WCC Anand v Kramnik - Game 11

WCC Anand v Kramnik - Game 11

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Congratulations to Viswanathan Anand on defending his title as world chess champion!  A cheer too for Vladimir Kramnik who fought hard to get back into the match and deserves credit for trying everything possible to win.

21...Ne7 22. Qd2 Qxd2 23. Rxd2 Bh6  With the queens of the board, Anand now has a positional edge thanks to his better pawn structure.

20. Kb1 Qe1+ 21. Nc1  Anand makes room for his knight to block the check from the Queen.

19. Nxc8 Rxc8 Now Anand has to be careful about the safety of his own King, along the half-open c-file and the a1-h8 diagonal.  There is also immediate danger from the queen threatening to come to the e1 square.  Clocks: Anand 0:42 Kramnik 0:46

18. Nxd6+ Kf8  Anand could now exchange off the bishop on c8 with his knight and Kramnik's main plus (the two bishops) will be gone.

17...f5  Kramnik sacrifices the pawn on d6 to open the diagonal for the g7 bishop.

15...Rg8 16. Qf4  If Kramnik wants to castle now it will have to be on the Queenside.

15. Qg3  Attacks the g7 bishop and the d6 pawn and unpins the the e4 pawn.  If Kramnik defends the bishop with Rg8 he won't be able to castle kingside.

13...Bg7  Kramnik has obviously spent a lot of time looking at variations and decided that he doesn't want his king in the centre anymore!  Kingside castling is prepared.

A long think by Kramnik on his 13th move.  He has now caught up with Anand on the clock.

13. Qe3  Opens the way for the bishop on f1 to come into play, and even perhaps for the rook to move to d5.  Clocks: Anand 1:17 Kramnik 1:35

Anand has a big lead in development.  This is dangerous play by Kramnik, but he needs to keep the position unbalanced in order to make a decisive result more likely.  This is very un-kramnik like of Kramnik!

12...exf5  Kramnik accepts!  This should get interesting!  Kramnik challenges Anand to prove his compensation for the pawn.

12. 0-0-0  Anand offers the f5 pawn as a sacrifice.  If Kramnik accepts, Anand should get the open e-file as compensation.  Kramnik has his first long think about his reply.

11...Qe5  A powerful square for the Queen, surveying the whole board.

10. Qd3  Protects the f5 pawn and prepares queen-side castling.

9...Qc5 helps to prevent white playing Qh5, pinning the f7 pawn and thus threatening the e6 pawn. Anand is having a think about his reply...

Kramnik has to try to avoid simplification to drawish positions and instead keep tension in the position.

8.Bxf6 gxf6 9.f5  Anand has avoided the main lines of the Najdorf - this is an unusual variation.  Either he has something prepared or he is just trying to avoid any Kramnik preparation.  This is relatively quiet - for a Najdorf!

We have a Sicilian Najdorf - hooray!

1.e4!  The first king's pawn game of the match!!!

What on earth can we expect today in the 11th match game between Vishy Anand and Vladimir Kramnik?  After scorching into a 3-game lead in the first half of the match, Anand has looked far less sure over the past few games, culminating in Monday's dramatic first win by Kramnik to keep his hopes alive.

Anand now leads 6-4 with 2 games remaining, so despite Kramnik's heroics in game 10, he still needs to win game 11 today or it's all over.  If he does win, then he needs to win again in the final game to take the contest into rapid playoffs.

There's a big snag in that scenario for Kramnik.  He has never beaten Anand before with the Black pieces in a regular time-control game.  In fact, his repertoire with black is so defensive that he hasn't beaten anyone with black (at normal time controls) for over 2 years!

It's also a difficult game for Anand to approach - he can't play too defensively, but he needs to use the advantange of the white pieces to help him keep Kramnik from getting a sniff of victory.  Whatever happens, it should be an incredibly tense and exciting game!

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