The effect of a 12 games Kramnik – Anand match

preview by LA Times

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More info about Kramnik – Anand

The world championship match between champion Viswanathan Anand of India and former champion Vladimir Kramnik of Russia begins Tuesday in Bonn, Germany. They will contest 12 games, one of the shortest championships ever, for a purse of 1.5 million Euros (about $2.1 million).

A short match increases the value of one lucky win. The match is a tossup for other reasons too. Both players have superb skills; Anand calculates more quickly but Kramnik’s judgment appears slightly better. Both have extensive experience in matches, including failures in their younger days. Anand, 38, has shown no signs of declining powers. Kramnik, 33, seems fit after a 2005 bout with rheumatoid arthritis that kept him from competing for several months. The most serious charge against each is that he does not always put forth maximum effort to win a game. That failing matters more in tournaments than in matches.

Neither player performed well in his final warmup before the match. The World Chess Federation’s October rating list ranks Anand fifth (falling from first place) at 2783 and Kramnik sixth at 2772. Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria, whom Kramnik defeated in the 2006 world championship, has regained first place at 2791. Next are Alexander Morozevich of Russia, 2787, and Vassily Ivanchuk of Ukraine and Magnus Carlsen of Norway, each 2786. The top players have never been so closely bunched.

Report: LA Times

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