Kramnik must be feeling miserable. Anand has beaten him with the black pieces once again. Now down two full points with 7 games to go, Kramnik must take considerable risks if he is to have any chance at becoming world champion again. Taking these risks could easily backfire and have the effect of causing this match to become a total blow-out. Below is game 5 of the 2008 World Chess Championship with my analysis:
[Event “Anand-Kramnik World Championship Match”]
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6 5.e3 Nbd7 6.Bd3 dxc4 7.Bxc4 b5 8.Bd3 a6 9.e4 c5 10.e5 cxd4 11.Nxb5 axb5 12.exf6 gxf6 13.O-O Qb6 14.Qe2 Bb7 15.Bxb5 Rg8 16.Bf4 Bd6 17.Bg3 f5 18.Rfc1 f4 19.Bh4 Be7 20.a4 Bxh4 21.Nxh4 Ke7 22.Ra3 Rac8 23.Rxc8 Rxc8 24.Ra1 Qc5 25.Qg4 Qe5 26.Nf3 Qf6 27.Re1 Rc5 28.b4 Rc3 29.Nxd4 Qxd4 30.Rd1 Nf6 31.Rxd4 Nxg4 32.Rd7+ Kf6 33.Rxb7 Rc1+ 34.Bf1 Ne3 35.fxe3 fxe3 0-1
15…Rg8 This is where Anand deviates from game three. In game three Anand played 15…Bd6 and 16…Rg8. In game five he reverses the order.
17. Bg3 Had kramnik played 17.Bxd6 Qxd6 18.Rfd1 e5 19.Rxd4 Qxd4 20.Nxd4 Bxg2 and Anand would have been able to repeat the position for a draw.
18. Rfc1 Kramnik had several interesting alternatives including my choice of 18.Nxd4 f4 19.Nxe6 fxe6 20.Qxe6+ Kf8 21.Qf5+.
18…f4 This is the reason why Anand played f5.
22. Ra3 Kramnik misses the critical 22.Bxd7 Kxd7 23.b4.
27. Re1 Kramnik’s other choices of Rd1 and b4 deserve a second look. 27.Nxd4 Qxd4 28.Rd1 Nf6 29.Rxd4 Nxg4 30.Rd7+ Kf8 31.Rxb7 Rc1+ 32.Bf1 does not need explanation.
29…Nxd4 Kramnik blunders and looses the game. 29.Nd2 d3 30.a5 Rс2 31.Bxd7 would have been preferable. Kramnik’s chances of winning the World Championship may have just evaporated.