Games: Chess

The game in the Belgrade tournament between the players ranked two and three in the world fully lived up to expectations. Vladimir Kramnik and Viswanathan Anand both gave spectacular displays of imagination, with the Indian player ending up victorious after meeting Kramnik's sacrificial attacking play with an astonishing counter-sacrifice.

The position after 5.Bg5 was one that Kramnik has had countless times as both colours. Those games generally entered the wild territory of the Botvinnik System with 5...dxc4 6.e4 b5 7.e5 h6 8.Bh4 g5 9.Nxg5 hxg5 10.Bxg5 Nbd7, but Anand by-passed that line with 5...h6. Theory now recommends 6.Bxf6 Qxf6, which is said to leave White with a more comfortable position, but Kramnik instead played a supposedly dubious pawn sacrifice.

At move 12, he sacrificed a piece to destroy the pawn cover around Black's king. Black was able to defend in the short term by huddling pieces round his king, but after 19.b4! White clearly had good compensation for the piece. 19...cxb3 20.Qxb3 would have left e6 impossible to defend, while otherwise White's grip on c5 makes it difficult for Black to untangle. The critical moment came after 25.Ne4 (see diagram). Black cannot play 25...Be3 because of 26.Rxf8+ when 26...Qxf8 loses to 27.Bxe6+, 26...Nxf8 loses to 27.Nf6+, and 26...Kxf8 loses the bishop to 27.Qf3+ (and 27.Qh8+ Kf7 28.Rf1+ Kg6 29.Nf6 is even stronger).

Anand found the extraordinary 25...c5!! 26.Nxg5 Bd5!! (26...Rxg5 27.Qh6 favours White). White's best continuation may then have been 27.Nxe6 Bxe6 28.Bxe6+ Qxe6 29.bxc5, but Kramnik's decision to keep the piece he had just won back was understandable. As the game went, White was a pawn down, but the black passed pawns on c4 and b4 were too powerful.

Kramnik's 37.bxe6!? was a last despairing effort to confuse the issue, but a final combination with 38...Rxf3! put the matter beyond doubt. White had rook and three pawns for Black and knight, but his position was hopeless. One of the most exciting and eventful games I have seen for a long time.

White: Vladimir Kramnik

Black: Viswanathan Anand

1 Nf3 Nf6 23 Qe2 Ba8

2 c4 e6 24 Qxh5 Rf8

3 Nc3 d5 25 Ne4 c5

4 d4 c6 26 Nxg5 Bd6

5 Bg5 h6 27 Nf3 cxb4

6 Bh4 dxc4 28 axb5 axb5

7 e4 g5 29 Nh4 Qg5

8 Bg3 b5 30 Rxf8+ Nxf8

9 Be2 Bb7 31 Qe8 Rf7

10 e5 Nh5 32 Nf3 Qg6

11 a4 a6 33 Qxb5 b3

12 Nxg5 Nxg3 34 Rf1 Qd3

13 Nxf7 Kxf7 35 Kg1 Qe3+

14 fxg3 Kg8 36 Kh1 c3

15 0-0 Nd7 37 Bxe6 Bxe6

16 Bg4 Qe7 38 d5 Rxf3

17 Ne4 Rh7 39 gxf3 Bh3

18 Nd6 Rb8 40 Qc4 Bxf1

19 b4 h5 41 Qg4+ Kh7

20 Bh3 Bh6 42 e6 Ng6

21 Kh1 Bg5 White resigns

22 Qc2 Rg7

News
peoplePaper attempts to defend itself
Voices
voicesWe desperately need men to be feminists too
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Account Executive/Sales Consultant – Permanent – Hertfordshire - £16-£20k

    £16500 - £20000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: We are currently r...

    KS2 PPA Teacher needed (Mat Cover)- Worthing!

    £100 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Crawley: KS2 PPA Teacher currently nee...

    IT Systems Manager

    £40000 - £45000 per annum + pension, healthcare,25 days: Ashdown Group: An est...

    IT Application Support Engineer - Immediate Start

    £28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Software Application Support Analyst - Imm...

    Day In a Page

    Syria air strikes: ‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings

    Robert Fisk on Syria air strikes

    ‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings
    Will Lindsay Lohan's West End debut be a turnaround moment for her career?

    Lindsay Lohan's West End debut

    Will this be a turnaround moment for her career?
    'The Crocodile Under the Bed': Judith Kerr's follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

    The follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

    Judith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed' - which has taken 46 years to get into print
    BBC Television Centre: A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past

    BBC Television Centre

    A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past
    Secret politics of the weekly shop

    The politics of the weekly shop

    New app reveals political leanings of food companies
    Beam me up, Scottie!

    Beam me up, Scottie!

    Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
    Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

    Beware Wet Paint

    The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
    Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

    Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

    Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
    Sanctuary for the suicidal

    Sanctuary for the suicidal

    One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
    A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

    Not That Kind of Girl:

    A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

    In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

    Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
    Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

    Model mother

    Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
    Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

    Apple still the coolest brand

    Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum