Wednesday, October 29, 2008

World Chess Championship: Game 10 ANALYSIS

WCC Bonn: Analysis of game ten
28.10.2008 – "An astonishing game," says Malcolm Pein. "Kramnik got his kind of position with a tiny edge and a clear plan. He appears to do very little, but he does it very well." Later Kramnik admitted: "I didn't have to do anything, and the position was winning". It brought him his first win over Anand in this World Championship match. Commentary by IM Malcolm Pein and Lakhdar Mazouz.

Kramnik,V (2772) - Anand,V (2783) [E21]
WCh Bonn GER (10), 27.10.2008

An astonishing game. Kramnik just got his kind of position with a tiny edge and a clear plan. Patient defence has never been Anand's forte. Kramnik appears to do very little, but he does it very well. As he said afterwards: "I didn't have to do anything and the position was winning". I am reminded of these lines from Gilbert and Sullivan's Iolanthe:

When Wellington thrashed Bonaparte,
As every child can tell,
The House of Peers, throughout the war,
Did nothing in particular,
And did it very well.

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Nf3 c5 5.g3. Garry must be smiling. In extremes Kramnik plays the Kasparov Variation.

5...cxd4 6.Nxd4 0-0. 6...Ne4 7.Qd3 Bxc3+ 8.bxc3 Nc5 is another way to play. White's pawns are ghastly but his bishops become powerful and Black has to watch his d6 square. 7.Bg2 d5 8.cxd5 Nxd5 9.Qb3 Qa5. This is a long forcing variation in which the theory goes a long way. 10.Bd2 Nc6 11.Nxc6 bxc6 12.0-0 Bxc3. 12...Rb8 13.Nxd5 cxd5 14.a3! Bxd2 15.Qxb8; 12...Nxc3 13.Bxc3 Bxc3 14.Qxc3 Qxc3 15.bxc3+/= and White's bishop is powerful; 12...Ba6 13.Nxd5 Bxd2 14.Ne7+ Kh8 15.Nxc6. 13.bxc3 Ba6 14.Rfd1. Threatening c3-c4.

14...Qc5. 14...Bxe2 15.c4 has been shown to be better for White. 15.e4 Bc4 16.Qa4 Nb6 17.Qb4 Qh5. This is best play and now Anand follows a game he played against Kasparov in 2000. 17...Qxb4 18.cxb4 Rfd8 19.Be3 gives White a clear edge as his bishops are strong and the c6 pawn weak. 18.Re1. A new move with some subtle points

18.Be3 Be2 19.Rd2 Rab8 20.Bxb6 axb6 21.Qd6 Bf3 was Kasparov-Anand, Wijk aan Zee, where Black was in difficulties but drew in the end. 18...Rfc8 was played subsequently by Short and Leko and Black was OK; 18.Bf4 c5 19.Qb2 Be2= Bacrot-Carlsen Biel 2008.

18...c5. 18...Be2 19.h3!? Threat g4 19...c5 20.Qb3 Bc4 21.Qa3+/=. 19.Qa5 Rfc8 20.Be3 Be2. Black's bishop needs rerouting. 21.Bf4. Intriguing, Kramnik wastes a move to ensure Black's queen is cut off from the action. 21...e5. 21...Bf3 22.Qa6 Bxg2 23.Kxg2 e5 24.Be3 f5 was a chance for counterplay but after 25.exf5 Qxf5 26.Rad1 White must have an edge. 22.Be3. There is no immediate threat to the c5 pawn for tactical reasons, but Kramnik is improving his pieces bit by bit. 22.Bxe5 Nc4 23.Qa6 Qxe5 24.Rxe2 Qxc3 25.Rd1 Rd8=. 22...Bg4. Presumably Anand underestimated White's next move, because he deliberately avoided 22...Nc4 23.Qa6 Nxe3 24.Rxe2 Nxg2 25.Kxg2. "I am slightly worse" – Anand. 23.Qa6! A lovely 'creeping move'. It carries no specific tactical threat, but observes the key squares a7, b7, b6 and c4.

23.Bxc5 Nc4 24.Qb5 Nd2 with threats to the king via Nf3+. 23...f6?! Better 23...Be6 24.Bf1 Bh3 25.Bxh3 Qxh3 26.a4+/=. 24.a4! Black's knight has no stability and when the b-file opens his a pawn will be vulnerable and this will prevent him contesting it. 24...Qf7 25.Bf1!! Kramnik takes control of c4 with some crisp tactics. Anand's play has been refuted. 25...Be6 26.Rab1!

26...c4? Anand is being outplayed and the tension of the match induces a blunder. The fact that four other lines all lose can't have helped. Lovely play by Kramnik. 26...Bc4 27.Bxc4 Qxc4 28.Rxb6!; 26...Bc4 27.Bxc4 Nxc4 28.Rb7 wins; 26...f5 27.a5 f4 28.Bxf4 exf4 29.axb6 wins a pawn. 27.a5. Black is already lost. 27...Na4. 27...Nd7 28.Rb7+-. 28.Rb7 Qe8 29.Qd6! Re7 and Qb7 cannot both be prevented. The a7 pawn falls and Black is lost

29.Qd6 Bf7 30.Qb4 with the simple plan of a6 and taking on a7 with total control; 29.Qd6 Rd8 30.Qb4 Rab8 31.a6 when Black can hardly move and a7 falls. 1-0. [Click to replay].

IM Malcolm Pein is the Executive Editor of CHESS Monthly magazine
and runs the London Chess Center and ChessBase USA.

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