Anand-Kramnik: Game 3 from the 2008 World Chess Championship

 In game 3 from the 2008 World Chess Championships, Viswanathan Anand put on a tactical display using his fiery attacking style to beat Vladimir Kramnik into submission. Below is the game that has put Anand ahead in the match:
Photograph copyright © 2008 Frederic Friedel

Photograph copyright © 2008 Frederic Friedel

   2…c6 Anand chooses the Slav again.

4. Nc3 Kramnik chooses not to play the exchange Slav as he did in game 1. We can assume he  did not reach the desired position in game 1 and is now willing to take his chances  to see what Anand’s preparations have sprouted.

6. Be3 Kramnik chooses the Meran set up.

8…a6 Anand shows he is ready to play tactical chess. Students can easily find thousands of  great games played from this position.

14…Bb7 Another novelty from Anand’s preparation. In previous games the bishop is placed on  a6 to defend the pawn on b5. Anand chooses to use his bishop for offense instead.

15…Bd6 Anand places his other bishop on the adjacent diagonal. Both bishops are aiming at  Kramnik’scastled king. This feature, together with the semi-open “g” file are  ingredients for a devastating attack on Kramnik’s king.

16…Rg8 Anand makes use of the semi-open “g” file
18. Bf4 Kramnik does not wish to leave his king defenseless by playing 18.Nd2. Perhaps he  feared the possibility of Anand playing 18…Ke7 clearing the 8’th rank so that his  a8 rook can move to g8. This is a pretty radical idea that I am sure we will see    in a future game between top level players.


19. Nxf4 Kramnik refuses to play passively and sacrifices a ppiece himself. Had Kramnik  played 19.Rxd4 then Anandwould have replied with 19…Kf8! 20.Bxd7 Rd8 21.Rad1 Rxd7  22.Rxd7 Bxg3 23.hxg3 Rxg3+ 24.Kh2 Bxf3 25.Qe3 Rg2+ 26.Kh3 Qxe3 27.fxe3 Rxb2 and  black’s position looks good.

22. Qd3 Kramnik makes another strong move and proves the worthiness of his sacrifice.

24…Rd8 Anand makes a world class move and puts his rook exactly where it needs to be.
25. Qe2 This is where Kramnik’s game starts to go sour. Better was 25.Qb3 Kh8 26.Rc1!

25…Kh6 Anand is playing amazing chess. His king will be perfectly safe on h6 for the   remainder of the game.

27. a4 Kramnik plays an interesting move here. To be honest, it will take more time on my   part to determine if this is a mistake or not. I wonder what Kramnik thinks of this  move now.

29. Ra3 This is definitely a mistake. Kramnik needed to play 29.Rd1 Rg1+ 30.Kd2 Rg2.

32. f3 I believe Rd3 was preferable.

33. Bd3 This move will give Kramnik nightmares for years. Had Kramnik played 33.Kb3 Rc1   34.a5 he would have been a lot better off.

33…Bh3 All of a sudden the World Champions are playing like patzers. I have a hunch that  33…Bxd3 34.Rxd3 Qc4 35. Rc3 Qxe2 is better. In fact after winning the queen Anand has mate in 12. Even with missing the pretty finish,   Anand has a win in the bag.

[Event “Anand-Kramnik World Championship Match”]
[Site “0:02:33-0:03:33”]
[Date “2008.10.17”]
[EventDate “2008.10.14”]
[Round “3”]
[Result “0-1”]
[White “Vladimir Kramnik”]
[Black “Viswanathan Anand”]
[ECO “D49”]
[WhiteElo “2811”]
[BlackElo “2803”]
[PlyCount “82”]

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6 5.e3 Nbd7 6.Bd3 dxc4 7.Bxc4
b5 8.Bd3 a6 9.e4 c5 10.e5 cxd4 11.Nxb5 axb5 12.exf6 gxf6
13.O-O Qb6 14.Qe2 Bb7 15.Bxb5 Bd6 16.Rd1 Rg8 17.g3 Rg4 18.Bf4
Bxf4 19.Nxd4 h5 20.Nxe6 fxe6 21.Rxd7 Kf8 22.Qd3 Rg7 23.Rxg7
Kxg7 24.gxf4 Rd8 25.Qe2 Kh6 26.Kf1 Rg8 27.a4 Bg2+ 28.Ke1 Bh3
29.Ra3 Rg1+ 30.Kd2 Qd4+ 31.Kc2 Bg4 32.f3 Bf5+ 33.Bd3 Bh3 34.a5
Rg2 35.a6 Rxe2+ 36.Bxe2 Bf5+ 37.Kb3 Qe3+ 38.Ka2 Qxe2 39.a7
Qc4+ 40.Ka1 Qf1+ 41.Ka2 Bb1+ 0-1


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