WCC2008 game 1

Oct 19, 2008, 6:13 AM |

Vladimir Kramnik vs Viswanathan Anand

Slav Exchange


1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.cxd5
The Exchange Slav, the sure way to play with zero losing chances so an ideal choice for game one
4...cxd5 5.Bf4 Nc6 6.e3 Bf5 7.Nf3 e6
Black cannot continue symmetrically for too long of course but this is the most solid choice
8.Qb3 Bb4 9.Bb5 0-0
Black breaks the symmetry but this is still the main line of chess opening theory
[10.0-0 Bxc3 11.Bxc6 Bxb2 12.Bxb7 Bxa1 13.Rxa1 Rc8 14.Bxc8 Qxc8 15.Qa3 Qb7 16.Rc1 Rc8 17.Rxc8+ Qxc8 18.Ne5 Nd7 19.Nxd7 Qxd7 20.Qa6 and in Malakhov-Ivanchuk White calmly exploited his better placed queen by playing Bf4-b8 x a7 and he won. This shows the pleasant edge White can achieve sometimes in this line and Black has to struggle to equalise completely]
10...Bxc3+ 11.Qxc3 Rc8
Here and on the next move Anand avoids bxc6 when the pawn would be very weak. White can easily exert control over c5 and then lay siege to the pawn
[11...bxc6 12.Qxc6 Qa5+ 13.Qc3 Qxc3+ 14.bxc3 Ne4; 11...bxc6 12.0-0 Qb6 13.Rfc1 and the c5 square is weak]
12.Ne5 Ng4
[12...bxc6 Leaves Black with a permanently weak pawn on an open file]
13.Nxg4 Bxg4 14.Qb4
[14.Qa3 Rxc6 15.Qxa7 Rc2 16.0-0 Be2 17.Rfc1 Rxb2]
Avoiding the structural weakness referred to above even at the cost of a pawn. If there is one man who can make your life miserable if you have a bad pawn structure it is Kramnik
15.Qxb7 Qc8 16.Qxc8
[16.Qb3 Qa6 and Rfc8 and Rc2 is coming]
Black has compensation for the pawn. He controls the c file completely and has active rooks
17.0-0 a5 18.f3 Bf5 19.Rfe1 Bg6 20.b3
[20.Kf2 Rc2+ 21.Re2 Rxe2+ 22.Kxe2 Rc2+]
20...f6 21.e4
There is nothing else active White can undertake but now Anand gets some real counterplay
21...dxe4 22.fxe4 Rd8 23.Rad1 Rc2
White cannot stay a pawn ahead and d4-d5 is well met by e6-e5. The next few move just force simplification and a draw, a minor victory for Anand, he made light of the attempted squeeze
[24.a4 or Rc3 24...e5 25.dxe5 Rxd1 26.Rxd1 fxe5 27.Bxe5 Bxe4; 24.d5 e5]
[24...Rxa2 25.exf6 gxf6 26.Rxe6 Bc2=]
25.Bxe5 Rxa2 26.Ra1 Rxa1 27.Rxa1 Rd5 28.Rc1 Rd7
[28...Rb5 29.Rc7 Rxb3 30.Rxg7+ Kf8 is also harmless]
29.Rc5 Ra7 30.Rc7 Rxc7 31.Bxc7 Bc2 32.Bxa5 Bxb3