WCh G9 drawn after heroic fight

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WCh G9: WCh G9: WCh G9 drawn after heroic fightThe 9th game of the World Championship match in Sofia ended in a draw after Viswanathan Anand missed various wins. The game was a heroic fight that lasted 83 moves, when Veselin Topalov once again claimed a threefold repetition. Video added - actually it ended up rather nicely. :-)

For all the match details, rules and regulations we refer to our large overview article here. Here's a summary:

The match will take place April 21 - May 12 in Sofia, Bulgaria. Venue is the Central Military Club in Sofia, Bulgaria. The match will consist of 12 games, and if necessary, a 4-game rapid tiebreak, if necessary 5 2-game blitz matches and if necessary 1 sudden death game. The classical games will be played in pairs of 2, so there will be a rest day after every 2 games. No postponements are allowed. Topalov has White in games 1,3,5,8, 10 and 12.

Schedule

April 24 – 17.00 EEST (16:00 CET) - Game 1 April 25 – 15:00 EEST (14:00 CET) - Game 2 April 26 – Rest Day April 27 – 15:00 EEST (14:00 CET) - Game 3 April 28 – 15:00 EEST (14:00 CET) - Game 4 April 29 – Rest Day April 30 – 15:00 EEST (14:00 CET) - Game 5 May 1 – 15:00 EEST (14:00 CET) - Game 6 May 2 – Rest Day May 3 – 15:00 EEST (14:00 CET) - Game 7 May 4 – 15.00 EEST (12.00 UTC) - Game 8 May 5 – Rest Day May 6 – 15:00 EEST (14:00 CET) - Game 9 May 7 – 15:00 EEST (14:00 CET) - Game 10 May 8 – Rest Day May 9 – 15:00 EEST (14:00 CET) - Game 11 May 10 – Rest Day May 11 – 15:00 EEST (14:00 CET) - Game 12 May 12 – Rest Day May 13 – Tie breaks
The time control for each game is 120 minutes for the first 40 moves, 60 minutes for the next 20 moves and then 15 minutes for the rest of the game with an increment of 30 seconds per move starting after move 61. The Chief Arbiter is Panaqiotis Nikolopoulos (Greece). The Deputy Chief Arbiter is Werner Stubenvoll (Austria). The total prize fund is 3 million Euros: 2 million for the players, 400,000 for FIDE taxes and 600,000 for organizational costs. The winner will receive 1,2 million Euros while the loser receives 800.000 Euros.

Score

 Anand, V
2787
0
1
½
1
½
½
½
0
½
 Topalov,V
2805
1
0
½
0
½
½
½
1
½



Videos



If you can't see all videos in the player above: this is a cache problem of the browser. We've contacted blip.tv about the problem. Please remove your cache files and try again. Here's the game 9 video separately:





Game 9

Today's game was one of the most thrilling top GM games I have witnessed on location, since I started visiting chess events for this website. What a heroic fight was the 9th match game, and what a titanic battle is this World Championship match. There was a crew from BBC World radio interviewing everyone in the press room today for a documentary on chess and technology, and although the three of them weren't really chess players, they were clearly captivated about the happenings as well, and one of them kept on asking me what evalution the engine gave.

WCh G9

Hundreds of thousands of chess fans must have followed this game also with their engine running in the background, and today we saw how strong these silicon monsters have become, and how tough it is even for the World Champion himself to play without assistance! Before the players had even finished their game, the whole chess community already knew what had happened: Anand had missed one, two, probably even three clear wins today, and eventually he had to settle for the draw.

It all started with a Nimzo-Indian, not a Catalan this time. Jan Smeets and Erwin l'Ami, who were in the press room today, half-jokingly said to me that this was already "a moral victory". It didn't come too much as a surprise though, since Anand clearly needed something different and he had gone for the Nimzo twice in Bonn against Kramnik as well.

WCh G9

Today Topalov's seconds paid a visit to the venue. In the press room we chatted about the early middlegame position with rooks vs queen, and about the bishop ending of game 8. Yours truly with GMs Ivan Cheparinov, Erwin l'Ami, Jan Smeets and Ian Rogers



More or less right out of the opening White got two rooks versus the black queen, and with the bishop pair it did look slightly better for Anand, but perhaps it was just equal. However, somewhere Topalov made some mistakes (he played quite fast at some crucial moments, like he did before in his match and also last year against Kamsky) and he got into big trouble.

Anand is playing quite well in Sofia but somehow he seems to need more time on his strong moves than he used to. He got into slight timetrouble, and probably threw away the first win on move 40. More excellent opportunities followed, but in a second timetrouble phase up to move 60 the World Champion again couldn't convert winning positions.

The game lasted over six hours, and the players clearly looked tired at the press conferene. Topalov had enough reason to smile, and he did, when he was asked why he was resetting is watch just before the game. "It's always running fast," he said. Anand, clearly disappointed, said he felt he had missed the win, and Topalov agreed.

The following annotations are clearly just some lines based on general ideas and computer suggestions, and form only the beginning of an analysis that should be much bigger. It probably takes weeks to analyse this game properly...

Game viewer by ChessTempo


During game 9 Stefan Löffler had a brief interview with Vladimir Kramnik about the match for Die Zeit. Here's one quote:

Zeit: At this World Championship Anand copied particularly your openings. With White, he has played four times the Catalan. A surprise for you?

Kramnik: It is a logical choice. Topalov hasn't had good result against Catalan so far. At least statistically, this opening is his weak point. It's like in tennis. If the opponent is weak at the net, one tries to lure him there. This strategy was actually difficult to predict, but for Anand it worked. With the Catalan he got his two victories.


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