Anand completes Bonn supremacy on Kramnik, retains world title

October 30th, 2008 - 12:52 am ICT by IANS  

Bonn, Oct 29 (IANS) The sword of Damocles that hung over Vladimir Kramnik’s head finally fell as Viswanathan Anand grabbed a draw in the 11th game even as the Russian challenger tried his level best to create imbalances and make something of it and prolong his stay in the title-clash.The draw in the 11th game gave Anand a winning 6.4-4.5 lead with one game to spare and with that the NIIT MindChampion retained his world title.

The win by a huge margin will also carry Anand to the top of the World Rankings when they are released next.

It also set to rest all talk that Anand was off-form on account of his poor display at the Grand Slam Cup in Bilbao. That result now clearly comes out as something Anand had virtually planned for and used as a match-situation experience.

The latest win also gave Anand the World Chess title in three formats - a 128-player championship format in 2000 followed by a closed tournament in Linares-Morelia last year and now in match-play against Kramnik. It also ended speculation over Anand’s ability at the highest level in matchplay.

Anand started with white pieces with the strong possibility of this being the last game of the match, as the Indian needed only a draw.

Kramnik, many pointed out, had never beaten Anand with black pieces. However, the Russian had beaten Anand with black in rapid games and it has often been the Russian’s style not to stretch with black and concentrate on trying for wins with white.

Despite needing only a draw, Anand started with a lot of pressure, having lost the previous game.

Even as Anand celebrated his World Chess title and meeting with the world media in Bonn, he received a message from Rajendra S. Pawar, chairman of NIIT, which has had a long-standing relationship with the Grand Master for the last 10 years.

Pawar, in a message from New Delhi, said: “We congratulate NIIT MindChampion, Vishy Anand on becoming the undisputed World Chess Champion.

“Anand has displayed a Grand Strategy in 2008 by choosing the games that he wanted to win, foregoing an important tournament like Bilbao to focus on and win the ultimate match with Kramnik.”

NIIT have been Anand’s sponsors for almost a decade now.

Anand opened with 1.e4 with the hope of steering towards a drawish position. Kramnik chose 1…c5 and then after 2.Nf3 d6 Anand avoided the comparatively drawish 3.Bb5+ and went for an Open Sicilian.

Then Kramnik needing to create unstable positions and now allowing drawish positions played what is an unusual move for him the 5…a6, in the Najdorf Variation. Kramnik has rarely played this and usually goes for Sveshnikov and that may have led to a quick draw.

Kramnik kept going for wild positions and staying away from draw-like positions. To that end he managed that for quite sometime.

Into the middle game there were a lot of exchanges and Anand played perfectly and made no mistakes despite Kramnik trying to steer the game into the unknown.

Anand played 13.Qe3 which cleared the d-file and the f1-a6 diagonal while giving the queen two beautiful diagonals. That had Kramnik going into deep thought for nearly half an hour.

Thereafter, despite creating enough complications, Kramnik was unable to break through Anand’s defence. The Indian played perfectly and did not allow the tension to get through to him.

He handled the situation calmly and managed to wade through the maze that Kramnik tried to create and force confusion in his attempt to win and stay alive in the match.

The must-win situation may have led to the wild tactics that Kramnik adopted right from the start as he evaded all drawish lines and then his attempts even led to a situation where he may have lost.

Ultimately with no possibility of finding that improbable win, Kramnik accepted the inevitable and took a draw that Anand accepted.

The handshake ended a great match for Anand, who is now the undisputed World champion.

And with him having won the World Blitz and World Rapid also in the past besides World classical title in three different formats, Anand can surely be called the Ulimate World Champion.

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