24 October 2008

Kramnik-Anand: Game 8

FoidosChess Friday

As last Friday, I bought a ticket to watch today's game via FoidosChess. The game should begin in fifteen minutes, so I'm watching Tea Lancheva interview Stephan Andreae, one of the tournament organizers. He is director of the venue, the Art and Exhibition Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany in Bonn. He describes himself as "a very bad chess player," but he sees the art in chess and is proud to host the event in an art museum.

World Chess Championship, Bonn 2008

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6

My clock says they started a minute early!

3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 dxc4 5.e4 Bb4 6.Bg5 c5 7.Bxc4 cxd4 8.Nxd4 Qa5 9.Bb5+ Bd7 10.Bxf6 Bxb5!

Yasser Seiriwan calls this move "off the beaten track." It appears to be the novelty. I found twenty-eight games with 10.Bxf6 in the ChessBase database, but none with Anand's move.

11.Ndxb5 gxf6

6:19am PDT in Spokane; 3:19pm in Bonn

12.O-O Nc6

FoidosChess allows the viewer to look at either player full screen, or the board, or many of several other camera angles.


6:35am PDT


Thirt-four minutes consumed by Kramnik; five by Vishy.


Anand is thinking

6:46am PDT

Another FoidosChess viewer has provoked Grandmaster Seiriwan to consider 14...O-O in his analysis.

6:49am PDT

14...Rg8 again!

But, here Anand has no light-squared bishop helping the rook bear down on Kramnik's monarch.


We are one hour into the game.

7:11am PDT

I just took a moment to check the US Chess Federation's Member Services page to see whether the Spokane Chess Club's Fall Championship had been rated yet, as it concluded last night. It has. I was the third seed and finished in a six-way tie for third. However, I drew the second seed. My rating went up to a new personal high--over 1750 for the first time.

15...Rd1 16.Qe1

Kramnik played his move instantly.

7:13am PDT; 4:13pm in Bonn

Both clocks show 1:13 remaining. Viswanathan Anand is thinking.

16...Qb6 17.Rf2

Kramnik is three minutes ahead on the clocks.


Had to take a short drive. What did I miss?

18.Qe2 Qd4 19.Re1 a6

Hiracs 12 believes that White is slowly improving his position, which is good news for Kramnik fans.

On October 1, this blog had fifty hits. Since this game began today, I've had fifty hits per hour. It's still small time, but tremendous growth!


Grandmaster Yasser Seiriwan presents excellent commentary, and engages in conversation with his listeners, who type their comments. When he started discussing the endgame that might result in this game, I sent him a comment that he read on the air:
An ending against Kramnik is almost never equal. The man is a god of the endgame.
Yasser pointed out that Anand outplayed Kramnik in the endgame yesterday. He also added that he thinks Anatoli Karpov is a one of the greatest endgame players in all types of endgames. In rook endgames, Seiriwan likes Vasily Smyslov and Victor Korchnoi.

8:22am PDT; 5:22pm in Bonn


Hiarcs 12 likes 21.Na2 with the idea of Na2-c1 trapping the rook. It then gives 21...Qb6 22.f5

21.Ref1 Rg6 22.g3

8:44am PDT

Game clocks show
Kramnik 00:31 Anand 00:38

22...Kg7 23.Rd1!? Rxd1 24.Nxd1


The game has been going for three hours.

25.Nc3 Rg8 26.Kg2 Rd8 27.Qh5

Kramnik 00:23 Anand 00:25

27...Kg7 28.Qg4+ Kh8 29.Qh5 Kg7

A repetition to get closer to the time control?

30.Qg4+ Kh8 31.Qh4 Kg7 32.e5 f5

33.Qf6+ Kg8 34.Qg5+ Kh8 35.Qf6+ Kg8

Kramnik came up with a brilliant combination to add an hour to his clock.

36.Re2 Qc4 37.Qg5+ Rh8 38.Qf6+ Kg8 39.Qg5+ Kh8 ½–½

Yasser Seiriwan is still looking at variations. The players are sitting at the board talking about the game.

9:38am PDT; 6:38pm in Bonn

9:41am PDT

The players just signed their scoresheets and left the board. Yasser is getting requests to ask in the press conference.

Anand leads 5½-2½

10:03am PDT

The press conference is over. Kramnik was happy to have the advantage for a change, but Anand found the position defensible.


  1. Hiya James,

    What do you reckon to 11.Nb3, better line?

  2. 11.Nb3 Qc7 12.Bxg7 Rg8 13.Qh5 Rxg7 14.Qxb5+ Nc6 15.0-0 a6

  3. joco,

    Interesting idea. I honestly don't know, but I'll spend some time looking at it when I get some time. Thanks for commenting.

  4. 11...Qb6 seems more natural than 11...Qc7. It defends the bishop on b5, and with the c-file open, the queen will get attacked again on c7.

  5. Whatever 11. Nb3 sets in motion looks like having a solid edge for White.

    11...Qb6 might even give it an extra fillip, but I think 11...Qc7 is better for Black, in spite of the opening of the c-file.
    Between the two of us, we might even take a game of Anand ;-)

  6. BTW, feel free to zap these comments

  7. Seirawan favored 15.f4 as one of the first moves that he would examine. HIarcs 12 seemed to like 15.Qf3, but Seiriwan wanted Black to move the queen's rook before moving White's queen.

    We have another interesting game.

  8. But what if Black goes 15...Qb6+ first before moving the Rook? Not much difference I suppose.

  9. 15. f4 - Shipov says, that Kramnik wants to open the game and get the Black king from his pawn's shell.

  10. Thank you R.P.
    I always trust Shipov. Pity I can't read Russian. Do you?

  11. Hi James

    Thanks for your insights. I'm one of your new hits. Was looking through the net today for a site with a bit of move-by-move discussion, I found your blog and have been enjoying it ever since. Keep up the good work!

  12. joco - it's my first language, now I am in Canada.
    Shipov offers 20.Nd5!? - it should take some thinking, very responsible move.

  13. rolling pawns,

    You're not far from me as I recall. A mere 400 miles away in Vancouver, British Columbia. Right?

    Quite a strong chess community in Vancouver from what I understand. I think Hikaru Nakamura is living there now, too.

  14. No, it's actually far, I live in Ontario. But generally speaking US is close, I was there a few times - Boston, Washington, Philly - I liked it.

  15. RP,

    Sorry, I mixed you up with another reader. I spend a few days in Toronto for a conference some years back. It was very cold with the wind coming off the lake, but the city has many amenities, including a terrific underground mall.

  16. visits

    Technically, Google Ads, which provides the data, calls them "page impressions," but I think visits means the same thing.

  17. joco,

    Kramnik mentioned your 11.Nb3 idea at the start of his comments in the press conference. He stated that he wanted to play it, but could not find the advantage he needed.

  18. He obviously needs a new second ;-)
    Hmm, I wonder what proportion of the prize money he pays....

    I have to confess: I fell asleep again in the middle of the game.

    Just finished writing up game 7. Took me hours and hours. Take a look.(nxd4.com)

    Now I still have to do game 8...

    BTW, if you welcome comments tomorrow, let me know. It would be helpful not to have to puzzle out so many verifications though. Maybe you could relax the rules for a couple of hours?

  19. joco,

    I like your 64 Squares and have added it to my blogroll. I always welcome comments. Even though I do not always respond, I always read them.

    I have not lost interest in this match, but I'm losing heart in my enthusiasm for Kramnik. The effort to blog frequent updates while watching the games and attending to other business keeps me incredibly busy.