New Delhi: Viswanathan Anand retained the World Chess Championship title in Bonn late on Wednesday night after ending the 11th game with Russia’s Vladimir Kramnik in a draw.
Anand, who led 6-4 after 10 games, needed only a draw in one of the two remaining games to emerge champion once again.
Anand had a 1. e4 start and led to a Sicilian-Najdorf, which Kramnik rarely plays. Kramnik went all out for a win and tried to create wild and unstable positions to throw Anand off-guard, but the Indian Grandmaster was upto the task.
In fact, as Kramnik overstretched in a do-or-die battle, he actually allowed Anand greater play. But in the end the game ended in a 24-move draw.
Anand, who had been opting for the queen pawn opening all along in the competition, obviously wanted to score a point here giving ample evidence that he was prepared for all kinds of rusty play by the Russian.
Anand went for the sharpest continuation against the Najdorf employed by Kramnik. It was a do or die situation for the Russian and Anand realised it to come up with a positive approach signifying his intentions for a sharp battle.
"It's easier to get a draw with white when you don't want to", were Anand's words some time back during a function and the Indian ace proved it when he wanted a draw, clearly indicating that it was much easier to get the half a point when playing for a win with white.
Kramnik did not get any chance as he stood slightly worse in the middle game itself. Once the queens got traded, the Russian sought solace in a draw proposal as he simply did not have any winning chance. The game lasted just 24 moves.
On Tuesday, Anand had lost Game 10 to Kramnik.
The countdown to his victory had begun on Monday itself but Anand disappointed his fans by losing the game.
Even a draw would have given him the title.
In Game 9 on Sunday, Anand had retained his three-point lead following the draw with white pieces and was just a draw away from retaining the crown he won the year before in Mexico.
The 10th game lasted barely 29 moves. Kramnik started with white pieces and played very aggressively. Anand now leads the Championship 6-4 in the 12-games match.
Anand clearly emerged as the superior player in the match. The 10th game on Monday was Kramnik's last chance to make amends in what has been a dramatically one-sided affair thus far.
This is his third world title in all. His first world title had come eight years ago in 2000 in Tehran.
According to the pre-match rules, the two players share the purse of 1.5 million Euros equally.