by Lakhdar Mazouz, FIDE Press Officer, photos by Torsten Behl, Official Photographer.
Anand, in his usual slow and short paces, his eyes looking down, deep in thought appeared first in the playing hall. He seemed very calm, maybe thinking already that today he will play the last round of the match.
Kramnik came minutes later, resolute and showing determination. He looked concerned. His task is realistically almost impossible. To get the title, he must not only win three games in a row but also win the tiebreak. How can he achieve this against Anand who is performing like never before at this level? No one is expecting Kramnik to be World Champion. However, people think that today he will neglect no possibility, no opportunity to fight fiercely and take any risk, for he has no more to lose.
Kramnik started with 1.d4, a move that can hardly surprise Anand.
29 moves later the Reigning Champion resigned. An incredible comeback of the Challenger. He said yesterday that he will fight to the end and that he will never give up the hope to win. He kept his word today, and with panache. Kramnik built slowly and carefully his advantage, move after move, improving his position until he forced Anand to resign. He was able to outplay his opponent, against all the odds, against all the predictions that were made particularly after his third loss. His performance today was of a peculiar importance: it meant he can still compete for the Title. In fact, Kramnik has been playing well since round 7 according to his own saying and he confirmed it today.
But what happened to Anand? He admitted that he was not at ease in this round. Did he overestimate his comfortable situation with 3 points ahead? Was he overconfident? Is he tired? Who knows?
What is sure is that that the Championship is alive again. We can expect more emotions, more excitement. Tomorrow is a day off, but not for the team of each player. The teams will have to work hard and spend long hours looking for the best strategy at this stage of the Competition.