Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Anand wins the match

Viswanathan Anand won the world championship match against Vladimir Kramnik after the eleventh game was drawn today. Anand had White and switched to 1. e4; Kramnik played the sharp Najdorf Sicilian, but failed to generate much excitement and a draw was agreed in only 24 moves.

When I knew about opening theory, the mainline in this variation was 7. ... Be7, while 7. ... Qc7 had been played in the 1950s, the early days of this line, but soon disappeared. Fashion or was some dangerous new move found for White?

You can find the moves from today's game at Chessdom, but the annotation on Susan Polgar's blog are better.

The news reports say that Anand retained the world championship. The truth is rather more complicate that. Ever since Garry Kasparov and Nigel Short broke away from FIDE, the world chess governing body, to play their match, the title has been in dispute.

As Kramnik beat Kasparov in a match a few years ago, many thought he was morally the world champion. So it is probably fairer to say that Anand, by winning the titles, has emerged as the undisputed world champion.
It was rather a disappointing match, though, and 12 games is too few to decide the world title. It is like John Higgins and Ronnie O'Sullivan deciding the world snooker crown over a match of a dozen frames.

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