Rde1+ Kd8 26.Re7 1–0


Now 7:25am PDT


Kramnik delivers the novelty!

13.O-O Nxe5 14.Bxe5 O-O 15.Bxf6 Qxf6 16.f4 Qg7

8:29am PDT


They tell me chess players are patient, but that's because they haven't been in the room with me when my computer is set up with the defaults instead of the way I want them. Add Kramnik's abysmal performance in this match to my computer problems and I'm "fit to be tied," as they say.

Kramnik appears to be twenty minutes ahead on the clock.

8:50am PDT; 4:50pm in Bonn

As a consequence of computer problems on my main box, I'm not running Hiarcs 12 today. The problems that led to my desktop problems began with one of those notorious Microsoft script errors, and were compounded by human errors--mine.

Kramnik has been thinking awhile. Fritz 9 (running on a 1.2 GhZ P-III) likes Black's position, but many of those commenting on Playchess are far less optimistic.

9:00am PDT

17...c5 just played

18.Nxb5 cxd4 19.Qxc4 a5

Good News!

Hiarcs 12 now running on my box! That's good news, but even more so is that it likes Kramnik's position, giving -0.62.


Anand played this move while I was away from the board. The clocks on Playchess show Anand under thirty minutes for the next twenty moves, and Kramnik just over fifty remaining. Kramnik uncorked the novelty, is quite a bit ahead on time, and has a better position. Is this a dream? Has my perspective become distorted beyond all relationship to reality due to computer woes? Certainly my struggles with software should not skew my perspective towards a rosy view of life, but that's how I'm seeing this game at the moment.

9:49am PDT; 5:49pm in Bonn

Hiarcs 12 now showing -1.04; Fritz 9 has -0.70

20...Rac8 21.Qxd4 gxf4 22.Bf3 Ba6 23.a4

It appears that Anand has improved his position. The position seems unclear with each move changing the evaluation of engines towards even, then back towards an advantage for Black. Anand's moves seem to be coming fast. The Playchess game clocks have both players under twenty-seven minutes.

23...Rc5 24.Qxf4 Rxe5 25.b3

10:17am PDT; 6:17pm in Bonn

25...Bxb5 26.axb5 Rxb5 27.Be4 Bc3 28.Bc2 Be5 29.Qf2 Bb8 30.Qf3 Rc5 31.Bd3

10:30am PDT; 6:30pm in Bonn


Hiarcs 12 has -0.97

32.g3 Kh8

Hiarcs 12 has -1.20

10:35am PDT

Hiarcs 12 has -0.96

10:36am PDT

33.Qb7 f5

Hiarcs 12 has -0.65

10:40am PDT



Did Anand miss something?

35...Qc7 36.Qxc7 Bxc7 37.Bc4

Did Kramnik miss something?

10:50am PDT

37...Re8 38.Rd7 a4
White can probably hold with 39.Ra1 but he has to find it.
Susan Polgar
39.Rxc7 axb3 40.Rf2 Rb8

Both players gain an hour on their clocks, having made the time control.

11:01am PDT; 7:01pm in Bonn

Playchess pundits are declaring the game a dead draw, but Susan Polgar thinks Black has winning chances.

But, in her update to include Anand's move 41, she states that White holds the position.


11:34am PDT

42.Kg2 h4 43.Rc6 hxg3

Hiarcs 12 has =0.00

44.hxg3 Rg8 45.Rxe6 Rxc4 ½–½

Viswanathan Anand leads 6-3. One more draw secures the World Chess Championship title to the current champion. The man reputed to be the best tournament player, but less strong in matches, has so far dominated this match against Vladimir Kramnik.

In Bonn, it is 8:00pm; in the American west, it is high noon.


  1. Hiya,

    Should I be scared of your temper at the minute ;-)

    12...Qe7 is not a novelty, as it is in my Junior Opening book. Transposition maybe?

    I am finding fault with Kramnik's 16...Qg7.
    I like 16....Rad8 17.e5 Qg6 18.Ne4 (if white doesn't want to swap the queens just yet)..f5 19.exf6 c5 20.f5

  2. Good morning joco,

    No worries on my temper. Just expect that my chess analysis is not getting the attention it needs.

    It does seem that g7 is a funny square for the queen.

    I recheck my novelty assessment. Thanks for the heads up.

  3. joco,

    I rechecked the ChessBase online database and did not find 12...Qe7. But Susan Polgar's blog may have a clue as to why Junior has it:

    12...Qe7 This seems to be a rare move. I believe that it was recommended in an earlier analysis by German GM Christopher Lutz (who had achieved a high rating of 2655 back in July 2002). I do not have access to that article now but you can probably search for it.

    Susan Polgar Chess and Information Blog

  4. Yes, Kramnik DID miss something:

    35....Bc7! and he'd be in clover. 36.Qg2 Rxb3 37.Bc2 Rb6 38.Rd7 Rd8 39.Rfd1 Rbb8

    (I don't care for the eldest Polgar girl. I like the others)