Chess

Draw in the 4th Anand – Kramnik game

The 400-seat auditorium of the Art and Exhibition Hall here had more chess aficionados than it was designed to take. Such an overwhelming response from the spectators on the first weekend of the World chess championship was only to be expected.

After Viswanathan Anand’s spectacular victory over challenger Vladimir Kramnik on Friday evening, a rise in the expectations was expected. The spectators happily paid €35 for a ticket (approx. Rs. 2,350) and not only filled the seating area but also the flights of stairs.

The result kept Anand “satisfied” and 2.5-1.5 ahead with eight games still to go. After a day of rest, the players return on Monday for the fifth game with Kramnik playing white.

As in the second game, Anand chose to start the proceedings by pushing the queen-pawn.

The queen-pawn opening soon got converted into Queen’s Gambit Declined, a position where white offers a pawn for initiative but black declines it and builds a steady defence.

By the 18th move, Anand had traded his two knights, a bishop and two pawns for Kramnik’s two bishops, a knight and two pawns. The open board did not encourage any immediate tactics from either player. It was consolidation time for both players.

Then started the battle on the queen’s side, with Anand keen to seize the edge. Kramnik, known for his positional play, played accurately and managed to strengthen his central pawn. But soon, further exchanges involving pawns and rooks left the players with no choice but to agree to the most logical outcome.

Anand was quite clear about Kramnik’s position in the game. “I think black was pretty comfortable. I did not think he had any real problems. It is not clear that white has anything going for him. After all, we had only one minor piece each. It is also very difficult for black to make any progress. I think in this position, you cannot hope for more (than a draw),” said Anand.

Kramnik looked pleased with his play and said, “Black was incredibly solid, but I don’t think it would have changed the outcome in any way. Draw is a pretty logical and normal result.”

Meanwhile, the organizers have decided to allow chess websites to relay the moves live. In the first three rounds, the moves were relayed with a 30-minute delay. But it was noticed that several leading chess sites were not respecting the embargo.

Source: The Hindu

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