WCC Anand v Kramnik - Game 8

WCC Anand v Kramnik - Game 8

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DRAW AGREED!  Anand edges closer to victory!  He now leads 5.5-2.5 and needs just one more point from the final 4 games to retain his title.  Game 9 is on Sunday.

The players repeat moves to gain time on the clock.

24...Kh8  Anand wants to get his rook back into play, so makes room for it to escape.

22...Kg7  Anand finds a relatively safe home for his king after all!

22. g3  Kramnik blocks out the rook on g6 from g2.

The players are spending a lot of time trying to come up with good moves in this closely matched position.

21. Ref1 Rg6  Kramnik threatened to push f5 and if exchanges occur, then f6 is under attack from the doubled rooks.  Anand adds a defender to the f6 pawn.

Clocks: Kramnik 0:46 Anand 0:49

21...Kf8  Anand, in return, steps away from the danger on the e-file.

20.Kh1  Kramnik decides against Nd5 and instead gets his king out of 2 pins.

19...a6  Anand stops Kramnik's knight from coming to b5

The square e7 is not such a safe haven for the black king now, especially if white can play Nd5 at the right moment.

19.Re1  Kramnik lines his rook up behind his queen attacking along the e-file leading to the king.  He will hope to break through by advancing his central pawns.

18.Qe2  Puts a stop to that little idea!

17...Rd3 Threatens Rf3, exploiting the pins on the diagonal and the g-file.

15...Rd8  Anand attacks the Queen to force it from the d-file, but this is a concession, because now he can't castle queenside and his king is stuck in the middle.

Clocks: Kramnik 1:13 Anand 1:35

15. f4  Kramnik advances on Anand's uncastled king position and prevents his knight from using e5.  15...Qb6 could be met by 16. Rf2 protecting the pawn on b2.

14...Rg8  After a long think, Anand decides not to castle kingside, but instead puts his rook on the half-open g-file leading to Kramnik's king.

14. Nxc3  The main imbalance in the position is black's doubled f-pawn and semi-open g-file.  The doubled pawns and uncastled king are a disadvantage, but the semi-open g-file could be useful for an attack - as it has been before in previous games in this match!

Clocks: Kramnik 1:30  Anand 1:56

10...Bxb5 The move 10...gxf6 is more often seen.  Once again, Anand is the one who makes his opponent think first!

6...c5  A sharp move.  It seems like Anand is still aiming to keep the games as tactical as possible.

So we have a Queen's Gambit today, which is a bit of a surprise from Anand.

Welcome once more to's LIVE coverage of the World Chess Championship between Vishy Anand and Vladimir Kramnik.  Today sees the players clash in game 8 out of a maximum of 12 games, but with the score at 5-2 in Anand's favour, unless Kramnik starts to win some games soon the final few games will not be needed.

Kramnik has the white pieces today and desperately needs a win.  He has come from behind in matches before and Vishy has lost matches after being ahead, but a 3-game cushion in such a short match is very comfortable indeed.  Does Kramnik still have fire in his belly?  Does he believe he can pull off the greatest comeback in modern chess history? 

There are 5 games left and Kramnik has white in 3 of them.  He could do it, but he hasn't even looked like winning a game so far and is a pale shadow of the man who completely dominated and demoralised the great Kasparov in 2000.  If this match is to be a real contest, he needs to find his form quickly.

Will Anand keep playing aggressive chess or will he switch into cruise mode soon?  Let's hope for the former, which has served him well so far!

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