Chess

Anand with 3 points lead

Anand is closer to winning the World Chess Championship

India’s Viswanathan Anand beat challenger Vladimir Kramnik again on Tuesday to put another nail in the coffin of the Russian challenger’s fast-disappearing hopes of reclaiming the chess world championship.

The win — Anand’s third in four games — gave the defending champion a 4.5-1.5 lead in their 12-game match. Such a streak is virtually unheard of in world championship match play, where the vast majority of games are drawn.

When Kramnik defeated then-world champion Garry Kasparov in 2000, for example, he won two games, while the other 13 were drawn. Kramnik lost the world championship to Anand last year.

Kramnik, who has never before lost three games out of four, has slim chances of digging himself out of his hole with only six games to go — three of them with the white pieces. That means Anand can afford to keep drawing in the remaining games.

Anand’s ninth move, in a Classical Nimzo-Indian, was a prepared novelty that he later called “interesting because it forces him to start thinking very early.”

Former world champion Anatoly Karpov of Russia said that “Kramnik’s reaction was not good.”

“It was a strange opening but it looked pretty equal,” Kramnik said. “My moves seemed very logical.”

However, Anand liked the position he had when the queens came off because he had pressure on the c-file against a weak pawn on c7.

He was critical of Kramnik’s 17th move. Kramnik agreed — saying that, after that move, “I couldn’t see how to equalize.”

Anand called his response, pinning Kramnik’s knight to his rook, “a little unpleasant. I thought I was better then.”

Kramnik’s next move, a pawn sacrifice, was the logical consequence of his 17th move.

Karpov called it “too risky,” but Kramnik thought it was necessary, otherwise “I would be without counterplay.”

Kramnik was simply down a pawn. His pieces were far more active and Anand’s rook was awkwardly placed on g2 but it was only a matter of time before Anand untangled his position.

“He got a hell of a lot of play (for the pawn) but he doesn’t get it back,” Anand said. Kramnik called his 33rd move “the decisive mistake.”

In the end, Anand had to play accurate, but had a variety of winning plans to choose from. Kramnik resigned on move 47.

The post-game press conference was delayed by more than a half hour for the mandatory drug tests. Asked about the testing, Anand called it “completely pointless” and pointed to computers as the main risk of cheating in chess.

“It was made for some other sport,” Anand said.

Source: AP

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