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Anand close to retaining world title

Viswanathan Anand destroyed Vladmir Kramnik with a third win in four games and ended his hopes of the world championships.

india Updated: Oct 22, 2008 16:09 IST

Viswanathan Anand destroyed Vladmir Kramnik with a third win in four games and ended his hopes of the world championships. The defending champion may well have shut the door on Kramnik as he took a three-point lead in the 12-game match with just six games having been played out in the World Chess Championships.

Anand won the sixth game on the 41st move in a match that he dominated from middle game onwards.

Anand has now won the third, fifth and sixth games with the rest having been drawn. The NIIT Brand Ambassador leads the match 4.5-1.5 as the first player to reach 6.5 point will be adjudged the world champion.

Playing with white and with a two-point advantage Anand piled on more misery as he played a solid game in the Nimzo Indian. Anand knowing his rival was at his lowest played a sharp line and went in for a positional game.

Just as the game looked interestingly poised with Kramnik playing solid in reply, Anand unleashed yet another novelty on the ninth move. Kramnik took up the challenge, probably in the hope that since he was already way behind he might as well be aggressive with black. Anand went for the jugular and accepted the challenge to attack.

Anatoly Karpov in the analysis room felt white (Anand) would be clearly better after the exchange of queens on d5. That's what happened. It was now clear that Anand had come out of the opening way better.

Black (Kramnik) needed to play for control of white squares. Into the middle game around move 17, Anand was better but not winning.

Kramnik, trailing in the match, went in risking giving a pawn, which he had no way of getting back.

By move 21 it seemed Anand with white was in a position to go three points up. He kept the pawn and Kramnik by now was fighting to survive. Anand on the prowl also did not castle - he had castled in only three of the six games!

By move 27 Anand was clearly better but he had no need to force things.

As the game progressed Anand was going up two pawns and he was keeping them and waiting. Over the next few moves from 37 onwards it was clear Anand was in winning position. And the computer was showing a win, too.

For his 40th move Kramnik had just 90 seconds, but time no longer mattered as Anand was almost home for a third win.

Anand kept it simple and went in for a crowd pleasing winning line and made it 4.5-1.5 for a three-point lead, which is surely too much for an outplayed Kramnik.

Wednesday is a day of rest and seventh game will resume on Thursday with Kramnik having white and Anand black. Anand has won last two games with black.

First Published: Oct 22, 2008 15:43 IST