Monday, 27 October 2008

2008 WCC - Game 9

This game could be considered a psychological battle, although it has come too late in the match to make a difference. Kramnik (as Black) chose to play the same opening that had brought Anand such success in games 3 and 5 (Semi-Slav). However Anand avoided going too far down the same road and chose the currently topical Anti-Moscow variation.
Kramnik spent much of the opening a pawn up (after taking on c4 and then hanging on with b5) but once Anand struck in the centre with 16.f4 the game really kicked into gear. Kramnik gave up his pawn advantage (19. ... c5!), and another pawn as well, but this was only temporary and as the players headed towards the endgame, Kramnik was once again a pawn to the good. As the players approached the first time control, Kramnik even found a piece sacrifice (38. ... a4) but unluckily for him, it wasn't enough to win. Anand returned the piece at the right time and a drawn rook(s) ending was reached.
So Anand can no longer lose the match (except in tie breaks) and tonight's game may very well be the last.

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