The championship chess board in Bonn has become a form of torture for Vladimir Kramnik. After loosing game 6, Kramnik has just six games left and is down three full points. A loosing streak against a world champion is very hard to fix. In Kramnik’s case, achieving a win against Anand must seem like a desperate dream of freedom for a convict walking the “green mile.”
Below are my comments for game 6:
[Event “Anand-Kramnik World Championship Match”]
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Qc2 d5 5.cxd5 Qxd5 6.Nf3 Qf5 7.Qb3 Nc6 8.Bd2
O-O 9.h3 b6 10.g4 Qa5 11.Rc1 Bb7 12.a3 Bxc3 13.Bxc3 Qd5 14.Qxd5 Nxd5
15.Bd2 Nf6 16.Rg1 Rac8 17.Bg2 Ne7 18.Bb4 c5 19.dxc5 Rfd8 20.Ne5 Bxg2
21.Rxg2 bxc5 22.Rxc5 Ne4 23.Rxc8 Rxc8 24.Nd3 Nd5 25.Bd2 Rc2 26.Bc1 f5
27.Kd1 Rc8 28.f3 Nd6 29.Ke1 a5 30.e3 e5 31.gxf5 e4 32.fxe4 Nxe4 33.Bd2 a4
34.Nf2 Nd6 35.Rg4 Nc4 36.e4 Nf6 37.Rg3 Nxb2 38.e5 Nd5 39.f6 Kf7 40.Ne4
Nc4 41.fxg7 Kg8 42.Rd3 Ndb6 43.Bh6 Nxe5 44.Nf6+ Kf7 45.Rc3 Rxc3
46.g8=Q+ Kxf6 47.Bg7+ 1-0
3…Bb4 Kramnik employs the Nimzo-Indian again.
4. Qc2 Anand chooses the most popular reply.
9. h3 Here we go again. Another novelty from Anand. This seemingly innocent pawn move is the predecessor for a pawn thrust to g4.
10. g4 Anand takes the risky route by starting a kingside attack with the intention of castling the long way.
11. Rc1 Anand plays the best move and threatens playing a3.
11…Bb7 Kramnik avoids Anand’s double discovered threats.
15…Nf6 A preventative move stopping Anand from playing e4. However, Kramnik should have tried 15… Rfd8 16.Bg2 Na5 17.Bxa5 Nf4…
17…Ne7 Kramnik moves his knight so that it will not be pinned.
18. Bb4 Anand directs his bishop stop Kramnik from playing c5.
18…c5 Kramnik decides to play aggressively and push the pawn anyway.
20. Ne5 Anand is showing his world champion form.
21…bxc5 Kramnik not so much(see previous note.) This is an unfortunate mistake by the Russian. Better was Nc6 22.Nxc6 Rxc6 23.Rg3 Rdc8 24.Rd3 Nd5.
22. Rxc5 Anand punishes inaccuracy by profiting a pawn.
24. Nd3 Obviously Anand is not going to play 24.Bxe7 Rc1 mate!
25…Rc2 A strong move but if Anand can activate his rook he will win.
26. Bc1 Anand plans on moving his king to d1.
29. Ke1. This move is very hard to understand. Possible improvements are the natural 29.Rg1 and 29.e3 Nc4 30.Re2 Rd8.
30…e5 Kramnik missed the strategic 30…a4. Unfortunately he spots this move at the wrong time.
33…a4 This is a terrible mistake that Anand quickly punishes. Better would have been 33…Re8.
35. Rg4 Anand plays the second best move. The strongest continuation was 35.e4 Re8 36.Kf1 Nxe4 37.Bh6.
41. fxg7 Anand would have had an easier time if he had played 41.Rxg7+ Ke6 42.f7. However, all roads lead to Rome for Anand.
Kramnik has, for all intensive purposes, lost this match. Perhaps, only now can he start playing great chess as Spassky did against Fischer once the pressure had been lifted from the Russian’s shoulders.