Wednesday, October 22, 2008

WCC At The Halfway Point: Getting Painful To Watch

I hate to be Vladimir Kramnik right now. Something has seriously gone very wrong with his match preparation.

Kramnik was outcalculated in Game 3.

In Game 5, he missed the tactical trap with Ne3 (see above picture). The sudden realisation that he was lost and had fallen into Anand's trap was a huge blow.

And now in Game 6, instead of playing for a draw to recover, Kramnik decided not to go for the defensive to consolidate. And the worst possible thing happened. He got ground down by Anand in a positional skirmish that would normally have suited him to a tee.

Anand now has a 3 point lead at the halfway mark. If this was a 24 game match, this result would still have allowed Kramnik sufficient time to recover but in a 12 game match, it's very hard.

He's getting outfought, outthought and outprepared at the board.

Tomorrow is a rest day and Kramnik needs to recover from this serious setback quickly. Never in my wildest dreams would I expect to see this result. In case anyone gets any wrong ideas, I am actually rooting for Anand and hopes he wins this.

Kramnik would need to turn himself around psychologically and go all out now in the next 6 games if he wants to harbour any hopes of regaining the crown.


  1. It's a surprise to say the least. Credit to Kramnik's character for not blaming his losses on the septic system or other silliness.

  2. I wonder if it has anything to do with the seconds? Afterall it are they who helped the players prepare. Who knows, maybe Magnus is lurking behind the curtains and whispering Anand the openings and moves he has to play. :-)

  3. 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.

    -- Associated Press

  4. This match is the first world championship that I have followed. It has been so lopsided it is not even interesting. I really don't care who wins, I would have just been happy if it was a bit closer.

  5. Another draw today (Saturday), so Anand creeps closer to retaining the title. Kramnik appears to have been outprepared and outplayed, and the idea of a last minute "comeback" seems remote. Vishy Anand has shown clear superiority in this match.

  6. likesforests : it would've been hard pressed for Kramnik to say otherwise because he mentioned he was in good health during the opening conference. :)

    anand is correct (silliness of drug testing) but unfortunately drug testing is required for it to be an Olympic sport.

    chesstiger: i think Kramnik miscalculated badly and did not expect Anand to play into his 1.d4 preparation. all of his games have started with 1.d4. and all sharp games at that. games where the position gives rise to complex middlegame positions, full of chances to go wrong. i don't think it has anything to do with his seconds.

    KnightFork: indeed, if it had been closer, it would have definitely been far interesting. at this stage, Anand is making it seem too easy.

    Greg: i've got a feeling that Kramnik is resting on his laurels far too much, thinking Anand is a weak match player. His decision to hire Leko (a 1.e4 player) is now looking like a badly miscalculated move.