Kramnik Finally Wins, Anand Still Leads 6-4 Print
Monday, 27 October 2008 15:43
kramnik anand cv

Kramnik, V (2772) - Anand, V. (2783)
27.10.2008 - World Championship - Game 10
(LIVE Commentary and Analysis by GM Susan Polgar on

Many have asked me if I think Kramnik will try 1.e4 today. I do not think so. It is not his style.

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Nf3 c5 5.g3 cxd4 6.Nxd4 O-O 7.Bg2 d5 8.cxd5 Nxd5 9.Qb3 Qa5

So far, the players are within Opening Books. Bd2 here is the common move.


Black's best choice is 10...Nc6 11.Nxc6 bxc6 12.O-O =/+=

10...Nc6 11.Nxc6 bxc6 12.O-O Bxc3 13.bxc3 Ba6 14.Rfd1

If 14... Bxe2 15.c4 Qa6 16.cxd5 Bxd1 17.Rxd1 +=

14...Qc5 15.e4 Bc4 16.Qa4 Nb6 17.Qb4 Qh5 18.Re1

I do not recall off the top of my head of seeing this move before. I assume that this is a novelty. I believe 18.Bf4 and 18.Be3 have been played in a number of games before. In fact, Kasparov played 18.Be3 against Anand in 2000.

White's advantage is the Bishop pair. Black's plan is to play Be2 then Bf3 to trade off one Bishop. Therefore, 18.Re1 stops the threat of Be2. If 18...Be3 19.h3 Bf3 then 20.g4. This is the kind of position Kramnik is very comfortable with. He has a small edge and he is at liberty to squeeze his opponent all day long.

The reason why both players played very quickly so far is they have followed opening books until White's 18th move. This is the first time Anand is taking any significant time for a move.


Anand found a sound move when faced with a novelty.

19.Qa5 Rfc8 20.Be3 =

Anand is down by approximately 30 minutes on the clock. It is obvious that he was caught off guard.


There are several threats with this move: 1. Black wants to eliminate one of White's Bishop pair with Bf3. 2. Black also has Nc4 with the same idea of trading off one of the Bishops. White's most logical move is 21.Bf4 to get out of the Nc4 threat.


Some people are asking why Kramnik doesn't go nuts and play wildly? Well, that is not his style. His best chance to win is to go back to what suits him best. He lost the first 2 games in this match playing Anand's style and it did not work out well.

I just glanced at the evaluation of Fritz. It gives the position as equal. I disagree. I think White is slightly better and Anand has an uncomfortable position with White's Bishop pair pointing at his Rooks and his pieces are not very coordinated. In addition, it is not so simple for Black to come up with a sound strategic plan here.


This is a possible continuation 22.Bxe5 Nc4 23.Qa6 Qxe5 24.Rxe2 Qxc3 25.Ree1 +=


If 22...Nc4 23.Qa6 Nxe3 24.Rxe2 Nxg2 25.Kxg2 +=


I like 23.Qa6 here to prevent Nc4. Kramnik is still slightly better. Kramnik has an option to play 23.Bxc5 Nc4 24.Qb5 Nd2 25.Be7 Rab8 26.Qd3 and Black has compensation. The c3 pawn is weak and Black has some play on the Kingside.


This is a much better choice for Kramnik than 23.Bxc5. A possible idea for Black here is play f6 to allow his Queen to retreat to f7 and possibly move the Queenside. He can also attempt to trade the g2 Bishop with Bf3 or Bh3.


White has a real threat with a4-a5. Black's Knight has few good squares to get to. In addition, White is basically trying to eliminate counter chances for Black while gaining space advantage. This is another promising game for Kramnik. 

24.a5 Qf7

White can play 25.Bf1 with the idea of pushing a5 and after the Knight moves away, White has Bc4.


And now Black may need to play Be6 to prevent the Bf4 threat.

25...Be6 26.Rab1 c4

I am not so keen on his move but the alternatives also give White an excellent game.


There are other options but I like this move the best. As I mentioned earlier, Black has a tough time finding a good square for his Knight.

27...Na4 28.Rb7

I think Kramnik smells a victory here. If he succeeds, the pressure is back on Anand's side, especially with the way how Kramnik has played in the past 2 games.


The only move to protect the e6 Bishop. 

29.Qd6 +/-

The threat is Qb4 to go after an out of place Knight.

Black resigns.

He simply cannot get out of this mess. Well played game by Kramnik. He finally broke through to score his first win. 
The score is now 6.0 -4.0 in favor of Anand with 2 games to play. Tomorrow will be a day off and they will resume game 11 on Wednesday with game 11. I will of course be back to bring you the LIVE Commentary.

The official website is which is available via a link on the frontpage where more in depth reports will of course be available there.
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